Personal Narrative: My Views On Mental Illness

Good Essays
Mental illness—the one thing that no one prefers to have. However, one in five adults, or 43.8 million people, in the United States experience some form of it in a given year (NIMH, 2015). Many close friends and family members have dealt with mental disorders; because of this, my perception and, in turn, how I act around these people has greatly been affected just by hanging around them. Additionally, I believe my personal faith has also shaped how I view those suffering from mental disorders. I hope to share my views on mental illness by demonstrating my experiences with family and friends, as well as with the Church.
“I’ve tried like five times…” my friend told one day as we were walking to class. “Five time?!” I exclaimed in disbelief.
…show more content…
However, I have always perceived it to be some sort of demon possession or a way for people to gain attention, which are ideas I know are held by many Christians, including my own parents. In many ways, I believe this attitude towards mental illness have driven them away from church. Rather than treating them as a “normal person,” many Christians avoid them altogether; most tense up when in the same proximity. Additionally, the lack of teaching on mental health has caused many, including me, to form unhealthy opinions towards the matter. Prejudice and stigma labels these people “unclean” or “unholy.”
Ever since coming to college, however, those opinion have started to change. I have learned that the devil does not cause most cases of mental illness, but are rather due to varying factors in one’s life. Consequently, exorcising would not, in most cases, cure a person with schizophrenia, for example. Yet, I can see how many church communities can use this as an excuse to not deal with the underlying issues present with a person suffering from a mental disorder (I am talking mainly about anxiety, unipolar, and bipolar
…show more content…
Many times we sympathize with those with mental illnesses; rather than reaching down to their level, we look down and simply say, “Aw, that’s too bad. I’m glad I’m not like you.” Yet, Christ calls us to help carry one another’s burdens, “to rejoice with those who rejoice, to weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15, ESV). How can we represent the body of Christ if we do not love well? How can we love well if we ostracize those that are suffering differently than we? I believe my personal experiences in Church, as well as in school have definitely changed my perspective on mental health. Through my journeys, I have come to the realization that everyone, not just those that are considered “normal,” deserves compassion and love, and I hope everyone else comes this realization as
Get Access