Archives for February, 2013


Mental Illness, Ministry, and Manipulation

Even as I write a blog about Christians learning how to minister to people with mental illness, I am faced with a dilemma of my own about how to respond to someone who is suffering.

I argue that mental illness is just as physiological as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, and yet it is so vastly different and can be so difficult to navigate. It is often much easier to know how to handle a purely...
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Tell Me About You

I want to hear your stories.

If you've been hurt by other Christians and/or churches that didn't respond well to your mental illness, tell me about it.
If you were helped, loved, and supported by a church or ministry, I want to hear that, too. I want the good AND the bad.

Drop me a line at
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Depression: a Physiological Problem with Deep Spiritual Undertones

Depression is a huge lie from the devil.
That's right - I believe in modern medicine, but I also believe in the enemy of the Bible, and there is nothing he loves more than making people miserable. It's his job. He's like a supernatural IRS agent. (Joking about that part, of course.)  That concept is the foundation of the MYTH that mental illness does not exist.

It makes perfect sense, when you think about it,...
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Advice from Shaunti Feldhahn on Helping Your Wife Deal with Depression

Best-selling relationship author Shaunti Feldhahn is a dear friend and sometimes-boss of mine. If your marriage is struggling, or you just want to make it even better than it already is, I highly suggest you read For Women Only and For Men OnlyGod used For Women Only to save my marriage many years ago. Both books are set to be re-released next month with additional and updated information.

I subscribe to her e-mail list, and this was today's message. When a wife has depression, the husband can easily feel like he is lost, lonely, and clueless as to what to do. I'm very blessed to have a great husband, but he hasn't always known how to cope with my depression. Here, Shaunti offers some practical advice on surviving that rocky road, and helping your wife get through her sadness.
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No One is Immune to the Stigma

In my introductory blog, I touched on a few of the reasons why mental illness is such a hot potato issue for so many Christians, and why people suffering from mental illness often prefer to hide their illness versus seeking help from their church. I found this to be a very interesting article because it shows that it doesn't matter what kind of church you go to, the stigma still follows you.

According to Deseret News, a 2011 Baylor University survey of 6,000 people from 24 churches found that 27 percent of families had some form of mental illness in them. Those 24 churches were comprised of four different Protestant denominations. The families coping with mental illness with twice the financial difficulties, family, and work struggles as the "healthy" ones. Sadly, while the 27 percent said that getting mental health assistance was important to them, their fellow churchgoers barely seemed to care. Said Dr. Mark Stanford, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor:
"The data give the impression that mental illness, while prevalent within a congregation, is also nearly invisible."
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Let’s Stop Kicking People While They’re Down

Greetings, fellow sojourners!

I can't tell you how psyched I am to be blogging at PsychCentral. :-) It's great to find a place to address issues of mental illness and faith among such a diverse crowd. Let me share a little bit about why I'm writing this blog.

I have a mental illness.
I believe I have suffered from bipolar disorder  most of my life, though I didn't receive an official diagnosis until 2003, when I was 24 years old. By that point, my young marriage was failing, I couldn't hold a job, I was drinking too much, and I finally realized I wasn't going to "grow" out of my problems. I had everything to lose, so I sought help. It took several years and several combinations of meds, but I am now a relatively stable person. I say "relatively" because I don't have it all together, but I'm grateful that I'm not completely falling apart, either.
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