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Posts tagged "Mental Illness"

Theorizing, Grieving, and Feeling Scared: Grappling with Modern Discourses on Suicide

Theorizing, Grieving, and Feeling Scared: Grappling with Modern Discourses on Suicide

Very grateful for this piece by Sarah Gates. 

Almost five years ago, my father died from suicide. The violence of his death, and the suffering that preceded it, marked the tearing of a temple curtain in my life. Since then, I’ve found myself in positions I never imagined that I’d be in—traumatized by certain violent images, angered by misuse of mental illness terminology, and sitting, severely uncomfortably, on my hands as coworkers have confoundedly speculated about why suicide happens.

As high-profile suicides of seemingly happy and successful individuals continue to catch us off guard, people want to understand it and figure it…

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Suicide, Our Darker Emotions, and the Goodness of God

Suicide, Our Darker Emotions, and the Goodness of God

I’ll never forget my first therapy appointment fifteen years ago. I told my counselor at the time, Dr. Gordon Bals, about my anger and rage and how it scared me. I told him about other things, too, but the anger and rage were my main concerns because I didn’t think I had any reasons to be angry and rage-y. Dr. Bals taught me things aren’t always what they appear, and it turned out I did have several reasons to be angry and rage-y. I just wasn’t very good at deciphering and naming my emotions. I didn’t want to admit to…

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Searching for Hope in Raising a Mentally Ill Child

Searching for Hope in Raising a Mentally Ill Child

One last peek into the Mental Health Issue, right before we send off the Food & Drink Issue to print (in one short week). This one came from Brian and Debbie Solum, who were also featured in the Mockingcast special during that time, which you can listen to here. (Not to be missed!) If you’d like to send the story, or the whole issue, to a friend–they’re still available here. 

We will be the first to admit that we are cynics when it comes to parenting. After almost twenty years of experience, we feel we can easily dismantle every Christian how-to book…

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When the Solution Isn't a Solution

When the Solution Isn’t a Solution

It’s only July, I know, but the 2016 Podcast Episode of the Year can already be announced. I wish I could give the nod to The Mockingcast or PZP (“Ecumenical Apocalypse” tied with “Cook’d Book” for runner-up, and Gladwell’s “The Lady Vanishes” took bronze), but alas, top honors go to Invisibilia’s “The Problem with the Solution”, which first aired this past Friday, ht CWZ & LM.

The cast takes a lengthy look at a place we’ve written about a couple of times before, the town of Geel in Belgium, where instead of being cooped up in a facility mental patients live…

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A Life of Aching Beauty: Vincent van Gogh as Preacher, Failure, and Painter

A Life of Aching Beauty: Vincent van Gogh as Preacher, Failure, and Painter

Originally posted on Tides of God.

PART I: FALL

Undergrowth with Two Figures is the only Van Gogh painting I have seen in real life. Several times my wife and I have sought it out on visits to the Cincinnati Art Museum. It is not one of Van Gogh’s well-known paintings. The work was completed during his almost manic period of productivity from May to July 1890 when Vincent turned out nearly one hundred paintings and drawings in the last seventy days of his life. Undergrowth with Two Figures is an island of peace in sea of turmoil. Van Gogh biographer Philip…

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Another Week Ends: Life in Psychiatric Records, Faith as Ambiguous Blessing, Evangelical Women, Relentlessly Positive Millennials, Flawed In-Laws, and Friends of Sinners

Another Week Ends: Life in Psychiatric Records, Faith as Ambiguous Blessing, Evangelical Women, Relentlessly Positive Millennials, Flawed In-Laws, and Friends of Sinners

1. If anyone thought that medical records couldn’t be riveting and deeply touching, you’re not alone. But George Scialabba, an acclaimed thinker, writer, and book reviewer, voluntarily posted his psychiatric medical history in the current issue of The Baffler. Apart from the courage and vulnerability  such a move shows, as well as the compassion for fellow sufferers which presumably undergirds his release, Scialabba’s post offers a curious mixture of elements as a reader: self-reproach for such intimate voyeurism combined with a feeling that you’re really seeing yourself; wonder at how far short even highly accomplished people can fall far short of…

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Another Week Ends: Misplaced Fear, Further Reflections on an Epidemic, Recovery and the Ego's Death, Dave Eggers, Marilynne Robinson, and Clickhole

Another Week Ends: Misplaced Fear, Further Reflections on an Epidemic, Recovery and the Ego’s Death, Dave Eggers, Marilynne Robinson, and Clickhole

1. It’s a little too easy, but Barry Ritholtz over at Bloomberg helpfully reminds us that Ebola is no threat to the personal health of 99.99% of Americans, which goes into a broader point:

We fear the awesome predatory perfection of the great white shark, and have made the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” “the longest-running cable television programming event in history.” This seems somewhat disproportionate, given that 10 people a year die from shark attacks — out of more than 7 billion people. If you want to fear a living creature, than logic suggests it’s the mosquito — they kill more human…

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Another Week Ends: Little League Love, Excellent Sheep, Normal Thoughts, Memoir Distance, Lees of Memory, Leftovers and TMNT

Another Week Ends: Little League Love, Excellent Sheep, Normal Thoughts, Memoir Distance, Lees of Memory, Leftovers and TMNT

1. First off, grab the kleenbox box because here’s a beautiful instance of grace in practice. It comes to us from little league coach Dave Belisle, whose Cumberland American team (Rhode Island) lost the Little League World Series championship game to Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West this past week. In their moment of defeat, Coach Belisle gave the following speech:

2. Looking through our archive this past month, clearly two subjects have been occupying the (hive-)mind: education and suicide. The Atlantic ran an interview this week with lead Ivy League critic William Deresiewicz about his new book Excellent Sheep, and if he’s…

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What Can Woody Allen Trapped Inside John Calvin Teach Us About Anxiety?

What Can Woody Allen Trapped Inside John Calvin Teach Us About Anxiety?

“To some people, I may seem calm. But if you could peer beneath the surface, you would see that I’m like a duck—paddling, paddling, paddling…” – Scott Stossel

You don’t have to have a therapist on speed dial to relate. You don’t need a prescription to Xanax or Ativan, or a shelf full of ‘dealing with anxiety’ books to know what he’s talking about. You don’t even need to be interested in mental health. If you have a pulse, you know. Of course, it helps if you have an Internet connection too. The skyrocketing rates of anxiety in America are no…

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Another Week Ends: Secular Apocalypse, Holy Spirit Hits SEGA, Melville's Bible, More A-Rod, Increasing Positivity, and Insights from The Canyons

Another Week Ends: Secular Apocalypse, Holy Spirit Hits SEGA, Melville’s Bible, More A-Rod, Increasing Positivity, and Insights from The Canyons

1. First off, an excellent essay on Apocalypticism over at The Chronicle looks at the psychology behind end-times expectations and fascinations. There’s something endearing about a professed “secularist” having both a real understanding of Christianity and a penchant for pointing out how secular humanists fall prey to the same end-of-history temptations as Christians do (read: William Miller, Family Radio):

I find it harder to mock false prophets, because of the very real fear (of death, nothingness, irrelevance) to which their prophecies speak, and because I’m not at all convinced that secular culture is above their form of self-flattery. We’re living through…

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My Heart Would Poison You, But God Wants My Poison Heart

My Heart Would Poison You, But God Wants My Poison Heart

Yitzhak Zuckerman

I just came across this quote from Yitzhak Zuckerman, who was a Jewish resistance movement leader in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising during World War II:

If you could lick my heart, it would poison you.

Wow! You see, although a hero of the resistance movement, plagued by survivor guilt, he became an uncontrollable alcoholic later in life. So despite rightly being celebrated for his wartime heroism, Zuckerman was in touch with the darkest parts of himself. (This quote, by the way, is originally from the French documentary Shoah, which—full disclosure—I have not seen.)

While allowing Zuckerman’s words to stew in my…

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Light When All Is Dark: Mental Illnesses and Christian Hope

Light When All Is Dark: Mental Illnesses and Christian Hope

Continuing with our previews of the breakout sessions at the upcoming NYC Conference (4/19-21), here’s one we are particularly excited about, from esteemed guest presenter Kathryn Greene-McCreight. The session will take place from 2:30-3:30pm on Friday the 20th.

In the words of twentieth-century mystic Adrienne von Speyr, “the first step in learning to love others is the attempt to understand them.” In light of Jesus’ command that we love one another, how might we learn to love those who suffer from the burdens imposed by mental illnesses? First, what are the Major Mental Illnesses? What are their root causes?…

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