ESSEX MIND AND SPIRIT
We are a community organisation that supports people by raising awareness of spiritual care in Mental Health recovery.
An important part of this work includes promoting respect for people’s beliefs and practices from faith traditions other than their own. This includes those beliefs of people who claim no religious affiliation…
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Faith and Psychosis, finding meaning in enduring mental distress.
Mary Johnson a mental health practitioner introduced the session and set the scene for a survivor of a severe psychotic episode to speak openly about his experience
We were introduced to ‘Kevin’ not his real name) who had very kindly agreed to tell us his story.
After being made redundant from a very fulfilling job, Kevin started dabbling in business transactions which he conducted over the internet. He said that he must have upset a few people because he started receiving some very disturbing and frightening emails.
He began to feel that his life was in danger. He had the sense of evil forces being present. It all came to a head when he was convinced that his house was surrounded by professional gunmen, that he and his family were in grave danger and contacted the police.
He was diagnosed as having had a psychotic episode and was prescribed medication. Although he it had been explained to him that a recovery would be a slow process, he fell into a deep depression, and made an almost fatal suicide attempt. He was sectioned for his own safety and admitted to hospital and started on the long, long road to recovery.
Kevin’s illness was life changing, not just for him, but for his family who have had to come to terms with his illness. He feels that his family treat him differently now. For instance, he thinks that they don’t ask his advice or opinions on important issues as much as they used to. He perceives this to be because that they no longer trust his judgments.
During this time, he felt a very real spiritual presence, sometimes good and sometimes evil. He had always believed since childhood but felt the need to join a Church He now feels that his recovery has been greatly helped by being in a friendly, understanding fellowship.
We thanked Kevin for his honesty and bravery and learnt so much about how disturbing it is to suffer from a psychotic condition. Finding his spiritual roots has proved to be a major source of strength for him especially as Kevin has found he is not alone in believing in a caring loving God.