“For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God.” Galatians 3:3
When I was a kid I didn’t know anyone going to a therapist or psychiatrist. Mental illness wasn’t a word easily spoken and certainly not popular. If a person displayed mental illness symptoms, they were called “crazy” or considered “unstable,” or “goofy.”Saul, the first king of Israel, is said to have suffered from a mental disorder. It could have been depressions or bipolar affective disorder. David played his harp to sooth the king and chase away the evil spirits. (1 Sam. 16:23).
Prince Harry of Wales could have used a little of David’s harp playing after his mother died in a tragic car accident when he was twelve-years old. He held on to his grief until age 28 when he sought mental health treatment. When he finally admitted he had a problem, he was able to receive the treatment for unresolved grief. He shared his story to help others recovery from tragedy without grieving silently for twenty years.
Through a study I assisted with of schizophrenia patients, I became disheartened to learn about the suffering the patients go through because of the stigma of mental illness and from the lack of education by their family and friends. It made me want to hold them in my lap and comfort them as God holds us when we are ill–physically or mentally.
Lord, help us become aware that mental illness is what it is—an illness—not a stigma. Amen.