Breaking The Chains

One of the biggest giants we face when it comes to mental health is people’s personal beliefs about it. As humans we only perceive the world around us through a filter of what we understand through either experience, theories or hypotheses we come up with to explain a situation. I mean, before we sailed around the world people thought it was flat because when they looked out, the horizon stopped. Common people didn’t understand physics or perception so they believed in what they believed in… but this kind of behaviour exists in well established institutions as well. In the case of mental health people will automatically put blame on churches, mosques and synagogues for stigma against mental health but even people without faith have excuses or reasons they believe for the existence of mental illness that are fraught with holes as well. For example, attention seeking. Anyone with depression knows the last thing they’re seeking is attention, but still it’s a very common belief that depression is just that. That’s among secular society. Basically, people are either unaware or they are so scared of mental illness they try to ignore the issue altogether by passing it off as an anomaly; but an anomaly doesn’t show up in 1 in 5 people, that’s a common occurrence. We’re only just starting to get comfortable with talking about depression, even in churches, but still there are many people who feel sceptic towards the existence of certain mental illnesses or feel it’s due to something evil or demonic. The fact is though, mental illness is no more demonic than a heart condition or a broken bone. If you believe in evil and the devil then listen when I say that evil come in all forms, and if the devil’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy then mental illness isn’t exactly the best way to do that, because it’s manageable like any illness. Evil, if you believe in evil, is not exclusive to the confines of our thoughts, and if you believe that then your faith is something easily passed off as an apparition of your mind. A broken brain is very much like a broken liver, a broken heart or a broken leg. Some things can be mended instantly, some with therapy (physio incl.), some with time, some with lifestyle adjustments, and some permanent requiring continuing treatment. We need to start treating mental illness like an illness; and until we do we will never see an end to the suffering it causes.

Luke

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