The Bright Side of Mental Illness


I read Untreatable Online pretty regularly. It’s not particularly Christian from my perspective, but the author has great wisdom in understanding mental illness. Here is today’s post:

BPD Awareness Month – Best Parts About Having A Mental Illness

To his list I would add the following:

6. Recognizing God‘s mercy. I would never have as deep an understanding of God’s mercy and care without my illnesses.

7. Seeing God’s people in action. In the same vein, God works mightily through the smallest and strangest of places (and people!). It really is a joy to watch God at work, even in the midst of great sorrow and pain.

Those are mine. What are yours?


(Via Untreatable Online)

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7 thoughts on “The Bright Side of Mental Illness”

  1. Well, it is through my illness that I have come to know how God actually does care for me, and also HOW he cares for me. He has given my a family (especially my wife), my pastor, my doctor and my counselor. In addition he has given me many friends who have helped support me along the road. While some of them may come and go I guess (not everyone is married, or has a good pastor, etc.), God's mercy does not change or lesson based on the person or the situation. It may be harder to see or understand, but that does not make it any less real.


  2. I am sorry that was so negative of a comment from me. I just don't feel anyone does understand anymore and expects people with depression
    to snap out of it and
    like a clown I put on a smile
    but I am sick of it.
    Sorry to ruin this thread.

    1. Mary-
      I spent a several months (during this past Fall & Winter) in worsening depression. It is a terrible place to be. Devastating, lonely & exhausting in my experience.
      Yet, I also feel (in retrospect of course), that which Joni Eareckson-Tada writes:

      "Ever felt like you were up against a wall? Stuck. Stalled. Stymied. Smack-dab against a cold, hard, unyielding barrier with absolutely no way out. You can't go back, you can't go sideways, it's too high to climb, it's impossible to tunnel underneath, and there are no detours. What do you do? A friend once told me, "Joni, when you're up against a wall, the only thing you can do is start walking through it." Sound impossible?

      Of course it is! Whoever heard of anyone walking through a wall? Well, someone did. In the Upper Room, Jesus suddenly appeared in the midst of his frightened, discouraged disciples.

      Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."
      –John 20:26

      The door was closed, the walls were thick, and there was no entry or exit. But Jesus came in anyway. Jesus did the impossible. And he is constantly asking us to do the impossible. When we face the wall-whether it be pain, an emotionally unbearable circumstance, or a difficult situation beyond anything we've ever encountered before-God wants us to walk through that wall.

      As we take that first step into impossibility, we will find Jesus in the wall, in the most unlikely place in the most unbelievable circumstance. And in the interior of that cold, dark, unyielding place Jesus whispers, "Peace be with you."

      No matter what my situation, I have the assurance that if Jesus walked through walls, I can, too. Besides, I have to follow him. I have nowhere else to turn. And neither do you.


      What is your wall today? What is the impossible situation that has been stopping you in your tracks and turning you back? Ask the Lord Jesus to meet you there-right in the middle of it. And then walk hand-in-hand with him through that wall to the other side.

      Mighty One, nothing is impossible with you. No situation is beyond your help, your counsel, or your strength. I choose to fix my eyes upon you this day, rather than my obstacles."

      Blessings, Joni and Friends, Taken from Pearls of Great Price.

      So Mary, I am praying for you in the midst of your wall.

      NOTE: Joni is a quadriplegic.

  3. Thank you so much Joni for your prayers, in the midst of the wall.
    I will heed your words of kind thoughts and guidance and think of Jesus
    who DID do the impossible and I will picture him saying 'Peace be with you".
    in the midst of this sad sad day of mine.
    I will take his hand and walk with him through it.
    You like visual prayer like me I see.
    Our precious Savior who while we were still sinners, (I the foremost today I feel as St Paul once confessed( chose to give us salvation in spite of that
    for God so loved the World he gave his only begotten son.

    Thank you Joni and Friends for your kind words of encouragement.
    I apologize to the board for such a negative comment. Sorry.

    Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Eternal One have MERCY on us and on the whole world.

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