Mental Health in the Church
By Alicia R. Smith
There is a relationship between African- American Mental Health and the Church. Church teaches our community to dismiss symptoms of mental illness and focus on spiritual wellness. The following mental illnesses and disorders are frequently dismissed in the church: anxiety, PTSD, depression, Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.
We are taught to depend on religion for our mental and spiritual well-being. However, mental health and spiritual health are not the same. Spiritual Health focuses on the spiritual well-being with a higher power. Mental Health focuses on the psychological well- being in society.
Also, we are condemned for feeling mentally ill in the church. When someone mentions they are worried in church, the first thing they are told worrying is a sin. To avoid sin, we dismiss our feelings of worry. Then, our symptoms of anxiety grow uncontrollably into PTSD. PTSD is extreme anxiety. Dealing with PTSD without medical attention is a slippery slope. Depression is another mental illness we are taught to dismiss. Feeling sad and hopeless can be a phase. On the other hand, when your body physically feels too heavy because of physical distress from depression, then it is beyond a spiritual issue.
Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Narcissist Personality Disorder and Histrionic Disorder are functional mental illnesses and disorders. Most people who have the following illnesses or disorders are highly functioning individuals. In church, symptoms of Bipolar I and II are considered demonic. Bipolar individuals experience manic episodes. The church has a cliché for manic episode, “that ain’t nothin’ but the devil.”
Medically, bipolar individuals have brain chemical imbalances. Brain chemical imbalances are linked to genetics and drug abuse. Using unprescribed controls and narcotics causes Bipolar disorders. Blaming the devil and not seeking help is increasing crime rates, domestic violence, innocent victim crimes and interpersonal violent-related deaths in the African American community.
Narcissistic and Histrionic Personality disorders are represented in interpersonal relationships in the church. In church, we are taught to honor thy father and mother. Wives submit to husbands. Husbands are the head of wives. I believe in the word, but the Spiritual Family structure effects mental health in the African- American Community. Control is one of the primary traits of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Husbands and men are appointed as leaders in the church. Training men to be a figure of authority in the church leads to Narcissistic Personality Disorders. The rule for a man to always see a woman submitting to him leads to domestic abuse and violence. Narcissistic parents who take advantage of the command, honor thy father and mother, may end up neglecting their children’s feelings and well- being.
The Histrionic Personality Disorder primary trait is validation. Some women are histrionic in response to their role in the church and the Bible. The “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing” mentality forces women to be approved by men. Seeking validation to be loved by someone leads to the constant pursuit of attention. The way histrionic individuals pursue attention is by adjusting their appearances, compete with others for the center of attention, and co-dependency.
Replacing mental health for spirituality in the church has caused many preventable problems in the African- American community. Taking care of your mental health does not make you a less credible spiritual person. Apart from being a religious person is living and growing through a journey of not having everything together, even on a mental level. If we keep waking up, life will strain us mentally, at least one time. The important thing to do is to treat your mental health after surviving different trials and tribulations.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.