Ugh, this family. Jessa Duggar, not a mental health expert, has chimed in with a super helpful suggestion for people suffering from anxiety: find Jesus and pray it away, guys! Because that’s what anyone who has anxiety or struggles with mental health issues needs to hear. And listen, if you have anxiety or an anxiety disorder or suffer from depression, you’ve very likely heard some form of this from someone before (well-meaning as it may be). Just be happy! Don’t worry so much! If you went outside, you wouldn’t be depressed! Jesus will save you if you just PRAY ABOUT IT. So helpful.
Jessa Duggar angered quite a few of her fans after she posted a screenshot on IG of a video series called “9 Arguments Against Anxiety”, She also put the link to the series in her bio.
The series, created by Desiring God, lays out exactly how opening up your heart to Jesus and using mindful prayer will make your anxiety go poof! The verse quoted in the video is Matthew 6:24-34, which says, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Just stop worrying about stuff, guys.
Now, Jessa isn’t a mental health doctor. In fact, her religion tends to frown upon mental health struggles and treatment. Because you just need Jesus, see? But fans of hers, many who probably DO struggle with anxiety, were pissed. And rightfully so.
There is no shame in admitting you have anxiety, and no, praying about it won’t make it go away. Plenty of people find comfort and solace in religion, and that’s perfectly fine. But for people who love god AND have a mental illness or anxiety or depressive disorder, relying solely on your faith to help you can be incredibly damaging and dangerous. Not to mention, there can be a big difference between worrying about small minutiae and feeling like your anxiety is crippling your ability to actually live. This series doesn’t seem to address that.
Still, as with pretty much any time a Duggar does something stupid, Jessa Duggar had her defenders.
This entire family can’t seem to keep their own feet out of their mouths. But they never miss an opportunity to spread their gospel, right? Sometimes, like this one, their message does far more harm than good. Thanks for the tip, Jessa. I think I’ll get my mental health advice from actual doctors. But you do you.
(Image: Instagram / @jessaseewald)