True Power

True Power

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Christian Women and Depression


I live in a small rural community. On every corner there is a church. For every large family group there is a church that goes back from generation to generation. Everyone knows the family you belong to if not you personally. It is a die hard Christian community.

There is a secret though. Look into the eyes of the many God fearing women and you will noticed fixed dialated pupils. The majority of the women 30 and over are on antidepressants. After 29, it is pretty much standard proceedure to be prescribed something for depression.

With such a large Christian population it would seem there is no time for sadness for the saved. The women follow the Proverbs account of a Godly woman. Most teach the little ones in Sunday school and the rest reveling in being a great southern cook. Butttttttttt.

In small groups away from the Christian man, there are whispers of discontent mingled with the fear of missing heaven. Anger turned inward is depression. the inability to say what's on your mind builds. I was privy to a post of a woman who was a part of the quiverful movement and she said she was a closet alcoholic. Her inability or the overwhelming demand of being the perfect Christian wife, mother, and woman left her to find solace in being absent in life through drinking.

Can the demands of being a Godly Christian woman be leading to the large amount of antidepressants being prescribed for these women. In Utah, there is a high incidence of antidepressant use by those women of the Mormon faith. Is there a link? Statistics indicate that 11 percent of women and 5 percent of men who are taking antidepressants. I believe that total is low. Are Christian women trying to just get through their Christian lives?

Surveys of alcohol use among African Americans point to the positive relationship between religious participation and abstaining from alcohol, for both women and men (Caetano and Herd 1984; Herd 1988; Herd and Grube 1996). A strong commitment to religious values and church participation has been a significant component of family life for many African Americans. As the central pillar supporting the African American community, the black church provides spiritual, social, emotional, and economic resources (Lincoln and Mamiya 1990). Most African Americans are affiliated with Baptist denominations, which are characterized by a lack of tolerance for consuming alcohol (Herd 1996). In addition, African American women participate in religious activities to a higher degree than African American men (Taylor et al. 1999). Their high rate of abstention is consistent with the norms of their religious denominations. Thus, African American women’s level of religious participation may serve a protective function, buffering them from higher rates of alcohol use.

Well, alcohol is a no-no for Christians, but, antidepressants are more acceptable. PLEASE do not take from this post that those needing medical help for depression and other mental illnesses should not seek help. PLEASE always seek help for any emotional difficulties you may be going through. But many women within the Christian community may be using antidepressants just to make it through an existence that would cause any person to become depressed "being a superwoman."

Being able to talk about life as a Christian woman and all it entails should be a natural part of the Christian experience before it leads to alcoholism and other drug addictions.

Be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.

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