I believe I got this light bulb moment revelation as regards mental disorders and mind issues for a while now, but it was not until recently that I had this deep urge to give my two cents about them. So I consulted with some professional psychologists and did my research so that I will not be giving just well-meaning light bulb moment revelations that are not backed by our world’s realities.
In a lot of words, our mind is a function of a complex interplay of factors- our brain, information, environment, feelings, personal traits and the likes. Now, when I was researching about this topic, I got this definition of mental disorders from the World Health Organization that we will touch on as we go on. It says that mental disorders comprise of a broad range of problems with different symptoms. However, they are generally characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behavior and relationships with others. Examples are Schizophrenia, depression, intellectual disabilities and disorders due to drug abuse. The good news is that most of these disorders can be successfully treated.
The dictionary form of the word “mental” is the mind or our soul. Essentially, mental disorders simply mean that there is a problem with the mind. It is at this point that I must say that as scientists continue to explore the causes of mental disorders, they have given information to the effect that some biological processes may be the cause or trigger for a number of mind issues. It is not surprising that even as I write, scientists have not been able to completely understand the real causes of mental disorders. If you take a second to actually think about how complex the human brain is and how mental disorders take a toll on thoughts, feelings and behaviours, you will see that figuring out the causes of mental disorders is really a daunting task. I will like to approach this topic from a fresh perspective, not from the biological, physical or social angle. Not because they are not as important, but since that area is already overflogged by insightful contributions from professionals, I will be taking another route, not taking away from these pieces of info and recommendations, but just adding my two cents. I believe that the mind is ordinarily like a plain field. You know, tabula rasa- plain slate. If you want to be knowledgeable about a subject matter, you read about it, you meditate on it, and you ask questions etc. and quite frankly, you literally get out of your mind and into your reality what you put in it. Say it ain’t so?
When looking at it, we would find out that taking drugs alone or any kind of merely physical correctional methods are not enough to address mind issues and in fact, this may account for why scientists are yet to find the root cause and consequently a solution to mind issues, because they are not exclusively biological issues.
WHO’s discovery about mind issues reveals that our thoughts, emotions, and behavior are key factors that affect our minds. Simply put, our thoughts control the rest of our lives, they inform our emotions, affect our behavior and in the long run have an impact on the relationships we have with other people. Some very observant people revealed that the average person thinks about 70,000 thoughts per day, you will agree with me that that is a lot especially if the thoughts are self-abusive, unproductive and a general waste of time. We are really what we think and just as feeding our minds with relevant information will make us more knowledgeable and will enable us to give brilliant solutions, a right word is surgery to a broken soul.
We have a responsibility to not let our thoughts run amok. No, we do not entertain all thoughts, this is so that when little demons introduce funny thoughts to us, we can say nope and nip them in the bud. You know why? Because if you sow a thought, you reap a deed, and if you sow a deed, you reap a habit. Sow a habit and reap a character…and when you sow a character, boom, you reap a destiny; and that is how the cycle continues. Now, Proverbs 4:23-27 reminds me that above all else, I should guard my heart (mind) because out of it flows the issues of life. Philippians 4:8-9 adds that whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are PURE, whatever things are LOVELY, whatever things are of good report, if there is any value and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.
Hey there, these are not just fancy religious words, they are practical life nuggets that can safeguard our minds from junks and prevent it from being in a state of disorder. So what I am saying in essence is that it is key that we consciously take charge of what we let in our mind space. Yeah, this could mean auditing our social media, I mean, block and unblock as you deem fit. Whatever it is that keeps you sane.
I will like to also address the fact that many of us have an “inner critic” instead of a gentle “inner voice”. Yes, we all have moments where our inner voice, depending on who we are channeling, discourages us from doing particular acts or otherwise, but watch it, your inner voice or biggest critic may just be motivated by pain, lack of self-acceptance, a deep seated self-hate, or even low self-esteem.
If your inner voice is not gentle, and always has a way of dishing you self-deprecating talks, disrespecting you, berating you or calling you names, it is time to invite your inner voice to have a sit at your own table talk. Let your inner voice know exactly who God says you are and God’s promises over your life. It is not enough to just decongest and extinguish thoughts that do a disservice to you, you must also replace your thoughts and then remember to guard your heart because out of it flows the issues of life.
Now, for those of us who do not already know who God says we are. I am more than glad to let you know some factual things that God has said about you, yes YOU and done for you through CHRIST JESUS. All you have to do is receive JESUS and walk in them.
- God said you are holy and without blame before Him in love!
- He said you are righteous!
- You are a CHOSEN generation! He purposely chose you!
- You are a holy nation, He purchased you for Himself.
- You are the HEAD and NOT the tail
- You are healed and whole in Christ!
- You are NOT ruled by fear!
- God loves you so much!
- The Holy Spirit lives in you and gives you His power, love and self-control!
I discovered this from Ms. Mobolaji Ade one of the professionals I checked in with before I decided to do what I love doing the most- oversharing. She highlighted that our feelings are valid. This whole piece is not to make us cancel our feelings or to encourage us to ignore them. That is why we have direct access to God. We can come crying for HELP! HELP!! HELP!!! If you surf through David’s Psalms in the Holy Bible, you will see a man who was very much in touch with his feelings. In fact, if David was still here today, therapists will be blessed by his constant patronage. Like many of us, he expressed doubt, guilt, fear, depression, sadness, and vengeful thoughts etc. that are common to humanity. He definitely had high highs and low lows. But mans knew how to channel it to God. I cannot remember where God turned David down for having any of these feelings. The beautiful thing about God is, He is actually close to the broken-hearted. He wants to hear your wails, what makes you sad and all of that. He will HELP you. Don’t you also forget to, like David, remind your problems who your God is. David once stated that “though he feels this way, he will remember who God is and what His promises are.”
The bottom-line is that we should all try as much as possible to guard our hearts. Oh, someone may ask how that should be done, but the bible is pretty clear on how we should guard our hearts. If you check Proverbs 4: 23, it says we should keep our mouth free of perversity, keep corrupt talk far from our lips, let our eyes look straight ahead, and fix our gaze directly before us. When we get saved, our spirits become re-birthed, but you see our minds, nah, the work continues. We have to consciously be at alert as per what enters and dwells in it. If you sow continuous sad songs and thoughts, you reap depression.
Perhaps you may be faced with a mind issue, no shame. If you are already seeing a therapist, congratulations. As a matter of fact, everyone should have a therapist. Their job is to help as a friend that walks you through life. That’s it. It is definitely okay to see a therapist. Because I do not like to preach what I am not already working on, I will like to say I am not seeing one for personal issues at the moment, though I have talked to quite a number of them, but as soon as I can afford one, I don’t mind at all. Of course there are opportunities for us to reach out to therapists for free, but I believe I do not have urgent issues to do so already. I feel the opportunity should go to people who need it urgently. But trust me, as soon as I am able to afford one, by God’s grace, I’d go for it.
Now make sure you take your meds as at when due, yeah it is of the lord. But don’t forget to also guard, protect and be careful of your thoughts. Remember to call on God through Christ Jesus!
Also, be very mindful of the kinda therapist you are going to see. If you ask me, I will recommend you see a Christian therapist. If you feel you need a counsellor, I will drop links to some organizations below. If you happen to have a family member laboring with a mind issue, I pray God graces you to be gentle with them. Many people who are tackling mind issues are sincerely fearful and may need a gentle nudge to clear up and discern reality. See this youtube video to understand better.
No stigma, no shame. God has set you free and you are free indeed. Good luck, I love you and I am praying for you.