(NOTE: what I am describing is not intended to be used for someone who is having delusions that would put anyone in physical danger!)
Talking with people who have delusional thinking can be difficult when you start discussing areas that you know are ‘hot spots’ for them, which makes it akin to walking through a mine field. Please remember –let it be burned into your mind- that sheer reasoning with them regarding the absurdity of their convictions will not convince them to change their belief because this is not about educating them. Mental Illness does not mean stupid! Far from it. Mental illness is -in the vernacular- a broken brain.
The Word of God is Applicable to us Today
The other day I was thinking of Moses and the Israelites facing the Red Sea while the hordes of Egyptians descended upon them to kill them. And while the Israelites feared for their lives, Moses told them to stand still and see how God was going to save them. You can read the full account of this at Exodus 14.
Have you ever asked yourself why it is so hard to talk with your children about mental illness?
This is a preview of
Talking With Your Children About Your Mental Illness
. Read the full post (392 words, 1 image, estimated 1:34 mins reading time)
The incredible tool is W.R.A.P.
Mary Ellen Copeland is the founder/developer of W.R.A.P. (Wellness Recovery Action Plan), which is a fairly intense and extensive program to help individuals not only manage their life with disabilities better, but to move towards enjoying their life more.
You can read more about W.R.A.P. here. If you have a mental illness-and personally from my experience of 7 years leading life skills groups, it can be useful to anyone- it is geared specifically to you. If you can answer the following questions with a YES, W.R.A.P. might just be something for you to investigate:
Having a disability can be brutal!
- …when symptoms of mental illness flare up, life suddenly becomes overly complicated
- …when your child who has autism is going through a spell, you are at your whit’s end to know how to comfort him
- …when your deafness is yelling at you so loudly that you can are not able to be a part of the conversation, your self esteem can take a plunge
And, yet, there IS a way through these struggles:
- support groups
- assisted-living devices/animals
And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.
Ephesians 4:2 The Message
One thing that can easily be forgotten in our churches is that there is nothing in the Greek Text, no variant readings, that would even suggest that this verse excludes people with disabilities, as if to convey a message that being tolerant of others can stop when it comes to some sort of outlandish behaviors from one who is disabled
1 Important Question
Recently, I asked myself this question as I am preparing to launch my book (see the right side bar!). Why am I doing this? Is is to make money, or is there another purpose? As I jostled with that question for several minutes, I knew the answer: it was to convey a message of hope to people who have disabilities that there is LIFE beyond the disability. Sure, I am aware that I may make a few bucks because I am pouring my all into making this book look good and be great, but, again, my reason is to get my message out there.
I have been asked the question, “How can I live with this mental illness?” Though, I know what they mean, the very question is inherently flawed. Let me explain, and then list out the 4 strategies
I have some questions that intrigue me. Let me share them with you, and then I would like to hear your responses?
Why is it that we take such an inordinate amount of time when trying to discover what a newborn wants as he cries, but when it comes to trying to make out the rambling statements of one who has schizophrenia, our patience is drawn thin?
Would we treat that little baby any different IF we knew that one day he would grow up to be that person who was rambling?
Having ‘tact’ was something that I aspired to growing up. I wanted to be sophisticated! (Don’t we all!)
But, tactfulness is so overrated…especially when it comes with the huge price tag of severed relationships.
Let me explain.
I admit that working in the field of disabilities is hard.
It is excruciatingly difficult at times trying to help individuals get more out of life while running into road blocks on a too frequent basis. And, yet, the reward is overwhelmingly refreshing: to see someone ‘get it’ can easily put a smile across my face that is larger than the moon, and it is worth far more than hitting a good day on the stock market.
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
For each one will bear his own load.
(My commentary on the above is that, firstly, we need to help others do what they can not do for themselves, yet, we also need to recognize that others must take responsibility for their own life)
Addressing this lie is difficult because there are just so many hot buttons here. But, please, give me your time in order to allow me to try to unpack one of these controversial issues. OK?
This is a preview of
Lie #5: You can’t be a Christian if you have a mental illness.
. Read the full post (592 words, 1 image, estimated 2:22 mins reading time)
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
Helping others is a life long process, and people in the mental health field know this full well, especially the very people who are struggling with a mental health concerns.
At times, there just seems to be no relief from the daily grind, but one thing that we must keep teaching, keep reaffirming in peoples life’s is the importance of taking one day at a time, while keeping focused on the things that really matter.
This is the fourth of five articles that I am writing on what Christians believe about the mentally ill. Because I love God’s church, and those who are disabled, I want to give you my responses to these lies so that -hopefully- you can let those with mental illness (or any disability) know what God’s word declares about them regardless of poll results to the contrary.
This is a preview of
Lie Number 4: If You Loved Jesus More You Would Be Happier
. Read the full post (409 words, 1 image, estimated 1:38 mins reading time)
This is the third article I am writing in response to 5 misconceptions that Christians have towards those with mental illness, and, again, my desire is to correct these ‘lies’ as that article refers to them, and to help you learn how to better interact with that person who has a mental illness and who has come into your church. Here is the next statement:
Lie #3: Depression is a sin, a curse, or demon possession.
In my study, I found this one article that, I think, addresses the roots of depression well.
This is a continuation of an article that I recently read regarding the perceptions of (some) people in churches towards the mentally ill.
Lie #2: Daily prayer and bible reading alone cures mental illness.
According to this survey, some people actually believe like this. There are two things that need to be debunked here to help people see the truth. The first is stubbornly clinging to only two avenues of grace, viz, prayer and Bible reading. The second is the word ‘Cures’
This is a preview of
A Barrier for the Church when Reaching Out to People with Mental Illness
. Read the full post (450 words, 2 images, estimated 1:48 mins reading time)
Terminal Brain Cancer
Brittany Maynard, has postponed suicide.
This young lady with terminal brain cancer, who seeks to end her life when the pain becomes intolerable, has decided -because of feeling better, to postpone suicide. In the meantime, she has raised a flurry of controversy on both sides of the euthanasia fence, while she continues to advocate for a person’s right to die.
But, why am I writing about her in a disability blog, you may ask? For two reasons: first, because she has given up hope that a life with a chronic and acute disease like hers could possibly have any meaning for herself, and her perspective of the cancer, which is disABLING her big time, needs to be addressed.
This is a preview of
3 Reasons for Brittany Maynard to Reconsider her Death
. Read the full post (633 words, 1 image, estimated 2:32 mins reading time)
The other day I landed on an article that challenged me (You can read it by clicking on the link in the tweet below)…
Just wanted to give a heads up today to an event that I will be taking part of this coming Saturday…and that you can too!
I am referring to Joni and Friends Walk and Roll, a time to reunite with campers and their families, while raising monies, awareness, and ambulatory devices for people in need. It also raises HOPE.