I’m sorry about your situation. Depression is a very real disorder. It is estimated that globally, depression affects more than 350 million people. The good news is that it is a highly treatable condition.
It was wise to ask for help. Professional mental health treatment is the primary way in which depression is treated. Unfortunately, your parents don’t believe in professional treatment. Apparently, they believe it appropriate to rely on faith to heal psychological ailments.
Religion and prayer are associated with positive emotional health; however, they are not evidence-based treatments for mental health conditions. Faith helps many people cope with stress but this alone is not enough. Faith works best as an adjunct to evidence-based mental health treatment; it is not recommended as the sole form of treatment for mental health problems.
You may want to revisit this issue with your parents, if you feel that they might reconsider their stance regarding your seeking professional treatment. If not, another option would be to speak to the guidance counselor or another trusted faculty member at your school. They might be able to convince your parents that treatment is the best way to deal with depression.
Your letter indicated that you are nearly 18 years old. You will soon be an adult and can pursue treatment independent of your parents. College, if you will be attending, may also provide you an opportunity to seek treatment. Most colleges offer free counseling services to registered students. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle