I am a catholic and I was baptized when I was a baby. Being a catholic has been something that has anchored me throughout my 20 year journey as a woman living with bipolar disorder also know as manic depression. I love being catholic and would not change that for the world. Now mental illness is simply not addressed in homilies. Perhaps it is somewhere around the world, but it is rare to hear a homily where depression and anxiety are addressed. Today was the exception. We had a nice young priest giving the homily if you are not catholic it is the part of the mass when the priest preaches. I was so excited when he started to speak about anxiety and depression. Until what he said resonated with me. He said the number one prescriptions in America being written for people with depression and those with anxiety. He is right I am thinking to myself. Then he said suicide is on the rise. Again this is correct. Then what he said blew my mind. He said all people need to do is prioritize and put God first and it would not be this way. Oh really? Is this guy for real? Has he every experience anxiety so bad you have an anxiety attack that leads you to the er because you really feel like you are having a heart attack? Or a depression so deep that dying feels better then living? The truth is God invented these drugs for a reason. There is no shame in taking them. I have been taking legal drugs for 20 years. I bow down to the Lord every day of my life. I do put him first!! Does that mean I can just go off my meds? NO! Now I understand where this priest was coming from some doctors are writing prescriptions left and right. Perhaps when not necessary. Needless to say I came home from church in a rage. How dare this young and seemly educated priest who studied 12 years to become a priest lecture people like this? If I am one in 5 Americans living with a mental illness. So there were probably over a hundred people if not more hearing his homilies today. Surely I was not the only one taking meds or needing to take meds in the congregation. After I came home in a rage I wanted to cry. Some of these clergy have so far to go when it come to understanding mental illness. I do plan on making an appointment with this young man and telling him how I feel. I know he did not intentionally want to make me feel this way. He only spoke about this very briefly in the homily. Perhaps I was not the only one offended. I do want to have a conversation with him about mental health. I think only good will come out of it.