A mental disorder is characterized by thoughts and behaviors that cause individuals to experience extreme problems in functioning in significant areas of their lives relationships, employment, education, financial well-being, even spirituality. Mental disorder is not short term, but it is also not necessarily permanent. By definition, mental problems must endure for a certain minimum period of time before a mental disorder can be diagnosed. Most mental disorders resolve after treatment with counseling, medication, or simply the passing of time.
Other mental disorders are lifelong and cause ongoing problems for those afflicted with them and for their families. If someone is mentally ill, he is not simply odd. Labels of mental disorder ought never to be applied without a professional assessment. Mental disorders are by definition serious disturbances. These are some common types of mental disorders:
Psychotic disorders are those that result in bizarre, paranoid, or delusional thinking. The most common one is schizophrenia. Individuals with psychotic illnesses manifest the symptoms most often thought of as crazy seeing or hearing things that are not there, making bizarre connections between unrelated events, or showing grossly inappropriate responses to ordinary occurrences.
Mood disorders are those that primarily affect a person's emotional stability.
The most common are depression and bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depression). Individuals afflicted with depression feel discouraged and hopeless almost every day, have lost interest in activities in which they used to take pleasure, and sometimes consider or attempt suicide. Those with bipolar disorder exhibit cycles of wildly changing emotions and behaviors. Anxiety disorders are characterized by extreme nervousness, panic, or phobias.
Persons suffering from anxiety disorders cannot calm down, feel panicky much of the time, and have physical symptoms of constant nervousness. Those with post-traumatic stress may experience flashbacks of trauma and may react to loud noises or other reminders of the precipitating event.
Personality disorders are disturbances in thinking and behavior that are a part of a person's basic character. They result in lifelong patterns of counter- productive behavior. Unlike the above mental disorders, personality disorders do not often respond to medications or short-term therapy.
There are many other disorders, and disorders associated only with children, but there is not enough space here to deal with them all. There are huge differences between mental disorder, sin, and demonic influence. Treatment must take place after a thorough assessment and careful diagnosis. In a church, mental disorders most often become apparent in relationships.
Mentally ill people who are active in church may have difficulty tolerating the opinions of others, getting along on committees, or accepting limits. Other mentally ill people may be on the periphery of the churcha churchgoers spouse or child who is often the subject of prayer requests. Misdiagnoses and improper treatments are common. Far too many suffer needlessly. The failure to understand the multiple reasons people suffer including the distinction between sin, mental illness, and demonic influence has significant consequences.
Some people are only confessing sin when they should be taking medication; others are blaming an illness when they should be confessing their sin. Demons are being cast out of schizophrenics who need medical treatment; people who need the casting out of demons are put into mental hospitals and drugged to complacency. Christians must understand that even throughout the Scriptures, physicians, balms, salves, and other medicines were used. The church and mental health professionals must value the contribution each can make and work together to relieve human suffering. Take help from Internet counseling.
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