The Mentally ill - an image of God.


#1

CAF administration will close any thread where people with mental health problems in posts actively seek advice on or about their problems and such is given, so please keep any discussion in this thread objective.
Be that as it may, I would point out that being a sufferer myself active in mental health, it is a known fact that besides stigma that is completely false and erroneous in concept, the next biggest problem sufferers many if not all to some degree must deal with is loneliness and isolation…and often sadly it is their own religious communities that subject them to both stigma and isolation hence loneliness spiritually. Because a community of any kind feels inadequate in the face of members with mental illness, very often the easiest option is to cast them out either litereally or emotionally on some available viable excuse.
I was talking to my own psychiatrist this week who underscored that good therapy takes place between sufferers.

While The Cardinal is entirely well meaning and sincere, I will be interested to see how much leaves the written or spoken word stage and becomes practise. But we must start somewhere and trudge on in hope.

[/font]http://cathnews.com/news/602/doc/10wds2.htm
Javier, Cardinal Lozano Barragán

President of the Pontifical Council
for Health Pastoral Care,
Vatican City

**Faithful Image of God **

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[font=Arial][size=2]Therefore, once the mental illness has caused such a disorder as to take away from the mentally ill patient any responsibility for his actions, qualifying them as separation from the divine will -as a sin- the mental patient cannot separate from God. In other words, the image of God in him cannot be distorted. In this case his knowledge or his volitive option are no longer sufficient to motivate any human action that separates him from God. His bodily and psychic conditions do not allow him to commit a grave sin, given that in his state of disequilibrium he does not have that full knowledge and ability of assent required to sin. [/size]

If we approach the argument from this point of view, whereby the mentally ill patient does not have the knowledge or the faculty of full consent required to commit a mortal sin, his is not a deformed image of God, since that image can only be deformed by sin. Certainly, it is the suffering image of God, but not a deformed image. He is a reflection of the mystery of the victorious Cross of the Lord. Inspired by the image of the Suffering Servant of Yahweh (Isaiah 53, 1-7) we are drawn to a conscious act of faith in the suffering Christ.
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#2

Please accept this in humility and love and prayers for our ill brothers and sisters. I am sympathic to them, even more so on account for the stigmas. Through direct experience I am aware of the devastation it can cause to families. I will ask but one question:

At what point is the person not responsiable due to votive action / or when are they accountable during recovery?


#3

[quote=Ted CharlotteNC]Please accept this in humility and love and prayers for our ill brothers and sisters. I am sympathic to them, even more so on account for the stigmas. Through direct experience I am aware of the devastation it can cause to families. I will ask but one question:

At what point is the person not responsiable due to votive action / or when are they accountable during recovery?
[/quote]

Hi Ted CharlotteNC…a good question indeed. In some cases it is very obvious that the person is completely disconnected from reality and is not at all responsible - it is glaringly obvious to anyone with the slightest bit of common sense.
At other times and probably in the majority of cases it is very hard to impossible to discern…this makes it very difficult for the person who may be overcome with tremendous guilt and remorse for whatever has happened…the only solution in such cases is to leave it all with God and trust confidently in Him. It of course also makes it very difficult for a person who is supporting in any way such a person and spiritually the sufferer needs to develop great confidence in God who is Forever Faithfully Merciful and Understanding simply for the asking with a sincere heart.
Most, it is my experience, sufferers are people of active Faith in whatever belief system they hold too…however some are not and in these cases, the psychiatrist with his/her skills will try to life the burden of guilt and remorse carried.

It would be extremely cathartic and helpful to sufferers who are Catholic if a priest in confession was more insightful and understanding than it has been my own experience they are. As I said in my OP…it sounds good and looks good but the transfer into practise often is not happening. I hope our visiting heirarchy here in Adelaide for World Day of the Sick will visit the psychiatric wards that are appalling, dirty and dreadful places. But I doubt they will. I hope they will seek out ill people who are living on the streets abandoned by all…but I doubt they will. Despite the fact that anyone who seeks them out in any sort of active way will not have trouble finding them at least here in Adelaide - capital city of South Australia.

Either with or without an active Faith, a sufferer needs to have confidence and trust in his/her psychiatrist…their skills are gifts fromGod in the battle against suffering of any kind.

A good question as I said.

Thank you for your sincerity for myself and my brothers and sisters who suffer mental illness…your sincerity came across to me very loud and clear and thank you for your prayers for “more things are wrought by prayer than this world can dream of”. We are hoping with the exposure with World Day of The Sick focusing on mental illness that we will have an unexpected positive result…while we prepare ourselves for the opposite having often been disappointed.

I hope I have answered you adequately and if not I welcome the opportunity to have another try…simply ask. There are quite a few of us on CAF who suffer mental illness, and other Posters may be more helpful than I.

Thank you very much…Barb:blessyou:


#4

Dear Barb,

I have problems sometimes even with the definition of “mental illness.”

As you mentioned, sometime it is obvious a person is so out of control the person cannot be trusted. Not to say that the therapy or even the labeling as mentally ill isn’t as responsible as anything for his condition, but once it gets that way it is clear they have no clue.

The problem I have is that I don’t think there is an objective difference between “ill” and “not ill.” For the most part, a person is “observed” according to different criteria, all of them subjective, and if they are outside the “norm” of behavior they are treated as if they are sick.

First question I have is, why is it “sick” to be outside the “normal curve?” In academics we want to be at the top of the curve, not in the middle.

Essentially society draws a “box” of behavior outside of which people are considered “sick.” Methinks that box is rather arbitrarily drawn.

Mentally ill people are often those who are very serious about their faith journey to the point where they’ve ventured outside societal norms and began responding in ways that are not expected by the world.

Alan


#5

[quote=Ted CharlotteNC]Please accept this in humility and love and prayers for our ill brothers and sisters. I am sympathic to them, even more so on account for the stigmas. Through direct experience I am aware of the devastation it can cause to families. I will ask but one question:

At what point is the person not responsiable due to votive action / or when are they accountable during recovery?
[/quote]

Yes, a very good question - and probably not one with a cut and dried answer even from the wisest of people.

I know from long experience that sometimes I’ve used mental health problems as a bad of insufficient excuse for not doing something. On the other hand I’ve also at times condemned myself for doing or not doing something when my mental health was a perfectly valid, and will sapping or removing reason.

Finding the balance and the point is very difficult at times. If God wasn’t merciful and loving we’d be in big trouble.


#6

I have problems sometimes even with the definition of “mental illness.”

As you mentioned, sometime it is obvious a person is so out of control the person cannot be trusted. Not to say that the therapy or even the labeling as mentally ill isn’t as responsible as anything for his condition, but once it gets that way it is clear they have no clue.

Hi there and I agree here Alan…there is nothing more confusing to a person than to be labelled mentally ill. One starts to question all sorts of matters not knowing whether it is normal or if one is ill. I used to be prior to illness a happy and talkative person…now it seems I’m manic if I display joy and talkativeness, hence I tend to be guarded when I see my doctor. Not only this but people who knew me prior to illness and as a happy and chatty person…now view it as a symptom of my illness … with the knowing shared knowledg that ‘there always was something strange about her’…i.e being happy and chatty! I wrote a poem once that ran “judge me insufficient, and I will justify it!” A sort of ok you call me mentally ill…then watch this! type of attitude.

The problem I have is that I don’t think there is an objective difference between “ill” and “not ill.” For the most part, a person is “observed” according to different criteria, all of them subjective, and if they are outside the “norm” of behavior they are treated as if they are sick.

Very true!

First question I have is, why is it “sick” to be outside the “normal curve?” In academics we want to be at the top of the curve, not in the middle.

Read in Time Magazine that psychiatry is the invention of society to keep its more creative members in line. If you think about it, that’s very true too! Society has these rules within which people generally feel safe…start breaking those rules and Society has psychiatry as a potential controller.

Essentially society draws a “box” of behavior outside of which people are considered “sick.” Methinks that box is rather arbitrarily drawn.

True again!

Mentally ill people are often those who are very serious about their faith journey to the point where they’ve ventured outside societal norms and began responding in ways that are not expected by the world.

Right…the rules of the establishment I mentioned above…and the unexpected, the entirely creative and hence very new, never seen before, is viewed as a threat to the status quo or sense of society’s notion of what it is all about…it’s security in an ‘identity’. You either contribute to this identity no matter the establishment, or you’re likely to find yourself on the outside of it under psychiatric treatment in an attempt to turn you into a contributor again and not be threatening to the identity. As once heretics were burned for refusing to come into line.
Time Magazine again - in an insane society, the sane will be regarded as insane. In other words the establishment identity may well need challenging but if you do so, you become a threat and must be brought into line. The establishment is stronger than the individual simply because to the masses it works and they feel fine contributing to the identity…and if they dont as a mass then revolution is a potential…this is what the establishment (religious) in Jesus’ times insighted…the masses were not happy, Jesus was pointing out why and how things should actually be…the masses became restless and the religious establishment scared…he was eliminated.
Perhpas today elimination is not possible since execution, rack and stake are banned …but we do have psychiatry.

Psychiatry can either be a tool for good or a weapon to control.
My view!

Barb


#7

[quote=asteroid]Yes, a very good question - and probably not one with a cut and dried answer even from the wisest of people.

I know from long experience that sometimes I’ve used mental health problems as a bad of insufficient excuse for not doing something. On the other hand I’ve also at times condemned myself for doing or not doing something when my mental health was a perfectly valid, and will sapping or removing reason.

Finding the balance and the point is very difficult at times. If God wasn’t merciful and loving we’d be in big trouble.
[/quote]

Those are some very honest observations. I’ve actually begun to look at sin itself as a form of mental illness, and that has helped me understand Christ’s message, “forgive them for they know not what they do.”

There are people who, I suppose, just wish to do evil but more often I see people who apparently sin by their words or acts, often clueless.

In other words, if a person is socially awkward and offends another, is it a sin? Most would say “no.” What if the person keeps doing it? Then it’s mental illness?

When I was young my mind was very active in school and I asked a lot of questions and tried to participate in class lessons and discussions. For some reason, this was interpreted by some of my worst teachers as “trying to get attention” and only decades later I found out that I had been pegged as one of those kids who craved attention – any kind of attention, whether good or bad.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. I never, ever, even once did anything in grade school for “negative” attention. Yes, I might have chuckled once or twice when the class clown was right behind the teacher mocking her, but people don’t know how to interpret others’ behavior so if they don’t understand the behavior they ascribe nefarious motives to it or these days just label them “sick” because they don’t make sense. They don’t understand their behavior, but I think at least as often the real problem is the person who is “sick” doesn’t understand how they are coming across when they try to communicate (or try not to in some cases) and people think the person WANTS to be whatever way they are, so instead of providing honest, life-giving feedback, they simply treat them as if their affectations were actually their soul exposed. For that matter, I’m not sure they aren’t in some cases, but here the more astute observer would realize there is a pattern and a cause for it.

This thread is not about me, but I offer the example to show how teachers, and even doctors and other “observers” come to conclusions, often false, and when it comes to doctors they go by statistical comparisons. My point is that I can make the case that practically nobody without severe brain pathology, (e.g. alzheimers, MR, CP) is in fact mentally ill though they might need some “adjustment” before they act in a way that doesn’t scare us or bother us. Going the other way, I could make the case that most actions considered sin are actually a form of mental illness.

Frankly, it is my belief that actual, bona fide mortal sin is very seldom committed. Perhaps with young people trying out new range of freedom, or something else, but most people become habitual and the sins themselves are so habitual or ingrained into their personality they don’t even really see it as “mortal sin.” One of the exercises I have gone through to try to be like Christ is to look at the most evil acts I can think of, and explain to myself how this could possibly be non-sinful – especially to try to invoke the “they don’t know what they do” clause.

Further, I think many people who do wrong things and who even know somehow they’re sinning but do it anyway, are victims of the myriad systems of behavior discipline that are overlaid onto children. They are taught one thing but another is reinforced. For example, the kid who pokes the one in front in line may be misbehaving, but it’s the one who cries in pain and turns around that gets caught acting out of line. Kids learn early on that when given a choice to sin against God or the Bureaucracy, sin against God because the Bureaucracy will never forgive you or forget your act. Are kids who were brought up under those circumstances (I’d put 90% of kids in this country in that category – just because I’m trying to be conservative) to be held accountable for sin, or were they systematically transformed into a being who is so confused that they have, in effect, mental illness?

Alan


#8

[quote=AlanFromWichita]Those are some very honest observations. I’ve actually begun to look at sin itself as a form of mental illness, and that has helped me understand Christ’s message, “forgive them for they know not what they do.”

There are people who, I suppose, just wish to do evil but more often I see people who apparently sin by their words or acts, often clueless.

In other words, if

Edited for space…

circumstances (I’d put 90% of kids in this country in that category – just because I’m trying to be conservative) to be held accountable for sin, or were they systematically transformed into a being who is so confused that they have, in effect, mental illness?

Alan
[/quote]

Hi Alan…just caught up with your Post…and I thought some really good insights and comments. I’m beat at the moment and heading for bed (10.30pm here in Sth. Aust. Sat. 18.2.06 - Mass tomorrow morning and I hope to make it to 9am!) but I’ve made a note to comment tomorrow on you excellent and insightful (as always!) observations and comments…

Thanks for the great insights…catcha tomorrow…Barb:)


#9

There are a wide variety of mental illness.

At the extreme are the sociopaths and psychopaths and those of similar ilk who commit heinous crimes. I would be reluctant to categorize those sorts of folks as being an image of God.

Not all folks who suffer from mental illness are gentle and kind or worried or constantly second guess themselves or suffer from chronic logical inconsistencies.

Please note that apart from those who commit crimes, I have not used labels for any of the others who suffer from mental illness, apart from simply describing some behaviors. But even those are not exclusive to folks having a mental illness.


#10

[quote=Al Masetti]There are a wide variety of mental illness.

At the extreme are the sociopaths and psychopaths and those of similar ilk who commit heinous crimes. I would be reluctant to categorize those sorts of folks as being an image of God.

Not all folks who suffer from mental illness are gentle and kind or worried or constantly second guess themselves or suffer from chronic logical inconsistencies.

Please note that apart from those who commit crimes, I have not used labels for any of the others who suffer from mental illness, apart from simply describing some behaviors. But even those are not exclusive to folks having a mental illness.
[/quote]

You are right, and I think it speaks again to the issue of mental illness being drawn around boundaries that are arbitrary and not necessarily an indicator of danger.

You sound like you intend to be honest with your view, so I will point out something I noticed in your wording. Keep in mind I can be hypersensitive, but when I read, “I would be reluctant to” categorize them as an image of God, the nature of this reluctance struck me with a bit of wonder. Is it because we are so conditioned to believe that God is good and people are either good, bad, or (as a concession perhaps) mentally ill and therefore unpredictable?

The problem is that calling someone “good” or “bad” or “showing the image of God” or not is never a full characterization of the situation; neither is calling them mentally ill. Also mental illness symptoms almost always depend on the environment unless it’s gone too far – for example, if Tarzan came into society today and got confused and broke things and hurt people, we would call him “sick” rather than “bad” but either way he’s acting destructive.

People who think deeply, and many times who think into religious realms, come up with observations and perceptions that they can only share with other “deep” thinkers. I think often the sparsity of like minded thinkers prevents them from getting any kind of calibration point of “sanity check” and so the mediocre in society turn to what they know – physical and chemical control over the body that houses such a mind.

That is why I’m pretty big proponent of people sharing their honest views over the Internet – with this many people obsessively talking about their feelings (many of which they were told they shouldn’t even have so of course they suppressed them rather than admitted to it) I think many of these wise people can find others who can help them see they really are in the image of God, and they really are very capable in some cases of being leaders if not spiritually then even in the world. After all, speaking from psychological terms, if you could measure “devoutness” of a person, then we lined up everybody according to how devout they were, the top 10% and the bottom 10% would be considered “sick” and so anything they said would be taken as a crazy man: “this person isn’t normal.”

Surely if Christ were here trying to teach the things He taught, His abnormal way of thinking would get him locked up in a mental ward, where they DON’T HAVE the same rights even as prisoners. I have it on first hand experience they can have you locked up for three days (probably more in some states) without even telling you why you are being locked up, who signed the order, and without a single doctor who even has met you in their life involved. I was locked up on hearsay of a clerk on a Friday and was lied to all weekend and only Monday I actually met the woman (succubus IMO) who had signed the order without so much as even talking to me on the phone.

We don’t treat criminals like that, because we have learned that they are actually human beings and not just animals. We haven’t progressed that far in psychiatric care.

Alan


#11

There is a priest up in Connecticut * who spoke out and was locked up for a few days in a psych ward. After they let him out, he then SUED … they picked on the wrong guy… he was a lawyer and a former military officer. Wasn’t going to turn the other cheek. No idea how he made out.

Some folks set them selves up by being TOO open. “Mental health professionals” have an obligation to report anyone who is a “danger to himself”… so, if someone talks about feeling like they want to kill them selves, the listener MUST report that. And they are likely to get locked up in a psych ward AND get a large and thick file started.

Some people make wild accusations against others or habitually speak in histrionic terms and this causes all sorts of problem for others and for themselves.

In addition, there is an army of … robbers. Out there. And they prey on anyone who seems to be vulnerable. They come up with all kinds of cockamamie schemes to separate people from their money.

I think that a reading of the Book of Wisdom is in order.*


#12

[quote=Al Masetti]There is a priest up in Connecticut * who spoke out and was locked up for a few days in a psych ward. After they let him out, he then SUED … they picked on the wrong guy… he was a lawyer and a former military officer. Wasn’t going to turn the other cheek. No idea how he made out.

Some folks set them selves up by being TOO open. “Mental health professionals” have an obligation to report anyone who is a “danger to himself”… so, if someone talks about feeling like they want to kill them selves, the listener MUST report that. And they are likely to get locked up in a psych ward AND get a large and thick file started.

Some people make wild accusations against others or habitually speak in histrionic terms and this causes all sorts of problem for others and for themselves.

In addition, there is an army of … robbers. Out there. And they prey on anyone who seems to be vulnerable. They come up with all kinds of cockamamie schemes to separate people from their money.

I think that a reading of the Book of Wisdom is in order.*

You make some excellent points. Of course, those who made the decision that I needed to lose my civil rights ended up with nearly $20,000 from my employer’s insurance company. Since it was my employer who brought it about, I feel no pity for them.

I am quite certain that there were several ways in which my abduction was illegal, but I did not have the resources to fight it. One problem is, once a person gets labeled as mentally ill, nobody takes him seriously so unless he has his own personal resources it is very difficult.

Of course they program you to “just get over it” and worry about healing ourselves. For gosh sakes, I wasn’t broken until I was removed from a productive job, locked up, forced leave for three months, and then laid off the day after I returned to work! After doing that to people, of course they counsel them to “get over it.”

Alan
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#13

I am not as knowledgable about all of this as all of you are but I can say from experience, people who do not fit the mold are not ‘normal’. Fr Groeschel mentioned a Saint at his conference and I think it is the name sake of our pope…a Saint Benedict Labbe. Supposedly he was a touch psychotic. What is ‘a touch’? All saints from the past have been riddled as being either neurotic, psycholtic or schizophrenic by many Carmelites in my area. If this is what it takes to become holy than count me in…big time! I am told again and again I am ‘different’ and ‘strange’. And yet I try to follow the saints’ lives.

I have yet to see people rid me of their yoke of ‘schizophrenic’! Fine. With this in mind, I fully understand and empathize with all who suffer any kind of emotional and mental pain. This pain is much worse than any physical pain one can experience. I don’t understand…I truly don’t. A body can break down but not a mind…why? what’s the difference? I was given a movie by my sister ‘A beautiful mind’. It is a wonderful story of a pure soul as far as I am concerned.

May the Lord bless us all as He is relected when we are in so much anguish…no different than when He Himself was anguished at the Garden!


#14

[quote=Shoshana]I am not as knowledgable about all of this as all of you are but I can say from experience, people who do not fit the mold are not ‘normal’. Fr Groeschel mentioned a Saint at his conference and I think it is the name sake of our pope…a Saint Benedict Labbe. Supposedly he was a touch psychotic. What is ‘a touch’? All saints from the past have been riddled as being either neurotic, psycholtic or schizophrenic by many Carmelites in my area. If this is what it takes to become holy than count me in…big time! I am told again and again I am ‘different’ and ‘strange’. And yet I try to follow the saints’ lives.

I have yet to see people rid me of their yoke of ‘schizophrenic’! Fine. With this in mind, I fully understand and empathize with all who suffer any kind of emotional and mental pain. This pain is much worse than any physical pain one can experience. I don’t understand…I truly don’t. A body can break down but not a mind…why? what’s the difference? I was given a movie by my sister ‘A beautiful mind’. It is a wonderful story of a pure soul as far as I am concerned.

May the Lord bless us all as He is relected when we are in so much anguish…no different than when He Himself was anguished at the Garden!
[/quote]

Hi Shoshana…seems to me and as a sufferer of Bipolar Disorder and the second of the two major mental illnesses (first is schizophrenia) according to ‘the book’…that you have a pretty good grip (realistic, true!) on mental illness, its implications and the attitude needed to overcome the socially crippling (not at all spiritually crippling rather to the contrary!) stigma that is entirely false, unreal and untrue.
I have been told on fairly good authority but never been able to locate a copy, that we have a book: “Saints who were crazy”…spirituality and mental illness are not mutually exclusive. Many think that because one has a mental illness then one is per se spiritually crippled and reprobate. Let’s hope that the issues raised during World Sickness gatherings of Church dignitaries here in Adelaide, South Australia, with the focus on those suffering mental illness…will not prove to be empty words spoken and written on paper and this remains to be seen.

The mind or brain is an organ of the body and can break down just like any other part of the body. In fact many mental illness are not mental illness per se at all, because since they originate in brain misfunction AFFECTING mental functioning…they are physical illnesses which affect the mental functioning.

We are herding creatures humans…hence anyone outside the herd by virtue of ‘being different, not like the herd’ is given by the herd and the majority with all the ‘pull’ dirty names like mentally ill etc. etc. STIGMA!
Jesus also was made fun of on his cross.

Good Post Shoshana…Barb


#15

When one begins to take on the mind of Christ, one loses the worldly “mind,” or way of looking at things, of the world. This can show itself in many different ways, but every one of them would score as red flags, showing how this person behaves differently than the “expected norm.”

Therefore, if one uses societal norms on psychological examinations as an indicator of whether a person is pschotic or schizophrenic or whatever categories there are, that just means that they are, in some way, not like the crowd.

If worldly psychology failed to pick up holiness as abnormal, then it would pretty much do its job.

If we are to believe Christ and His followers, our very view of things – turning the other cheek, refusing to judge others, and the like – ARE GOING TO BE different than non-Christians.

Therefore if a Christian makes it through a psychiatric exam without being found to be “different” than others, then either the Christianity isn’t very significant factor or the test is not very thorough because Christ demanded we look at things a very strange way – how strange? So strange that people still fight over how the could possibly have even spoken or said the things they spoke or said, after 2000 years.

As long as Christianity is kept on the surface, and the deep mysteries are not contemplated for their implications, and the behavior is kept to what is expected and indeed demanded by society, than one will not test as “abnormal” because one has been so assimilated by society, there is no mysterious light shining from under that bushel.

Yes, I’m saying that in a way you have to be crazy (i.e. different from the norm) to obey the Lord. Either that or you will become crazy as you try to and as the world pushes back.

Everybody does realize that all these labels of mental health are, BY DEFINITION, surface measures performed by societally normalized tests. It is a misnomer to suggest that “more” or “fewer” people are psychotic than they used to be; their psychosis is context dependent. What gets one crucified by the Church is the same thing that saves lives, so who are you going to try to please on this world? I’m impressed by people who test normal and yet actually have a deep thought from time to time; these people may either covert saints or they are so shallow they have been completely assimilated into lemmings.

Sometimes I long to be shallow and feel a much greater sense of fellowship, and this is one reason I’m bummed about having a “mental illness” attributed to me. I don’t always want to be the person with the “different” point of view, but “I’ll be damned” if I deny what I believe is the truth just so they’ll get off my case – even if I knew what to say to conform my mind to an exam that is intentionally designed to measure how intact my false self is. My true self, being made in the image of God, cannot be tested – and people who believe the tests and think there is something wrong, crazy, or unholy about themselves simply because a bunch of shrinks say so, can easily be led astray by the action of society taking away their focus on God and putting it on petty behavior such as whether you say “my father was a good man” or not (in various contexts, too, to see if you are “consistent”) on a standardized test.
(continued)


#16

(continued)
Like lawyers, they only allow you to answer in ways that their check boxes have to offer – such as the above question, “my father was a good man,” you must answer yes or no, or go down as having refused to answer the question. To answer, “whom are you asking me to call good? Only my Father in heaven is good, and besides I should not call anyone on earth my father” may be correct spiritually and theoligically, but it isn’t “normal” and therefore either a “yes,” “no,” or “abstain” are all incorrect/unsuitable answers and the man of faith under test knows this – this is one of those questions that, given the context of other questions – cannot help but make you sound sick or make you deny faith (in the mind of the person taking the test.) Once you have undergone the test, the world WILL find a way to take all your answers and demonstrate that you are sick – based on the hunches of the flunkees taking the tests of you at the time.

Here’s another one of my favorites they like to ask while staring intently into your space: “do you believe you are here on a mission from God?” The last time I was asked that it was by some doctor I’d never met before, I still hadn’t been told even why I was locked up or under whose orders two days after I was abducted without even a stated cause, and the doctor had such a thick eastern accent I could hardly understand the question. Here is one way every psychiatric patient has been tested. It is like being put on trial to see if we will deny God. I told that doctor who asked the question that I have no idea what his religious beliefs are, but mine are in according to the Roman Catholic Church, which in a way, does teach me that we are here on missions from God. I told him I don’t understand what “God” they are asking about and I have no idea what his religious beliefs are the image of God you are expecting me to claim to serve, but in a very real way I am on such a mission. I am not “on a mission” in a psychotic sense to undermine good works and thoughts of others.

IMO those of us who’ve never been asked the question by a doctor (preferably of some unknown religious tribe or possibly atheist) of whether you are “on a mission from God” or “here on earth to do the work of God” – given the obvious “correct” answer is “no,” have missed out on a great chance to be united with Christ’s passion. Keep in mind most psychiatrists who work as interns in hospitals haven’t a clue how to “listen” to a human being, but they “observe” you to see what body language you may exert while answering the question. If you become agitated, the answer “yes/no” becomes less important than the fact that you become agitated at the question. Do you want to know the doctor’s response to my “non-answer” above? Yes, it sounds corny but it came with a threat, “do you realize I could get a court order and have you committed?” Yes, Pontius Pilate all the way. No wonder so many devout people become labeled as psychos and no wonder the society does its best to rid the world of such thinkers and keep them in the margins.

Alan


#17

I propose the following as one definition of mental illness:

“got caught at harboring a state of mind where one’s true self shows outwardly through one’s false self.”

Alan

P.S. in the words of Christ, if the world hated you, remember it hated Me first. Mental illness is the most direct war I can imagine waging with the world. Only becoming stealthy and clever can one dodge the traps – thus a spiritual person actually has to become more worldly and “more human” at least on the surface in order to get out of psycho-prison. This means one cannot have particularly strong feelings about what one believes.


#18

Only becoming stealthy and clever can one dodge the traps – thus a spiritual person actually has to become more worldly and “more human” at least on the surface in order to get out of psycho-prison.

Perhaps this is where Christ’s “Wise as Serpents, but Innocent as Doves” comes into the Picture. :slight_smile:

OR

It is the modern catalyst for being “imprisoned” for His sake (in the “Christian” West anyhoo…)


#19

[quote=BJRumph]Perhaps this is where Christ’s “Wise as Serpents, but Innocent as Doves” comes into the Picture. :slight_smile:

OR

It is the modern catalyst for being “imprisoned” for His sake (in the “Christian” West anyhoo…)
[/quote]

I thought of the same quotation from The Gospel as you, BJR…and good point about being imprisoned for His sake…

Barb


#20

Hi there Alan…

I have problems sometimes even with the definition of “mental illness.”
… person is so out of control the person cannot be trusted… the therapy or even the labeling as mentally ill …but once it gets that way it is clear they have no clue.

Undoubtedly Alan, once one is labelled with a mental illness, there is a whole heap of baggage that comes with it. Although society plays lips service to a somewhat condescending and patronizing “you’re just like us but with an illness”, the reality is I think that either consciously and suppressed or even more dangerousely lingering in their subconscious is the attitude tht those suffering mental illness are ‘less’ on quite a number of scores.
Hence, and I am very much in agreement with you, once labelled mentally ill its like being chucked into the deep end and unable to swim, one starts to struggle and panic with a feeling of drowning. because the negative attitudes to MI in society are also in us.

I don’t think there is an objective difference between “ill” and “not ill.” For the most part, a person is “observed” according to different criteria, all of them subjective, and if they are outside the “norm” of behavior they are treated as if they are sick.

Again I agree…I know quite a few people who had a dreadful time in mental health…only years later diagnosed as not mentally ill at all. Recently I came across an old friend treated for 10 years for rapidly swinging Bipolar - she is in fact suffering with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and with that treated she is starting to blossom after 10 years of hell and struggle in PMH (Public Mental Health).
The problem can become after a patient is treated for years and perhaps many years on psychiatric medication which is extremely powerful…once taken off it they become ill, simply because I think anyway their body is addicted to these medications. Not only that psyhiatry does have a tendancy to reinforce with the patient symptoms that he perceives (or she!)…hence the symptoms simply become behaviours on the part of the patient due to reinforcement by the doctor.

First question I have is, why is it “sick” to be outside the "normal curve?.

I think we both recognize Alan that ‘normal’ is an imaginary line created by society simply to reinforce itself. We are herd creatures…instinctivly we seek to belong. The payment for membership of society is strict conformity. I know from long practise I cannot fight society and its sacred cows of conformity…nor psychiatry employed by soceity to ensure these sacred cows are not contradicted in any way. I have learnt for my own survival to ‘play the sane game’ when called upon to do so in order to ensure my freedom and hence freedom of action outside ‘visiting hours’ of society and psychiatry…to have some influence not with the herd and its employees, but with individuals…and after all there is no society without the individual. A very wise and insightful psychiatrist said to me and I am most grateful: “Be as crazy as you like on the inside, but learn to behave on the outside”. To him and society my inner workings are madness - but they only have access to outward behaviour, unless of course I share my inner workings, which I dont. Not entirely however, rather I share on a selective basis.

Essentially society draws a “box” of behavior outside of which people are considered “sick.”

It is most interesting to me that psychiatry considers a person ‘well’ when they can adjust to their environment…and yet that environment may very obviously be ‘ill’??? If one considers their environment and society ‘unwell’ one is going to find it most hard to adjust to them.

Mentally ill people are often those who are very serious about their faith journey to the point where they’ve ventured outside societal …are not expected by the world.

Absolutely! “they have persecuted Me and THEY WILL persecute you”. Indeed God help the spiritual person who falls into the hands of psychiatry…though there are exceptions, in the main psychiatry regards religion and spirituality connected to religion as having pathological origins. The patient is cured once they abandon without regret these religious and religion connected spiritual concepts???

Psychiatrist and psychologist are extremely powerful mind manipulaters…its their job! and their training!

And of course, as you said at the beginning of your Post there are those who are very obviously psychotic in the extreme and disconnected from reality needing psychiatric care…in the main however this is an extreme of MI and more common are those that are not so extreme.
There are also the neurotic whose existence is extremely painful who also need psychiatric care.

Barb:)


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