Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Soap box about Mental Illness

I am fixing to go on my soap box about mental illness, because I am tired of the inconsiderate and uneducated comments by some religious counselors/therapist and really just people in general. 

First let me start by saying that I believe everyone needs to have a saving faith in Jesus, however when you accept Jesus in your heart it doesn't mean that all your problems go away, all your sickness is alleviated, and you are now financially wealthy.  When you ask Jesus in your heart it does mean that you receieve His saving grace and will go to heaven when you die, it means that you can have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  It also means that you can receive guidance, wisdom and knowledge by asking.  It means that you will never go through something alone.  God is always with you and He will give you comfort and peace. 

So it makes me really aggravated when someone has a mental illness and I hear or read someone say, "You just need Jesus," or "You just need more faith," etc. 

Depression happens if you go through a tragic experience like a death in the family, losing your job, etc.  If you have Jesus in your heart, you can receive comfort through others, reading the bible, praying, singing, going to church, and worshipping God.  He will see you through that tough time and there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

However, if you have a mental illness like Bipolar/manic depression it is not a phase your going through, it is a chemical imbalance in your brain.  You were born with it and more than likely it is genetic.  People who have this illness did not want to be this way, nor did they or their parents do something to cause this.  Without medicine it is extremely difficult on the person with the illness and on the love ones around them.   

I am just going to use this mental illness as an example. 
If you are bipolar, you have very high, highs called mania and very low,  lows depression.  A person whose brain fires more normally gets sad and depressed every now and then, but a bipolar person is beyond depressed and may stay that way for a while. A person may get excited over something and be really happy, but a bipolar person is very excited about everything and thinks their unstoppable.  In a person whose brain fires more normally, they may know what they are sad about and know what they are happy about, most of the time.  However, a bipolar person does not.  Also a bipolar person does things that is out of character and sometimes does dangerous things or immoral things, that they wouldn't normally do if they were on medicine or if they didn't have this illness.  However, they are still responsible for their actions.  For instances if they are depressed they may get really mad an aggravated easily or cry a lot for no reason.  They may not realize they are acting this way and may feel the world is against them.  If they are having a high, they might go spend loads of money and not be able to pay their bills because of it.  And normally when they are not having a high, they are very frugal.  These are just some examples. That is why there is medicine for people with mental illness.  It helps stabilize them, so they don't have such drastic mood swings.  They don't have a really low, low depression or a really high, high mania

So it makes me mad when I hear people say that if you had God in your life you wouldn't be this way.  Just because you have God in your life doesn't mean that we no longer live in a fallen world.  It doesn't mean that nothing bad will happen to you.  It is a lie to think that once you have Jesus everything in your life is perfect!!  I believe the enemy can use this lie to keep you defeat and ineffective spiritually.  Mental illness doesn't mean your crazy, although people with this illness may do crazy things.  It means you have something wrong in your body, just like a person who was diagnosed with RLS, MS, asthma, arthritis, or a child born with down syndrome.

Every person is created in God's image and just because a person has something wrong doesn't mean it's a faith issue.  Remember in the bible, Jesus healing the blind man.  The disciples asked Jesus, "Who sinned him or his parents?"  Jesus replied, "Neither, this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."  Maybe some people are going through this so that God may be glorified.  God doesn't promise all things are good, but that He will turn all thing together for good. 
 Romans 8:28  "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."


Anonymous said...

You are so correct about this. I have a chronic illness that I'll have the rest of my life. At one point, I was listening to my very good friends and family (who all had the best intentions) tell me that "all I needed was more faith that God would heal me", "tell this sickness it doesn't belong to you & send it on", "pray more....and harder speaking scripture back to God and He will heal you", etc, etc. What happened as a result of years of this type thinking was that I got very sad thinking I was doing something wrong or that I was being punished and many other thoughts as to why I wasn't being healed. What I have since learned is that it's not about me! God is and will continue to use this for His purpose. I am the vessel He has chosen to use in this way. The last part of your post is so very, very true. It just comes down to one thing for me....It's not about me. It's all about God's purpose.

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