Response to a response
A reader writes:
I know it is a bit presumptuous of me to respond to your response to this person but I have a concern to raise. There is nothing wrong with your response, as far as it went. However when this person writes of years of being "angry and sad all the time", it seems to me this person ought to be encouraged to seek therapy. God works through counselors, therapists and doctors. Just as we wouldn't suggest spiritual formation as the only method to overcome - say cancer or heart disease, spiritual formation alone is not sufficient for mental health issues.
As a person who has struggled with depression, I can attest that spiritual disciplines and prayer are crucial to recovery but equally crucial is the care of a good therapist and doctor.
I hope that you made this suggestion privately to this person and that this e mail is completely unwarranted.
Thanks for your concern and your note, and yes, I know from private correspondence that he's doing well and has appropriate support. I wanted to post your note here so that others would be reminded of the importance of integrated care - physical, medical, psychological, spiritual, social. We need to remove all stigma for getting mental health care. As you say, the brain is an organ like the heart or lungs (except more delicate and complex!), and we know God has created us to need and give mutual support in webs of care - which (thankfully) now include cardiologists, pulmonary specialists, and psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors. Thanks again.