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My Take: Let’s stop keeping mental illness a secret
April 8th, 2013
12:18 PM ET

My Take: Let’s stop keeping mental illness a secret

Editor’s Note: Rebekah Lyons is the author of "Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning." She writes on womanhood, purpose and mental health at RebekahLyons.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebekahlyons.

By Rebekah Lyons, Special to CNN

(CNN)– We grieve. Our stomachs turn as the shock settles in. Many of us were raised in pews where answers were given freely. But this past weekend proved otherwise. If we are honest, we are shaken by the frailty of our faith.

As the news spread on Saturday, Christians around the world were gripped by the suicide of 27-year-old Matthew Warren, son of Rick Warren, a beloved megachurch pastor and best-selling author of "The Purpose Driven Life." A son’s life was fraught with mental illness from his earliest years. A father bravely addressed this struggle head-on in a letter to church staff stating, "only those closest to him knew that he struggled with mental illness, dark holes of depression and even suicidal thoughts."

Mental illness is a category so vast, with varying degrees so complex, we collectively avoid the topic until it creeps into our homes and afflicts those we love most. But today, we're forced to face something that’s become so rampant, it can no longer be ignored.

For years, we've reserved the term “mental illness” for only the most extreme cases, but 26% of us in any given year suffer from depression, anxiety and a serious number of other mental illnesses, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It’s a dirty little secret few people want to talk about, a devastating statistic implying that, in each of our families, we all care for someone who faces this pain.

This problem doesn't go away just because you have faith. For many, the church has become a place where they quietly suffer.

Almost one in four middle-age women is on some form of antidepressant medication, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Women intent on managing the expectations of their spouses, children and friends quietly medicate while trying to keep it all together.

Opinion: How churches can respond to mental illness

As one representing the 26%, for me it came in waves. From the low hum during the longest of winters to volatile moments rocking on the floor of my closet, questioning whether my life would always bear this weight. Watching it firsthand in my family during my formative years, I wondered whether history was repeating itself in me.

For those afflicted, depression enters when we've lost hope for the future. When we no longer imagine a life that is free. Whether it’s triggered by a chemical imbalance or a change in circumstances, facing it in isolation is the most treacherous. At precisely the time we need others, our inclination is to turn inward.

I’ve been comforted to know I’m not alone.

Anxiety and panic are my nemesis. In my struggle to break through the mental distress, I’ve found comfort and promise in the writings of Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl. His summation that the root cause of anxiety is a sense of unfulfilled responsibility resonates.

For me, the low surfaces when I am not contributing to someone or something. When I lose a vision for my life, purpose hides beyond my grasp. But when I recover my sense of purpose and calling — to help women navigate these hidden troubles — meaning rushes in.

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Over the past three years, the promises of Jesus have been paramount in helping me walk forward. Uttering hushed prayers in subways as the doors close in, softly crying out for rescue on long desolate Central Park walks in the dead of winter. God’s presence has always been a guiding force, my source for purpose beyond myself.

For each of us, this tragedy raises important questions: How do we better care for the 26%? What is your role in bringing healing to those who hurt?

Perhaps these three postures could go a long way.

Remove the stigma
As people of faith, let’s talk about mental illness, giving others permission to do the same. Let's release the stigma that keeps this a secret, holding untold millions captive. All secrets lose power when they exit the dark. The church is a place where we should be able to come as we are, with our longings for what we hope to be. Jesus always pursued the weak with open arms. When we are broken and fragile, He draws us closer to Him in ways we’ve never known. In my own journey, I’ve never felt more loved and cared for by God than in my darkest hours. When we grieve, we are comforted.

Be present
Let’s be present. Let’s love unconditionally. Eye to eye, we must be honest about our own struggles. Especially in the church, no one should have to hide or sneak around or double his or her dose. Let’s be on-call in the late night hours, when the phone rings and we are summoned to show up. What if our communities of faith were the one place you could count on to find a listening ear, a hand to hold, another loving human being with a compassionate and sensitive response?

Don't pretend to have all the answers

Let's not shame mental illness with the judgment of spiritual weakness. As Christians, we believe this side of heaven all disease, sickness and pain is rooted in a world broken by sin. But there are real consequences to living amidst the mess. To oversimplify these complexities would be naive at best, negligent at worst. Faith should never undermine the necessity of doctors, of medications and therapy, because we must deploy every effort afforded to us when we tackle our brokenness.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

I’m comforted to know that even in this tragic moment, America's beloved pastor still teaches us. Warren's sensitivity and understanding in the closing words of his letter give hope for a new posture within the church. He acknowledged that "Kay and I often marveled at (Matthew's) courage to keep moving in spite of relentless pain. I'll never forget how many years ago ... Matthew said, 'Dad, I know I'm going to heaven. Why can't I just die and end this pain?' But he kept going for another decade."

With that kind of honest, raw vulnerability and perspective, who wouldn’t want Rick Warren to be their pastor? Or their dad, for that matter.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rebekah Lyons.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. buongiorno

    So you have an antidote for the entire nation? I'M NOT RATIONALIZING ANY OF THIS EITHER!

    April 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  2. lionlylamb

    I do so love the ideologies proclaiming there is a God of all gods and goddesses. To believe in any one of God's children does so knowingly and with reason of the Father who is God Almighty, the One and only Creator of the atomic cosmos giving rise to our cosmos in which we declare there to be universal constructs of the celestial domains in which our physical being is subjected to within a solar system of the ordinary kinds. The fathoming depths of the atomic cosmos is where the sons of God and their wives and children live out their eons of time without interfering with any and all celestial life affirmations. For, all celestial life formations are mere vessels and/or buildings in which the Gods and Goddesses and their families reside in endlessness living of glories to the Father and Creator of everything from absolutely nothing!

    April 8, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      Oops – he threw up his word salad again. Clean-up on page 2 – stat.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
  3. kevobx

    Matthew 9:5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? *Micah 4:5 For all people will walk everyone in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever. *Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire. *Obadiah 18 for the Lord hath spoken it. *Psalm 77:15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.

    April 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • clarity

      Come on, kevo – spice things up a bit and give us some Lamentations.

      April 8, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Akira

      Oh, it isn't real unless Lamentations is trotted out, clarity.

      April 8, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  4. LAM

    Help does not always come even when asked for. No insurance so no medicine. Then my daughter who is ADHD and Aspergers is a challenge and ask and try for understanding from CHURCH, SCHOOL and even therapist and it is very minimal. Even people in church don't want to have to deal with the problem children to help them... Unless your one of the families that is in that situation you do not understand.
    The Warren family deserves all the prayers and backing they deserve I love to read his articles they have helped me many a day get by.

    April 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  5. kevobx

    144,000 is for the twelve tribes, the children of Israel. *Exodus 2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. *Revelation 7:5 Of the tribe Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. *1st Chronicles 5:2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's:) *Hebrews 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. *Numbers 2:33 But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses.

    April 8, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
  6. kevobx

    The world has become lovers of themselves, they love the world so much, that is Esau's culture. The most high God is warning his people thee on our heritage. Thou is the white man who loves art so scared of grace and truth. Do not be proud my people, notice the asses & mules, look at the people riding on horses, that is the serpent Dan by the way. (Genesis 36:24)

    April 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  7. Michelle King

    Thank you so much for this article. Every time I read or think about what has happened in Mr. Warren's family, I want to cry. I too, know the pain of deep depression and a desire to end it by leaving this world. How I wished I had known this young man and been able to share my journey and escape from depression with him. Depression is something that I have to guard my heart and mind from constantly. I have experienced some of the same things that you speak about in your own life. I believe that because of the way this world does things, depression is rampant and will continue to get worse as long as we don't "turn from our wicked ways." The things that we have brought upon ourselves and the things that others have brought upon us through disobedience to God and His ways is killing us and causing many to take their own lives. satan is loving it. It's what he wants. There is only so much our human minds and hearts can handle...only so much pain we can endure and the results are becoming fatal. Yes, satan is loving it all. When are we gonna stop fighting each other and start fighting him. Thank you for writing this article.

    April 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  8. kevobx

    *John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. *Deuteronomy 20:12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: *John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. *Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

    April 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
  9. cultivatingessence

    Thank you for this post, Rebekah, and for speaking up about removing the stigma. Matthew's plea was, at one time, very much my plea. I write about my perspective and speak directly to those who may feel something akin to what Matthew experienced here: http://cultivatingessence.org/be-the-only-one-thoughts-on-mental-illness/

    I do think it is important to avoid oversimplification, as you suggest in your post. And yet in my experience the church and fellow believers have often sidelined those living with the difficulties of depression, bipolar, PTSD and many other forms of mental, emotional and psychological challenges, suggesting that the individual "go get help" elsewhere. Opting for silence or denial or holding those who suffer in this way at arm's length or, worse, casting them out, perpetuates separation and inflicts a far greater pain. Treatment is often necessary; and yet, love always opens the door for one to reclaim the truth of who they are, the loss of which is in my opinion at the root of much mental illness and psychological brokenness we see reflected in our culture.

    April 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  10. lionlylamb

    I am one of those "mentally challenged" and so are many myriads of the cultured ensembles deductively deducing the many so many variables of deductive rationalizing. The very distasteful fruits of cultured psychology variations demean the many who only think in terminologies differently. My body is but a building wherein my body of a building dare I say lives a God and all God's subjects. Within my body's raiment lies the atomic cosmos as does all and every life formation upon this celestial shore we call earth. Even within the earth itself dare I say does lay many kingdom domains on the atomic orders of the cosmological. Our known universe is full of Godly kingdom domains all being upon the atomic cosmos.

    Our 'visibly' known universe is but like a dot upon a piece of paper. We will never know the full extent of the spatial cosmos in which our viewable universe is but like a twinkle in the eye of God.

    April 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @LL,

      hang in there.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • clarity

      "Within my body's raiment lies the atomic cosmos"

      Oh no, LL, I've told you before it's not good to keep all that junk inside. I mean things like yogurt and sauerkraut are good for the body, but you can't hold on to things in your body forever. Eat some prunes before bedtime if necessary, dear.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • MEATPASTE

      I stopped reading at "deductively deducing."

      Or should I just state that I stopped reading your reading once I concludingly concluded that it was pointlessly pointless to continue continuing.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh joy. Lionly the cowardly is back with the same pseudo-intellectual stupidity.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      The socialized barricades of the culturally enforced are subliminally politicized to being on the correct courses of thought provocations. I stand alone and am affirmed to ever be the loner. I see what others cannot nor dare not to envision.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @HG,

      I think there's a resaon this topic resonates with LL.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @lionly

      You see nothing but your own pathetic attempt to feel superior intellectually to others. You have nothing, and will never have anything to back up what's all the pseudo-intellectual garbage you post, because there is nothing underneath.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • @hawaiiguest

      You are trolling a Religion Blog – on a story about suicide, Christianity and mental illness. You are taunting and calling people names. Maybe you should stop and think about your actions. Please.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @@hawaiiguest

      Oh so because the story is about a specific topic, and so that automatically means I'm not allowed to call lionly what he is? Try reading back to when he was active. This is standard for him. A lot of nonsense that all amounts to absolutely nothing.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      hawaiiguest,

      hgt, you and your brazenness is but a debauchery of mundaneness and discorded actions meant to imply to one a sense of bitterness. You can dare only write bitterness and subterfuge as many posters here even myself on occasion. Until I am proven wrong I will believe in an atomic cosmos where the Gods and all Gods people do live deeply seeded inside all mannerisms of the atomized cosmos.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • clarity

      Evidently, hawaiiguest, you've been atomized down to just "hgt".

      April 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • @hawaiiguest

      Why don't you ignore him? Why do you feel the need to tell him you think you are superior?

      April 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @lionly

      Believing something until it's "proven wrong" is useless. The time to actually believe something is when there is some kind of evidence to back it up. Your consistent posts full of pseudo-intellectual nothings aren't evidence. Continue posting all the drivel you want, and I will continue pointing out that it's all crap.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • clarity

      LL did used to have some pretty demeaning things to say about women.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • @hawaiiguest

      Can I point out your bitterness and smug comments?

      April 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @@hawaiiguest

      Go through every post I've made, and if I've ever said that I was superior to someone, I will apologize profusely because I don't think that.
      The fact is, when people see intellectual sounding things, they take it seriously without bothering to find out what it actually means. Lionly's posts are full of nothing but his own assertions that really amount to absolutely nothing. If you think saying so is "telling someone I'm superior", then disagreement in any form seems to be asserting superiority to you. A very strange position.
      I call lionly stupid because that's what he is. He has proven so time and again. He responds to absolutely nothing, and continues to use his thesaurus to cloak every assertion he has.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      hawaiiguest,

      So then hgt, are you being a stellar scholar of English linguistics? From my views, all you're doing is making lewd propositions evoking sarcasms upon others to see your worthwhileness. Bark! Bark! Bark away if you must,,,,,, lil doggy.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • .

      LL is the belief blog pseudo intellect, just laugh when you see their name and move on.

      April 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @lionly

      LOL really I'm the one barking? You're the one here that doesn't answer anything and posts nonsensical idiocy that amounts to blind assertions. You really are just a pathetic tool who has absolutely nothing of substance to say.

      April 8, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      hawaiiguest

      Sorry hgt, I just can't see past your barking humorous non-essentialisms berating delegations of deprecating reprisals meant as only insinuations. So,,, I need a mascot to quench my thirstiness for contagious incendiaries. Care to spark me sparky?

      April 8, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @lionly

      Thank you for the perfect example of what I was talking about.

      April 8, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • lol??

      LL does tickle ye ol' funny bone.

      April 9, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • lol??

      LL would be cool in a political conversation with harvard educated psychopathic political leaders on TV. I'd try and catch that one.

      April 9, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  11. Colin

    If a person thinks they can communicate with an invisible being by thinking private thoughts that will cause this being to alter the course of history in small ways, we call them delusional. If a billion do, we call them Christians who believe in the power of prayer.

    April 8, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • God made everything, admit it

      Prayer is like, well, getting into a rocket and blasting off just to see what it's like, each time, because you know God is there and he does actually listen. He's an independent being, all powerful, beyond all imagination and intelligence, ever, over all time, and he cares, if you care about him.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Then who made God?

      .

      April 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • God made everything, admit it

      The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the only God ever. No god came before God. He's it. He's God.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Colin

      So, you believe that something can come from nothing, do you? Your god just popped into existence, did he?

      April 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • God made everything, admit it

      You can tell the God had his hand in this too:

      Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

      Jhn 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

      Jhn 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • @Then who made God?

      God is independent.

      This means that God does not require anything to be who He is. He is self-sufficient. There is no prerequisite for God to continue existing; there is nothing that He requires to maintain Himself.

      We are dependent. This whole universe is dependent. All of science proves this. And also points to something happening outside this universe to start it.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • God made everything, admit it

      There is no need to repeat the obvious.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • MEATPASTE

      If you're in a rocket, you have the opportunity to actually go somewhere. The comparison to prayer does not fit.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • @Colin

      Although I’m an atheist who kinda sorta wishes religion didn’t exist, the fact is that it does, and I refuse to believe that all of the billions of religious people in the world are just mentally ill. No, they’re onto something. It’s just not something that I’m interested in myself.

      So when you imply that the definition of mental illness is believing in things without evidence, you miss a lot about what it’s like to be mentally ill. Namely, you ignore the emotional pain, cognitive distortions, thwarted goals, ruined relationships, physical fatigue, and all the other things that are part of the experience of mental illness.

      There are many interesting, intelligent, and non-offensive ways for atheists to argue against destructive religious ideas. Calling religious people mentally ill is not one of those ways. Let’s put that kind of useless rhetoric back on the shelf where it belongs.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      All assertions and no evidence from the religious. Pretty typical.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • clarity

      So "God made everything, admit it" – who actually wrote John?

      April 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @@Then who made God?,
      If you can claim that God is independent then why not the universe, or the singularity from which it came, or the multiverse?

      April 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • @Then who made God?

      Why should he make his creation independent?

      April 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • God made everything, admit it

      John wrote it, but God had his hand in it, maybe his whole arm.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @@Then who made

      Starting with the unproven assumption that things were "created" shows the disconnect between those who actually want to find out what's true, and those who have already decided.

      April 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Colin,

      And the only reason I'm singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if you're in a situation like that there's only one thing you can do and that's walk into the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say

      "Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice's restaurant.".

      And walk out. You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him.

      And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both f-ggots and they won't take either of them.

      And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an organization.

      And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may think it's a movement.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • God made everything, admit it

      This is a big boy conversation about God making what he made, HawaiiGuest. If if you want to talk about the 'no god' you atheists worship, go to the atheist discussion blog where the talk about nothing.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • @Then who made God?

      You are a creature (you were created). That is not an assumption. That is common knowledge.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      When someone provides irrefutable evidence that a god exists, I will believe a god exists. When someone provides irrefutable evidence that a "god made everything", I will believe that a god made everything. But even though humans have worshiped thousands of gods and have all claimed that their gods have done all sorts of things - even that their god "made everything" - not one of these believers have ever been able to provide proof.

      It's sort of funny that someone would come on a blog thread about mental illness and make all sorts of unsupported claims about the god of their choice. Perhaps they subconsciously realize that a thread about mental illness is the right place to bring such wild claims about the supernatural.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @God made everything

      How cute. No answer, no evidence, just another religious zealot with nothing but assertions.

      @@Then who made

      I was born, but I see no evidence that I was "created" by anything. Saying "oh it's common knowledge" doesn't mean anything. It's a common belief, but that also doesn't make it right in any way. So, do you have any evidence that things were "created", or even that your "god" even exists?

      April 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      Oh, I don't know...my parents crated me. My husband and I created my children. And @_______ is a cowardly was to post, unless one doesn't want to be acknowledged for one's posts. Therefore, I dismiss them.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • God made everything, admit it

      Open the bible and read it, tallulah13. All kinds of witnesses in there.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Using the bible as evidence? Either you are a troll or you are indeed mentally ill.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • God made everything, admit it

      The utter genius behind the bible content, is obvious, tallulah13, if you have a thinking brain able to comprehend it. The sad reality is though, many won't be able to partake of all the genius and creativity within it. Those before us, missed out, as we will, and you most certainly.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • clarity

      "God made everything, admit it": "All kinds of witnesses in there" (Bible)

      Oh, that's a brilliant proof of your God.

      April 8, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
  12. Reta A

    It sounds like his son suffered from Bipolar Disorder. I have a sister, who is also a Christian, who struggles with this brain-chemical illness. You are right to say that we need to remove the stigma. People who suffer with mental illness cannot control their illness anymore than people with cancer, heart disease, Diabetes, or any other illness. True, there are medications that help but there remains no cure. The medications are strong and have serious side effects and take away personality strengths like creativity. So, it is difficult to live with mental illness. My sister is a brilliant, educated woman with many talents and she is an exemplary hero to my children. My prayers are with Rick and his family.

    April 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Now

      Thanks Reta. Nicely put.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Sandy G.

      Thank you Rita for your compassionate, intelligent response. Mental illness is a medical disorder. I myself know "The Noonday Demon." Living with chronic depression is a daily battle.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  13. Rose

    For anyone dealing with depression or other emotional problems I highly recommend the self-help program: Recovery International (RI). Once upon a time, anxiety & clinical depression robbed me of a 'normal' life. I couldn't work, could barely drive. Gloom & doom replaced the independent life I once knew. I remember often thinking: "If this is the way the rest of my days are going to be, I don't want to live!" Using the RI cognitive-behavioral skills showed me the way out of the darkness, and gave me my life back. Today I can do anything I choose to do. I have a wonderful life.

    RI was developed by Chicago neuropsychiatrist Abraham A. Low – who was decades ahead of his time in the field of self-help. The goal, the purpose, of the RI techniques is to 'regain and maintain' mental health. It works! I am living, breathing proof – and so are tens of thousands of others.

    The RI method targets symptoms–so it is able to bridge across many different diagnoses. Success through RI is the rule, not the exception. Why? One main reason is that the focus is wellness, not illness.
    http://www.lowselfhelpsystems.org/index.asp

    April 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  14. Uncouth Swain

    Finally some truth from the media.

    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/04/08/truth-behind-gospel-judas-revealed-in-ancient-inks/?intcmp=features

    April 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • MEATPASTE

      Does this not counter the teachings of the "HOLY MYTH?"

      April 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  15. Reasonably

    All part of your god's plan, right?

    April 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Do it your self, and lay it on truth absolute GOD, way of hindus, ignorant s to avoid responsibility.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  16. G to the T

    Anyone else think he was g a y and couldn't handle having a famous pastor dad?

    April 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Ask his Pharisee hypocrite daddy,

      April 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • G to the T

      LOL... anybody OTHER than IFOAC... Not the type of support I was looking for...

      April 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • MEATPASTE

      Possible. And if true, it only confirms what I feel about religion as a whole.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • A Conversation

      So are you saying gay men are mentally ill?

      April 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • MEATPASTE

      No.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • In the 26%

      While that's always a possibility, depression is much more likely. Just look at the statistic – 26% of the country suffers from depression or a related illness. How much of the country is part of the GLBT community? I think it's incredibly sad that you jump to this conclusion with absolutely no indications that was the case.

      For many of us, depression is a chemical imbalance. I like to compare it to diabetes. In depression, the imbalance is generally related to seratonin. Just as diabetics may produce not enough or too much insulin, our brains may not produce enough seratonin, or our neuro-transmitters absorb it so quickly it doesn't have a chance to have the same mood-elevating effect that occurs in a "normal" brain. Unfortunately, while tests are being developed that will help to detect these changes, they are still in their infancy. Instead of checking our glucose, depression-sufferers have to monitor the symptoms of their disease subjectively. We learn to be introspective and question our own motives in seemingly benign situations in order to ensure that we are adequately managing our disease. Obviously this method is flawed, but it is all we have. Both diseases can be managed with varying degrees of success through medication, therapies, and lifestyle changes, but neither can be cured.

      As someone around the same age as Matthew that has been managing diagnosed depression for the better part of the last decade, this sad situation sounds like Matthew struggled with managing his disease, and it finally took him. I personally pray that we can remove the stigma and invest the resources we have put into curing other diseases into better tools and treatments for depression. It is an incredibly difficult condition to live with, both for those that suffer as well as their friends and family members.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's possible. It could have been any number of things. I doubt we'll ever know the truth.

      And "A Converstation"? It's probably more likely that people who hate gays are mentally ill.

      April 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  17. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Mentally ill is hinduism, ignorance of a hindus, ignorant s, lost of Skinah, peace of heart due to hindu contradictory environmental surroundings cause person to question being in this world, labeled as mental sickness by hindu sanatans, ignorant goons pretending to be gods of humanity, follow truth absolute GOD in life and never have hinduism, mental sickness ever.

    April 8, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • KiddSS

      Spoken like someone who is truly deranged.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • meifumado

      Paper bag muslim stinky no deodorant pedophile illiterate evil muslim blah blah my parrot can say muhammad sucks balls ism

      April 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • ME II

      Is everything hinduism?

      April 8, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Ya, hindered negative is hindered, negative, do not make a hindu negative like his cow mamas dong, some thing holy.

      April 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  18. kevobx

    Lazarus exposed! The world worships dead people, they build monuments of wood and stone to worship Satan, the devil loves rituals. (Revelation 9:20) *John 11:13-14 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. *Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. *Exodus 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day. (Why are you in the churches on Sunday! *Ezekiel 8:16*)

    April 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Billy

      And another helping of stupid.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      The world worships dead people, they build monuments of wood and stone to worship Jesus

      April 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  19. 12Purple

    "Will my life would always bear this weight"

    For those that are mentally ill? Yes.

    April 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  20. kevobx

    Mental health is those who have denied grace and truth. The world loves their things more! Plagues are curses (Revelation 22:18-19) *Exodus 15:26 for I am the Lord that healeth thee. *Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: *Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.

    April 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Billy

      Well that was a big bowl of stupid.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • 12Purple

      @Billy

      So true.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • ME II

      " For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

      In other words, 'I'll be nice when I feel like it.'

      April 8, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      no, kevobx: mental health is for those who claim they have found "truth"

      April 8, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Voice of Truth-Censored by CNN

      Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

      Seriously, mental health has NOTHING to do with religious depth. In fact, most frequently, those with the most religious depth have the most severe mental illness.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Book of Mithra ism, savior ism called bible is hinduism ignorance of hindus, mental sick, one has to be a hindu mentally sick to believe, truth absolute is divided able, or a man, dependent on truth absolute to be, and witnessed by person concerned being dependent on truth absolute is, truth absolute GOD. hinduism, mental sickness of greatest magnitude.

      April 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Please don't vote or breed.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • KiddSS

      @ Billy,

      Don't worry we won't hold your ignorance against you.

      April 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • screwedupbad

      Your post doesn't even begin to make sense. Your own words do not follow any system of logical understanding. Maybe if your posts were more logical people would take you seriously rather than think of you as an ignorant troll.

      April 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.