Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 967761

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 34. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

mental illness as a believer

Posted by Christ_empowered on October 30, 2010, at 23:40:05

I've found that being a Christian has given my life more direction and purpose than it had before. I've also found that Christianity makes it possible for me to assess other view points.

One of those view points I know have to assess as a believer is psychiatry. Before I knew Christ, I either accepted everything my shrinks told me, or I rejected it all b/c of some sort of Thomas Szasz+Goffman+Foucault-inspired "anti-psychiatry" hogwash.
Now I can accept that my brain is different from many others, or at least that certain meds help control key symptoms to a degree that I can function in society relatively well. I can also use psychiatry for the good it offers--meds to control the most severe symptoms--while avoiding falling victim (once again) to psychiatric excess.

The Bible has numerous examples of mental illness. Sometimes the illness is punishment from God; sometimes its demonic possession. Either way, the Bible tells us that mental illness is real. I've been encouraged by people more advanced in their walk with Christ to look at my problems--bipolar, schizoaffective, whatever the current diagnosis may be--as a "thorn in the flesh", an unfortunate problem that says more about the Fallen World in which we live than it does about God, although I do think it says volumes about God's love and mercy that I'm even alive and able to function.

So..there. I just thought I'd take a moment and write out how it feels to be dealing with mental problems on the one hand while also trying to develop a worthwhile life guided by Christian beliefs and principles. I hope this helped somebody.

 

Re: please rephrase that Christ_empowered

Posted by Dr. Bob on November 1, 2010, at 1:04:16

In reply to mental illness as a believer, posted by Christ_empowered on October 30, 2010, at 23:40:05

> "anti-psychiatry" hogwash.

Keeping in mind that the idea here is to be sensitive to the feelings of others, even if they're anti-psychiatry, could you please rephrase that?

I'm glad that Christianity has helped you benefit from the good and avoid the bad in psychiatry. And of course that you're alive and able to function.

Thanks,

Bob

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by sukarno on November 2, 2010, at 5:31:09

In reply to Re: please rephrase that Christ_empowered, posted by Dr. Bob on November 1, 2010, at 1:04:16

Interestingly I read that according to Islam, all people with mental illness, regardless of what religion they are, will go to heaven. I'm sure it is the same with all religions that believe in a personal god.

Unfortunately, followers of many religions, Muslims included, try to discourage those with mental illness from taking their medications. There is some sort of boundary drawn between "physical illnesses" such as heart disease or diabetes and mental illness such that mental illness is seen as something that prayer, diet, exercise or willpower alone can fix.

That type of attitude keeps me away from most religious folk, no offense intended to anyone.

If I had a dollar for each time I've been told that my panic disorder isn't serious and that I don't need meds (only prayer..or I'm doing something wrong and am not religious enough so that's why I'm suffering), I'd be rich by now.

I knew a pharmacist who was religious and also a doctor and both didn't want me taking Prozac or other necessary medications. "Just pray more and it will be cured". Yeah. Been there and done that.

I just tell them that I believe it is okay to use science since, if one believes in a god, then it makes sense that god would have inspired scientists to develop the necessary drugs to treat a condition.

They never tell anyone with diabetes or heart disease to stop taking medication. I can't quite figure that one out. Maybe they believe mental illness is demonic possession?

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by Christ_empowered on November 2, 2010, at 22:09:34

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by sukarno on November 2, 2010, at 5:31:09

OK, I'll rephrase that...

I've come to think that much of the anti-psychiatry movement lacks a firm grasp on what mental illness is and how to deal with it. Unfortunately, mainstream psychiatry doesn't always seem that helpful, either.

I suppose my main point is that being a Christian has provided a set of values that help me separate the good from the bad in psychiatry and other parts of the secular world, so I'm left with maximum benefits and minimal problems.

As for demonic possession and what not...although demonic possession pops up in the Bible, I think its fair to say that the average Christian, when dealing with severe mental illnesses, views them as problems best treated with medication, therapy, and spiritual counseling. I personally think that sin can exacerbate problems, but I don't think madness is necessarily a result of sin.

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by Dr. Bob on November 3, 2010, at 2:12:07

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by Christ_empowered on November 2, 2010, at 22:09:34

> OK, I'll rephrase that...
>
> I've come to think that much of the anti-psychiatry movement lacks a firm grasp on what mental illness is and how to deal with it.

Thanks, that's an improvement, but saying people lack a firm grasp still could lead them to feel put down. Could you please rephrase that again? There are at least a couple ways you could do that:

(1) It tends to be more conducive to harmony to use I-statements. Talk about how you feel instead of what you see them as lacking.

(2) It's fine to give others feedback as long as it's constructive. It tends to be more constructive if you put things in terms of what they might do better in the future rather than what you see them as doing wrong now.

Thanks for working with me on this,

Bob

 

OK...

Posted by Christ_empowered on November 3, 2010, at 16:49:22

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by Dr. Bob on November 3, 2010, at 2:12:07

OK, I think what I'm trying to say is that although I certainly see some of the anti-psychiatry viewpoint, it hasn't played out very well when applied to my own life. This obviously doesn't mean that everyone labeled with a mental illness does, in fact, need the prescribed treatment(s), but it does lead to me feel that I need to listen to what the "psychiatric establishment" has to say, reflect upon it, see how it lines up with my own values, and then act as I see fit.

I guess my problem with the anti-psychiatry movement is that they don't seem to take madness seriously. They romanticize it or minimize it, but they don't seem (just from what I've read) to really take into consideration how terrible madness can be.

 

Re: please rephrase that Christ_empowered

Posted by Dr. Bob on November 5, 2010, at 16:06:29

In reply to OK..., posted by Christ_empowered on November 3, 2010, at 16:49:22

> OK, I think what I'm trying to say is that although I certainly see some of the anti-psychiatry viewpoint, it hasn't played out very well when applied to my own life. This obviously doesn't mean that everyone labeled with a mental illness does, in fact, need the prescribed treatment(s), but it does lead to me feel that I need to listen to what the "psychiatric establishment" has to say, reflect upon it, see how it lines up with my own values, and then act as I see fit.

Excellent, how something plays out when applied to your own life is an I-statement.

> I guess my problem with the anti-psychiatry movement is that they don't seem to take madness seriously.

But that's about them again, not you. Saying they don't take something seriously could lead them to feel put down. Could you please rephrase that again? Thanks for working with me on this,

Bob

 

Re: please rephrase that Dr. Bob

Posted by ed_uk2010 on November 12, 2010, at 15:10:49

In reply to Re: please rephrase that Christ_empowered, posted by Dr. Bob on November 5, 2010, at 16:06:29

>I guess my problem with the anti-psychiatry movement is that they don't seem to take madness seriously.
>
> But that's about them again, not you. Saying they don't take something seriously could lead them to feel put down. Could you please rephrase that again?

I don't understand the purpose of this. Who exactly would feel put down? Chris_emp simply said that in his opinion, members of the anti-psychiatry movement (mentioning no one in particular) don't *seem* to take madness seriously. I found his post extremely civil. Why does he need to rephrase everything?

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by sigismund on November 12, 2010, at 19:04:23

In reply to Re: please rephrase that Dr. Bob, posted by ed_uk2010 on November 12, 2010, at 15:10:49

I have the greatest (well, almost) sympathy for the anti-psychiatry movement and I do not feel at all put down by CE's post.

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by Dinah on November 14, 2010, at 8:14:23

In reply to Re: please rephrase that Dr. Bob, posted by ed_uk2010 on November 12, 2010, at 15:10:49

It's been my observation that once a please rephrase has been issued, Dr. Bob sees it as a learning opportunity. I could be wrong.

Please don't get discouraged, Christ empowered. I think Dr. Bob intended his please rephrase to mean that he would like you to instead talk about your feelings and your experiences without any negative statements about the anti psychiatry movement in a more objective sense.

Along the lines of "I don't feel respected by them" rather than "they don't respect". The first is a statement about you. A subtle difference, but that's probably why Dr. Bob is persisting.

Another possibility would be "Sometimes I wonder if those in the anti-pyschiatry movement have had experience with madness, and truly understand its power." That's a you statement, but isn't accusing them of anything.

At least I think that's what Dr. Bob is saying, and he's probably saying it *because* it's part of a rephrase and he wants to make sure he isn't giving something the seal of approval unless he means to. If I'm wrong about any of this, I'm sure he'll point it out.

I hope you'll forgive me if I butted in where I don't belong.

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by Christ_empowered on November 23, 2010, at 19:26:41

In reply to Re: please rephrase that Christ_empowered, posted by Dr. Bob on November 5, 2010, at 16:06:29

OK, I've kind of been at a loss here...I don't know how to re-phrase w/o making it sound like I don't think something that I do think, or w/o stating something I think to be so is something I feel to be the case, which I think is an important distinction. Still, here goes...

I realize that the antipsychiatry movement has done a lot of good for mental patients (consumers, whatever) over the years. As a sometimes difficult patient, patient rights have kept me out of some potentially tough spots. Back in the day, I probably would've been given all kinds of ECT, Thorazine, lobotomies, etc.

Now, here's my problem: in trying to apply Dr. Szasz's idea of personal responsibility to my own life, I found it lacking. Szasz denies being anti-psychiatry, but..whatever, the dude works for the CCHR.

Now, I realize that the antipsychiatry movement has helped a lot of people, but I haven't found myself able to live medication-free and I think there may be something to the idea of madness being if not a disease state then at least something undesirable that sometimes responds to treatment.

 

Re: thanks Christ_empowered

Posted by Dr. Bob on November 24, 2010, at 17:34:15

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by Christ_empowered on November 23, 2010, at 19:26:41

> OK, I've kind of been at a loss here...I don't know how to re-phrase w/o making it sound like I don't think something that I do think, or w/o stating something I think to be so is something I feel to be the case, which I think is an important distinction.

Thanks for working on this with me. Rephrasing can be actually rephrasing, for example, expressing something as an I-statement instead of as a you-statement. Or it can be not stating something you think. I wouldn't ask anyone to state something they didn't think.

> Now, here's my problem: in trying to apply Dr. Szasz's idea of personal responsibility to my own life, I found it lacking.
>
> I haven't found myself able to live medication-free

That's saying it doesn't work for you, not that it doesn't work for anyone. That's an I-statement.

> I think there may be something to the idea of madness being if not a disease state then at least something undesirable that sometimes responds to treatment.

That's fine, too, that's saying what you believe, not that what someone else believes is wrong. Good work! Does this make more sense to you now?

Bob

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by morgan miller on November 26, 2010, at 21:47:46

In reply to Re: please rephrase that Dr. Bob, posted by ed_uk2010 on November 12, 2010, at 15:10:49

Christ_Empowered should be the one feeling put down in this thread after Dr. Bob patronized him repeatedly in a sad attempt to force him to do exactly what he believes is the perfect way to do things, not necessarily the best way.

No offense Dr. Bob, but you went a little too far with this one brotha.

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by morgan miller on November 26, 2010, at 21:51:54

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by Dinah on November 14, 2010, at 8:14:23

Dinah, I feel like you might not be seeing things objectively here. I hope you understand where I'm coming from with this. I'm just glad that the numbers for CE are greater than the numbers against. And yes, there are posts that are against CE and his expressing of his thoughts here. It's so obviously rude what you guys are doing here.

 

Re: thanks

Posted by morgan miller on November 26, 2010, at 21:54:04

In reply to Re: thanks Christ_empowered, posted by Dr. Bob on November 24, 2010, at 17:34:15

>That's fine, too, that's saying what you believe, not that what someone else believes is wrong.

Yet we cannot always just say what we believe, even if done with civility.

I can't believe what's going on here.

Christ Empowered, you're a better man than I am.

 

Re: please rephrase that morgan miller

Posted by Dinah on November 27, 2010, at 7:40:14

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by morgan miller on November 26, 2010, at 21:51:54

I don't see how you can see me as being against Christ Empowered, when my attempt was to help him.

I saw Dr. Bob was asking for multiple rephrases, and I know that it's not always easy to know what he's wanting. I didn't want to see Christ Empowered blocked, or have to continue to try to rephrase again and again.

I was objective in that I saw a situation with Dr. Bob that I recognized, and I tried to help a fellow poster.

I had no other motive.

 

Re: please rephrase that

Posted by morgan miller on November 27, 2010, at 11:20:45

In reply to Re: please rephrase that morgan miller, posted by Dinah on November 27, 2010, at 7:40:14

I guess that was a knee jerk reaction on my part. I understand what you were trying to do. It just bothered me to see one more person come on here trying to get Christ Empowered to do something differently that appeared to be very acceptable, especially after the first and second time he rephrased what he initially said. I understand you were trying to help Christ Empowered, but you really just came across, at least to me, as a diplomat of Dr. Bobs. I guess your really not in a position to come on here and stick up for members of babble under these circumstances are you. Sorry if I offended you. I probably should not have used the word against.

 

Thank you morgan miller

Posted by Dinah on November 27, 2010, at 12:56:00

In reply to Re: please rephrase that, posted by morgan miller on November 27, 2010, at 11:20:45

I appreciate your trying to see things from another point of view.

 

Re: Thank you

Posted by morgan miller on November 27, 2010, at 21:49:32

In reply to Thank you morgan miller, posted by Dinah on November 27, 2010, at 12:56:00

I think I was just pissed and in a bit of a mood after reading the whole thread. I'm always willing to see when I may have made a mistake somewhere. None of us are perfect, but we can try to be better. I think the person in charge of moderating may want to think about trying to be better. The moderating could use some moderating, ya know what I mean.

 

Re: please rephrase that morgan miller

Posted by Dr. Bob on November 28, 2010, at 11:32:32

In reply to Re: Thank you, posted by morgan miller on November 27, 2010, at 21:49:32

> I'm always willing to see when I may have made a mistake somewhere.

Thanks, keeping in mind that the idea here is not to post anything that could lead others to feel accused, could you please rephrase:

> Dr. Bob patronized him repeatedly

Please don't take this personally, this doesn't mean I don't like you or think you're a bad person, and I'm sorry if this hurts you.

More information about posting policies and tips on alternative ways to express yourself, including a link to a nice post by Dinah on I-statements, are in the FAQ:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#civil
http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#enforce

You might want to consider asking another poster to be your "civility buddy" and to preview your reply before you submit it.

Follow-ups regarding these issues should be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration. They, as well as replies to the above post, should of course themselves be civil.

--

> Yet we cannot always just say what we believe, even if done with civility.

No, your freedom of speech is limited here. It can be therapeutic to express yourself, but this isn't necessarily the place.

> It just bothered me to see one more person come on here trying to get Christ Empowered to do something differently ... I guess your really not in a position to come on here and stick up for members of babble under these circumstances are you.

I guess it depends on what you consider sticking up for someone. Did you think he wanted to be blocked or to keep posting? Was it sticking up for him to let him get blocked or to help him keep posting?

I didn't want to see him blocked, I don't want to see you blocked, and I hope others don't want to see you blocked, either, and help you, if needed, to keep posting.

Bob

 

Re: please rephrase that Dr. Bob

Posted by morgan miller on November 28, 2010, at 13:02:51

In reply to Re: please rephrase that morgan miller, posted by Dr. Bob on November 28, 2010, at 11:32:32

Sorry Bob, I don't think I can rephrase that. It's the best word I could find to describe what was taking place. Patronize does not always have a derogatory meaning.

Morgan

 

Re: opportunity to support Morgan

Posted by Dr. Bob on November 28, 2010, at 13:46:49

In reply to Re: please rephrase that Dr. Bob, posted by morgan miller on November 28, 2010, at 13:02:51

> Sorry Bob, I don't think I can rephrase that. It's the best word I could find to describe what was taking place.

Hi, everyone,

I'd like Morgan to remain an active member of the Babble community. I'd like to ask those of you who feel the same way to encourage them to avoid another block by rephrasing or apologizing. Perhaps you could also volunteer to help them avoid future blocks. Thanks,

Bob

 

Re: opportunity to support Morgan Dr. Bob

Posted by morgan miller on November 29, 2010, at 7:45:39

In reply to Re: opportunity to support Morgan, posted by Dr. Bob on November 28, 2010, at 13:46:49

I just don't think it was necessary to continue to push Christ Empowered to express himself in the perfect way that you believed he should have. I did feel like you were constantly correcting him in a way that a teacher corrects their student. And I admit, I used the word patronize in part to describe what I saw as a sort of condescending interaction between you and Christ Empowered. I'm assuming this is why you did not like my use of the word.

 

Re: opportunity to support Morgan

Posted by ed_uk2010 on November 29, 2010, at 16:07:24

In reply to Re: opportunity to support Morgan Dr. Bob, posted by morgan miller on November 29, 2010, at 7:45:39

This is ridiculous.

 

Re: please rephrase that morgan miller

Posted by ed_uk2010 on November 29, 2010, at 16:21:07

In reply to Re: please rephrase that Dr. Bob, posted by morgan miller on November 28, 2010, at 13:02:51

> Sorry Bob, I don't think I can rephrase that. It's the best word I could find to describe what was taking place. Patronize does not always have a derogatory meaning.
>
> Morgan

Hi Morgan,

I'll be your buddy (if you like), but not your civility buddy.

It is highly unfortunate if posts on a mental health forum now have to be so sanitised that it is virtually impossible for posters to express their beliefs and emotions.

I do not understand what Dr. B is trying to achieve here. Is it an expression of power? Or perhaps some perculiar attempt to be therapeutic? Sorry, but I don't get it. In my opinion, the forum is being damaged, which really is unfortunate.

I have often wondered whether Dr. B has been affected by so much criticism. It has to have an effect. I know it would affect me. Criticism is often extremely difficult to deal with, and the way in which people deal with it is often detrimental.

Ed


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