Mental illnesses such as clinical depression or anxiety and schizophrenia are not uncommon in society. Worldwide, over one hundred and twenty million people suffer from depression (See HereToHelp.bc.ca). It is important to consider that some of the spiritual and emotional struggles a person is facing may be compounded by an untreated mental illness.
Mental illnesses are medical conditions. They are biological dysfunctions in our bodies. Unfortunately, while most of us do not have a problem wearing glasses to correct the physical problems of far- or near-sightedness, we often balk at medication for mental illness.
Proper treatment of mental illness can be a determining factor in a person’s spiritual and emotional well-being. Checklists, such as those from Emotionally Free, by Dr. Grant Mullen, help determine if someone is struggling with a mental illness. These symptom checklists are reproduced with permission at the back of this book. Please use them, and do not hesitate to refer someone for medical attention if necessary.
It is equally important to acknowledge that some medical conditions–thyroid imbalance, anaemia and others–can present symptoms that look like depression. Before I meet with someone for individual counselling, and even as part of our intake process for groups, we recommend a physical check-up.