It's a project I want to write.
It's a project I think is needed.
No -- I know it's needed. And once I am done I hope the ones who need it will get a copy.
I'm writing a book -- kind of like a devotional help book for those who deal with mental illness tendencies. Mental illness isn't something most people like to talk about. It's considered embarrassing, even shameful to some.
Even though we are in the 21st century, there's still a huge stigma in society (and in the church) about dealing with mental illness -- some think people should just be able to shake it off like it's no big deal.
"They just need to be stronger."
"They shouldn't allow themselves to get that bad."
"It's all in their heads."
Yeah -- it is all in their heads! Funny!
I disagree with all of the above (except the last one though not in the context people say it usually). Yes, everyone is sad at times. Everyone can get inside themselves and be locked in for a while, but if you agree with the above statements then I am guessing you've never felt the mental torment that people feel when they are mentally ill. Sometimes people need some help to get well mentally (one article found at Christianity Today states that 1 in 4 pastors deal with mental illness. I'd gather their congregation members have similar averages).
No matter our mental state, a Christian has the mind of Christ. That doesn't change when a mind is malfunctioning.
The brain is a mysterious organ. I'd say it is the most complicated and least understood organ in our bodies. So, why are we surprised it can get sick? Why are we horrified if we get mental illness symptoms? Or if, because of an ill brain, symptoms come out in emotional outbursts or hallucinations or loss of understanding? We're dealing with the organ that thinks for the whole body. Of course when it is ill it will have weird symptoms. Maybe a lot of us are scared of outbursts. They don't fit nicely into society. They aren't polite. They aren't proper. They are uncontrollable. But very often those ill brain symptoms are not that person.
(Now let me clarify -- a person who has an episode that relates to mental health does need to be responsible for any consequences caused by her actions. One of those consequences should not be condemnation though.)
Some people have tendencies toward mental illness like some people have tendencies to get heart disease or diabetes or high blood pressure.
The book I'm writing (and I started it this week) I hope will help fellow Believers with managing mental illness. I am not a doctor. I am just another Believer who can get ill mentally. And so often through the book I will mention that if things are really bad a person needs to get professional help or be hospitalized if she is a danger to herself or others. But a lot of times there are things we can do ourselves.
Anyone can get mentally ill. Wouldn't it be a good thing if we all learned to see the signs so we could help each other get through mental illness or at least get it to a place where it is being treated and we can function as we should?