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To: mlizzy
God is very merciful in his Saints. Another Saint helpful to the mentally ill is Saint Benedict Joseph Labre .

There are classes of mentally ill who are in that condition through no fault of their own. There are some mentally ill people who have engaged in no illicit substance abuse. This subject may be broken down by the fact that illicit substance use among the mentally ill is sometimes described, even by legitimate researchers, as "self-medication". The weakness of this approach is that the practice is not medically supervised. (A bipolar/manic-depressive friend of mine who is currently in a locked facility, uses the strongest coffee, something that doesn't help him.) The unsupervised self-administration of psychotropic substances has the accompanying danger of over-use and addiction.

Everyone has "downs" and "blue days" regardless of organic mental illness. Illicit substance use can be defined, in opposition to the "self-medication" belief/excuse, as Self-Induced Mental Illness.

Another distinction worthy to be pursued, involves the fact that some mental illnesses are described as having a fully "organic" cause. This distinction seems to be centered treatment: Some conditions, such as certain obsessive-compulsive cases, can be cured by an antibiotic regimen. Some bipolar/manic-depressive cases can also be shown to have a clearly biologic component. This distinction therefore addresses treatability.

This type of thinking has the limitation, that other cases of mental illness aren't as easily shown NOT to have an organic component. It could lead to the idea, like the old attitude that some poor people are "unworthy", that some mentally ill people are worthy and some are not. (I once had a relative who plainly stated that "people are poor because they want to be that way". This person later became so poor that he was unable to afford to eat or take necessary medications. He later died, alone and without help.) Anyone is capable of undergoing disability. Does the experience of having to wear glasses or take medications help us to identify more closely with the disabled?

This leads into the subject of attitudes, especially prejudices and shame regarding psychological disability. There is a demonstrable tendency to regard mental illness as in some ways a "communicable disease" that should be quarantined, as if all mentally ill people present some kind of danger to the "non-mentally ill".

I once had a small dog which developed cancer. A larger dog would nip at the small, ill dog. The little dog dug a little escape area under the foundation of the house where it could escape the harassment of the larger dog. The explanation of the behavior seems to be that in dog pack-society, an ill dog must be fed and cared for; the "pack" has a tendency to chase away the ill, non-productive member.

This bears on the subject of utilitarianism, an actual philosophy of ruthless exclusion of dependent disabled people which fails to recognize their intrinsic worth as persons with immortal souls created in the Image and Likeness of God.

5 posted on 03/01/2014 12:18:13 AM PST by CharlesOConnell (CharlesOConnell)
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To: CharlesOConnell
I hope all will read your informative commentary. Thank you for the link to St. Benedict as well. I will start including him in my prayers. We are more familiar with St. Benedict of Nursia, Scholastica's brother, who will aid in keeping the devil away, also helpful for those emotionally troubled. Satan can attack so much more easily the downtrodden, as you demonstrated with your dog with cancer, and the Eucharist is the important healer (the armor) for all those retreating. To be fed with Christ, is to be filled with His strength and His power; I've witnessed many turn around (or certainly have been aided) by same. The update at the end of Fr. Kirby's post is thrilling to read, and shows that prayer from others can pull someone out of darkness as well.

And the issue of something as seemingly benign as coffee, as you mentioned, can and will swing an already troubled mind. If writing was my gift, I would pen a whole book on the proper nutrition for the ailing mind, but I think one of the biggest hits this country (and the whole world) has taken, is the allowance of abortion. Who is not mentally ill (at least temporarily, undergoing a strong wave of angst), who allows the ending of their own child's life? And then the spiraling down to the depths of hell post-abortion leaves many a mother encapsulated by her grave decision, forcing her to be silent for decades, allowing her illness to fester and destroy not only her but all who she comes in contact with. This is where St. Dymphna (after confession!) can be utilized on a daily, heck, minute-by-minute basis. Also Sts. Mary and Elizabeth, when one focuses on the Visitation, is tremendously helpful.

It's of no surprise to me that our current "abortion president" promotes and facilitates the allowance of abortion all nine months of gestation, because while it destroys the child, which is damage enough, the hit it takes on the mother has caused our once-great nation to collapse, as the mother is the caretaker, the one with heart, who passes love on to her child, as Mary did Jesus.

So one should take heart, and pray to St. Dymphna for help, regardless of the cause of affliction. She makes me smile for all the good that she has done. A saint, whose life is sometimes referred to as more myth than reality, as so little is known about her, but the miracles that were produced by Him at the spot where she died, has caused her to soar into saintdom! St. Dymphna, please pray for us!
6 posted on 03/01/2014 8:13:59 AM PST by mlizzy ("If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic Adoration, abortion would be ended." --Mother Teresa)
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