Can a Secret Make you Sick?

by Donna Gibbs

Can a secret make you sick? 

You bet it can! Sometimes a family or an organization keeps a secret… and it makes them sick. Sometimes an individual keeps a secret… and it makes them sick. A secret is anything held in the dark that carries shame or fear. The resulting sickness is one of an emotional, physical and/or spiritual nature. 

Secrets keep us stuck! Why? Because where there is a secret there is also oppression. The enemy lurks among our secrets. Consider some of these examples: 

Maybe you were sexually abused as a child. You may have been threatened with harm if you told the truth. The secrecy has given the enemy tremendous space to shame you. To confuse you. To torture you with disgusting images and memories. 

Maybe you had an affair. You’ve kept your secret silent for fear of repercussions. You work diligently to protect this secret from potential exposure. But the truth rings loudly in your own mind as you experience the pangs of regret. 

Maybe you struggle with an eating disorder. One of the “rules” of the eating disorder is that no one know about it. So you cover your restricting and you purge in secrecy. No one knows the lonely prison you are in. 

Maybe you had an abortion years ago. You’ve never even uttered the word out loud, or even in the silence of your own mind. You can’t. The word itself makes you sick to your stomach. You avoid anything related to the word, and intend to take this secret to your grave. But there are certain dates and seasons of life in which it is becoming harder to run from your secret. 

Secrets certainly make us sick. They invite anxiety as we live in fear of being exposed. These secrets also invite depression as we live with unbridled shame. The silence of the secret is deafening. A secret can become sickeningly overwhelming and torturous. 

But when God reveals truth, and a secret is exposed in a healthy manner, the enemy’s power is chained, and freedom can begin to be unleashed. 

If you are carrying a painful secret, it is likely preventing you from becoming resilient. You don’t have to shout the truth from the mountain tops, but a conversation with God about the truth is imperative. If you’ve felt shame in your secret, you may have never even had a conversation with God about this issue. 

You may also feel it necessary to share this secret with a trusted counselor or pastor. I encourage you to take this step. Exposing your secret to someone you trust will feel terrifying. It may make you cry. It may even make you sick. Much like the ripping of a band-aid, your disclosure may sting, but the sting will diminish with the guidance of a trusted professional. This disclosure will also likely unleash some of the freedom that you’ve always thought was out of reach. The enemy no longer will have the same leverage to oppress you, and you can begin the process of taking your life back. 

Don’t let a secret keep you stuck or make you sick. Today is the day to begin your journey to wellness! 


Donna Gibbs, co-owner of Summit Wellness Centers, PLLC, is author of the recent releases, Silencing Insecurity and Becoming Resilient. Donna has authored numerous other books, and is commonly featured on radio broadcasts across America, and occasionally internationally as well. Donna has been providing individuals and families the hope and help they need for twenty years as a national certified counselor, board-certified professional Christian counselor, and licensed professional counselor supervisor. A member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), she is a leading professional provider for Focus on the Family, Christian Care Network, r3Continuum, FINDINGbalance, and Samaritan’s Purse. 

Follow Donna’s author page at https://www.facebook.com/DonnaGibbsResilience/ for daily encouragement, the weekly blog, and updates regarding events and speaking engagements.

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