I was driving my son to work today and I had a memory of when I was a teenager and went to church camp. I have had suicidal tendencies since I was fourteen years old. When I was seventeen I finally told my school counselor as I felt homicidal and it scared me. My parents got me into therapy quickly. That summer I shared my struggles at church camp and one adult there had me convinced I was possessed by the devil due to my thoughts. They laid hands on me and tried to exorcise the suicidal thoughts out of me. Needless to say it didn’t work. I struggled with the thoughts until my diagnosis and medication management that has tapered the thoughts.
I think this is a prime example of how religion has dealt with mental illness. Even in 1995 people still see it as the devil invading our bodies. Looking back I wish someone had realized it was a mental health issue. I wouldn’t be struggling at 38 with medication management and maybe I could have done DBT through a different job and made it work out. So much wasted time dealing with my own mind and struggling. Have any of you been told you were possessed by the devil or some other stigmatizing statement?