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  #31  
Old Dec 29, '11, 8:48 pm
Roxygirl1488 Roxygirl1488 is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

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Originally Posted by maplebug55 View Post
If someone I knew suffered a heart attack I would call 911 BEFORE i would call a priest.

I understand both of your points of view. (You and Alan) It's a complicated subject.
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  #32  
Old Dec 29, '11, 9:47 pm
maplebug55 maplebug55 is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

well i guess we can agree on that.
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  #33  
Old Dec 29, '11, 10:47 pm
AlanFromWichita AlanFromWichita is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maplebug55 View Post
I am putting Bipolar and mental health disorders on the same plane as diabetes and heart disease, cancer and alzheimers disease.
I know. That's what I'm trying to tell you. It's not the same thing. Alzheimers, for example, I call "real" mental illness -- there is actual pathology there. Not usually the case for bipolar, etc.
Quote:
My interpretation from your posts is that physical illnesses need doctors but mental illness needs spiritual deliverance. Maybe you didn't mean for it to come across like that, but that is what I picked up.
I said a whole person has six components: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and sexual. I said most experts are trained in no more than one or two of these areas. I said that mental disorders can be treated with medicine. I just said they cannot be fixed by medicine.

What is spiritual "deliverance" anyway? I'm a bit concerned that you seem to be claiming that the Holy Spirit is not capable of healing a mental disorder. Moreover, I think you are belittling the whole notion of being healed at the hands of the Holy Spirit. If you don't think that is the case, then why are you Catholic? Because this is one of those things that the Catholic God can and does do. I know from first hand experience.

You know what I find more insulting than whether somebody is confused over the nature of mental illness or the state of the art of treatment? Somebody who has never walked in my shoes, yet will tell me all about what it's like to be in my shoes. I think one of the most difficult challenges for someone who is mentally ill, is to find somebody who can actually have a conversation and listen. I don't need somebody going around and defending me "and my kind" against somebody saying the there is hope through God. Nobody needs that, frankly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maplebug55 View Post
I don't think a good spiritual growth problem can change brain chemical imbalances. Any more than a diabetic's blood sugar will go down if they attend a spritual growth program!
Oh, you're one of the "brain chemical imbalance" people. That helps explain things a bit. It is extremely rare that a mental disorder is caused by some mysterious or even known "chemical imbalance." It is common, however, for a chemical imbalance as a result of the illness and its symptoms. For example, if a person has a great deal of anxiety, agitation, or lack of sleep, that will cause a person's blood chemistry to become messed up. Medication doesn't address the chemistry issue directly; it addresses the psychological and behavioral symptoms.

So actually, a good spiritual growth program can be greatly responsible for a significant change in brain chemistry, as the fruit of the spirit begin to develop.

I'm sorry you don't have much faith in God and His ability to heal. I'm more sorry that you presume to tell somebody what it's like to walk in their own shoes. I totally understand not knowing something but at least know what you don't know.

If you are as interested in mental illness and the dignity of MI sufferers as you say, maybe you should try listening to one about his experiences rather than try to lecture him about them. Maybe you'd also learn something that is of actual importance to MI sufferers. Like civil rights, for example. Did you know that, unlike a criminal suspect, if you are suspected to be a mental illness patient you can be locked up against your will and your civil rights removed, without even knowing what doctor signed the order much less having to meet the doctor, nor do they have to tell you why they brought you in or how you are danger to yourself or others? In Kansas they can hold you for up to three days without telling you anything -- until they have to get a court order to require you to stay longer. How would you like to be told you need to talk to a doctor before going back to work, and when you show up for an appointment there is no doctor but a trap -- surrounded by white coats and strapped me down to a cart -- because some doctor believed what another doctor said who believed what a company psychiatrist who doesn't even know me said, who believed what a manager said a clerk told him about my behavior at work. And I lost my civil rights and career, and raised my six children in poverty. If you want to champion mental health issues, maybe you can do something about that. Go get a law passed that they have to at least try to tell you why you are being brought in and under who's authoritay. Or how about this: get a law passed that says a doctor cannot sign an order for a patient to be involuntarily locked up and stripped of civil rights, unless the doctor actually knows something about the patient, and has actually met the patient personally. Or how about this: petition for more federal judges to hear disability cases -- it can take 2 1/2 years to get disability benefits after applying because of the backlog.

Alan
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  #34  
Old Dec 29, '11, 10:49 pm
AlanFromWichita AlanFromWichita is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

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Originally Posted by maplebug55 View Post
If someone I knew suffered a heart attack I would call 911 BEFORE i would call a priest.
That's what I'd do.

Alan
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  #35  
Old Dec 30, '11, 3:40 am
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Justicia et Pax Justicia et Pax is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

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Originally Posted by AlanFromWichita View Post
Interesting you should ask. I run an internet forum which originated with mostly mentally ill people, including all those types you mentioned, who wanted to discuss our mental illness and how it relates to faith.

...

Alan
Could you maybe send me a link to this Internet forum? It sounds like something I might benefit from
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Misericordia
Now is the loveday mad of us fowre fynialy!
Now may we leve in pes, as we were wonte.
Misericordia et Veritas obviauerunt sibi
Justicia et Pax osculate sunt.


[Et hic osculabunt pariter omnes

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  #36  
Old Dec 30, '11, 3:51 am
Neden Neden is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

There are a lot of interesting thoughts being expressed in this thread. I do have to say bipolar and OCD are very real mental disorders that are listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) published by the American Psychiatric Association. While the information does not define the "source or cause" of such, they do list some information about the studies, symptoms and prognosis. Both Bipolar and OCD are very tough to treat. OCD has a strong link to biological factors. Both bipolar and OCD have genetic correlations too.

A lot of practitioners try to stay away from labelling a person with a diagnosis but are forced to do so due to insurance coverage and Medicaid/Medicare rules. Unfortunately our culture has placed a stigmata on these types of illnesses. The good thing is that there are professionals out there who are trying to change the image and wake up the rest of the world that mental illness is on the same plane as a lot of your physical challenges.

It is worrisome that there is some advice not to take the prescribed medication. This is very dangerous. An ethical physician prescribes medication which is needed. In a lot of cases medication AND therapy need to be prescribed together. Depending on the condition, some can discontinue medication after a while with the physician's supervision. Suddenly stopping some of these medications can be very dangerous and can in some cases result in very dangerous emotional and physical side effects.

I do believe that the Holy Spirit is able to heal a person from mental illness; however there is always the possibility that God choses to help a person through other avenues (i.e. physicians, therapists, counselors). It distresses me to hear that some people are blaming their illness on their own sins. If that were the case, then shouldn't each one of us be given mental illness? All of the pain and suffering in this world is the result of original sin. Granted, we can do things in our lives that excerbate an illness (i.e. through impure sexual acts, drinking, taking illicit drugs, etc.)

When talking about "stigma", I can't help but think of St. Francis of Assisi who was given the marks of Our Lord on his hands and feet. One can accept their "stigmata" with grace and joy as an opportunity to be able to join in the sufferings of Christ.

These are just some thoughts. I could not help but respond.

God bless you all.

Neden
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  #37  
Old Dec 30, '11, 4:09 am
AlanFromWichita AlanFromWichita is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justicia et Pax View Post
Could you maybe send me a link to this Internet forum? It sounds like something I might benefit from
Sure. Note that it has a really low bandwidth now. I started it six years ago and there were a couple dozen active posters at one time but now there are only a few -- but we do enjoy our discussions and we go by our own rules there. And not all of us are mentally ill.

So many of the forum sections have been sitting idle. Like the Catholics apologist section -- we had one guy as our apologist who was very good but he's been gone a long time now. So you'll see a lot of old stuff. Come on in and meet the few of us, and we will figure out some interesting topics; we always do. But the topic range is wide open. We've even made special private rooms for people with specific issues they wanted to discuss away from the public areas of the board.

There were actually two primary motives for starting the forum in 2005, and it started with CAF posters who wanted discussions CAF didn't want here. First, we liked to talk about mental illness so much that CA became concerned with liability in the event that someone followed "advice" given on the forums. I completely understand that, but I had no assets so I wasn't worried about that on our own forum. Plus, we wanted to discuss certain aspects of our prayer life, including those things we find a problem within the Church, without being dive-bombed by the self-righteous How Dare You Question This crowd -- in particular some of us wanted to discuss centering prayer and it became such a hot button topic it was banned here. Also we wanted to experiment with a different approach taken to discussions, in an effort to facilitate better communications between those with significantly different views on something.

CAF knows about us and is OK with us, though it was on and off again for our first few days. One CAF mod even signed up as a member to see the non-public areas of the board.

One note: my son was one of the original authors of the forum software. He wrote it in the language Perl; they've since converted it to PHP. Matt still keeps us going and hosts the site on his VPS.

Oh yeah, we have a lot of problem lately with robots trying to register so there are some IP bans out there. There are still several attempts a day, so I tend to delete them all -- hopefully I haven't deleted any actual human attempts. (The bots usually have really wacky names or email addresses, or if they are more normal a quick google search reveals they are bots.) You can try to register and hopefully it will work, but the easiest way is to send me a PM with your desired login name (it's initially your display name too but you can change the display name) and starting password (or I'll make one up) and email address, and I can register you directly. If it ever tells you that you are banned, please note the time/date and attempted login handle if there was one, and I can find it on the error logs and un-ban your IP address range.

http://forums.wordsfree.org/

Alan
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  #38  
Old Dec 30, '11, 4:39 am
AlanFromWichita AlanFromWichita is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neden View Post
A lot of practitioners try to stay away from labelling a person with a diagnosis but are forced to do so due to insurance coverage and Medicaid/Medicare rules. Unfortunately our culture has placed a stigmata on these types of illnesses. The good thing is that there are professionals out there who are trying to change the image and wake up the rest of the world that mental illness is on the same plane as a lot of your physical challenges.
I agree. My own psychiatrist does not normally give a diagnosis unless he has to such as for insurance or for my disability hearings. Typically there isn't a lot of point in having a label from a treatment point of view. For a discussion point of view, it's nice to have a word to use. But like I said before, treatment is based primarily on controlling the symptoms.

Quote:
It is worrisome that there is some advice not to take the prescribed medication. This is very dangerous. An ethical physician prescribes medication which is needed. In a lot of cases medication AND therapy need to be prescribed together.
I agree. I hope you didn't think I was advocating the "no medical treatment" approach. (A couple other posters incorrectly indicated that I did.) And yes, to me the best strategy is to get everything going at once. Get the psychiatrist to treat you medically, get a therapist or other professional to talk to -- not all psychiatrists are good counselors. And it pays to get with a spiritual director whether or not one is mentally ill, so I leave that as an open option any time waiting to be taken advantage of.

Quote:
I do believe that the Holy Spirit is able to heal a person from mental illness; however there is always the possibility that God choses to help a person through other avenues (i.e. physicians, therapists, counselors).
Exactly. Like the one about the man whose house was flooding and he waved away a boat and helicopter, then wondered why God hadn't taken care of him.
Quote:
It distresses me to hear that some people are blaming their illness on their own sins. If that were the case, then shouldn't each one of us be given mental illness? All of the pain and suffering in this world is the result of original sin. Granted, we can do things in our lives that excerbate an illness (i.e. through impure sexual acts, drinking, taking illicit drugs, etc.)
I have a great deal to say on these issues. In my case, it wasn't so much my sins that brought me to the exasperation level to where I needed medical help. It was more my inability to deal with people who behaved in ways I'd never been prepared for in my life -- on several fronts. I was frantic, backed into a corner when I knew I was right, staying up many nights writing letters over and over to try to make my points, etc. I can give you a longer version of the story, but that's the gist of it. I was unable to handle my environment because in large part of other people's hardheadedness.

Why don't we all get it? Many reasons, but it's a lot about how you were brought up. I was taught to be polite and respectful, but never taught strategy to deal with it when others are not polite and respectful. There are a gazillion factors that go into how we react to any given situation; for me my reactions became to strong and too odd.

Quote:
When talking about "stigma", I can't help but think of St. Francis of Assisi who was given the marks of Our Lord on his hands and feet. One can accept their "stigmata" with grace and joy as an opportunity to be able to join in the sufferings of Christ.
I'm fully with you on this. There has been a great deal of financial damage -- buying a house, mortgage, having six kids, then suddenly no income or insurance. But other than that, I don't know that I'd want to change anything that happened. I have learned incredible things that I would have learned no other way than to have the experiences I've had. Even though I've seen a dark side of humanity, I've also seen some pretty glowing ones. Meanwhile during this whole journey I've been given some pretty amazing opportunities to help other people based in part on my own experiences. My social skills have become -- they really weren't, before, so to speak. I have learned to empathize with people that 10 years ago I thought I'd never understand. I even realize now why some of my political opponents say some of the things they do for their constituents. Nothing like being in poverty to better understand the mechanics of politics used by those who help (or exploit) the poor.
Quote:
These are just some thoughts. I could not help but respond.

God bless you all.

Neden
I'm really glad you did jump in.

The OP was asking about Catholic teaching. I'm thinking about the only Catholic teachings I see affected are that when we are mentally ill, we are sometimes led to do things that odd, sinful or even criminal -- and sometimes (like in my case) I did them because I honestly felt the Holy Spirit was leading me. Once on June 8, 2001, a few hours before my involuntary lockup, I was very scared by a particular very mean priest at the cathedral -- I was at the cathedral because I was doing volunteer work on the Synod in the diocese chancery office next door. Anyway I was so scared I ran out of the cathedral and spat on the cornerstone as I ran out, half-tripping. I drove directly to the apartment of our retired pastor Father Busch, got on my knees on his living room floor, and asked a) if I've excommunicated myself, and b) if I could be forgiven for what I did. He said a) no, and b) no, he couldn't forgive me because I hadn't sinned.

Alan
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  #39  
Old Dec 31, '11, 10:24 am
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

"A 2007 study conducted for the West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities estimates that 182,000 adult West Virginians suffered from mental illness and 152,000 had a problem with illicit drugs or alcohol, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness gave the state an “F” grade for its response to serious mental illness in 2009.

While there are signs of hope, the bishop said, in both federal and state laws which seek to ensure that behavioral health issues are treated with equal concern to physical illness, to promote healthy practices, and to coordinate health initiatives among state agencies, there is still an area of great concern. Part of the answer, he said, will be to devote more funds to proven prevention strategies and treatments, a matter for legislatures, but a great deal of the answer lies in the faithful’s response, as individuals and as members of communities, to those dealing with addictions and with mental illness.

“A church that heals, that mends the hearts of our brothers and sisters living with behavioral health issues, becomes for them the Good Samaritan and makes a real investment of compassion and mercy in their care and recovery,” the bishop said in his letter."

http://www.dwc.org/hearts-made-whole.html
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  #40  
Old Dec 31, '11, 2:07 pm
AlanFromWichita AlanFromWichita is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

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Originally Posted by Samson01 View Post
“A church that heals, that mends the hearts of our brothers and sisters living with behavioral health issues, becomes for them the Good Samaritan and makes a real investment of compassion and mercy in their care and recovery,” the bishop said in his letter."

http://www.dwc.org/hearts-made-whole.html
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  #41  
Old Dec 31, '11, 3:46 pm
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Samson01 Samson01 is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

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Originally Posted by AlanFromWichita View Post
Wish there was an "uncool" smiley. Or should I say not cool.
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  #42  
Old Dec 31, '11, 3:58 pm
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Samson01 Samson01 is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

I don't hold a grudge, but you are like two steps away from me classifing you as a hater. Talk the talk and all.
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  #43  
Old Dec 31, '11, 6:11 pm
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MariaTheresa MariaTheresa is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Thank you for your posts Sampson and Neden. Also for the Bishops statement which is beautiful. Full disclosure: recognizable mental illness ( Major Depresson, manic depresson, OCD) since age 11. I'm now 40. (Have been in therapy and am now . on meds , have been hospitalized before) Parent with mental illness also. I find mental illness to cause incredible suffering sometimes .

Mental illness is most forms if not all has a strong genetic component . I'm speaking here of Major/clinical Depression, bipolar/manic depression and schizophrenia in its froms. OCD also is in this group. No one who has any knowledge of medical research on the brain (part of your physical body) could disagreee with this. The studies on OCD, pet scans etc are fascinating.

Having said that many psychiatrists and others in the field have thier own beliefs and axes to grind no matter what new information comes their way and continue to sing their same old song. The mentally ill can't wish or bless their illness away. It IS physical, thats part of the reason they are life long. We do not have cures for these illness yet admittedly. We can only manage sympoms. No one is arguing that in the the medical field. Their is no pill to cure schizophrenia.

,our duty as Christian Catholics is to take advantage/honor/use the resources for managin God has given to us. If medication keeps us from destroying our lives or the lives of others, we may have a moral obligation to take it. If talk therapy helps us bring our lives in line with normal healthy living whitch is undoubtedly Gods will for us, we may have a moral obligation to engage in it.

NONE of this precludes a miraculous intervention from God to heal us but that is not usually what happens . God does allow suffering. We pray as He did' Father , if it be your will let this cup pass from me , but not my will but yours be done" To think of suffering with any thing the rest of your life is devestating but God is not asking you to do that . He is only asking you to deal with today with Him. He holds all your future for you.

We are always obligated as Catholics , mentally ill or not, to grow in our spiritual lives. To keep seeking God more deeply. This spiritual growth we seek with God responds to often leads to healing in different parts of our lives includign mental heath issues. He may heal spontaneously part of some mental disorder we are suffering from anf not all. Such may be His will. Our job is to keep petioning Him and loving and serving Him in our brokeness.

God Bless You All
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  #44  
Old Dec 31, '11, 9:28 pm
AlanFromWichita AlanFromWichita is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samson01 View Post
Wish there was an "uncool" smiley. Or should I say not cool.
There are a couple I figure come pretty close, like maybe or depending on the specifics.

In this case, I'm not sure if by wishing you had an uncool smiley you would have used it against my cool smiley. Did I miss something? Was there something uncool about what the bishop said, or were you thinking of another use of aforementioned wished for smiley?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Samson01 View Post
I don't hold a grudge, but you are like two steps away from me classifing you as a hater. Talk the talk and all.
Pray tell, who is "you?" After the uncool smiley uncertainty I'm having, I'm curious if I am "you." And if so, why?

Alan
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  #45  
Old Jan 1, '12, 12:10 pm
Neden Neden is offline
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Default Re: What is Catholic teaching/understanding about Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Hi Maria Theresa. Beautifully said. I love how you summed up the whole discussion and with great sensitivity.

Neden
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