Jesus or Zoloft?

I’m depressed.
There. I said it.
Happy freaking New Year.

Last year really kicked my ass. Six or seven major life events and an international move seem to be catching up with me, and I’ve found, coming off a nine month adrenaline high, that I don’t really want to get out of bed. I got my kids off to school this morning and then I curled up on the couch with a blanket over my head and slept until noon, and when I finally got up it was only because my cat was sitting on my face. What?! That’s how he tells me he’s hungry. Anyway, here’s a newsflash: If you sleep more than yourcat, that may be a clue that you’ve come down with a smidge of the depression.

If I can get dressed by like 3 o’clock, it feels like a major victory. (Over-celebrating simple daily tasks? Yeah, that’s clue #2.)
This morning I shuffled around my house looking for some unknown thing, then I circled the internet in search of nothing at all for far too long, and I kept telling myself that I really needed to get my shit together. When none of that got me anywhere, I stopped and I prayed, and I kept telling God that He really needed to get my shit together. “I need to write.”, I told Him,” I need to clean this house. I need to cook. I need to buy toilet paper. This sad, sleepy, grimy, stupefied, agoraphobe thing isn’t really working for me. I don’t have time for mental illness right now — so YOU’RE gonna have to make it go away. Ok? Ok.”
But when God didn’t immediately wave a cosmic wand over my head to make me feel better, I remembered the one thing some Christians will never admit out loud…

Sometimes Jesus isn’t all you need. 
Sometimes you need Zoloft.

I’ve fought with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember (seriously, like since I was a small child) and I know the things I need to do to escape this dark, foggy, ditch. For me it requires healthy food, sunshine, exercise, safe friends, and, yes, Faith in my Healer and Counselor.
But, sometimes, it also means addressing the chemical needs of my body.
Sometimes it means popping a little bitty pill. 
And that little pill? It helps me A LOT.
Because depression is not a sin.
It’s true that our own brokenness can enhance feelings of being lost and lonely and hopeless. Our transgressions, screw ups, failures, our “sins” work against us to further deepen an ongoing battle with depression. And it’s true, I believe, that we need Jesus to be whole – but, I’ll say it again, if you suffer from chronic chemical depression, Jesus is not all you need.
Sometimes you need a Doctor.
Sometimes you need medication.
Sometimes you need to be reminded that there’s really no crime in that.
The real crime would be to live your God-given life with your head under a blanket, or your face under your cat’s butt, when you could get help in the form of a pill and come back to life. 
Do I need Jesus or Zoloft?

For today, I think I need need both.


…………………………………………………………………….
Ever been depressed?
Are you a pill popper or a prayer apologist? Or both?  

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23 Comments

  1. Emily on June 8, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Amen!! I struggled with depression forever before I understood this and started taking Zoloft😃

  2. Naomi Saunders on June 8, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Sincere thanks. So timely, honest and helpful.

    • James Ray on June 12, 2018 at 10:51 am

      Worship Lord JESUS Christ God Almighty Saviour
      Blessed when praying
      He answered and healed me

    • James Ray on June 12, 2018 at 10:53 am

      “Repent or perish”
      “Eternal”
      Churches have long since been exposed as false devilish

  3. nick on June 8, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    needed to read this. remember sitting in bible studies where mental illness was portrayed as demonic or spiritual. What a crock. That was the beginning of the path out for me. I’ve dealt with ocd since I was 7, and it came back with a vengeance in my early 30s along with depression and anxiety. Do you know what helped me? A couple of books explaining that it wasn’t me, or prayer, or lack of faith–it was the wiring in my brain. And medicine. I take it faithfully every day. I don’t like the way I feel not on it.
    i still have ocd. I am whipping its ass daily. My depression has been whooped for now, who knows if it may rear its ugly head again..my hope is that medication, rest, balance…it will stay away.

    thanks for these words. you brightened my day and a lot of other people’s too, i bet !

  4. Sarah on June 8, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    A friend of mine just shared this on Facebook, and I’m going to do the same. I have been diagnosed with anxiety for almost 8 years now, and I wish this article had been written when I was diagnosed. The church sometimes does make it seem like a sin to be clinically anxious. It’s not, and people need to hear that. Thank you for writing this.

  5. Sandra Wadec on June 8, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Oh honey He is a God that just loves us , pills no pills and I know what I’m talking about I fight depression most of the time .

    It encourages me to have somebody honest like you my husband and I been missionaries 16 years now and there is a farcade thats says we have to be the most spiritual the most on top of our gane .

    Phooey to that we are just folks just doing a thing that God asked us to do no more no less .

    Depression I hate loathe and dispise it BUT it can’t and won’t win , take your pills honey relax enjoy when you can and truth is. HE WHO STARTED A GOOD GREAT WONDERFUL WORK IN YOU IS WELL ABLE TO COMPLETE IT .

    SENDING HUGS LOVE ABD BLESSINGS YOUR WAY

  6. Ef Deal on June 9, 2018 at 10:33 am

    It is so crushing to be a Christian with depression. My church certainly doesn’t understand it.

  7. Christi S. on June 9, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Yes dear! Sometimes things aren’t working inside, just like if you have a heart problem. No need to be ashamed- find a doctor, take your meds, and get on with life! Chonda Pierce wrote a great book on the subject that’s definitely worth the read.

  8. Allyson on June 9, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Amen

  9. Vicky Starr on June 9, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Understand I get out of house go to work nights. 12 hour shift LPN at a hospital. I want to get back into going to Church regular. I believe. I feel bad when I am off to go. I take medicine. To help me everyday. I raised 3 kids and they have moved out of state. Sometimes I feel like a problem. Unwanted one. So have started my own thing. Church hasn’t happened I. Over a year. Going to try and go tomorrow. Your story got me thinking. Thank you.

  10. Rev. Jim Houchens on June 9, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    I was depressed and suicidal. I no longer am. I was on large doses of antidepressants. They had intolerable side effects.
    What you said is not true. Antidepressants do not cure depression – they make you feel better while your depression continues. The doctors don’t want you cured, they want you to keep coming back – that’s how they make money.

    Depression is a spirit. You can’t get rid of it by asking Jesus or anybody else to fix it for you. You get rid of it by understanding who you are in Christ, taking authority over it, and commanding it to leave in the name of Jesus.
    Trust me, a spirit on drugs is a terrible companion.

    • Mishi on June 15, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      It’s comments like this that lead people to suicide. Depression is a KNOWN chemical imbalance of the brain. Learn before you speak please.

    • Rhonda on June 16, 2018 at 3:50 am

      It sadden me, you being a Pastor Not believing that there is two kinds of depressions. 1. A Chemical I’m balance in your brain and One that Might be demonic. I’m sure you Know The Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, when Jesus Wal on this Earth, even Jesus himself deal with and talked about the difference.
      Did you realize your response or opinion here may STOP someone Who needs medicine for depression so they can actually talk about what might be causing their depression!!!
      Not All Doctors are how you described them. Yes I’ve known both kinds. I, although researched and asked others who were good or not good Drs or Therapist. I pray that whoever reads your comments Will read my comments. One last question for you Pastor
      As a Review how many people have you helped or healed from depression?
      In Christ, a follower of Jesus and God’s holy Word
      Rhonda – being helped with meds for 30+ yrs, I know who I am in Christ because He is My Redeemer, Savior and My Healer since I was 12 yro.

      If your Church of Jesus doesn’t believe in that Jesus still heals today and Doesn’t also believe in modern or old medicines FIND a better CHURCH who doesn’t make you feel guilty because the only Person who should convict you is the Holy Spirit. And He came to be our Comforter and to point us to go and do things God’s way.
      ❤️

  11. Jeanne Slonecker, MA, MHP on June 9, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    I was very recently dx with MDD. It’s still VERY hard for me to admit this out loud. I’ve told a few people. I’m not ready for a pill. Yet. But I’m contemplating Wellbutrin. Honestly. I’ve ALWAYS “bounced”. But, like to you, the year between November 2016 and November 2017 KICKED MY ASS. The period between April 2015 and November 2016 wasn’t a cake walk either. It’s now June 2018, and I’m slowly coming out of the fog, but my eyes are often filled with a moist substance, at the drop of a coin…a song, a photograph, a memory, hell, a book from one of the two people who were my rocks, who left me for an eternity of Heaven. Part of the depression, I think, is envy. Part of it is anger. Most of it is sheer loneliness and sadness. I, too, pray to God to life the veil. I might need a pill…but I’m not there. Yet. Thank you for making it OK and for this blog. xoxo

  12. Anna on June 9, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    For some reason this blog post from 5️⃣ years ago popped up in my Facebook feed. A friend shared it after losing her mom suddenly and having her funeral today. 7 years ago I lost my own mom at the age of 17 and I was reminded today and drug back down into that sadness. I really needed to read this article and be reminded that there is nothing wrong in admitting that as a Christian I need help, I can ask for help and need not be ashamed if it requires going onto medication. So thank you for your honesty, thank you for your post, thank you for writing.

  13. Hoye Breedlove on June 10, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Nice article I totally agree and a whole lot more people would pass this on but would not appreciate the language you use. But Xanax ,Zoloft , does work! I need it! Maybe god gives it to you! (Hoye Breedlove)

  14. Glenda on June 10, 2018 at 6:38 pm

    You are right. We have always been under the impression that if things were alright between us and God, then we shouldn’t feel depressed. That isn’t always true. Thanks for boldly stating the truth.

  15. April on June 11, 2018 at 2:07 am

    This is such a great entry! Thank you so much for sharing your personal struggles.
    There have been so many times I’ve been in the same funk (and when I say funk, it’s because I don’t care that I haven’t showered..sorry for the TMI), snd feel people just don’t get it, or even want to “get it”, so they stay away…which is fine with me.
    Anyway, I won’t get all into my stuf, but just wanted to reach out and let you know youre definitely not the only human to feel like you have; but again, thank you for your honesty and humor (even though it doesn’t feel funny).

  16. Moriah Conant on June 11, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I take a combination of three antidepressants every day. I’ve struggled with mental illness for my 22 years of life, and those pills help me stay alive. In the ideal world that God created in the Garden or Eden I wouldn’t need those pills to help my mind function. But I live in this marred world, changed by sin. My medications get me to a functioning place where I have the energy to get out of bed and choose to engage with people and God.

    Thanks for sharing your story💛 more people need to hear that it’s okay to struggle with mental illness AND get help for it.

  17. Linda Davison on June 11, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Everything you said in this post is spot on…I need both also….Jesus and Zoloft. This is an awesome read and very validating.

  18. Therese on June 11, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    I have struggled with depression for over a year now and for the first 6 months I refused to take the antidepressants offered to me by my doctor. I wanted therapy and time to be the only medecine. In the end I had to give in because I was so low I feared I was going to end my life and my husband began being depressed as well. My doctor is a great Christian and told me that yes of course miracles and healings occur but sometimes we also have to rely on scientific help in order to get well. That helped put things into perspective for me.

  19. Anna Canuck on June 27, 2018 at 10:21 am

    I am a cliche as well: I suspect I’ve dealt with depression since my teens. I ignored it with what we’ll call “success” in that I made it through my life until the point where I had two small children and just couldn’t fake it any more. I did my best to avoid medication – I swear, the desire to avoid medication at all costs seems like it should be on the checklist for “you got depression”. I did the talk therapy thing first. And eventually she was like, you’re doing everything right. Go see a doctor. And I did, and Zoloft changed my life. I’m on something else now (Wellbutrin), but the realization that I have a medical condition not a moral failing was so important to my health, even when I am in the middle of a depressive episode.

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