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Wednesday
Feb242016

Tasha Cobbs opens up about depression, therapy & why the church needs to talk about mental health

GETTYArticle By Mae Davis // EEW Magazine Reporter

We grow up in church hearing and quoting Nehemiah 8:10, “…the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

But many Christians like Grammy® Award-winning gospel artist Tasha Cobbs struggle with depression and mental health challenges, and the singer says, the church needs to talk about it.

“Growing up, I had always had these deeply sad feelings. I assumed it was just me and there was something wrong with me. The moment I realized there was something deeper going on was in 2007 when I was the worship pastor at my church,” the “Put A Praise On It” songstress told ESSENCE.

After ministering and putting on a happy face in the sanctuary, Cobbs, 34, said, “I would go home and be under the covers, with the curtains closed, not eating, never coming out of my room for days at a time.”

She continued, “I would cry for hours. Sometimes I wouldn't even know why I was crying. It was just a heaviness that comes over you that you just cannot explain.”


Tasha Cobbs performs "Break Every Chain" at the 44th Annual GMA Dove Awards on October 15, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty)Finally, Cobbs, whose latest release, One Place Live, won three Stellar Awards last week, sensed that something deeper was going on which required help. After researching depression, she said, “I immediately found a therapist so that I could begin talking about what was happening with me.”
 
That was a positive turning point in Cobbs’ life, who said, “Our culture and churches in general, should put more focus on depression and people who struggle with mental health. From what I've experienced in sharing my testimony with different people it's something way more prevalent than we acknowledge, and I am willing to stand on the frontline as a leader in our culture and address the mental health issues we have been ignoring.”

Though Cobbs has improved with help, family support and lots of prayer, she told ESSENCE’s Yolanda Sangweni she continues going to therapy, while, at the same time, relying on faith as her “pillar.”

“I still go to therapy. It's not as consistent as it was back then, but once a month or so, I'll meet with my therapist to make sure we're still on point,” she explained. “It's something I believe in and it's something I encourage. I believe that there are people in this earth that God has really graced to be able to help us through every situation in our lives, along with His strength, along with His power.”

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