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On Fundamentalism and mental health...

I was heartened by this memoir, Devout, by Anna Gazmarian describing her experience with mental illness in the Evangelical church. It validates my experience over forty years ago, when I first joined the church as a lost, abused, runaway. The pastor was most concerned with me getting “saved,” than addressing why I had run away. He didn’t want to hear about the trauma caused by my parents and their neglect and abuse, discounting, and therefore shutting down any mention of it as “God’s will.” Since it was God’s will, there is no need to discuss or address it. Talking about my painful past, or other internal struggles like depression or grief around infertility was taboo. That attitude caused me decades of hurt, confusion and anxiety. As we now know, unaddressed trauma festers and grows. The results can be harmful, if not deadly. I am glad this is finally being addressed.

Anna addresses the reasons behind the conflict between “faith” and “mental Illness,” mainly the church’s’ distrust of science, coupled with what she calls “toxic positivity,” that Christians should be happy people whose every problem is solved by God or their faith in God to the exclusion of mental health initiatives that address things like depression, anxiety or mental illness.  You can read the whole article here: 

I talk about my issues with the Evangelical church in my memoir,

Redeemed, A Memoir of a Stolen Childhood, coming out June 25, 2024.

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