I have shared before some of my difficulties in battling bipolar 2 disorder, especially the depression that it causes. I am on four medications. I take about 9,00 milligrams of fish oil daily.
I am on two multiple vitamins and other vitamins that I take every day. Most of the time, I am depression free because of these medications and vitamins. However every 5-6 months I have to go up in the dosage of one of the pills mentioned above. Three of the four psychotropic medications are at the highest dosage they could go. I seem to build up a tolerance to psychotropic medications. I am on sixty milligrams of Buspar and I can go up to hundred milligrams. This would give me two years.
I have not had to go up on Buspar for a year because of taking vitamins which contain antioxidants.
Recently I stopped taking one of my multivitamins. I woke up with moderate depression on a Tuesday morning.
Mental Illness scares me and sometimes it terrifies me. There is no known cure. I am reminded of the psychic pain that comes with depression. It is hard to describe it to someone. The concentration goes, the mood plummets, in my case obsessions return. Every time, I think, I don't know if I will be able to come out of this one.As Robyn and I have said, "the nature of mental illness begs for community."
We must be able to meet with others who are suffering. This is why we wrote a CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness) Starter and Study Guide. Please read about it below.
We can help you start one of these biblical, educational groups.
CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness) This is a support group for those who are
afflicted with depression, bipolar disorder, etc., or for those who love them. Mental Illness is a disease that begs for community and it is often more subtle and much more prevalent than we imagine. We offer a safe environment, a listening ear, practical help for treatment and the hope of deliverance, which comes by prayer, There should be no shame or embarrassment; these illnesses are the result of faulty brain chemistry We believe also in spiritual depression but it has a different remedy than biological. It is important to make a distinction. Come, be encouraged and helped because we care about you!
We can help you start and build a CAMI group in your area?
Frequently Asked Questions About CAMI
What material do you use for your support groups?
1. The first group material has three functions
In the first set of the Leader’s Study Guide and Student Study Guide is an introduction of the CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness) organization. We have eight guiding principles which have been written for those who are in a CAMI group.
2. It is important to have a good Biblical foundation when you conduct groups.We have already published CAMI Guides for Leaders and Students.
3. Our Leader's Guide and our on-going training make it possible for a person who is a Christian to facilitate the group. He or she should be able to stimulate discussion, demonstrate self control and be a person who is devoted to the Lord and His Word.
How do you bring members into the group?
Dave Treat, an expert in small groups, tells us there are four types of people: (1) Ready (2) Reluctant (3) Resistant and (4) Relentless.
There is an approach to be taken with each person you want to come to your group. You can have people in the foyer at a table that explain ministries; make sure your group is promoted there and have some materials for people to read. You can talk to Adult Bible Fellowships and small group leaders about it. You can put up posters in your church, the community and other churches. HCM has sample posters which may help you. Why not try and bring a pastor on board who shares the vision of CAMI?
You will be surprised at the number of people who will want to come to a group like this. We have people mail us from many different states and even countries asking for the place and time of support groups. I believe that CAMI groups should be open groups, meaning new members can come into the program any time. Having material makes it easier for them to get brought up to speed because CAMI material has separate lessons already prepared.
How much "pressure" should you put on a new member to share with the group?
I have some hesitations about a new person being the subject of the group. I feel this puts too much strain on him/her. He may want to observe only, at first, and that should be fine with the group. New members should be welcomed with open arms.
Why use printed material for each group? Can’t we just talk about new subjects every week?
1. There are good reasons for using printed material. It sets an agenda and then invites participation. People can ‘catch up’ if they miss a lesson
2. It is important to have a good Biblical foundation when you conduct groups. Robyn and I are now writing material about six people in the Bible who had a type of mental illness, including depression. One of these is King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, another is Heman the Ezarite. This material will have the same format as the first one. Many people stretch the six week study to twelve weeks or more. You have liberty to do do so and don't think you have to rush through it. We will soon have more guides available.
3. Our Leader's Guide and our on-going training make it possible for a person who is a Christian to facilitate the group. He or she should be able to stimulate discussion, be self controlled and be a person who is devoted to the Lord and His Word.
For actual purchase of CAMI material please contact me by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 616-427-0775.