“Just pray about it,” This is what most black people hear when it comes to mental health. “God will take it all away.” Do not get me wrong; I am a Christian, but just like you cannot pray away Diabetes, you cannot pray away mental illness. Why is it that black people feel that having a mental illness is something that cannot coexist with our faith in God? Someone once told me that my mental illness is the attack of The Enemy. The Enemy? Again, I believe in God, but I also believe that God will give us things that he feels like we can carry.
In 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, Paul speaks about a weakness that he has. He continues to say that he asked for God to take away that weakness, but God would not. Paul said that God told him that he could be strong with that weakness. Paul, in verse 10, realizes that embracing his weakness will make him strong. I guess this may be something that Church folks omit. God even challenged Job if you rather use the Old Testament instead of the new. We must stop making our weaknesses something that the Devil placed on us and know that God gave us the power to handle it. Do not let anyone make you feel like your mental illness is an evil spirit. It is okay to pray to God to give you wisdom and direction, just like it is okay to go to therapy and take medicine to manage your mental health.
Black people, we have to understand that mental illness is not going to go away. If you continue to sweep it under the pile of dust will become bigger. We are seeing our people suffer on the streets, and instead of helping someone get help, you turn our heads and say the Devil got in them. Please family, I am begging you, stop taking mental illness as a curse and start looking at it like you do Cancer or Heart Disease. We can only get better if we are feeling to take the blinders off and face the truth.