Friday, January 30, 2015

Mental Ilness and the Born again Christian, my testimony


I consider my self fortunate. I never questioned God. I believed everything I was taught in church and Sunday school. I had no reason to believe the Bible was false . I saw people from all walks of life coming to church. I didn't know their hearts and they didn't know mine. It also took me awhile to figure out that not everyone thought like I did.

Most people heard the hell ,fire brimstone sermons but they also heard about Gods love for his people. My brain stopped at the hell , fire and brimstone and I didn't hear another word being preached after that I would sit and obsess over the negative things I heard and I couldn't get the imagines out of my head. I would have nightmares and I lived in a constant state of anxiety and dread. As I looked around I didn't know why people were smiling and happy. Had they not just heard the horrible stories I had just heard. Again it was not until years later that because my brain is wired the way it is I tend to ruminate on the negative, obsess over the horrors that could be.

This not what God meant for me. I have an illness that is called depression. I have been taking anti depressants for the last 23 years. I don't think this way anymore . Am I still a pessimist , yes but I prefer the term "realist;"  I probably still worry more than the average person but my thoughts are no longer irrational or obsessive in nature. I can hear the negative and the positive side of things. My only reason for writing is that I know there are adults ,teenagers and children who are suffering as I did. You don't have to leave your religion to find peace you just have to recognize that you have a disease of the brain. There is treatment for the disease.

 I know that the stigma in churches will keep people from getting help or worse yet cause people to leave the church. According to the world health organization EVERY 40 SECONDS SOMEONE IN THE WORLD DIES OF SUICIDE. Depression ranks at number 2 as a global cause of disability. One of the commands Christians are called to do is to reach the ends of the earth with the good news of Christ. This is difficult to do if the person sitting next to us can't hear the good part of the gospel and worse yet is too uncomfortable to stay in the church to search for the truth.
This blog  was done by Heidi Strater, a guest blogger.
  "This is a candid and spirit affirming story of a family's personal struggle, not only with mental illness, but also in finding where they fit into the body of Christ and His ministry. Considering that 10% of the world's adult population suffer from some form of mental illness, this book could well be required reading for pastors, elders, and Christian counselors or for anyone who is called to minister with understanding and unbiased care. The book is solidly based on a scriptural foundation with ample clinical information to appeal to the lay person or anyone in a counseling capacity. Informative, honest and helpful, this work shatters the old stigmas and perceptions of mental illness and depression. It is well written with enough heart and hope to balance the seriousness of the subject. Interesting reading. (Sandra Thayer Author's Choice Reviews 2005-12-01)