Thursday, June 5, 2014

Body and Soul

Every time a shooting tragedy occurs, one of the phrases and causes bandied about is usually "mental illness". Mental illness seems to be an enigma that no one can get a handle on. While I always feel bad for the victims, my brain often wonders how the parents of the shooter felt. As a parent, watching a child wrestle with mental illness has got to be a challenge. In some cases the parents were aware, but nothing they did seemed to make a differences. In other cases, it became clear at the instant of the tragedy.

I think one of the things that sets mental illness apart from other ailments is the inability of the sufferer to recognize his mental impairment. Dr. Woods, a forensic psychiatrist sums it up in this question: I'd want to know, what kept you from having the insight to say, "This is a problem for me, I need to get some help?" Usually, once a person becomes aware, it's the first step in addressing a problem.

This was one of the better articles I have read on the subject of mental illness, and I learned about Dr. Woods who I had not heard of prior to the article. Dr. Woods is a Bay Area forensic and neuro-psychiatrist who consults in courts of law across the nation about his understanding of mental illness and crime. At UC Berkeley's law school, he team teaches a class in law and mental health, and he teaches too at Morehouse College's medical school in Atlanta.

I won't pretend to have any solutions, because I don't. This is an area that concerns me greatly and sometimes weighs heavily on my mind. If you're dealing with what may be a mental illness, there is no shame as we are body and soul intertwined. Just as the body may be come sick so too can the soul. I know pray is not the only resolution, but I believe its a great place to start. I'm not attempting to over simplify what is very complicated, I just wanted to bring it to the forefront of your minds.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

What are your thoughts on mental illness?

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