Overcoming Social Anxiety: Journey to Recovery Through Compassion

A supporting hand comforts a man suffering from mental health.
A supporting hand comforts a man suffering from mental health. (photo: Canva.com)
By Paul WuDecember 7th, 2023

A man who was approaching 40 was unable to find a job and his life partner due to personality reasons. Misunderstood to be a "mental patient," he suffered greatly both in body and mind and had to take medicine for recovery.

Since his twenties, he had been a homebody with little contact with the outside world. He endured social anxiety disorder for over 10 years.

His father had a comrade-in-arms whose sister was a Christian. Many people around his father have changed their temperaments after believing in the Lord. Thus, he asked his son to contact the sister, and they began a heart-to-heart talk for several years.

This Christian woman came to Christ when she was desperate after her husband died. The gospel has brought her great changes. In the past, she was unwilling to associate with others. Now, she is the core worker of a church visiting team. At first, there was estrangement between them, but with her caring eyes and actions, he quickly accepted her and finally opened his heart.

He was so strange that he often chatted with her for hours. Sometimes he would call her in the dead of night. Moreover, he liked to repeat his words, such as talking about whether to hang out on a Saturday for more than an hour. Even so, the female believer was willing to listen to his story and make good suggestions with patience.

Though working as a nurse without a degree in psychological counseling, she had the love and patience to make the boy feel trust and warmth, unlocking his heart. Once a homebody, he is now willing to hang out and communicate with others.

In terms of faith, he had the will to be baptized, participating in some church activities, but he still occasionally asked for divination. She didn't accuse him after knowing it but patiently communicated with him. Some time ago, he sent a message to her, saying that the communication and persuasion in recent years had kept him from being misunderstood as having a mental illness. In the future, he would look for a job, fit into society, and maybe find someone for marriage. On the issue of faith, he said that he would never engage in superstitious activities and was ready to be baptized the next year.

People often say that if you're suffering from mental illness, you will be cured after joining a church. On this issue, I have no idea. But as long as church staff have a loving heart, patience, and care, they can create a good environment for such groups and help them recover. More importantly, receiving the gift of redemption, they will get healing and hope.

(This original article is published by the Gospel Times and the author is a Christian in Fujian.)

- Translated by Oliver Zuo

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