(September 23, 2008)

This morning someone going by the name Warrior Princess left a comment on an article I have online right now at The piece tries to show how mental illnesses are illnesses like any other – diabetes, heart disease, etc. etc. I was trying to educate, to eradicate the stigma.

I think most Christians are starting to realize that being mentally ill does not mean that there is something spiritually wrong with you. Yet there are still many who totally misunderstand and believe that to be mentally ill is to be possessed by Satan.

There are varying degrees of this kind of thinking. Warrior Princess’s views are at the extreme end. Her attack of people with mental illness is a scathing one. It shocked me and I’m trying to find the best way to reply, praying that I’ll be able to speak to her in love, and not with the kind of fighting attitude she has.

Eradicating stigma is a fight, but as Christians we need to use love as our weapon of choice, not attacking with cutting words that will hurt. Even when people hurt us, we should try not to hurt back. After all, as followers of Christ we should treat others with love, even our enemies. And this person I’m talking about is, after all, a fellow Christian – a sister-in-Christ.

A couple of days ago someone who has for a long time been suffering from depression and anxiety wrote to me, saying “I feel so condemned by the Christian community because everything I am is what you are not supposed to be as a Christian.”

This person is hurting terribly from the symptoms of her disease. Yet the condemnation she feels from fellow Christians hurts almost more than those symptoms. We need to educate Christians so that they will more fully understand the medical nature of mental illnesses. This is so very important if we want to lovingly encourage hurting people in their faith.

I needed to share this you, in preparation for my reply. Please pray that understanding will grow. Please pray that people will open their minds enough so that we can educate them.