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When You're Told to 'Pray the Depression Away'


I go to a wonderful school. I really do. I love the people, I love the teachers, but as a whole, my school lacks the most basic understanding of depression. When I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), I looked to the people at my school for comfort.

I wasn’t expecting I would be told to “pray depression away.”

I want to make something very clear. I am a Christian. I have been since I could spell God. With that said, I had a hard time finding God in the midst of depression. There were and are nights when I pray and go away feeling more empty than when I started.

I was so confused about why God would let depression happen to me, so I asked one of the most Godly people I know. Their response hit me like a ton of bricks.

“Well have you tried praying about it?”

What do you think I have been doing?! I thought.

“Yes I have been praying.”

“Well maybe if you pray hard enough, the depression demons will leave your mind.”

Excuse me for a second and don’t take this personally but, what?

I have been praying. Every night, until my head goes numb. So, are you telling me I’m just not praying hard enough? Or that does God not love me enough to heal me?

OK look, I believe God can heal me. I just don’t know why he isn’t so when I’m told to “pray depression away,” it makes me feel like my head is broken. Can I not even pray right? You feel me?

Maybe instead of telling me to keep praying, tell me you’ll pray for me. Comfort goes a lot farther in my life than instruction does.

I want to be better. I wish I could say a prayer and have it all go away, but it isn’t and it won’t so please stop telling me to try harder. I’m exhausted.

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Unsplash photo via Ben White


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