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Even churches that seek to provide a safe haven for those suffering in their midst might not have a judgment-free place to discuss their struggles.

Programs like Celebrate Recovery can provide an invaluable forum for people to interact with others who experience “hurts, habits, and hangups,” and can help deal with some of the self-medication many people with depression and anxiety use to numb themselves.

However, some of the “church-y” misconceptions about clinical depression and anxiety spring from a genuine desire to understand them scripturally.

It’s necessary to generalize a bit to understand these attitudes: there are things well-meaning Christians to get wrong.

Without a carefully planned strategy to deal with mental illness, though, “all are welcome” might not be enough.

Healing comes from a prayerful, loving community that seeks to truly understand major depressive disorder and related conditions, and one that develops a positive response.

It’s not complicated just because the illnesses themselves are so complex, manifesting themselves in myriad ways, but also because perspectives about mental disorders vary greatly throughout the Church. Incorrect beliefs about mental illness are pervasive throughout our culture.Such an attitude can dangerously appear in the Church as, “if only you had enough faith.” Cue the record scratch for any Christian regarding matters of healing.Having faith in God’s ability to heal is hugely important, and personal faith can help ease depression.Christ, the Great Physician, came to heal the sick.As His body, it’s time the Church leads society in helping to do the same. His work has been featured across the web on topics such as religion, pop culture, technology and more.

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