Mental Health

I have mental health issues and I need your prayers.

Ever since I was 13 I was diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. I'm 18 now and things have only gotten worse. I'm clinically depressed and I'm also the victim of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I have been prescribed anti-depressants and mood stabilizers by more than one psychiatrist, but honestly I think they're useless. I pick at my skin (dermatillomania) for hours everyday. I know that sounds a bit funny and werid, but it actually causes me severe emotional and psychological distress. The picking has permanently scarred my back and face. I sought help from my father of confession, but he personally thinks that it's "self-deception", that it doesn't really exist, and that I should just "snap out of it".  I also have trouble sleeping at night, getting an average of only 3 hours of sleep a night. My family is supportive, although they can get a bit impatient and frustrated at some times, which only makes me feel worse.

I'm losing hope. Every day I cry to God, yet I feel like He has abandoned me. I try to stay regular in my prayers and Bible readings, but I gave up when I began to feel as if I'm without hope. What is left for me to do? I don't want this struggle to have a bad ending. Please pray for me!


  • edited July 2015
    eklenate , be strong in the Lord for he is the perfect physician.
    It is important you continue taking your medications regardless of how useless you think they are. You do not know the full state you would be in without them. They may not help completely by they help enough for you to get by. 
    Along with the medical there is also the spiritual. You have to continue raising your heart to God and plead for His mercy without loosing hope. We may loose everything in life but hope is the one thing we always have.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ became distressed until His sweat became pools of blood. He shared in your suffering and felt as you are feeling and to an even greater degree. St Paul was distressed unto "death".  The prophet Jeremiah wept without ceasing for his people. Elijah became depressed to the point of escaping and loosing hope. None of these people were abandoned by God and in time found respite and mercy. Know that God is enthroned in your heart, you carry within you the Divine fire of baptism. You have been united in an inseparable bond. God can never abandon you as his love. He would not go against His nature and promises.

    You are 18, a young person by all means and measures. Socially, mentally, psychologically & even physically you have a lot of development left to undergo. Continue seeing your psychiatrist and following the medical regimen that he or she prescribes. Continue to approach God in all confidence as his daughter, fight with him as Jacob and David have. Plead with Him as Abraham did without ceasing. Lean on him as St John the beloved always has. He is there and present and supporting you. If you feel you have put in all the effort, tell yourself just a little more. Fight with yourself because God is also fighting for you.

    try to relinquish immediately the thoughts which cause your distress. Pick up a new and healthy habit. Every time you get a thought of self harm, get up and go out of the house, call a friend, pray in your heart, breath and think to yourself of the intelligent and beautiful soul that you possess. We all have our faults and weaknesses. Do not fool yourself into thinking you are imperfect in a perfect world. We are all imperfect. 
    If you feel that your Father of Confession isn't understanding your situation properly then feel free to see another one. Do not cut your ties with your church or the psychiatrist. Both are necessary and work together to help bring about the best possible outcome. You have taken a good step by asking for help and reaching out. That in itself is improvement.

    God is love and His mercy endures forever.

  • Unfortunately our culture doesn't think mental health is as important as physical health. A lot of Egyptians think you can just "snap out of it", but that's not true. You have an illness you cannot control on your own, just like someone with type 1 diabetes. However the medication prescribed, regardless of how awful the side effects make you feel, are your best treatment. Stay regular on them, as they take several weeks to take full affect, but let your doctor know if your depression or OCD tendencies return. There are probably alternatives :)

    Also have you tried group therapy? Support from others can be more encouraging, and you might be able to help someone with less experience. I've seen the outcome of groups and it's amazing what a little peer talk can do in an individual's health. Ask your doctor to see if that's an option as well.

    This is a tough battle you're fighting, but continue to stay strong in the Lord! If you feel He has abandoned you, talk with Him. Continue holding on tight and don't let go. Your Father will have mercy on you.

    God bless you.
  • Thank you all for your comments and support :) I really appreciate the time you put in to writing these comforting words. I tried to sign up for cognitive behavioral therapy, but the waiting time at my local hospital is six months. It's really concerning me how bad and alarming mental health is becoming in today's society. What's worse is the stigma behind it. Please continue to pray for me and for all those enduring the same struggle.

    God bless.
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