I’ve had a lot of conversations this week with the release of the book. They have been online, telephone, email, wherever. The contacts have been from pastors, teachers, spouses, friends from college, and pretty much across the board. I’ll comment on some of those at another time.
One theme that resonates through so many of the conversations is that pastors don’t want to reveal that they are depressed. This is also true generally, and especially in other service fields. But it seems particularly true with pastors. They mask their illness.
I know I did. I worked my tail off to put on a happy face, a “game face” with my congregation and family. It took incredible amounts of energy, and really made things worse.
But if possible what is even sadder than our self-inflicted super-pastor mindset, is that we are afraid of reprisals. I am afraid that I might lose my job, be kicked out of my congregation, that my district president won’t support me. So the very people who can and should and generally would try to help, are the ones who are kept in the dark.
Why? Why do we hide? And what will happen if we reveal to our families (Who probably already know), our congregation, and our brother pastors what is going on?
aka Todd Peperkorn