Mental Health Resources
5 Tactics for battle
- Christian Counseling. I’m not talking a one-hour-on-the-couch-thank-you-for-yourtime-I’m-healed session. I’m talking a relentless resolve to go, every week to every appointment for the entire hour, UNTIL, You + God + Counselor are in agreement that your time is done. In 2000-2001, I went 52 weeks in a row.
- Kneel to pray. This was a powerful step for two reasons. One, it forced me to get out of bed every morning. To pray on my knees, I had to rise from my pillow. It’s that simple. Two, it gave me a chance to release my tears, anxiety, and “crazy” unto the Lord before taking on the day.
- Journaling. “Oh, Heather, you’re a writer, that comes easy to you.” Nope, that’s not why I journaled in my darkness. I journaled because I was lonely. I didn’t have anyone who could handle all my darkness. And I didn’t want it in me. So I dumped…journaled…to God. If I write it out, I’m not holding it in. Period.
- Prescription Meds. I know, I know…its controversial because Christians shouldn’t need to depend on this. I know, I know, it’s a crutch. I know, I know, there are side effects. I know, I know, not all insurance companies cover it. Putting all the dogma aside, here’s what I know, and believe for me: My brain gets sick and there are prescriptions that can help it get better. When my body got sick with a cold, I took antibiotics. When my body was recovering from surgery, I took antibiotics to avoid infection. If I had diabetes, I would take insulin. The brain is a part of the body that gets sick too. That’s all I can say.
- Read. And then read. And then read some more. I think people get sick of me saying this, but I read like a maniac when I’m walking through a mental affliction. For two reasons: one, reading forces me to sit, quietly, and get my mind off my mind. I can’t go crazy, I can’t freak out if I am quietly reading. It’s been a safe recreation in my dark hours. Two, there are experts who God has allowed their stories and their knowledge to be put out there for our gain. I have a vast collection of books that have been huge in helping me heal.
15 Books for battle
- Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
- Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore
- Lord, I Want to be Whole by Stormie Omartian
- Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen
- Get Out of that Pit by Beth Moore
- Who Switched Off my Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf
- The Shack by William Paul Young
- The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
- Angry Conversations with God by Susan Isaacs
- Grace Eventually by Anne Lamott
- It Came From Within by Andy Stanley
- The Search for Significance by Robert McGee
- Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer
- God is in the Small Stuff by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz
- Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
21 Verses for battle
- Lamentations 3:31 – For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever.
- Psalms 34:17 – When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
- Psalms 40:1-2 – I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
- Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord, He goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Do not fear, nor be dismayed.
- Psalms 42:11 – Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
- Psalm 27:1 – So, with him on my side I am fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.
- 1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
- Psalm 138:8 – The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.
- 1 Peter 2:24 – By his wounds you are healed.
- Psalm 126:5 – Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
- John 15:5 – …apart from me we can do nothing.
- Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through him who gives me strength.
- Psalm 61:2-4 – From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
- Psalm 94:19 – When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
- Ecclesiastes 7:14 – On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won’t take anything for granted.
- 2 Timothy 4:17 – But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.
- Psalm 139:5 – You go before me and follow me.
- Psalm 71:14 – I will never give up hope or stop praising you.
- Isaiah 9:2 – The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
- Psalm 119:114 – You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.
- Micah 5:5 – And he will be the source of peace.
How to love a loved one with a mental affliction
The following are not tips I’ve applied to myself. Rather, they are tips who people like my parents, Raul and my pastors have applied to me. I hope this encourages someone.
- Loving them doesn’t mean you understand them. Love them, tell them you love them, show them you love them, but don’t feel that love also means “getting it.” Numerous times, Raul has had to literally say, “I don’t understand, but OK.” I respect that so much and I receive that answer because it is the truth.
- Consider counseling for yourself. There is NO shame in needing someone to talk to who specializes in the field of psychiatry or psychology. Raul has saved himself a ton of guessing by just going to a counselor to educate himself on my brain.
- Read! There are so many wonderful books out there that explain, in simple English, the condition your loved one has. Raul has read, “Boundaries,” “Bondage Breaker,” “The Power of the Praying Husband,” to name a few. And I always recommend to people in Raul’s shoes, “The Battlefield of the Mind.”
- This last point is the most precious one to me. My parents and Raul have experienced some pretty crappy stuff with me but they have never given up on me. My mom and dad have never disowned me and Raul has never left me. I don’t deserve the loyalty, and I’ll never be able to repay it. But I would accredit Jesus Christ in my heart and their loyalty in my life as the two biggest reasons why I’ve never given up!