Isaiah 42:7 - To open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
On an island, far away on a distant shore, stands a castle. It’s stones are weathered and due to the elements some of the walls around the castle have broken down. But as one takes a closer look they will see this castle is not a castle at all, but a prison with bars on the windows and gates locked in place.
Inside one of the inner rooms, a woman sits in the corner of her cell wishing that someone would rescue her from the dungeon. But no one knows she’s there. So she sits in the darkness.
One would think that she would cry out for help, but no sound escapes her lips. She stopped crying out for help long ago, because after years of pleading for help she’s given up on being set free.
Mental illness is this island. Depression fills the inner dungeon. Fear of rejection are the bars on the windows. While anxiety holds its hand over the one who’s trapped mouth preventing its prisoner from crying out.
When battling emotional pain sometimes we are the ones who placed us inside that prison.
We tire of people expecting a smile on our faces all of the time and laughter escaping our lips. They don’t know how hard it is to try to look like we have a “normal” life. Keeping our disease to ourselves helps no one.
But what are we to do? How can we find help when no one seems to want to listen to us?
The first step is to know the warning signs of mental illness. Mentalhealthamerica.net has an article entitled, “Finding Help: When to Get It and Where to Go,” that discusses the signs such as confused thinking and excessive fears.
The two most common ways to treat mental health issues are with prescription medication and some form of psychotherapy. So the next step is to seek out help from a physician or local mental health agency. Psychiatry.org makes some suggestions in their article, “Warning Signs of Mental Illness.”
In some severe cases a residential impatient mental health center may be needed.
Support groups can often be helpful in realizing that you’re not alone in this and to provide a place where you can talk openly about your issues with others.
Dealing with mental health issues is difficult, but with the right support you can realize that though you may be in a prison, the cell door has been unlocked all along. All you have to do is open the door, and you’ll find the help you need from the One who will always love you and can set your captive heart free.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.