I began taking antidepressants at 22 years old. My parents were reluctant to put me on medication as a growing teenager. In July 1998, I found something I thought would offer me a better chance at being happy: I became a born-again Christian by accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Some people find different ways of happiness and staying alive. Thinking that a big, divine God had kept me alive this long for a reason kept me going.
Jesus Christ became my raison d’être: for eating, sleeping, breathing. I lived to worship God day and night and felt He had truly transformed me and saved me out of my depression. While He may infuse a life-changing transformation for some Christians on Earth, for me, my victory over depression would be short-lived. It soon became the “thorn in my side.”
Close friends and family said that Christianity didn’t work for me. But through my faith, I found a need to continue living. I felt needed and had a reason to live for other than myself. Thinking that God has me here for a higher purpose keeps me going: I’m curious to find out what’s at the end. Faith in God can bring some needed relief for depression sufferers.

8 thoughts on “Christianity

  1. My experience has been a lot different than yours here. A couple of years ago, after reading through the first third of Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate, I became an atheist. I was never that religious to begin with, but even then, the transition was pretty crippling; the exact opposite of your experience finding God.
    It hurt. It hurt a lot. It was so painful to realize that nobody was looking out for me, that there was no plan, that I was really and truly on my own.
    And then, as Julia Sweeney articulates very beautifully in Letting Go of God — after this stage of chaos, after your entire world collapses down on you — a whole new conception of the world rises in its wake. One that was, at least my experience, much more beautiful and clear.
    And I made huge changes in my life because of it. It enables a type of rational, pragmatic thinking that great tool, in my opinion, against the forces in my mind I thought were outside of my control.
    The quality of my life would not be what it is today had I never lost my religion. I still have all of the respect in the world for religious people — but I don’t think religion is necessary to deal with depression either.

  2. Marrisa your salvation experience and the joy and peace that you felt afterwards was real. You are “born again” which means that you are born in the spirit. God has promised you eternal life and many other blessings. What you need to focus on is making and keeping Jesus as the Lord of your life. That requires discipline and obedience and most of all it reqires the grace of God, the Holy Spirit working within you. He worketh the will and the way. Your job is to listen and yield. The best advice I can give you is to study the Bible.

  3. Hi Marissa,

    I’m a 26 year old white male, law student. I have tried medications for anxiety and depression but haven’t found them to be helpful. I’ve found instead that a focus on religion is key to getting through bad days. Cling to that. Keep your head up and God bless.

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