Maybe we should be more careful about what we say to people if we don’t know what living with mental illness is like. He feels like people are just thinking about themselves and who they can impress rather than being Jesus to each other. The Church has far to go in making everyone who comes through the doors each Sunday to feel included and accepted in the Beloved.
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In order to understand why people suffer from mental illness, you first need to know what mental illness actually means. It is estimated that one in five South Africans will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
A few of these external factors relate to the high incidence of crime and violence in our country.
The shocking figure of R5 billion per annum is the estimated cost of alcohol abuse through health and medical expenses, lost productivity, violence and crime. If you need reassurance that your monthly income will be secure in the event that you cannot work due to illness or retrenchment, it may be worthwhile to consider life investment products such as salary protection. The human cost of these mental disorders cannot be projected or referred to in economic terms as individual suffering, the anguish resulting from broken families and emotional distress can never be quantified. If concern about your loved ones keeps you awake at night and if you are worried about their financial future in case you die and can no longer provide for them, put those worries to rest by investing in affordable life cover from a life insurance company in South Africa. Symptoms indicating the development of a mental illness are often associated with a person’s reaction to life events or changes.


Owing to research into the causes of mental illness, effective treatment of some of the conditions has been developed.
It is possible for persons suffering from mental illness to lead fulfilled and meaningful lives. I’m carefully answering each question with positive, grace-filled answers from the Bible or credible sources in the mental health industry. I appreciate what you’re doing, Christy, in getting the subject of Christians who suffer from mental illness out there so Christ-followers will realize they need to take action to minister to ALL needs. Mental illness refers to a class of disorders that influence the way an individual thinks, feels and acts.
Sometimes the onset of a mental illness can be traced to chemical imbalances within the brain, and genetics can play a role to the extent that biological factors create a sense of vulnerability.
Statistics indicate that these illnesses are not merely due to the chemical imbalance in the brain, but that external factors affect individuals’ mental health. Exposure to a traumatic event, such as rape, violent abuse, an armed robbery or witnessing a murder, may result in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. A recent article in Die Burger  (Gespanne werkers neem medikasie, 10 April 2013) stated that unreasonable and unrealistic work expectations increasingly result in employees using (and sometimes abusing) over-the counter medication to help them cope with occupational stress. As factors such as the breakdown of traditional family structures, increased school-related pressures, growing economic volatility and an increasing lack of social cohesion take their toll on South Africa’s younger generation, statistics from SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group) indicate that almost 10% of teen deaths are attributed to suicide.
The telltale signs can be recognised by family and friends noticing changes (that can vary from sudden to gradual) in a person’s behaviour. The sooner a condition is diagnosed the more successful the treatment and rate of recovery will be, and thus the economic and personal cost of the illness can be reduced significantly.


I’m becoming increasingly confident that my ministry is to provide positive, grace-filled resources for people affected by mental illness. Emotional, psychological, physical and social effects include disorders such as depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, eating disorders and chronic pain, which can lead to substance abuse. According to the Mental Health Information Centre, approximately a quarter of all visits to general practitioners are from patients suffering from psychiatric problems rather than general medical conditions. The physical symptoms of work-related stress, namely muscle strain and tension, insomnia, headaches and a lack of concentration are often followed by emotional and psychological disability, which then leads to unproductiveness and economic pressure. If a person suffering from a mental illness receives help as soon as symptoms indicate the condition, the person’s chances of recovery will be much higher and the person will be taught appropriate coping strategies to deal with the illness.
I’m feeling a holy fire well up in me to address these wrongs in the Christian community. Stress, social change or drugs can trigger symptoms in people who are vulnerable to mental illness.
To restore the chemical balance within the brain, causing some of the disorders, medication prescribed by a professional may be needed.
It’s probably a good idea to simply ask a person what they are comfortable discussing. Tell them you want to be supportive but you also want to respect their boundaries, you just need to know where the boundaries are so you can help and not hurt.



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