One in Four

Humour me and think… You are the bell of the ball, the prince of the land.. the mayor of the city, the richest person on earth!

People see you and smile. Girls want to dress like you, wear their hair like you… Boys pretend to battle and have victories like you (please no stereotyping I’m only making a point).

Life could not be better! You’ve worked hard been honest and climbed the social and corporate ladders to sit where you are. God has blessed you! You not only tithe but you support many programs in your church…

… Then one day you notice a white spot on your hand and you shrug it off… but it won’t go away even with the best of the best treatments.

Another spot shows on your nose… You cover it up with make up for a while… You start to become concerned…

These spots are growing bigger and show in more places… You ask your physician to come to the house…

He confirms your biggest fear… You have the incurable the disease… You panic… What will people think? How will my friends react? Will they think God is punishing me? Did I do something wrong? What is happening?

People with the disease are ostracized… They are moved to a place outside of the city to live. The disease is leprosy and there are strick rules (in the Biblical times)…

Switching back to our time here… What happens when it’s mental health issues? The chances are one in four… 25% of us will or had some sort of mental health issue.

There are mild cases but also more severe.

You remember ______. They were depressed following a family death… They seems to have recovered…

But _____ really changed…. maybe they aren’t praying enough… There must have been signs before this don’t you think? Well, I heard from A who told B……

Now, your world comes crashing down around you… You’re too ill to work… You don’t understand this illness! Doctor’s prescribe medications trying to find the correct doses…

You go to church and your not sure where to sit… You feel overwhelmed and tired out to quickly..

There are ways to cover up most of your illness but people may notice something is different… You look at everybody trying to see if they already know! Is your secret safe? People may know this illness, there may be rumours… you suspect some people know as they have the pity eyes look when you see them…

Other’s make a quick 180’s when they see you coming their way…

Good old Thelma, she’s going to make her famous cake and bring it to you next week… .

Other people just shake your hand and say an awkward hello with their “Christmas card smile”…

Friends don’t call as often…

Then one good friend appears, maybe one more… They give you the “what can I really do to help” face…

Your struggling to even get to work… Then realize and acknowledge the truth… You can’t work right now…the illness has become very evident and consumes you…

Fact: 25% of the members in your church will actually deal with mental health issues… From depression of a loved one lost, the baby blues all the way up to needing to be hospitalized with suicidal thoughts…

Know that Mental Health is a symptom and not a sin

Many people refuse to seek help because of the stigma…

People:

  • Whisper to each other
  • Look and shake their heads
  • Show an indignant face (self-righteous)
  • Ignore &/or avoid you
  • Show you the puppy dog eyes
  • Tell you to walk and pray more
  • Tell you they understand as Aunt Willamina had something similar 40 years ago

ONE OUT OF FOUR

With Borderline Personality Disorder ONE IN TEN will commit suicide (400% higher than other diagnoses…

Stigma… Hey, I was completely ignorant about it…. With the internet there are many sites with great information

My goals are:

  • Education for all to recognize Mental Health Issues for support and understanding
  • Squash stigma… To ease it for Christian’s to seek the help they require
  • Celebrate Recovery – a safe place to find other people who understand and accept you and where to begin healing in God’s way.

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