Out of the blue, during the happiest chapter in my life — being a Bible teacher; happily married with two boys — I suddenly started experiencing panic attacks and depression. And I didn’t know why. It turns out, because I was now grown up and safe, all the painful things I experienced as a child began to surface. Not because my faith was faulty, but because God loved me. It was time to heal from the trauma of my past.
My post-traumatic stress disorder therapist told me that a soldier doesn’t experience trauma when he’s brave and fighting on the battlefield. A soldier only experiences panic attacks when he’s finally home — when he is safe to face what was too difficult to process at the time. It’s actually God’s way of protecting us when hurt, fear, or loss is too overwhelming. Our healthy nervous system, designed by God to automatically shield us in the moment, compartmentalizes pain for us, so we can get through hard things — temporarily.
If you’re a Christian who is struggling with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) read on to see what has helped me overcome the worst months of my depression and PTSD, and what myths about mental health need busted.
If you’re in a moment of crisis and you’re in emotional distress right now, don’t hesitate to talk to someone. Call 1-800-273-8255 or go to https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.