Monday, November 9, 2015

Mental Illness Highlight

From Steve's e-letter. copy right 2006

Effectively, recognizing and treating mental illness involves having a clarity of understanding regarding the 'pathology' of mental illness.  Many counseling movements don't like the term. Many years back, I was attending a multi-national behavioral training course given by Dr. Marsha Linehan. It lasted for a week. The subject of the training was Borderline Personality Disorder and its treatment by by using, Dialectical Behavior Therapy.  This took place at  the University of Washington (Seattle). I asked Linehan early on in the training;  "what do you think of the term, "the pathology of mental illness?"  She replied to me, what are  you are talking about? Why don't you look at a dictionary  and tell us your definition  tomorrow?"  Her point was made and I was not called on the next day. 

 In the United States for many years the Freudian movement neglected the biological pathology of mental illness.  Even the recovery movement in mental health does not fully explain what includes  the pathology of mental illness.  Please read below on the subject from the writings of one of my psychiatrists, Donald Goodwin who was chair of psychiatry at Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - University of Kansas.

Dr. Donald Goodwin  says, "a  disease is a cluster of symptoms and/or signs with a more or less a predictable course.  Symptoms are what patients tell you, signs are what you see.  The cluster may be associated with physical abnormality or may not. The essential point is that it results in consultation with a physician who specializes in recognizing, preventing, and, sometimes, curing diseases. {Goodwin, Donald. Anxiety. (c.1986). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 81.} 

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Quotes Worth Quoting-


"All God's giants have been weak men, who who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them..."{Taylor, Dr. Howard and Mrs. Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission, The Growth of a Work of God.1918) London: China Inland Mission. p. 279


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  Bereavement -

 The biblical book of Job presents for us a truly  godly man who has had his life turned    upside down by experiencing a successive series of losses. He was not a man of pat answers, pithy sayings or faulty syllogisms  (a type of reasoning).  Listen to what he says,

 "Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, and my calamity laid with it on the scales! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea.  Therefore my words have been rash, For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God arrayed against me" (Job 6:1-4,NKJV).

He wanted to die.  He felt that God had given him more than he could bear but he persevered.  This reminds me of the book of James which  mentions Job and the prophets suffering. 

James 5:11, says, "we count those blessed who endured," In the (Greek the word is translated -hupomone, which means  a patient enduring, to remain faithful under and throughout the trial). You have heard of the endurance (same word), of Job and have seen the outcome,( (Gk. telos the end), of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and merciful, (NASV).

You may be in deep waters and under the rushing torrents of grief.  Consider the attributes of God mentioned here (compassion and mercy).in James.I like the old song which says, "I will be the first to testify on the witness stand of your life; JESUS NEVER FAILS!

Rev. Steve Bloem.


 Anxiety Disorders

Pastors must learn to  differ between anxiety as a disorder of the mind and anxiety which may manifest it itself as undue concern over ones specific life situation, i.e. worry about money, worry about the future,concern about how you are viewed by others, etc.

Some anxiety disorders of the mind include: Panic Disorder, (PD) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The type of anxiety which stems from anxiety disorders is "a vague state of emotional distress, associated with feelings of nervous tension, uncertainty, and fear. Physical responses include palpitations of the heart, increased blood pressure, fainting, shortness of breath and rapid breathing," (Donald Goodwin).  Productivity is diminished.  Prolonged anxiety of this type requires seeing a psychiatrist who is a medical doctor.
Seek the Lord in regards to  medical conditions and trust in Him as you go for needed medical treatment.

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