Mental Illness Can Impact Everyone. You Too, Christian.

Dear reader, this article will discuss subjects of mental health including suicide.

They had plans. Things looked hopeful. That weekend, they were going to receive a prestigious honor. Later that month, they were going to start their final tour. But the Saturday before being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Naomi Judd, one half of the superstar duo the Judds, died. Her daughters, Ashley and Wynonna Judd, revealed that her death was the result of suicide.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11779
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I simply hate the phrase “God never gives us more than we can handle”. I have heard it hundreds of times, and my response has always been, If that were true we wouldn’t need mental hospitals, and the Cemetaries wouldn’t be cluttered with the graves of suicide victims.

God doesn’t keep bad things from happening to good people. It is just that simple. I could add to that the fact that God doesn’t punish bad people either. If so, He certainly would have given Hitler a heart attack, or caused Putin’s cancer to take him out.

Any answers?

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Also worth pointing out in this “fast-food” culture that 20-30% of those with depression do not get significant relief from medication and therapy. Your leg pain may have a ‘simple’ answer but mental health is usually a chronic disease. Thinking that one visit to a psychiatrist for a pill will solve these issues is part of the reason society is dismissive of depression. Encouraging medical intervention for the chronically ill means the church needs to become comfortable, patient and supportive with those chronically ill from all types of diseases.

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This passage is written to first century believers who were no doubt being persecuted for their new faith (Jews who became Christians, others?), promising them that when their commitment is “tested” God will help them endure. It has nothing to do with the crises that impact us when losing a child, or being struck by a horrifying, debilitating disease, and so on. God is there also but the idea that as humans we are promised by God that we will, with divine help, be able to tolerate anything, is unfair and untrue. Did Naomi Judd’s death due to “mental illness” mean that God was “testing” her more than the divine promised?

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Well said. Thank-you. Note too that many people have histories of childhood trauma, which can lead to PTSD. Healing may be the work of a lifetime.

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THIS!!! Thank you for pointing out what should be an obvious truth. The human brain is just another organ in the body. Well, it’s not “just” another organ. It is arguably the most complex of organs. Complex structures, organic or mechanical, have a nasty habit of breaking down. But when the human brain breaks down, unlike say the pancreas, it becomes a moral issue or issue of character.

Again, thank you for your article.

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Well, and what about those with alexithymia (the “emotional illiterates” - therefore found with psychosomatic disorders ? - Or the overcontrolled with their “obsessive disorders” - - - both in certain Christian circles cherished as already especially “holy” ? - -

And what about the fact that Evangelicals - and pious Catholics - inbetween are known as showing high “Lie Scalles” , when the Eysenck questionary is appllied ? - - And those in every day life showing a high rate of denial and disavowal (Freuds " ego defence mechanisms"), not honest sacrifices, but just neglecting their fallibility ??

Unfortunately, while I totally agree with the author’s premise and appreciate her writing this piece, what I have come to realize, as a result of a family member’s battle with suicidal ideation, is that even the willingness to secure help and insurance to cover the cost will not necessarily result in better outcomes. Genetic testing by a qualified physician will be needed to identify the family of drugs that will be more likely to produce results…or stated another way, genetic testing will identify the families of drugs which will be of no help at all, which is sadly, what many patients encounter when they seek help. It is not cheap, but it is infinitely better than the trial and error many patients are put through, going from one anti-depressant to another. What we used to call ‘Better Living By Chemistry’ has become more complicated, all the while offering better remedies.

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