Bridging The Gap Between Religion And Mental Illness

Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
#1
This subject has been discussed a little in the past, but I feel it needs being kept in our awareness more.

I have because of my past training in working in the field of working with people of very severe mental illness, and then later in life because of having a very severe disabling illness and sufering with depression, have tried to champion awareness within the Baha'i community. Yes amazingly have also been attacked by certain people who considered I had no right to speak on these issues because they had elitest issues that they did not consider just having depression was not sufficiant for myself to speak on mental health problems.
I rember thinking at the time, like wow, I was trying to get people to have more compassion, understanding and asking for people to consult together on these issues, and here was a person I was trying to help, attacking me, but OK.

It is sad at this time in our Baha'i history less than 200 years that as the faith grows we need proffesionals in many different fields to help those who feel dis-empowered in our society. For instance those who have knowledge of the faith please tell us of the other buildings that are to be connected with our Temples for instance.

Our faith is so much more than just having places to pray and worship our Creator.

Was reading of how other faiths are also struggling and learning how to deal with mental illness. For instance in the USA alone apparently 42 million people suffer a type of mental illness.

Here... Bridging The Gap Between Religion And Mental Illness

How I look forward to the day, when our baha'i friends who struggle with these problems will not only have institutions to go to for help, but the general Baha'i society will view them with more compassion and love and understnding, and the old stigma's will be a thing of the past.

Would appreciate all thoughts upon the subject, and please one and all show forth patience and love to those you may feel have no or different understandings than you do.
 
Oct 2014
1,797
Stockholm
#2
Oh, mental illness and the Baháís: that's an interesting matter. On the one hand, we have the established approaches among psychiatrists and psychologists. They differ fundamentally from the Faith, as they don't have the spiritual approach: that there is a little soul seed within each of us, which has an urge to grow. They also don't have an approach centered on virtues, but tend to have a relativistic approach to values.

On the other hand, there is a widespread conviction among the Bahá'ís that mental problems are cured solely through prayer and working for the Faith - an approach that differs fundamentally from Bahá'u'lláh's injunction that we are to seek out competent doctors.

Am I surprised then that you ran into problems?

And then - oh dear - humans meeting a new reality, with an Authority, the like of which they haven't come across before. What could possibly go wrong? How could one even imagine such a thing as people who might have behaved in a sane way before, when meeting the Faith, demonstrating passive-aggressive, narcissistic, psychopathic behaviour as a defence against this absolutely incomprehensible reality?

Confusingly yours,

gnat
 
Last edited:
Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
#3
Loving great smile dear gnat now you have confused me.

But then that is not a very difficuly task another loving smile.

There are many Baha'is that have mental health issues, but what some Baha'is fail to understand is that these people are God's creation also, that any illness has no effect on ones soul.
One is to treat any person with any illness with love and compassion I would trust that we all do, and do not steriotype these people.

What I would like to see more of in our glorious faith is love, that no one in our community would ever feel islotated and unloved, that we would become like the Master visiting the sick and aged on a regular and caring basis.
 
Oct 2014
1,797
Stockholm
#4
What I would like to see more of in our glorious faith is love, that no one in our community would ever feel islotated and unloved, that we would become like the Master visiting the sick and aged on a regular and caring basis.
Love! honestly, that word sometimes is just revolting to me. So much talk about love. In the Soviet Union, "comrade" became a formal title, very much like "esquire" or your honor". Sometimes I feel that "love" in daily talk tends to acquire the same kind of ritual meaninglessness. My opinion is: don't talk about it, just do it! One could begin at a much lower level, like tolerance.

Best (as I often write, reserving "love" for special occasions),

from

gnat
 
Last edited:
Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
#5
You may be right dear gnat, I would not know.

But for me it is something I feel in my heart, and I am sorry but it just bubbles out, I appear to no longer have controll of it. loving smile, so please forgive me.

But please if you have lone people in your community please visit them occasionally and give them tollerance.

I give you my tollerance also, loving smile.
 
Oct 2014
1,797
Stockholm
#6
But for me it is something I feel in my heart, and I am sorry but it just bubbles out, I appear to no longer have controll of it. loving smile, so please forgive me.
But then every time is a special occasion for you! :)

And I tell my little children, at least five times a day, how much I love them. And I show them that it's not just words. That's my constant inoculation of them - I guess you've noticed what kind of language today's young ones often use!

But what I kind of react to, is when "love" kind of automatically is used in the self-descriptions of our communities.

Love, :)))

from

gnat
 
Last edited:
Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
#8
But then every time is a special occasion for you! :)

And I tell my little children, at least five times a day, how much I love them. And I show them that it's not just words. That's my constant inoculation of them - I guess you've noticed what kind of language today's young ones often use!

But what I kind of react to, is when "love" kind of automatically is used in the self-descriptions of our communities.

Love, :)))

from

gnat
Dear gnat what you say about puting our love into action is basicaly what I have been asking us all to do, in following the Master's actions. We need to think about our communities and see for ourselves what need is there, and fill it.

A person can say they love someone every time they meet, but if there are no actions to back up that claim, rapidly it becomes seen for what it is, only words and dead words at that.

Loving regards to you and all forum members.
 
Oct 2014
1,797
Stockholm
#9
Dear gnat what you say about puting our love into action is basicaly what I have been asking us all to do, in following the Master's actions. We need to think about our communities and see for ourselves what need is there, and fill it.
Well, I identified the need for translations at a very difficult point in my life. Can't really say that the translation work has helped me solve my problems, but at least the translations have been done.

Best,

from

gnat
 
Last edited:
Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
#10
Well, I identified the need for translations at a very difficult point in my life. Can't really say that the translation work has helped me solve my problems, but at least the translations have been done.

Best,

from

gnat
Dear friend but the translations are so desperately needed, it is a service for others, not necessarily to help your problems. But then again as you were translating and reading did you not receive benefit? I feel you would have.

All service done without selfish aims are a beneit are they not. (I emphasize without selfish aims)

Loving regards to you, and a big loving hug in my mind, sorry I cant visit and give it in person.