This week, for Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, we’re looking at some of the most common mental health conditions and asking how we can help – heart, mind, soul and strength.
Psychosis is believing or experiencing things that can be empirically disproved and schizophrenia is a psychotic illness. It is not, as is commonly believed, a split personality. Psychosis can be very frightening, with RD Laing writing:
“Schizophrenia cannot be understood without understanding despair.”
Heart: Try to ensure that there are people who can care for someone experiencing psychosis or emotional distress at church events or services, create a calm and quiet space that may be used.
Mind: If someone is in the midst of a hallucination or delusion, avoid affirming or denying the accuracy of what they’re describing. Instead, concentrate on keeping them as calm as possible and acknowledge how they’re feeling about their experiences.
Soul: Don’t automatically link psychosis with the demonic; instead focus on God’s peace and perhaps praying a psalm with or for them.
Strength: Illnesses such as schizophrenia can affect people’s ability to take care of themselves; offer ways they can care for their body and mind such as having a relaxing shower.