New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 55

       us who was suffering we would get help. Yet often those who are suffering with mental illness and those who are around them suffer in silence. So I hope we can help to bring this issue into the open and help with the healing process. Think about the 12-step program. Alcoholism in this country was a hugely taboo subject many years ago. Not that long ago, really. But now it’s something we recognize. We don’t shame people about it. We don’t blame them about it. It’s been brought into the light. We can talk about it. “Oh, you go to a 12-step group? So do I.” “I go for drug addiction.” Or, “I go for sex addiction” or “for drinking” or whatever it is. We recognize that people suffer from addictions and that’s something we accept. In any case people need our support and understanding and our compassion and our encouragement – the encouragement to seek help. For the battle they are fighting is very real. It is overwhelming. And hell is real and wants to destroy us. They are not nice. They won’t stop. I could bring all kinds of passages to bear about that but let me just say they want to destroy us and if they can find a way to do it they will. Let’s bring this topic into the light and remove it from the place of shame and blame, and recognize that people from all walks of life suffer from various forms of mental illness. And let’s recognize that we can do much more than we are doing to support one another. One of the things I want to do today is just give voice to some of the types of mental illness that are talked about. Because there are many different conditions that are recognized as mental illness and some of the more common types are these: • Anxiety disorders: These include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. • Mood disorders: The most common mood disorders are depression, bipolar disorder and cyclothymic disorder. Psychotic disorders:  Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder. • Eating disorders:  Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder are the most common forms. • Impulse control and addiction disorders:  Pyromania (starting fires), kleptomania (stealing), and compulsive gambling are examples of impulse control disorders. Alcohol and drugs are often the common objects of addictions. • Personality disorders:  Examples include antisocial personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder. • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): An example is a person with an unreasonable fear of germs who constantly washes his or her hands. 121