Yesterday, I spoke to a group of twenty women on the effects of mental illness on the individual, the family, and the community. It is a difficult topic because for too long we have kept mental illness in the dark. Nevertheless, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four persons will suffer from a mental disorder sometime in their lifetime. That has an effect on nearly all of us.
Does that include you or your family?
Recovery for the individual begins upon admission of the illness and proper treatment. Mental health for the family and the community begins when its members have conversations about it. Only then can we grow in love, compassion, prayer, education, and advocacy for each other.
Although mental illness has remained in the dark, I believe God’s love and compassion for His people should lead us to bring hidden things to light.
My daughter lived with bipolar disorder for nearly forty years. Tammy found avenues of recovery by telling her story. She showed God’s love by comforting others who shared her plight. If she had kept silent, she would have missed the blessings that God had prepared for her.
Tammy died in 2009. My recovery began at Tammy’s funeral when dozens of people told how she had helped them through difficult times by telling her story. Recovery continued for me when I wrote my first book of my journey walking alongside my daughter.
After I spoke at the meeting yesterday, an exceptionally brave woman found freedom in telling her story of living with clinical depression.
Are you ready to tell your story? When you do, it will…
- demolish fear (2 Timothy 1:7)
- break the power of the lie (John 8:32)
- demonstrate that you are not alone (Deut. 31:6)
- give others comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
- bring you from darkness into the light (1 John 1:5-7)
Tell your story on the comment page of this blog.