You're not alone on the road to mental health

Beyond stigma and struggle, prayer seeks out true freedom.

From public schools where children are sometimes given Ritalin to control their behavior to the court room where a 15-year-old boy recently tried to blame the murder of his grandparents on an antidepressant drug he was taking, mental health is being discussed more openly than ever before. According to a report by the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in the United States, in "any given year, about 5 percent to 7 percent of adults have a serious mental illness . . . [and a] similar percentage of children—about 5 percent to 9 percent—have a serious emotional disturbance" (Report of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, p. 2).

Over the centuries, society has developed many theories about mental illness—from believing that people were possessed with devils to the more current exploration of a genetic basis for at least some of the afflictions. Responses to the mentally ill have included abandonment and rejection of individuals, or putting them into institutional care. Other approaches have been surgery, counseling, various forms of therapy, and medication. Traditional healers whose potions or spells are believed to remove curses are also an option in some countries.

God has given us 'a sound mind'
March 21, 2005

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