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« Links Mentioned on the 8/12/14 Show | Main | Human Rights and an English Priest »

August 13, 2014


What's disturbing is the assumption - especially among Christians! - that everyone who commits or attempts suicide is mentally ill.

Just because you are depressed because you are overwhelmed with life's problems does NOT mean you are mentally ill.

How can you not be depressed if you've been out of a job for years and are about to be homeless? Or if you're caring for a family member with severe, long-term/permanent illness or disability? Or because you are sick yourself?

Do we ask the Christians and others in the Middle East who are being displaced, have lost everything and who are watching their children die if they are mentally ill? I'm sure if we asked them, many of them are depressed and despairing. But how could you not be so, in these terrible circumstances?

Why is the normal reaction of sorrow over legitimate problems now considered a mental illness? I cannot believe how common this idea has become - again, even among Christians.

Such people are not mentally ill. They are simply overwhelmed with life's very real difficulties.

Job was not mentally ill.

Not everyone who is depressed is mentally ill. Telling them that just makes them feel more hopeless and without control.

Amy's post seems balanced as it approaches emotional pain as the substrate - as contrasted with diagnostic criteria leading to comments of pathology. This was set up in the context of Robin's long history of MDD (major depressive disorder) and suicide - to be fair - as the backdrop for the stage. MDD is an enormously under-treated problem. Lots more to offer for Mo's terrible situation but in between tasks here.... God love on Mo today - Amen.

Mo, I think I understand what you are saying. However, the term "mentally ill" is usually not helpful without some indication as to what you mean by it.


Category 1: There are people who have good circumstantial reasons to be depressed and are not saddled by a deficiency of neurotransmitters associated with clinical depression.

Category 2: There are people who have good reason to be depressed and are also clinically depressed. There is usually some causal relationship between the two.

Category 3: There are people who are clinically depressed with no good external reason.

All three categories of people warrant kindhearted ministry and none, on their own, warrant shame.

Examples of unwarranted shame: social awkwardness, over-spiritualization by themselves and others resulting in false accusations of sin.

There are also examples of resulting actions that are sinful that would warrant shame. However, shame is often not the best route when ministering to a person suffering from depression who sins where their reason is clouded by clinical depression or where their family is grieving in the aftermath of suicide.

is robin williams in hell now?

Moose, IF he didn't place his faith and trust in Jesus, and IF Jesus is Who He says He is, then yes.

Fortunately the reach of His immutable sufficiency outreaches, out performs, out distances contingent and insubstantial paradigms such as Time and Circumstance and we need not honor the pale accusations which Man's Accuser levels against those of unsound mind before the Bench of Man's Emancipator. The soul’s delight at the sight of its true felicity spied in an unguarded Tree through that Door that is His All-Sufficiency effortlessly traverses the entirety of the Accuser’s barricades - be they material or immaterial. “The vast majority of those preaching mixture have a good heart and their motives are pure. I know, because I was such a person. I put price tags on grace while loving Jesus with all of my heart. I fully expect heaven to be full of people with stunned expressions on their face. And since we’re all learning, I have no doubt that I will be one of them.” (Ellis)

As we are not so unfortunate as to be five point Calvinists, we can and do say of Robin Williams that Immutable Love has not created him for the express purpose of damning him. The contours within the Necessary Being's triune reciprocity necessarily grant possible worlds within the contingent's more narrow arena.

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