The Christian and Good Mental Health
For the committed Christian, locating competent mental health professionals who are committed to Christian values and principles is becoming increasingly difficult. Our permissive, secular culture has infiltrated almost every discipline, and mental health is no exception. Mental health providers who have little or no spiritual or moral values can often do more harm than good, and certainly from a spiritual point of view can lead a person in a direction away from Christ and His teachings.
I believe that good mental health treatment and maintaining spiritual values are compatible, and that a person does not have to compromise one to receive the other. But even among those who are Christian therapists, there are varying degrees of spiritual commitment. A client or patient must be willing to ask the right questions in the beginning to know if his therapist is a good fit for his mental and spiritual health. Make a list of what is important to you spiritually. Don’t be afraid to ask a therapist her thoughts on those various spiritual values. Keep an open mind, but also be willing to question any suggestions or advice that you may feel compromises your spiritual ideas and values. Seldom will we ever find anyone who agrees with us on everything spiritually, so it is important to define what is the most important to you and let those principles be your guidelines for selecting a competent therapist.
This book is designed primarily to get an overview of some of the most common mental and emotional illnesses and disorders. Descriptions and definitions along with symptoms and treatment possibilities are suggested for each chapter. At the end of the book, there is a hotline and information lines for those who are in crises. These phone numbers will assist you in receiving information or critical help in times of depression, anxiety, grief, or other mental or emotional crises. It is my sincere prayer that this book will be of assistance to Christians seeking guidance and direction for developing and maintaining good mental health.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to discuss every mental or emotional condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by mental health professionals. But I have selected those that I have most often seen in my practice over the last thirty years.
During a mental health emergency, one should seek the closest mental health professional for immediate assistance. Long-term therapy decisions can be made at a later time, when the patient is not in crises.
Faith: The Christian’s Hope and Shield
Our world has changed dramatically in the past 25 years or so. Advancements in science, technology, and medicine have made our lives healthier and opened incredible communication realities.
In the same period of time, spiritual and moral values have declined. Christianity is being ridiculed and Christians all over the world are being persecuted, abused, and even killed.
Militant Islam has vowed to convert or kill all Jews and Christians. Radical Islamic warriors have already begun their purge of Christianity and other religions. Christians are being persecuted and killed in Africa, Iran, Israel, and Syria. Westerners are being beheaded and Christians in Iraq are having to flee their homes while other Christian men, women, and their children have been killed. Islamic domination “caliphate” comes daily from ISIS, Hamas, and al-Qaida.
In the United States, there is another kind of war taking place – a war of ideas and values. Christian morals and values are being attacked from many quarters. God is prohibited from our educational system. Movies, television, books are regularly ridiculing Christianity and depicting Christians in a negative way. Much of the media emphasis is sacrilegious. Some are demeaning all religion, but especially Christianity. The Bible is held in contempt or just ignored by many of our population. Abortion, the gay/lesbian issue, Biblical inspiration and Christian values such as honesty, truthfulness, and sexual morality have been challenged and Christianity is considered of little or no value.
It is not easy to be a Christian today. Many threats and persecutions have created insecurity and doubt, even among passionate Christians. Faith in God – real faith – is our only hope for the future. It is my prayer this book – Faith: The Christian’s Hope and Shield – will help many to experience a deeper and more personal faith in God and His word.
Also Available by Larry Swaim:
So You Want To Be Popular
Here is a Christian book for teens – written to equip teens to cope with the problems and challenges of our modern culture.
So You Want to Be Popular has been revised several times, the latest revision coming in 2015. It continues to be a requested book for Christian teenagers. The book outlines basic biblical principles of kindness, concern, patience, honesty, and truthfulness that are necessary for a person to be truly successful or happy.
Most teenagers want to be popular. It is more difficult than ever in this secular culture to be a Christian and still be popular. It is possible, though. One simply has to apply the tried and true qualities and ideals given to us by inspiration.