Friday, May 31, 2013

You're Not Alone

April was Autism Awareness Month and May was Mental Illness Awareness Month. It's coincidental they line up because they are only matching letters- Autism could just as easily been covered in August and awareness for Mental illness in March, but alas here we are. The two are linked although when someone mentions "mental health" our thoughts jump straight to depression, schizophrenia or other maladies. Yet the Autism Spectrum (which technically includes Asbergers Syndrom and not as officially includes ADHD and bipolar disorder) deals with many of the same social stigmas, especially at church. So I have done my best to cover both subjects to the best of my ability (and to the limit of my emotional capacity). Of course I cannot cover it all, so here are more posts on the subject.

The news of Matthew Warren's suicide in April prompted many Christian bloggers to offer up their thoughts on mental illness. I think this is too important a subject to be covered by a single post, or even a series of posts. Additionally, everybody has their own personal story of mental illness impacting their lives. So below is a compilation of posts that I've found on the subject. Please feel free to add your own in the comments. (And a huge hat-tip to Adrian Warnock who has continuously posted on this subject throughout the month over at the Patheos blog portal. You'll see many posts from him below.)
 
The posts that got this started:
On mental health:
On depression:
On medications and treatment:
On suicide:
Other conditions:

I've closed out each of my previous posts with a reminder that if you are struggling through dark times, if you feel alone, if you feel the church has rejected you, to have hope. Some of us do understand. You are not alone. I pray these resources are an encouragement not only to you, but are useful for the Church as a whole to better understand, better relate, and better sympathize with those who are struggling and know of no where else to turn but to Jesus and his bride.

4 comments:

Rick Dawson said...

Fatha,

I stumbled onto this blog yesterday, and as I started reading, I kind of choked up a little. I have mental illness. I also have three sons - in order, they are ADD, ADHD, and Autistic.

I've been the guy on suicide watch a few times - first attempt at age 13, last over 14 years ago now. I'm better, and for me - and I am quite deliberate in saying this - it was God that did the heavy lifting. Years of medication? Gone, done. No need for them. That being said, what happened to me - and for me - is not what happens to everyone.

I haven't read any of the links yet, though I do hope you keep them posted. I debated responding much of the day today, and decided that I needed to let you know your post helped move me. I don't talk about my stuff in detail online, and usually shy away from a lot of people's posts on the subject simply because of the ignorance and cruelty contained within.

Thanks for being here.

Fatha Frank said...

Rick, God bless you. Thank you for commenting. It is always sad that tragedy brings these subjects into the light, but this is a discussion that is overdue IMO. Praise God for getting you through your darkest tines.

Betty said...

Fatha, God bless you for all the research you have done and making us more aware of mental illness. There is not a one of us that doesn't have some kind of frailness in our family. Not only is our body frail but also our minds, the fall is the blame for that. We have found it takes courage to speak out on this subject...offer help to ones who struggle with any kind of mental illness.

Fatha Frank said...

Betty, thank you for commenting! You're right, we are all affected by this in some way. So long as we live in imperfect bodies in an imperfect world, we should expect imperfect minds as well. I pray soon perfection comes.