Can God heal mental illness?

"I Think I'm losing my mind" is said so frequently that we often unwittingly accept it as a valid premise. But a struggle with mental difficulties deserves great thoughtfulness. And it deserves compassion. Schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress, hereditary insanity, and the mental scars and aberrations attributed to abuse and addiction are a few of the challenges prevalent today. Sometimes it seems the more we look around or even inside ourselves for answers, the harder it is to find a clear definition of mental health. If it feels as if we're "losing it" or that we've "lost it," then everything we experience can seem unstable and our situation can feel hopelessly irreversible. But there is a way—a spiritual way—to heal such problems permanently. We can begin by taking up the question of self-image.

God created man in His own image and likeness. This truth is wonderful because it relieves us of the burden of trying personally to raise our self-esteem or talk ourselves into a state of mental stability—a task impossible for anyone already struggling with despair about his or her identity. The fact is, we are each created with a spiritual identity—we are each actually an individual expression of God. In the New Testament we read, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (II Tim. 1:7). Power, love, and a sound mind—these are God's gifts to us. They describe our Godlike nature.

Christian Science helps us understand more fully why our Godlike nature must include mental stability by explaining that God is Mind. And because there is only one God, there is only one Mind, the source of all intelligence and creativity. There is no disorder or unbalance in divine Mind; therefore they have no truth. As God's eternal image and likeness, we always have been and always will be the very expression of perfect Mind. It's not actually possible to "lose our mind" since we can never be separate from our divine source, God.

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March 25, 1996

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