Charismatic Pastor, Therapist Says the Church Is Greatly Mishandling Mental Illness

Jarrid Wilson (Jarrid Wilson Facebook page)

Fred Antonelli has seen it before, all too often. The way the church treats the issue of mental illness and depression—especially within the charismatic church—must change, he says.

A Spirit-filled and board-certified family temperament therapist as well as a pastor for more than 23 years, Antonelli, who also has a family history of depression, has seen many in the church mishandle the issue of mental illness simply with misguided words.

The suicides of pastors like Jarrid Wilson and Andrew Stoecklein within the past year, Antonelli says, have unfortunately thrust the issue of mental illness within the church into the spotlight.

"Some people within the church might say, especially in a charismatic setting, that all you need is just more prayer, go to service more, sit down at the altar and read more of the Word of God," Antonelli told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of "Greenelines" on the Charisma Podcast Network. "That's all tremendous stuff, but when it comes down to it, they won't acknowledge you may be depressed, and they almost always point out that it's your fault.

"Then, people who are clinically depressed (and may not recognize it), they go and do all that and more, and they're still depressed, and they say God must not like me because I'm doing all the right stuff but it just isn't working. But to say that God doesn't have a provision for us to have mental wellness is a misnomer."

"People who are depressed don't want to say they are because then they are pigeonholed with the stigma that they somehow don't have enough faith or they are not spiritual or godly enough. The church must stop doing that. God accepts us in our human condition. People have to first acknowledge that they have issues with mental illness because it's the first step to getting well. They can be set free from the pious hand of legalism."

For more of Fred Antonelli, his ministry and his book Struggling Well, listen to this podcast.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

It's a NEW YEAR! Get ready for a NEW YOU!

  • New Year Discounts On Book Bundles & Gifts: Click Here to view all our bundles and save up to 72%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • Go Deeper with God in a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all eight of our free courses. Topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Anointed Woman Of God: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Never Stop Praying - Prayer Changes Everything! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • New Year - New You - Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for two years for Only $29.97 and get two free gifts. Gift #1 The Harbinger. Gift #2 The Harbinger II. Both books are by New York Times Best-Selling author Jonathan Cahn. View Offer

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective