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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Symptoms of Mental Illness

The Asperger's traits addressed in this post include:
*Anxiety and depression
*Sensitivity to sensory input
*Finding celebrations and parties stressful
*Difficulty expressing emotions appropriately

Let me just say this straight out: Asperger's syndrome is NOT a mental illness. Asperger's syndrome means a specific way of viewing the world and behavior based on that specific interpretation of events.

If you have Aspeger's syndrome, you may or may not have various mental illnesses at the same time. I do. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about a year before discovering I also had Asperger's syndrome. ALSO is the key word. There is overlap.

For example, having Aspeger's traits meant that I was highly sensitive to sounds, and that could make it exhausting to spend time in a big room filled with people. It may cause me to behave in a strange way, like running to the ladies' room in order to get some peace and quiet, or to slip out of a party to lie down on the hostess's bed.

For those of you who may be wondering if you or a loved one has a mental illness, I will post a list of characteristics of mental illness, given to me by my psychiatrist. If there are changes in any of these areas, there may be an episode of mania or depression coming on. Depression is diagnosed after several of the following symptoms are felt for two weeks or longer.

  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Speech
  • Energy
  • Concentration
  • Racing Thoughts
  • Moodiness
  • Restlessness
  • Magical Thinking
I know what you think I'm going to say . . . Run for your Bible, and read till you feel better. Right?

Wrong. When you are dealing with the symptoms of a mental / emotional illness, you need to run to a psychiatrist and then a pharmacy - not to the Biblical counselor. In 2010-2011, I  tried the natural medicine approach to treatment, and I developed my worst bout with psychosis (delusional thinking) since 1999. Not good.

So. I have said my piece. This is where I stand on this topic. If it weren't for psychiatric drugs, I would never have gotten through college or have married and had a child. I would have had to be in the "loony bin." Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. And I am not ashamed

How this topic applies to Christian Living:

Matthew 4:24
And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.