Mental Health Basics
Psychology is the study and understanding of how our mind works to create the life we live. How we take in all the information around us, process it, formulate a plan or a decision, and then carry out our decisions. To process the information we use our thinking skills, memory of past experiences, and our emotions.
Brain Chemistry is the hardware, the circuitry the operating system of our mind works through. All the powerful different specialized parts of the brain are interconnected and communicate using electrical impulses and chemicals (Neurotransmitters) to allow us to have a zillion thoughts and experiences everyday.
Faith and spirituality provide the guidelines, values, morals, and clear lenses to both view and process the information as well as evaluate what a good decision is. Not only does Christianity provide guidelines from our Creator Himself in the instruction manual, the Holy Bible, but Christianity also has the added benefit of connecting us to God to access the divine power of God to help us see and respond in the healthiest way.
We have used many terms over the years to describe psychological struggles: Psychiatric, Psychological, Emotional, Functional, Chemical Imbalance, Behavioral Health (which encompasses addictions and mental health), and the most common term, Mental Illness. So the efforts to treat or fix mental illness are put under the term mental health.
Mental Health Struggles Are Everywhere
39.4% of Americans will have a major mental health issue in their lifetime
99% of the world population will have a mental health issue markedly disrupting their functioning for at least 1-2 weeks in their lifetime.
Suicide Stats in the U.S.:
- #2 cause of death for ages 10-34
- #4 cause of death for ages 35-54
- #2 or 3 cause of death or one every 30 seconds
- Official statistics report over 42,773 people taking their own life in 2014
- Many accidents, overdoses, or “suicide-by-cop” not called suicide due to stigma
- Many “passive suicides” in 55+ as depressed people stop taking their meds or refuse more treatments as they lose their will to live.
Mental Health Stigma
Even though we all will struggle psychologically at some point in our lifetime, the shame, embarrassment, and lack of knowledge still cause a huge stigma. Most people, when struggling with a psychological issue, feel weak, like failures, broken, or doomed to always be this way. So many are afraid to divulge their struggles, don’t know treatment is available, or are hesitant to seek treatment.
Mental Health Issues
Psychological Issues have many ways of expressing themselves, some with medical diagnoses, and some with general descriptions of what we see happening. These are some common categories and examples, but there are many more and they look uniquely different for each person
- Disruptions in emotions –
- Mood Disorders – Major Depression, Bipolar, Post Partum Depression, anger
- Anxiety Disorders – OCD, Panic Disorder, PTSD, Social Anxiety, fear, anxiety, phobias
- Disruptions in thinking – ADHD, Dementia, learning disabilities, sense of self, confusion
- Disruptions in reality – hallucinations, delusions, unable to accept present situation
- Disruptions in behaviors – addictions, impulsiveness, self-harm, eating disorders
- Disruptions in personality – avoidant, narcissism, dramatic, peculiar
Mental Health Hope and Healing
Thankfully, God has provided hope and healing, and the source is Jesus. Jesus is the only perfect man, including perfect brain chemistry and a perfect mind. You and I and everyone else you know are psychologically defective. We all have a chemical imbalance. Although Jesus performed many physical healings, the main reason He came to earth was to deliver mankind from despair and provide the psycho-spiritual healing we desperately needed. To accomplish this healing, He taught how to manage our mind, role-modeled how to do it under extreme adversity and injustice, and then died to free us from sin’s impact on our mind and life.
God also provides us with psychological science to use as a tool, allowing us to squeeze the big Biblical principles and truths into small enough bites for us to take in, use, and not be overwhelmed by them. Or allowing us to squeeze the life-giving living water, every last drop, out of the rich Biblical instruction manual.
Lighthouse Network’s Mission
We desire your healing and transformation and have seen people’s lives changed as they understand more psychological principles and skills to more deeply and practically believe in and apply the incredible Biblical instructions, promises, and encouragement. We will provide resources about these mental health issues which use science to explain God’s design and healing to renew your mind!
Mental Health Resources
- Free Mental Health Helpline
- Mental Health 101
- Stepping Stones
- Life Growth Videos
- Mental Health Media Interviews
- Mental Health External Links
- Mental Health Topics
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- Mental Health Treatment