Mental Disorder — Addiction

Editorial Perspective

Winter with its gloomy, cloudy, cold days often aggravates negative feelings and emotions. The health of the mind is diminished. Comfort foods, alcoholic beverages, pills, video games, pornography and other addictions are used/abused by many to “feel better.” This is particularly true for people who suffer from a mental health disorder. Thankfully, warm days filled with sunshine, green grass and singing birds follow the winter days to grace the world with an atmosphere of health and happiness.

Negative emotional baggage or chemical imbalances in the brain that may lead to the diagnosis of a mental health disorder often lead to “self-medication” and addiction as a way to cope. When this is the case and a person is suffering from a mental health disease and the disease of addiction, proper simultaneous treatment is required for both. Our feature article, “Dual Diagnosis: The Link Between Addiction and Mental Health Disorders,” by Adam Cook will address this very important subject.

Recently I took another look at a dramatic skit simply titled, “Baggage,” which is accessible on YouTube. In the video clip, the Skit Guys portray several forms of “baggage” which we “get from other people – the things they do or say to us.” Their message can be summed up in the following words: “sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me. That’s one of the biggest lies we teach children. Words hurt. They cut deep and if we carry around the words of other people, essentially what we do is – we’re collecting baggage. We can’t find our self-worth based on what other people think of us. We have to find our self-worth based on Christ and our relationship to Him.”

“None need abandon themselves to discouragement and despair. Satan may come to you with the cruel suggestion, ‘Yours is a hopeless case. You are irredeemable.’ But there is hope for you in Christ. God does not bid us overcome in our own strength. He asks us to come close to His side. Whatever difficulties we labor under, which weigh down soul and body, He waits to make us free.” Ministry of Healing 249

Ray Nelson, MDiv, MSPH