The mental illness taboo is a problem for all of us

Interesting article from the New Scientist: In a global study published last year, we showed that 79 per cent of people with depression had experienced discrimination in the previous year (The Lancet, DOI: 10.1016/s0140-6736(12)61379-8). More than 1000 people were interviewed across 35 countries, and a remarkably consistent picture emerged: such experiences are common and may severely limit how far people with mental illness can lead normal lives. Almost a quarter, for example, said they had b … [Read more...]

Responding to Mental Illness: the narrow path

I am in the middle of one of my long blog series.  Today there is a significant change in what I am addressing, however.  So far, I have essentially been saying “mental illnesses are real, you should not be afraid to seek medical help,” from today I will be arguing for the other side of the same coin, “the Bible has a lot to say that is relevant for those with mental illnesses, and can help all of us live a more mentally healthy life.” There are some who advocate strongly for a purely biologica … [Read more...]

Should a Christian go to counseling with a secular therapist?

This is a question that I know troubles many Christians.  Some believe that secular counseling has no place, and that Bible-based pastoral care is all that is needed to bring about change in people, whatever their problems.  Others believe that a Christian counsellor should be used, and that such a counselor should integrate both Biblical concerpts and theories from their secular training. Still others feel that if a person is seeing a therapist or counsellor, the pastoral team can wash their h … [Read more...]

The four pillars of mental health and wellbeing

The following are steps that we can all take to promote our mental wellbeing. It is not just those that have a recognised mental illness that should practice steps to protect and improve our well-being. Many today complain of non-descript "stress" and "overwork" that can be early warning signs of future problems. These steps will help many with a mental illness, but should not be seen as replacements for going to see a health professional. The strength of evidence lying behind each of these … [Read more...]

Are Mental Disorders real illnesses? What of the DSMV controversy?

As I have been writing on most of the main types of mental illness a media controversy has raged. The release of the DSMV was seen by many as an opportunity to throw the spotlight on the validity of psychiatric diagnostic systems. In particular, the announcement of a new highly experimental approach the RDC was spun as a rejection of DSMV, which has since been denied.There are a few things that are worth saying in response to that.I don't believe that any psychiatrists today think our … [Read more...]

What are anxiety disorders and how are they treated?

Anxiety is something that everyone experiences from time to time in their lives. It is also something that many people can fight off by various psychological strategies for e.g. telling ourselves that our fears are irrational, by prayer i.e. by "casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7), or simply by forcing ourselves to face our fears and push through them.As a result of the universality of fear, I think many Christians struggle with accepting the idea of … [Read more...]

Will a Christian who commits suicide go to heaven?

Other Relevant PostsWhat can we do to reduce the risk of suicide? God's word to the suicidal: Bible verses to help prevent suicide Can a Christian get depressed?Christians sometimes live in a cloud of denial. This can be especially true if we are a member of a smaller church, where demographics may protect us from some of the worst pain the world experiences on a daily basis. Surely a real Christian wouldn't commit suicide would they? Surely a real Christian can't get … [Read more...]

How can faith communities and society better respond to mental illness?

Today I post the last question in our conversation on mental health.  You will be able to read the answers to the first two questions in the following posts (I have not yet had a chance to collate the replies to the second one). You can also watch the recording of our video conversation with author Amy Simpson.You can still submit an answer to any of the questions by linking your post to the relevant article and writing a comment there.Question 1: How has faith shaped our view of mental … [Read more...]

Live video conversation on mental illness

As part of our ongoing conversation about Mental Illness, I hosted a video discussion right here on the blog. You can watch it above or on the YouTube page.Participating in the conversation was myself, Amy Simpson who is the author of Troubled Minds, and Patheos editors Timothy Dalrymple & Deborah Arca.One subject that we address in the conversation is more fully discussed in my post: Can a Christian get depressed?You can also join a written conversation on faith and mental … [Read more...]

Suicide and Religious Faith

Today I share the second question in our broad conversation about faith and mental illness. Last weeks question is still open for you to post your replies.Today's question is very sensitive and requires great tact. But it is not possible to speak about mental illness without speaking about this.Please see my previous post for more information about how we can be a part of reducing the risk of suicidePlease post links to your answers to this question in the comment section below and … [Read more...]


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