Current Issues in Psychiatry
Welcome the the CMDA Psychiatry section blog. We will be providing thought provoking articles and hope you will participate with your comments.
Is mental illness a spiritual issue (the result of sin), or is mental illness a medical issue? Is a person with mental illness struggling spiritually or are they physically sick? Is a Christian supposed to have mental illness? Can’t God cure mental illness?
A few weeks ago I was doing weekend rounds in a psychiatric hospital in rural Kentucky, and met with a 53 year old male patient struggling with severe treatment resistant depression. The gentleman was struggling with what appeared to be delusional guilt over the belief that he had committed ‘the unforgiveable sin’ of blaspheming the Holy Spirit 14 years ago.
Lifelong Learning as a Christian in Psychiatry involves developing Levels of Understanding. Lifelong spiritual growth as a Christian in psychiatry can be described as progressive transformations to higher levels of wisdom and deeper levels of understanding of God. Our annual conference this year was centered by the theme of “Spiritual Calling in Psychiatry.”
We were pleased to host Kay Warren, of Saddleback Church, as the plenary speaker for our Psych Section Annual Meeting on May 23rd. Mrs. Warren, who lost her son to suicide four years ago, delivered a sobering account of her family’s difficult experiences with providers who appeared to lack compassion and a system that not only failed him, but also contributed to the torment of his mental illness.
In this interview, Irv Weisner, M.D. discusses the support and encouragement he has received over the years from the Psychiatry Section of CMDA, along with the many ways in which he has found to live out his faith in his professional life throughout his career. Interview conducted by Brian Briscoe, M.D., current chair of the Psychiatry Section.
The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church in 2014 was a national event, founded by Kay Warren and her husband Rick, centering on the hope Jesus Christ can bring to those with mental illness. Healthcare professionals, pastors and others discussed the hopelessness that is present when people suffer silently due to their mental illness.
How are you integrating the promotion of mental health and faith in your local community? Dr. John Peteet discusses how they are doing this in several innovative ways in Boston, Massachusetts.
A nationwide survey was recently published by The Physicians Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting physicians. They found that 49 percent of 17,000 physicians reported symptoms of “burnout.” The survey cited the primary sources of dissatisfaction were regulatory and paperwork burdens, as well as loss of clinical autonomy.
“Psychology and Christianity: Five Views.” A stimulating presentation by Eric Johnson, PhD, and the subsequent discussion during our 2016 Annual Meeting Banquet Dinner One of the primary purposes of our Annual Meeting each year is to explore the variety of ways in which faith might influence the field and science of psychiatry and psychology.
There is no other meeting like ours in the world. Bringing together fellow Christians in psychiatry from around the world, our annual CMDA Psychiatry Section meeting (held every year alongside the annual APA meeting) offers a safe environment to explore the different ways in which our faith has come to affect our careers and clinical work.
Christians suffering from mental illness often hesitate to seek psychiatric care. The reasons for this are varied and numerous, but oftentimes the cause lies within our Christian communities which, at times, seem to stigmatize mental illness or suggest that psychiatric symptoms are the result of personal sin.
For the last year I held a job which involved being a “subject matter expert” on resilience. I’ve immersed myself in this concept and, as it turns out, some of the most important resilience factors are things I seem to know a lot about because I am a Christian.