Thursday, July 12, 2007

Shame not needed

One of the things about American society that continues to ignore me, especially among Christians, is the continued stigma concerning mental illnesses and depression. Yes, I know, there is much among modern psychological theory that I find I dislike from a theological standpoint - but there are also medical therapies which I dislike - and I haven't stopped going to the doctor (okay, so I haven't been to one in 8 years or so, but that's mainly due to being lazy, not any chip on my shoulder against doctors).

If my arm were damaged - I would have no problem seeing a doctor about it. No one would think I was weak - or very few. In a few years when my knees get replaced - that won't be a matter of shame. Then why is it such a matter of shame to have work done on the head?

Especially as Lutherans we ought to see no shame in this - for more than anyone we understand that our value does not reside in our own strength or power - we aren't defined by our actions but by the fact that we are Baptized into Christ. I believe I cannot by my own reason or strength. . . . And yet, the stigma remains. Tis very frustrating.

1 comment:

Christopher D. Hall said...

Yes, and since there's shame, people avoid it, and mental illness is one of those diseases that affects others significantly too--at home, at work, on the streets, in jail, and in the church. When those who are ill avoid treatment, they suffer profoundly, and others suffer with them.