In my communications with members of several online groups to which I belong, the question comes up occasionally regarding persons with mental health issues who pray but do not take their medications. They sometimes feel that since God is going to heal them, they do not need to take their meds regularly or at all.

When we have an ear infection, for example, and our doctor prescribes antibiotics, explaining how they need to be taken regularly and taken until the bottle is finished, most people have no problem following these instructions, realizing that the medication will improve or cure the infection. But whth mental health issues there is often such a strong stigma around the issues themselves that there tends to be more negative judgments about the condition(s) and the need for medications and psychotherapy. There is no such stigma surrounding the infected ear and the taking of antibiotics. Would that either situation be treated with equal respect and dignity. This might improve the condition for people with mental health issues and bring about less homelessness among some with such issues. We can tell someone over and over “take your meds! Go see your counselor! or find a counselor!” but like the old saying says, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. The person with the ear infection “drinks” immediately, whereas, the person with the mental issue may or may not “drink” may “drink” for a short time, may take a few “swallows” now and then, but not commit to the full regimen.
I believe that meds are something God created to help us,so we need to use them when necessary; however, in the long run, meds are part of the solution, but He is everything! Meds and all.


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