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©2018 BY LISA SHARF - PSYCHIATRIC NURSE PRACTITIONER. 

Mental Illness is a Medical Problem

April 12, 2018

I recently read a blog post on LinkedIn that disturbed me. To summarize very briefly, this posting discussed how people with mental illness lacked faith and religion. I was disturbed and felt sorry that a post like this appeared on a notable professional web site.

 

Spirituality, as those who read my blog already know, is an important aspect of my life. In fact without it, the challenges of life are at times too much to bear.

 

It was really unsettling that the LinkedIn post took such an extreme approach towards serious medical problems and tried turning it into a “Crisis of the Soul.”

 

In terms of a “Crisis of the Soul” I would like to say that there are such individuals who are spiritually deficient all over the news. These people wreak havoc on others’ lives, causing chaos, pain, and great harm with no conscience or remorse. Such individuals for example, serial offenders, are considered sociopaths. Read your newspaper, or turn on CNN or Fox, and you will hear about sociopaths daily.

 

Mental illness is not a sociopathic disease. It is a medical problem that plagues our nation. For examples:

One out of ten people walk around with depression.

 

People with overwhelming stress in their lives are more susceptible to developing a form of mental illness if the stress is not addressed.

 

Mental illness has a genetic component, and may be passed on through family lineages.

There are biochemical changes of hormones and neuro-chemicals that occur in our brain that can be altered or related to the symptoms of various illnesses.

 

The good news is that these problems can be addressed through medications, psychotherapy, and adjunctive treatments such as yoga, meditation, exercise, nutritional supplements. The first step to healing the mentally ill is acceptance and not rejection. We need to start understanding how lack of treatment has contributed to the shame and continuance of false beliefs. Support and care, along with good treatment is imperative. Treatment needs to be given to those who suffer from Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia, and more.

Societal shame must be replaced by knowledge and acceptance.

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