Thursday, March 30, 2017

There should be no shame if you have a a mental illness.



If there were a physical disease that manifested itself in some particularly ugly way, such as postulating sores or a sloughing off of the flesh accompanied by pain of an intense and chronic nature, readily visible to everyone, and if that disease affected fifteen million people in our country, and further, if there were virtually no help or succor for most of these persons, and they were forced to walk among us in their obvious agony, we would rise up as one social body in sympathy and anger. There isn’t such a physical disease, but there is such a disease of the mind, and about fifteen million people around us are suffering from it. But we have not risen in anger and sympathy, although they are walking among us in their pain and anguish.


Russell K. Hampton, The Far Side of Despair: A Personal Account of Depression (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1975), 78. Quoted in Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It, (2005) Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications



A. M. Rosenthal described the problem quite succinctly in the New York Times in January 1995: “If a person breaks a leg in the street, civil help tends to help him quickly—ambulance, doctors, police. Break your mind and you lie there.”


Quoted in Rosalyn Carter, with Susan K. Golant, Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends, and Caregivers (New York: Random House, 1998), 23. Ibid
These are both reactions to how the mentally ill are treated generally by society. We should be able to expect better from the body of Christ, which has the truth of God and the requirement to love with understanding, godliness, and steadfast affection (2 Peter 1:3–8).