Steve over at Soaring Dodo took a short blogging hiatus, but is — thankfully — back up. He’s posted some photos (the one above included) that he took over the weekend of springy summery nature. He also posted a couple blogs the break in which he focused on himself and his mental health.
We here at Le Café Witteveen are strong proponents of searching out and working with mental health professionals. Throughout my relationship with Christians and non-believers, I have seen how justifiably indispensable it can be to search out professional help.
For many people, there is a stigma attached to psychology. It’s like racism or bigotry. Pejorative language regarding psychology pervades our vocabulary. Sometimes we don’t realize the language we use might cause another to search for hiding. It might cause someone to internalize what they shouldn’t.
But you don’t have to be clinically associated with one of the 60,000* pages in a DSM to be improved by seeing a professional.
As I was going through religion retirement and also going through defining moments in figuring out views of love and marriage, I sought out counseling. While sometimes pricy, the benefits of talking to and working with a professional are incredible. I learned a lot about myself during those years. A psychologist won’t tell you how or what to think, but they’ll give you confidence with the thoughts that you already own, but are often afraid to reveal.
As for religion, I wanted to talk to someone who would listen. When you talk to religious professionals or leadership like pastors or well-read believers, they have many answers that aren’t rational to the questions. Their answers often do not pertain to the questions nor they aren’t thinking from the perspective that you’re asking the question from, and that causes confusion rather than clarity.
The doctor I saw didn’t answer my questions on religion. I had read so many books that I answered all my own questions. She merely validated what I was saying and whether it was rational or not.
She didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear either. Often, she negated what I was saying, because of irrationality. A therapist is not listening to coddle you. They are there to help and guide you and your mind.
None of the people I know who have sought psychological or psychiatric help regret it.
I wish seeking mental health professionals were more normalized. I wish that when friends and family come to me to ask for help or they ask me about a problem and I say, “Hey, have you ever tried professional help?” I wish people would invest in it. Our most misunderstood physicality is our brain. Why should we go at figuring it out alone?
One thing that bothers me about the Christian view of mental health is the idea that Jesus Christ is the wonderful counselor (Isaiah 9:6 with link) and that Jesus is all a person needs. The Christian view of counseling should be, “God provided Christian mental health representatives for a reason. Use them.” Even though I don’t agree with faith, I would never discourage someone from seeing a professional non-secular or secular.
All that is to say, go welcome Steve back to the blogosphere. He’s waiting for you to stop by. He told me he can’t wait. So go, for goodness sakes.
*60,000 pages is a hyperbole
It wasn’t “incest and bible” or “incest and pickles”.
Just the word “incest.”
Guess how many hits I got off that word?