Knowledge Is Power
Knowledge is power! So many suffer with untreated mental illness due to simply not knowing that it’s either present, or that there is help available. I used to be opposed to medical help because I thought if Jesus was enough, I didn’t need something like antidepressants or therapy. This is not true.
If there is cancer present in a follower of Christ, wouldn’t we treat the physical illness with modern medicine? The same goes with illnesses in the brain. Yes Jesus is perfectly enough to save my soul, cancel my sin, fill me with hope, and help me endure with faith. Yes it takes motivation and discipline in the mentally ill person to thrive in Christ in spite of mental illness. But it’s also ok to make wise decisions such as utilizing science when it is available.
After accepting help and realizing that my life depended on accessing these good gifts God has given, my faith in Christ has actually deepened. My hope has never been brighter through Christ and I’m thankful for the brain stabilization medical and therapeutic intervention has given me so that I can walk in my purpose with steadiness.
I’ve decided to start weaving mental health education periodically into my posts as a way that we can learn together. Maybe you already know the information I’m posting, but by sharing with others, you can help me teach what so many just don’t know. Rather than being mad and loud about the mental illness stigma and false beliefs many of us hate, let’s be part of the solution by gently teaching with love about this very common, yet often misunderstood, topic of mental illness.
According the the American Psychiatric Association, “Major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder rarely appear “out of the blue.” Most often family, friends, teachers or individuals themselves begin to recognize small changes or a feeling that “something is not quite right” about their thinking, feelings or behavior before a illness appears in its full-blown form.
Learning about developing symptoms, or early warning signs, and taking action can help. Early intervention can help reduce the severity of an illness. It may even be possible to delay or prevent a major mental illness altogether.
If several of the following are occurring, it may useful to follow up with a mental health professional.
•𝐒𝐥𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐬— Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care
•𝐌𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐬 — Rapid or dramatic shifts in emotions or depressed feelings
•𝐖𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐝𝐫𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐥 — Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
•𝐃𝐫𝐨𝐩 𝐢𝐧 𝐟𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 — An unusual drop in functioning, at school, work or social activities, such as quitting sports, failing in school or difficulty performing familiar tasks
•𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 — Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
•𝐈𝐧𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐭𝐲 — Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
•𝐀𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐲 — Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity
•𝐅𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 — A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality
•𝐈𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 — Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult
•𝐍𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 — Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
•𝐔𝐧𝐮𝐬𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐫 – Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior”