Beliefnet
Reprinted with permission from Harper's Magazine, from the article "Christian Faith in the Age of Prozac," by Clark E. Barshinger, Lojan E. LaRowe, and Andrés T. Tapia.

As I struggled with deep-seated depression, my Christian friends would tell me that all I had to do was "trust in the Lord" and everything would be all right. Well, I trusted and trusted and I still felt miserable.

Everywhere I went I thought people were staring at me. I would wake up at 4:00 A.M., look in the mirror, and pull at my skin, obsessing about how ugly I felt. Meanwhile, my family life was falling apart. Our marriage was under a great strain, and my husband had to take on most of the housework and child care.

When we started to consider getting me on Prozac, our fundamentalist Christian friends objected quite strongly. They argued that the real problem was that I was getting too self-involved, that I needed to focus on others and on my housework, and that this would surely help me "snap out of it." They contended that what we needed was God's word, because emotional problems are really spiritual problems. To them, psychotherapy could only lead to worship of the self.

Against their advice, I checked myself into a mental health clinic, one that was run by Christians who obviously had a less restricted view of therapy and medication. They put me on Prozac right away. Within two weeks I felt my whole life turn around. As my husband and I watched the results of Prozac, we knew that the medication was God's gift to us. Breakthroughs in science, including things like Prozac, are evidence of his grace. Now, because I have more energy, I can serve others and in doing so practice the religion I believe in. Though I have been a Christian all my life, I now feel God's love for me as I never have before.

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