[Review] Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and The Church's Mission by Amy Simpson
Author: Amy Simpson
Publisher: InterVarsity Press March 2013
Theme: Mental illness and the church's response
Format: eBook, Kindle
Rating: 5 Stars
"The no casserole illness."
Amy Simpson has written a book that is a soothing balm for those of us that have been affected by mental illness. It's a book that all readers, regardless of their circumspect on mental illness, will gain knowledge of and cause needed discussion. Mental illness is a hush-topic in the church. The stigma attached to it is of shame. People affected by mental illness are unsure what to say; the church is unsure how to respond.
One in four people will be affected by mental illness. More than twenty-five percent age eighteen and older has a mental illness. One in seventeen adults has a serious chronic mental illness. After reading these statistics I realized that every family can count themselves as being affected in some way by a mental illness. The feelings of shame and isolation is uncalled for, because we are all affected.
The author lists the following mental illnesses: anxiety disorders, ADHD, Autism spectrum disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, Schizophrenia.
Amy Simpson's motive in writing Troubled Minds, is to educate the reader about mental illness, and to propel the church into being "a community of believers that Jesus created us to be." See Colossians 3:12-17. NKJV.
Reasons why I gave this book a hearty 5 stars:
- The author is transparent by sharing from her own life that was affected by mental illness.
- Several intimate stories are shared from people who have been affected by a mental illness. All of them are written showing how they felt about their mental illness, as well as how their family and church responded.
- A brief overview is given on each of the mental illnesses.
- The author states that her book is not a "clinical or academic tirade against the church." She is ringing an alarm (so to speak) to wake up the church in learning how to better respond to the needs of members who have been affected by a mental illness.
- The role of caregiver.
- Education on the mental health system.
- The author tackles the pretense and lie that Christians "don't suffer."
- How mental illness was dealt with throughout history.
- Stigma of mental illness in American culture.
- Practical advice and resources for church leadership as well as anyone affected by a mental illness.
- Amy Simpson has written a candid book. I consider this a must read for any person in leadership in the church. I also consider it a must read for anyone affected by a mental illness. From the first page until the last I wanted to "high-five" the author. Thank you Amy!
I have a grandmother that probably had bi-polar, anxiety disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. One of her sisters had the same illnesses. I have other family members with mental health illnesses. I have a son with PTSD and depression. My mother had Alzheimer's which is a mental health illness.
Authors site: http://amysimpsononline.com/
The July/August issue of Christianity Today has a biography article on Amy Simpson, on page 53. Included in this issue is another story about a "daughter's suicide," page 87.
Review from Christianity Today
Further links for more reading: