Don’t get me wrong. I think prayer can be very powerful. But, I have been wondering how highly religious people view mental illness. Is it a character flaw, a lack of belief in God, not praying enough? The three previous reasons could actually have a VERY negative affect on any loved one suffering with a mental illness. Like telling someone with a heart condition that s/he didn’t pray enough and that is what caused the heart condition.
I was just searching for articles to answer my question. The article I found happened to be written by someone who is Mormon. He’s relieved because in 2013, someone high up in the church talked about struggling with a mental illness. His hope was that this would change the attitudes of those of his faith. I am guessing that attitudes could be similar among other religious groups.
THIS MAY BE THE KEY TO WHAT I HAVE UNDERGONE THE LAST 20 YEARS. PURE IGNORANCE
2013, 2013!!! Really? This is what happens when religion (any religion) has people focus so much on the religion and not growth that involves understanding issues unless it comes from the “church”. Stifling. This is what I mean when I make the sign of a puppet. Think people. Considering the evil in this world I think you are naive when it comes to what someone would do to destroy someone. Seriously naive.
Before there were controls regarding committing someone to a mental hospital involuntarily, it was not unheard of for relatives to place someone in mental institutions based on what they said (yes, people with mental health issues do have rights). Years back, a man only had to say that his wife was unstable and “voila” there she went – yes, many years back for it to be that easy, but still……………….. Why are there more women than men who are targeted. That makes no sense at all – given the statistics. But, no one should be a target.
Try having bipolar disorder or any other mental illness when you are around people who think it is a failing in your character or religious practice. If you have diabetes I believe people would understand that praying is not going to help your diabetes – might give you many, many benefits (mind, body connection), but you need to understand the workings of the body. Same with bipolar disorder. In my case – my body must not produce serotonin or it produces very little.That is the depression part. I don’t even know if “they” understand the root problem of bipolar.
I do know that it tends to “run” in families. Though, it can be found in people with no incidences of bipolar disorder in the family. Jane Pauley had bipolar triggered by some sort of medical treatment. I bought an $80 book and got on the phone to find out all I could about possible family connections. One cousin, on my dad’s side, had just been diagnosed. He is quite a bit older than I am. He had very creative ideas, but could never follow through with them. Let’s see: a cousin’s son, possibly an aunt, paternal grandmother had a “nervous breakdown” so that could be bipolar. Even if someone mostly displays depression, it can be bipolar disorder. This is why, if “regular” M.D.s are going to prescribe anti depressants, they need to have at least one course on mental health. Just taking an anti depressant can trigger mania in some people.
It took me describing my one year battle with significant depression to get my current doctor to really understand that I HAVE to take an antidepressant. He was being cautious. Even my doctor of 19 years forgot that I was depressed the two times I was in the hospital. There is no “one size fits all” guide to bipolar disorder.
But, most of you will not read this. Be told not to read this, told not to listen to me. Ignorance is bliss. No, it leads to a lot of needless suffering.