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Book on Christianity and Mental Illness

Posted by Krazy Kat on June 5, 2002, at 10:48:45

In reply to Mental Illnesses and Faith Communities, posted by SuzyQ on May 31, 2002, at 3:45:01

I haven't been able to follow this thread, mainly because my time online has been very limited. Also, I need to limit my time online and exist in the real world for awhile.

I wanted to mention a book I just bought and read thoroughly, though. It is written by Christian (what I would call born-again) Psychiatrists who started the "New Life Clinics". I know nothing about the clinics.

I got this book with the hope that it would help my sister and parents understand that my disorder is genetic, though of course external forces influence it. I believe strongly that my father's mother (who abandoned him when he was two), my father, and my brother all have/had forms of Bipolar Disorder. And I'm going to be clearer about my opinion to them next time.

O.K., so it's called "Mood Swings" by Paul Meier, et al. It compares an environmental versus genetic depression very nicely. It touches on 'embarrassing' aspects of Bipolar Dis., such as sexual promiscuity (my family could never handle a discussion re: my path down that road :)). It says 'take your medicine' if you have a Bipolar Disorder, but it also offers spiritual guidance. It also offers practical, secular ways to help live a more balanced life.

All-in-all, it helped moi, who was raised in a born-again family, get over some of the guilt I still have re: this illness and the belief that I somehow should have been able to "handle" it myself. That God would not want someone taking medication to help with it. That it isn't real. Trust me, this came at a good time!

The Dr.'s are good writers, good scientists, and good Christians. Yet, as a no-longer born-againer or really Christian, I did not find anything in it offensive (except perhaps that all the women were pretty much homemakers. :)). So it may be right for Christians and non-Christians alike.

- KK




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