• Mental Health in the Midst of Coronavirus (Resources and More)

Mental Health in the Midst of Coronavirus (Resources and More)

(This post has been edited to add additional links)

Mental health in the midst of Coronavirus (Covid 19), specifically: depression and anxiety (links to various resources father below).

Before I get to the links, I wanted to remind any readers I’ve had GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) since childhood, and for many years, I had clinical depression. I saw psychiatrists and took anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressants.

My depression is mostly long gone, and while I still deal with GAD, I guess with life experience comes better coping skills.

I am strangely chill about the coronavirus mayhem. I am concerned for my friends and family who are over the age of 60, because I don’t want any of them to contract Covid 19 (Coronavirus), but I am not too worried about catching it myself and dying.

I figure, if I do contract the disease and die, I cannot do anything to change it. If I am hospitalized, maybe the medical staff can treat me and I can pull through, but if not, I may die. And I’m okay with that.

At this point the only thing that spikes my anxiety at all is not the virus but how the public is acting – people are hoarding supplies, leaving nothing for others, and people have broken into fist fights at Sam’s Clubs stores over food and toilet paper.

But the older I get, the more I understand certain biblical passages now more than I did when I was younger, such as this one (from Luke 12) – a person doesn’t have to be a Christian or believe in a deity to get some wisdom out of the gist of this:

Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!

29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Passages such as that one make more sense to me now than they did when I was growing up. Sitting around worrying about a virus isn’t going to do a thing to make your life better, so what’s the point in worrying about it?

The Links

If I find additional material about mental health in relation to Coronavirus, I will try to edit this post to add the information.

Here is a series of links from newspapers and magazines that discuss the covid19 virus (coronavirus) in light of mental health; some simply describe the situation, while others offer tips on how to deal with depression or anxiety, if one has either one.

What is it like to have an anxiety disorder in the time of coronavirus? My worst nightmare come to life – behind a paywall, but a free trial is available

The mental health cost of containing the coronavirus outbreak

A pandemic takes a unique toll on people with mental illnesses.

By Anagha Srikanth

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or the NAMI helpline at 800-950-NAMI (6264).

…But for some, the anxiety can rise to a clinical level during an outbreak. Lewis said people should be aware of symptoms including difficulty sleeping, changes in eating patterns, rapid changes in mood, inability to carry out required or necessary tasks, self-medication using alcohol and drugs and prolonged self-isolation.

“For those who may already struggle with feelings of isolation due to depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions, social distancing could increase those feelings of loneliness and isolation,” Lewis [Krystal Lewis, clinical psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health] said in an email.

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• Churches Struggle with Mental Health – Preachers Being Fired For Having Depression by I. Lovett

Churches Struggle with Mental Health – Preachers Being Fired For Having Depression by I. Lovett

I’m not surprised. Christians are some of the most ignorant and judgmental people concerning mental health issues.

Summary for Christians reading this:

-Mental health problems are

not an indication of or result of spiritual issues or personal failings or weaknesses.

-Mental Health problems cannot be healed via spiritual means only.
Reading the Bible, volunteering at charities, believing in Jesus, praying and believing for a healing, living a sinless life, repenting of sin, and/or attending church will not make mental health problems vanish.

-Secular psychology / psychiatry and doctor prescribed medications used to treat mental health problems are not evil, anti-God, immoral, un-biblical.

Churches Struggle with Mental Health – Preachers Being Fired For Having Depression by I. Lovett

Snippets:

Christian leaders have lost jobs over such conditions as depression and bipolar disorder

By Ian Lovett / January 2020

In most industries, federal laws protect workers with disabilities, including mental illness. Church is an exception. Employees including pastors are still regularly fired after disclosing mental-health problems.

…. Statistics on mental health and pastors are scarce.

But psychologists who specialize in treating ministers say that Christian pastors are still regularly fired after church elders discover they suffer from depression, bipolar disorder or other mental-health problems.

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• Preacher Jarrid Wilson Dies by Suicide, Idiot Christians on Social Media Put Their Ignorance on Mental Health Issues on Display Once More

Preacher Jarrid Wilson Dies by Suicide, Idiot Christians on Social Media Put Their Ignorance on Mental Health Issues on Display Once More

Preacher Jarrid Wilson ended his own life a few days ago. I didn’t have the time then to write a post about it, though I wanted to.

From what I’ve seen of the after math of Wilson’s suicide, most Christians remain totally ignorant about mental health issues and erroneously believe that faith alone can and will heal someone of having a mental health problem,
while another variety of Christian wrongly believe that having faith in Jesus will keep one immune from developing depression or other mental health problems in the first place.

Here are a few links about that, and then I will add my two cents further below (and there are even more links below my commentary):

Jarrid Wilson, pastor and mental health advocate, kills himself

A US pastor known for his mental health advocacy has killed himself, church officials say.

Jarrid Wilson, 30, worked at te 15,000 member Harvest Christian Fellowship Church for 18 months before his death.

Mr Wilson and his wife founded Anthem of Hope, a programme created to help people dealing with depression.

He is survived by his two sons and wife Juli, who wrote the death had “completely ripped my heart out of my chest”.

Popular Megachurch Pastor and Mental Health Advocate Jarrid ilson Dies by Suicide at Age 30

In 2016, he founded Anthem of Hope, a faith-centered organization dedicated amplifying hope for those battling depression

by Robyn Merritt
Wed, Sept 11, 2019

Popular megachurch pastor and mental health advocate Jarrid Wilson has died by suicide.

His wife Juli Wilson broke the news to her followers by sharing a video of her “sweet husband” playing with their son.

Jarrid — a pastor at the Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in California — was 30.

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• Anxiety Looks Different in Men by Andrea Petersen

Anxiety Looks Different in Men by Andrea Petersen 

Anxiety Looks Different in Men

Snippets:

Instead of coming across as nervousness or worry, anxiety in men often appears as anger, muscle aches or alcohol use—leading many men to go undiagnosed


When a man explodes in anger over something seemingly insignificant, he may appear like just a jerk. But he could be anxious.

Anxiety problems can look different in men. When people think of anxiety, they may picture the excessive worry and avoidance of frightening situations that often plague those who suffer. These afflict men, too.

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• Why You Should Learn Mental Health First Aid by Amy Chillag

Why You Should Learn Mental Health First Aid by Amy Chillag

Why You Should Learn Mental Health First Aid by Amy Chillag

Snippets:

One in five adults in the US lives with a mental health problem according to the National Institute of Mental Health – but most don’t seek out professional help. That’s where Mental Health First Aid – an eight-hour workshop – hopes to fill the gap.

The class trains citizens how to recognize the signs and symptoms of various mental illnesses — from depression to anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorder.

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• Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris by G. Greenberg

Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris by G. Greenberg

Psychiatry’s Incurable Hubris

Snippets:

The biology of mental illness is still a mystery, but practitioners don’t want to admit it.

…But, as Earle knew, psychiatrists could not peer into a microscope to see the biological source of their patients’ suffering, which arose, they assumed, from the brain.

They were stuck in the premodern past, dependent on “the apparent mental condition [his emphasis], as judged from the outward manifestations,” to devise diagnoses and treatments.

The protracted attempt to usher psychiatry into medicine’s modern era is the subject of Anne Harrington’s Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness.

As her subtitle indicates, this is not a story of steady progress. Rather, it’s a tale of promising roads that turned out to be dead ends, of treatments that seemed miraculous in their day but barbaric in retrospect, of public-health policies that were born in hope but destined for disaster.

From ice baths to Prozac, each development Harrington describes was touted by its originators and adherents as the next great thing—and not without reason.

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• Families Defrauded by Unregulated Service Dog Trainers by Allen Breed

Families Defrauded by Unregulated Service Dog Trainers by Allen Breed

Families Defrauded by Unregulated Service Dog Trainers Allen Breed

….North Carolina has no such certification program [for service animals] — and neither does any other state.

The service dog industry — particularly in the field of “psychiatric” service dogs for people with autism and post-traumatic stress disorder — has exploded in recent years. But a near complete absence of regulation and oversight has left needy, desperate families vulnerable to incompetence and fraud.

“It is a lawless area. The Wild West,” says David Favre, a law professor at Michigan State University and editor of its Animal Legal and Historical Center website.

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• Christians Combat Depression and Suicide Too; Pastors and Ministers share How They Get Through by J. Law

Christians combat depression and suicide too; pastors and ministers share how they get through by J. Law

Snippets:

The depression rate worldwide is on a continual rise and Christians are not immune.

With multiple headlines of pastors who died by suicide throughout the United States, The Christian Post decided to reach out to ministers to talk about how they combat their darkest moments.  

…Despite the increasing notice of depression and suicide nationally, the resources to help people in the church struggling with these thoughts or feelings are scarce.

According to the World Health Organization, depression at its worst leads to suicide and it affects 300 million people worldwide.

It’s estimated that 15 percent of people will experience depression at some point in their adult lives.

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• Suicide Runs In Family (2019 Study) by N. Rahhal

Suicide Runs In Family (2019 Study) by N. Rahhal

Suicide Runs In Family (2019 Study)

Suicide may run in families that tend to suffer from mental illnesses, a new study finds.

The tenth leading cause of death in the US, 47,173 Americans died by suicide in 2017.

The new study, conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggests that families in which social anxiety is more common may also be at greater risk for suicide attempts.

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• When Your Child Is Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts, Simply ‘More Faith’ Isn’t the Answer by S. Lynn

When Your Child Is Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts, Simply ‘More Faith’ Isn’t the Answer by S. Lynn

When Your Child Is Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts, Simply ‘More Faith’ Isn’t the Answer by S. Lynn

Snippets:

Kelly Rosati has four adopted children. Three of them have a serious mental illness. And one thing she doesn’t like to hear is that her problems would be solved if her faith was stronger.

“This idea that as Christians, if we were just spiritual enough, that somehow Christianity teaches we wouldn’t experience these things — I’ve seen so many people suffer and have their faith crumble because of those lies,” Rosati said in an interview with Saddleback Church co-founder Kay Warren this week.  

After Rosati and her husband, John, were unable to have their own children, the couple began the adoption journey through the foster care system.

Several of her children were born addicted to drugs or exposed to alcohol in utero, she said. Among her four children, three have dealt with suicidality. One has bipolar disorder and another has schizophrenia.

Her children have been in and out of emergency rooms and residential psychiatric care facilities. One, the youngest, is currently at a residential facility.

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• Christianity Did Not Help Me, It Did Not Work For Me

I was a very devout Christian from childhood up to my early, maybe mid, forties.

These days, I don’t know what I am (religiously speaking).

As I look back over my life, I can see that not only did the Christian faith not help me much, but as some of its teachings were taught to me, it created obstacles in my life, and kept me stuck in harmful patterns or ways of thinking.

Supposing there is an afterlife with a Heaven and a Hell, and acceptance of Christ means a ticket into Heaven upon death, that works out just fine. I can sure see how that is beneficial later on.

Christianity, though, did not really help me with very much in the present life.

Any pain, problems, or stress I’ve had so far were not relieved by the Christian faith.

Prayer, Bible reading, believing in Jesus, volunteering at charities, attending church – none of that alleviated my problems.

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• As Churches Struggle to Help Christians With Mental Illness, Many Flee by Leonardo Blair

As Churches Struggle to Help Christians With Mental Illness, Many Flee

I am not surprised by this. I was diagnosed with clinical depression at a young age, and I also had Social Anxiety Disorder, and to this day, I still have Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

During all that time, I was a devout Christian, but Christianity never brought me relief or healing from depression or anxiety.

Some Christians I met along the way (and a few I’ve met recently) do not understand mental illness. They incorrectly assume that mental health issues are purely spiritual and can be “prayed away.” They cannot.

Please note in the reporting below that Christian ignorance and insensitivity about mental health problems have caused some to reject the Christian faith.

As Churches Struggles to Help Christians With Mental Illness, Many Flee by Leonardo Blair 

Snippets:

As studies continue to show how ill-equipped many churches are in ministering to Christians who struggle with mental illness, some who were once among the faithful are now speaking out about how the spiritualizing of their conditions in church culture forced them to flee.

In a recent discussion sparked by a rant in a subreddit of more than 40,000 anonymous former Christians, many shared stories about how they were forced to suffer as their evangelical churches and family members urged them to pray away conditions such as bipolar disorder, anxiety and ADD before they were finally able to get help.

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