Shame and Antipsychotics

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39 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    Walked this road in 1989. Very hard to get my own head around it and then there was that blasted shame and rejection by those I served. But I am an overcomer by the grace of Jesus.

  2. dusty says:

    still walking this road…I am mentally ill.

  3. Linnea says:

    Best article I’ve seen written about how Christians respond to mental illness and medication. I love that it’s raw, because the issue is one that draws much pain from the sufferer. I love that he discusses this publicly because only in open discussion will Christians better understand that folks who make that courageous decision to accept a diagnosis and get treatment are perhaps more sane than many around them.

  4. Linnea says:

    Dusty…so glad to see you 🙂

  5. DavidH says:

    Thank you Michael. This article hits close to home.

  6. Paige says:

    Love the honesty and transparency. I’d never read this man’s blog. Read several posts. Love what he says and how he says it. A kindred spirit to Michael. Thank you for sharing. I’ve bookmarked his site.

    Dusty, dear one, good to “see” you. Grace and peace to you.

  7. crownedone1 says:

    My ‘mood’ has a direct correlation to whether or not I exercise. If I lift weights or go for my afternoon jogs, I am never depressed. If I skip, I get depressed which worsens the longer I go without exercise. Lack of sunlight depresses me too.

    I realize how ‘I operate’ isn’t the same prognosis for everyone…but I tried anti-depressants at one time (thinking ‘meh, I’ll just stay a slothful sinner and let meds fix me’) and it backfired…they amplified my depression.

    Again, not a doctor, but ruling out sunlight & exercise as fixes is never a bad thing.

  8. Michael says:


    How it wish it were so simple for those whose brains are ill.
    Antipsychotics are a far different drug than anti depressants.

  9. I realize that antipsychotics are different from anti depressants, but too often, the church responds, ignorantly, in the same fashion, imparting shame.

    About 3 or so months ago, our pastor (CC), shared about his own horrible time of depression. He encouraged those who experience depression to not be ashamed to seek help or take medication. I have no numbers to back up this statement, but I’m confident that hundreds of people were set free from shame that weekend.

  10. Michael says:


    That…is being a real pastor.

  11. PP Vet says:

    Two sides to this coin.

    You fast and pray, humble yourself before God, finally after years of hearing from God on how to change, and responding in desperate humility and courage and faith, you overcome mental illness and obesity.

    Only to be told, Well, I guess you didn’t really have those diseases after all.

    Let’s be accepting and affirming of each other’s journeys if at all possible.

  12. erunner says:

    Unfortunately the stigma affixed to mental illness exists throughout society and when the church gets it wrong the ramifications for the sufferer can be drastic. Having sought help after hours of prayer and self examination they are told that they are the problem is like salt being poured on an open wound. Hope is shattered and condemnation sets in when all the sufferer needed was compassion and a sympathetic ear.

    Thankfully there are more and more churches like CK described in his # 9 and my prayer is this continues to spread. He stated that hundreds may have been set free from shame that weekend. Imagine the potential…

    Yet at the same time society contains people as described in this article. Imagine the impact that has on a family. There is much work to be done.

  13. Michael says:


    I read that yesterday and came unglued…

  14. DavidH says:


    I saw that article and letter a couple of days ago. The callousness of people is profound. I saw the article on a guitar forum, and the members were almost universally appalled by it.

    I’m tired of people in, and out of the church telling people with mental illness to just deal with it. As I’ve written before, one of my cousins is schizophrenic. If it was not for my aunt taking care of him, and him taking his medications, he could be dead, or much worse.

  15. erunner says:

    David, It’s important to recognize the church doesn’t corner the market on responding callously to those impacted by mental illness. The letter written to the family with an autistic son is criminal and I hope they expose the person who wrote it.

    Your aunt is a hero serving in the shadows and if some could spend a week walking in her shoes as well as those of your cousin there misinformed ideas could change quickly. Life is tough enough for believers who struggle with mental health issues and it’s our job as the church to reach out to them and provide all of the support they deserve.

  16. Michael says:


    That was the comment of the week.
    Amen and amen.

  17. erunner says:

    Michael, Thank you. I’m glad to see you have chosen to address the mental illness topic recently. I know there are people who read here who will benefit greatly from what you share. Hopefully attitudes will change as long held and mistaken ideas are looked at and examined. Imagine one pastor who reads here deciding to publicly and in a balanced way address this topic from the pulpit as CK described above. The potential is there. One pastor. One church at a time. God bless.

  18. Michael says:


    We got a nice note from the author thanking us for running it…I thanked him from all of us for writing it.

  19. erunner says:

    That’s cool as I’m sure he’s been greatly encouraged. He speaks for many….

  20. Ricky Bobby says:

    The stuff is real. My youngest bro (BG’s youngest son) got admitted to a facility for hearing voices etc. He’s always demonstrated signs of bi-polar etc growing up. He is in Calvary Chapel so I’m not sure if he’s getting the meds he needs or not, I know from growing up in CC that there was a time psychology and medicine for treating that sort of thing was a Taboo and that you were supposed to pray it away or something.

  21. Hey erunner,
    The last book I finished “Gospel Wakefulness” by Jared Wilson had a great chapter on depression and mental illness that I think you would like.

  22. Ricky Bobby says:

    From reading Psalms (a lot) I think David suffered from bi-polar or major depression. Saul suffered from some sort of mental illness as well, probably schizophrenia (if they were real literal historical figures who walked the earth).

  23. Ricky Bobby says:

    In fact, I (and many others) think that the so-called “demon possessed” in NT days were folks with mental illness, stuff like schizophrenia.

  24. Michael says:


    When I started this blog, that was probably the majority opinion in CC.
    I don’t believe that’s the case anymore…and Erunner had more than a little to do with that.

  25. Ricky Bobby says:

    E has certainly been a Champion in that area and has done great work in blowing the myths and Taboos out of the water…and you have certainly helped his platform.

  26. erunner says:

    RB, I spent Over 30 years in CC’s and experienced what you described. I have no idea how anyone could speak against someone who is/was hearing voices. I have read where you have spoken of this before and hope if he’s in a place where if he needs help that he would receive it. Being bipolar or schizophrenic and not getting the proper help is sad to consider.

  27. erunner says:

    RB, I ran an article some time ago about Hillsong doing outreach to young women who were anorexic and unknown to these poor women they were told they were possessed and the unqualified folks running these clinics were ‘exorcising’ people who were gravely ill.

    To tell someone who is bipolar or schizophrenic they are demon possessed is criminal.

  28. erunner says:

    RB, Michael gave me my platform and shares in anything positive that has resulted from my blog. Thanks for the kind words.

  29. Ricky Bobby says:

    “To tell someone who is bipolar or schizophrenic they are demon possessed is criminal.”

    Couldn’t agree more, E. I am very much in agreement with the stand you’ve taken on this issue. It is wrong and ignorant and flies in the face of verifiable fact.

  30. erunner says:

    Thanks Derek, I’ll see if I can get a hold of that book.

  31. If you have a kindle, I can probably figure out how to lend it.

  32. Correction…all you need is the kindle app. Looking up info on how to lend now.

  33. erunner says:

    Derek, I just downloaded the Kindle application for my computer. Gotta go for close to an hour. Will check back then. Didn’t realize I could have Kindle on my desktop.

  34. I sent a loan invitation to your FB address.

  35. erunner says:

    Derek, I didn’t receive anything. I did get three free books when I downloaded Kindle. Maybe you can send it to me via a FB private message or to my e-mail Also, could you explain loan for me?? Thanks.

  36. PP Vet says:

    The benefit of stigmas is that they motivate people to avoid making decisions that could result in a stigma.

    The problem with stigmas is that they are not always associated with conditions that are entirely attributable to wrong decisions by the sufferer.

    We have a government that rewards most stigmas with food stamps, free medical, and $1100 a month in cash.

  37. That Hillsong outreach sounds scary. I believe it is possible for a mentally ill person to be possessed by demons. It is also possible for a non-mentally ill person. To blanket-target a certain group of people is ridiculous. The large gathering/crusade mentality cannot work in this case. Loving christians with experience and training need to spend time with these folks, not just “exorcise” them. If the church wants to go in and minister to them, they need to begin with The Gospel!

  38. Nonnie says:

    Dusty, you are loved and treasured here.

  39. Dusty, what Nonnie said!!!

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