In my next few blogs, I will be discussing the issue of mental illness. I am not a Psychiatrist, or a mental health professional, but I’m a Pastor and will be addressing the issue more from a spiritual standpoint. I respect the professional field and believe that a person who is struggling with mental health issues should seek help in both avenues. I believe both fields, spiritual and professional can work together, and should help one another in seeking to help the recovery of a person who has been stricken with mental illness.
Why would I even seek to address this topic you might ask? It is somewhat of a taboo subject, something which people don’t want to talk about much. There are a couple of reasons that I would like to point out to you. First of all my own history and background. I was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic when I was 17 years old. So i know something of the grief and pain mental illness can bring on families and individuals. It was quite a process I went through on a spiritual, mental, emotional level to gain freedom from this mental prison, but freedom I did find.
Two, when people find out my past, it is not surprising there is often a family member or a close friend of theirs who they ask me to minister too. Thirdly, if you look around you, even in your church experience, we are encountering people who have mental illness, who need our understanding and patience and loving care. People we don’t understand or find it difficult to relate too, we often close the door too, because we feel inadequate in knowing how to deal with them. People with mental illness need our love and acceptance not our judgment or wise and quick solutions to their problems, because there are none that are easy and quick. People who are struggling along these lines are going to require long term care and attention.
I will be posting more on this issue in my coming blogs….