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RubyMARCH2017


Do You Know Someone with a Mental Illness? Yes, you do.

 

Do you know someone with a mental illness?

  • Depression
  • Bipolar depression disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Another mental illness

 

Maybe you yourself have a mental illness.

 

Here are some statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) that might surprise you. Did you know that…

 

One in four adults—approximately 57.7 million Americans—experience a mental health disorder in a given year.

 

One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.

 

One in 10 children live with a serious mental or emotional disorder.

 

Bipolar disorder affects 5.7 million American adults, approximately 2.6 percent of the adult population per year.

 

Of adults using homeless services, 31 percent reported having combination of these conditions.

 

Despite effective treatments, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment.

 

Fewer than one-third of adults and one-half of children with a diagnosable mental disorder receive mental health services in a given year.

 

Racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to have access to mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of care.

 

 

And this doesn’t account for the millions of people who go undiagnosed—or are willing to admit—and accept—they have a mental illness.

 

 

I say all this because…

 

I have bipolar depression disorder.

 

People near and dear to me have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder, depression, and countless other mental illnesses. We are not statistics. Neither are the millions of people who struggle with these disorders.

 

Many people in the Bible experienced mental illness:

 

These Biblical heroes—they were pillars of the faith—cried out to God in their distress. And God answered them. He still answers today with:

  • His Word—the Bible
  • Prayer
  • Comfort
  • Support groups
  • Counselors and therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Medicine

 

Before being officially diagnosed as bipolar in 2009, I lived a chaotic life—most people never would have known. But my mental life was in disarray. I managed—and even was quite successful, using my manic states to my advantage by being super-productive to the point of becoming a workaholic. Some would call that being successful; I would call it being in bondage to my own pride:

 

I didn’t want to get help.

 

I feared others would see me as weak, crazy, or even that I had committed some awful sin. I only sought help when I couldn’t manage any longer after experiencing a traumatic situation in early 2009.

 

I got help. And you can too. Your family and friends can get help.

 

Today, I live a very peaceful and joyful life—all due to God, family and friends, support groups, counselors, psychiatrists, and yes—even medicine.

 

In the words of Michael Fitzpatrick of NAMI: “Simply put, treatment works, if you can get it. But in America today, it is clear that many people living with mental illness are not provided with the essential treatment they need.”

 

Dear one, please get the treatment you need. Use all available resources—start with God and if necessary, say yes to medication.

 

You can do more than manage. You can have your life—the life God wants for you not only in eternity but also in the here and now.

 

It’s your time!

 

I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance. (John 10:10)

 

 

Come alongside: Which of these statistics surprised you most? Do you struggle with mental illness? Are you seeking treatment for it? Why or why not? What can you do to take that first step toward a full life? How can you help your loved one seek the help he or she needs? Please leave your comments below—and remember, you can comment anonymously if you so desire.

 

For more information on mental illnesses, please visit NAMI, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the National Institute of Mental Health.
 
 


 
 

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14 Responses to Do You Know Someone with a Mental Illness? Yes, you do.

  • Christine says:

    I think that mental illness is a planned part of the spiritual realm. They send us to earth to try to conquer our fears but most of us are too weak to do it. I have many many fears and still can’t conquer them. Hope you are luckier than me in that cousin.
    Call me some time. I am schizophrenic and would love to talk to people about my horrible evil lifestyles I left behind.

  • Great post. I appreciate your transparency.

    • Daphne says:

      Thanks, Sharron. And I appreciate yours as well. I visit your blog often and pray that it continues to bless others as it has blessed me. Truth shall set us free!

      Hugs,
      Daphne

  • This post is a blessing, Daphne. People with mental illnesses can lead fulfilling lives with the help of God and others. I hope anyone who reads this who is struggling will seek help. As a psychologist, I was often sad that help wasn’t sought before things had become really complicated.
    Melanie Wilson, Ph.D. would like you to read…Savor the Day

    • Daphne says:

      Thank you, Dr. Mel. 🙂

      I agree wholeheartedly: People with mental illnesses can lead fulfilling lives. It took me many years to overcome my pride and get help. And like you said, it had become really bad before I sought help.

      God definitely brings good out of bad situations. That’s why I share with others the hope I have. God can help us if we let him.

      Blessings to you.

      Daphne

  • Thank you for the beauty of your transparency. May your light shine brighter and brighter as you lead many “by the hand”.

    • Daphne says:

      Thank you so much, Gary.

      Coming alongside others who are hurting is what God has put on my heart. And after doing much research, I’ve found that that’s what “comfort” really means–coming alongside someone. May we all use our hurts and experiences to come alongside others and help them as they struggle.

      Blessings to you!
      Daphne

  • Emma says:

    Living in a 3rd world country means access to real help for any mental problem is hard to come by. Even more difficult is coping as a carer without access to support. Without God and His wonderful provision and encouragement I wonder how anyone would cope. And the wonder is that as He helps and equips we are able to better understand and help others.

    • Daphne says:

      Oh, Emma. I hadn’t thought of third-world countries. You’re right: How could anyone cope?

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention. My heart aches for those who don’t get help–and even more now, for those who don’t have access to help. Oh, God, open the doors for these desperate souls. Give them hope where there is no other hope.

      Hugs, Emma.
      Daphne

  • Karleen says:

    Twelve years ago, I joined the group of folks who have an anxiety/depression disorder. This lasted for 18 mos. Friends prayed for me. By a set of unusual circumstances, I was able to see a wonderful Christian psychiatrist. I now take a combination of meds and have been well for 11 years. I feel so sad for folks who refuse medication. It may take a while, but medically we can be helped. One thing my doctor said is that if you have had a trauma, at 11 or under, (such as a parent dying) you are most likely to experience chronic depression in your life.

    • Daphne says:

      Hi, Karleen:

      I was one of those who refused medication for years. I thought I would be viewed as weak, and in my opinion, I should be able to get out of it myself. Truth is…. I couldn’t. You can’t just get out of chemical imbalances on your own. Now, I enjoy a better quality of life because of a wonderful Christian psychiatrist who has never given up on finding the right combination of meds for me. It took awhile, but with God’s help and guidance, we found one.

      Sometimes people take that step to go on meds but don’t give them enough time to work. That’s another problem–it’s not an overnight, or even a week fix. In some cases, it takes longer.

      Truth be told, we manage our conditions for the rest of our lives. Thank God for those resources he’s given us that help us to do so.

      Hugs,
      Daphne

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Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Life is Good, Positive Promotions, BloomThat, CesarsWay, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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