Breaking past the stigma that mental illness has,
It’s time to break through that unjust normalcy of life,
For, every person is dogged with a sense of struggle,
Everyone at some stage has their share of strife.
Mental illness, when contrasted with physical illness, is seen for what it is: a normal phenomenon, with hope for prospective healing and pain management. Some physical afflictions last all our lives, so do some mental afflictions. They are managed. The more we can accept that mental health and illness are similar if not the same as physical health and illness, the more we break down these silly stigmas.
As a former safety and health professional, I know it is acknowledged in the secular world: mental health, mental wellbeing, and mental illness are all dynamic themes in all our lives.
When Christians dispel mental illness they twist the biblical mandate and play right into the devil’s hands – of course, Satan wants those who are struggling with their mental health to be further isolated, undermined, and compromised.
When secular world entities disparage the rites of mental illness they deny the deafening science behind a plethora of decades if not centuries of data and findings.
At the core of a sufferer’s hopes of recovery from an episode of mental ill-health is, first, the wider recognition – the validation – of the truth of matters. Recovery and resurrection out of bad states of being is stifled when there is an avoidance of the truth. Fear has no place in these matters, yet it’s often given a place because its motives are not questioned.
There is great empirical support for the equivalencies of physical, psychological, biological, and physiological health and ill-health. Similar cause-and-effect patterns are known, though the antecedents to injury and illness may be markedly different.
Injury and illness – regardless of whether it’s physical or non-physical in nature – represent harm done. Harm done can have a knock-on effect whenever initial treatment is left for wanting. The visible injury or illness gets treatment – we can see it. But how often do we shame someone for seeking treatment for an invisible injury or illness? Can’t people trust what their ears hear – the need of help? No, this speaks to scared people; they don’t want to admit the possibilities that someone is affected by what has been either done to them, or what can’t be readily explained.
Mental health, mental wellbeing, and mental illness are all dynamic themes in all our lives. We bring glory to God by supporting those with mental illness, by destigmatising them, and by loving them into health as much as we can. Let us pay tribute to anyone who struggles with their mental health more than we do.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.