|"Burning burning burning burning|
|O Lord Thou pluckest me out|
|O Lord Thou pluckest|
--The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot (Click to Read)
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