Friday, May 7, 2010

Mental Health and Faith © Megan Snider

Oh no. What a can of worms we have here. The blending and blurring of mental health and faith together. Is it a good idea? Should we do this? Should we tell people that only if you believed more that God would save you from the fires of mental illness?

I don't know.

I wish I knew.

I am struggling with this myself. I am a person of faith. On my good days it seems easier to be a person of faith. When I'm driving down Alabama highway 411 questioning my reality, faith seems slippery and hard to grasp.

I don't want to discourage anyone from faith. Please, by all means, believe, pray and worship. There is nothing better for the soul and the broken heart to know that God loves you. There is no better, sweeter tasting medicine than believing that the Almighty has your back. Simply don't rule out medicine.

I put mental illness at the same status as cancer. It could be called a cancer of the brain. It metastasizes in its own way, it destroys, diminishes and obliterates functions; it burns down family trees, ruins communication and refuses to go away, but instead hangs on with the teeth of a 2,000 pound bulldog. When I say cancer, I mean metaphorically, of course. It doesn't show up as a tumor or menacing white spot on an X-ray. But it does require horrible, painful medicine such as chemotherapy.

(If you don't believe me, check out my posts on Haldol, Prolixin and Tardive Dyskenisia. I plan to write more articles on the effects of antipsychotics.)

So, what are you saying, Megan?

I am saying believe. But believe in other things as well. Believe in God and the new, safer medications. Believe in God and yoga. Believe in God and meditation of the mind and spirit. Believe in God and medical choices. Have faith, but don't just limit it to God. Don't be afraid to branch out and see if a medication works for you. I made this statement and I will make it again: I am not anti-drug; I am anti-horrible-side-effects.

Please, nonetheless, believe.

© Megan Snider


  1. Megan , your texts and all the blog are incredible .
    you really inspired me for give a new step today .
    thank you very much .

  2. Oh, thank you. My blog's not much. It just things I wish people would practice and try. You know, that "in a perfect world..." idea. I'm glad I inspired you. I'm glad I managed to do something positive. Have a nice day!

  3. You're from Alabama! I live in Oregon but spent my first 36 years in Mississippi.

    I have zero faith in God. God, whatever God is, let's too many people and other creatures suffer horribly and needlessly for me to have anything but contempt for him/her/it. This is why I don't think God exists in any spiritual sense of the word--my choices being to accept him/her/it but to think he/she/it is weak or evil; or to not accept him/her/it on the grounds that there is no evidence to support God's existence.

  4. I'm actually from Iowa, but I've been in Alabama for 7 years now. God is just sort of used in a loose manner in my blog referring to whatever people worship. Everyone worships something or someone-- maybe they just don't know it. Anyway, I'm not going to get into the whole theistic debate as to whether God exists and what evidence supports Him. You can believe what you choose to and I will do the same.

  5. Arrrgh, I wasn't trying to debate you! You actually wouldn't believe how little interest I would have in that, although I do post about religion from time to time. My purpose in doing so is to try to make people think and also to clarify my own thoughts to myself. However, I doubt that I have ever influenced even one person to see things one iota differently.

    "Everyone worships something or someone--"

    Perhaps. I guess it depends upon how you define worship.

  6. It may sound presumptuous of me...but I'll check on you every so often..and read all my back pages if you like Megan.