The consequences of not treating mental illness can amplify the fearful break from reality and lead to sad outcomes. Eric McCormack, the actor who starred as Will Truman in Will And Grace[i] noted that,
Most people, if you live in a big city, you see some form of schizophrenia every day, and it's always in the form of someone homeless. 'Look at that guy - he's crazy. He looks dangerous.' Well, he's on the streets because of mental illness. He probably had a job and a home.[ii]
When we pursue wellness, we are longing to be restored in our moods, thoughts and relationships. The effects of mental illness often drive people into isolation and uncertainty about their closest companions.
‘I don’t feel normal. Everyone is fine, but not myself. I have lost the ability to keep it together.’
Add guilt… add shame… add regret…
The lack of thought control can lead to acting out in ways that you are later ashamed of. You live in fear of repeating bad behaviours and guilty for inconveniencing others.
Image management is wearing you out. You recall the better days behind you and dread where this condition is taking you. Will it always be this way?
Jesus gives hope to the disciple who must face the alienation of inner turmoil. Even though, they were coming to the death of their faith, this would not be permanent. One day it will change. There will be a new normal after the resurrection.
We need to remind sufferers that it will not always be this way for them. There is help and they are not alone. Listen to Jesus’ comfort and be reminded that these words would be lost on them for a time. Their hope would die and they would be strangers to their own world.
Those who are facing unbearable grief need others around them who still believe and pray for their healing. They need others who encourage them in getting to the doctor, finding wise counsel and empathizing with them in their sickness.