Grammy Award-winning artist Mandisa breaks the stigma about depression and other mental illnesses among Christians as she shares her struggles and journey toward healing over her songs, book, and podcast.
The Christian artist talked about her journey on overcoming depression at Good Morning America several years ago. According to her, she wrestled with depression and anxiety after the death of her closest friend Kisha due to breast cancer. "It got pretty bad -- to the point where if I had not gotten off that road I would not be sitting here today," she recalled.
According to the singer, when she started sharing her story, people were glad to know that they were not alone. She composed an album called "Out of the Dark" which tells her story of overcoming a horrible dark period in her life.
Just this year, the World Health Organization said that pandemic had increased the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide. On that note, "Depression can be even more challenging for Christians because, unfortunately, there are misconceptions and stigmas associated with depression in many Christian communities," Cru reported.
Mandisa recounted how she isolated herself from people and battled with shame. "I feel like I didn't have enough faith or that God was displeased with me," she shared with The Christian Post. According to her, reading the scripture helped her with her journey. She cited stories in the bible such as the story of Elijah and David who were so open about their emotions with God.
"It has less to do with depression and anxiety and more to do with...are you bringing it to Him?" she said. She recalled stuffing the issue and acted like she doesn't feel the sadness. "He knows I feel it, and when I bring it to Him, that opens the door to my healing in ways that I've never experienced before," she claimed.
Her relationship with God and with people helped her to find healing. The singer suggested how her community played a big role when she was struggling with mental illness. "Whatever you're struggling with really does lose its power when it comes out," she said.
With the aim of encouraging other people, she wrote a book entitled "Out of the Dark: My Journey Through the Shadows to Find God's Joy." "It's difficult talking about some of the things that I would prefer to keep hidden, but I think in the end, ultimately, it's going to be helpful for me because it's coming out of the dark and I am bringing it into the light. It's not easy, but I do think it's going to be worth it," she said.
Mandisa stressed out that she's still on her journey of healing. "I don't want people to think that I have just overcome and I'm victorious, now I'm great. This is very much a journey that I'm still on today. But I believe that healing comes from walking hand in hand with God," she added.
She also created the "Out of the Dark" podcast, which mainly talks about mental health from a Christian perspective with licensed therapist Laura Williams. "I hope that it will encourage people to put their trust in Him even if they're walking through the valley of the shadow of death," she added.