PSYCH: Psychological Disorders and Mental Illness

Mental illness is a difficult issue to deal with when people suffer from co many disorders every day. The impact psychological disorders have on daily functioning is depressing in itself. Personally, just last week my grandmother’s mental state declined rapidly to a minimal point. She doesn’t understand what year it is, doesn’t recognize her grandchildren, and cannot carry on a conversation in any decent fashion. My grandmother went from being a loving, mostly happy individual to one who can barely function at all. After a test to determine whether hydrocephalus may be the problem, no change occurred, leaving us still in the dark as to what exactly has happened.

The power that the brain has on us and our usual functioning, and the power that psychological disorders have to disrupt that, is an astounding thought. From somatoform disorders to anxiety and mood disorders, the range of predicaments one can enter into involving psychological disorders is discouraging and makes studying the causes and developing treatments for them is extremely challenging. There are many perspectives that one can view a problem from, and each one has benefits and disadvantages.

Overall, I believe that there are truths to each perspective on abnormality which, if combined in a proper way, can produce the best perspective for all individuals to take, including the church. The medical perspective has evidence to support its perspective, and many times the source of psychological disorders are medically identifiable. Hydrocephalus, for example, involves a build-up of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain, creating a multitude of possible symptoms, including memory loss. This can be treated with the drainage of that fluid, creating an almost instantaneous improvement in brain functioning. This perspective helps identify and treat many types of psychological disorders, however, there are some which are not medical in nature. This requires a different perspective to be introduced.

In a way, the psychoanalytic perspective has some truth in focusing on the conflicts of childhood, but I do not believe the focus solely and primarily on sex and aggression. Because of this, I tend to disregard this perspective and move onto behavioral perspectives. This can also be a helpful perspective in identifying and treating disorders in addition to the medical perspective. After adding the cognitive perspective as well, you get a full view of how the human body works in regards to the brain. I would assume that most disorders can be identified and treated using these perspectives. The medical perspective covers the more physical nature of the human body, while the behavioral perspective covers the actions that result from the cognitive perspective’s view on the thoughts and feelings occurring inside the person. However, there could be more pieces to the puzzle, which is why considering two more perspectives is also a wise action to take. The humanistic perspective takes into account the responsibility people have over their actions and how that can affect a person’s psychological state. The environment around the person also has an impact on the psychological state of a person, which is where the sociocultural perspective comes into play.

With the combination of these five perspectives, and a slight influence of the psychoanalytic perspective, every possible psychological situation is explored. Not one of these perspectives can identify the source of and treat every psychological disorder by itself. The combination of all of them, though, gets the job done and gets it done correctly.

The church needs to have this combined perspective in all of its dealings with people, not just psychologically impaired individuals. Approaching individuals with a single perspective can cause problems when witnessing or just loving a person. Just like when diagnosing psychological disorders, making sure you have a fuller picture of the situation before stepping in to try and produce a result can be a disaster. Taking a step back for a moment and absorbing the factors of a situation is a wise habit to develop.

This truth can be applied to many different situations in life, including mental illness. The power that these illnesses have over us can be terrifying, especially when a loved one is affected by them. I pray that the doctors who are working with my grandmother can take this combined perspective and use it to identify the true problem behind her rapid decline in mental state. But, I also pray that God will use whatever happens for his glory. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

The Mystery Revealed

Have you ever wondered what the angels are doing? Have you even wondered if angels even exist? How about whether they float around among us or not? The Bible doesn’t say lots about angels, but it does say they exist and explains some aspects of these unseen creatures. We know they were created by God, as all things were created by God for Him and for His purposes (Colossians 1:16). There are thousands upon thousands of them, as we can see in many places in the Bible, including Jesus’ birth and Hebrews 12:22. We are not to worship the angels, for they are servants of God just like us (Revelation 22:8-9). So we know that there are many angels that are servants of God. So is the only difference between them and us that they are up in heaven, already with God? Maybe they have more shine to them when they enter into a room and wear white clothes with halos above their heads? Or maybe another difference is that they have wings?

Yes, angels are up in heaven with God already. Yes, they may shine a bit more because they are from heaven. Yes, they may or may not dress a little differently, but I don’t think that any of these differences are important. The angels are servants and worshipers of God, just like us. They are already in heaven, but we will eventually be in heaven worshiping and serving God. The way they dress or glow with light doesn’t really seem that important either. So what separates humans from angels?

In Ephesians 3, Paul talks about the mystery that has and is being revealed. This mystery is Christ. God sent His one and only Son to die for our mistakes and our wrongs so that we would forever live together with God, forgiven of everything that we did or even thought that separated us from God. In verses 2 and 3 of this chapter, Paul says, “Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.” Paul wrote, apparently briefly, about the glorious blessings that we now have through Christ because of his sacrifice in chapter 1 of Ephesians. Verse 3 of chapter 1 states, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Amen! But Paul continues to reveal the mystery in chapter 3!

Paul continues in Ephesians 3:4-6 saying that we are all united, Gentiles and Jews, because of what Christ has done for us, and this knowledge was not made known to former generations. I want to just stick Ephesians 3:7-13 in here now just so you can read it on your own, because there is some powerful stuff in what Paul says here:

7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

I don’t know if caught some of the things Paul mentioned, but there are a few things that really stick out to me. Verses 8 and 9, verses 10 and 11, and verse 12 all have something different to say and they all say something powerful. But they all come down to a very important point in the end.

Paul gets as humble as a person can possibly be when he says in verse 8, “…I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people…” How can Paul think that way?! Paul was a very highly respected person in the Jewish society, but Paul persecuted those who proclaimed Jesus’ name. Paul did this until Jesus literally appeared to him and blinded him. After this moment, and after he got his sight back, Paul became one of the most influential missionaries for the Lord. The Ephesian church is one of the churches that he helped to establish. So with all of this, Paul says, “…I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people…” How depressing, right? But wait, Paul says less than the least of all the Lord’s people, and he continues, “…this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.” So even though Paul says that he is the least of all the Lord’s people, he does realize that he is the Lord’s and that he was given the honor of reaching people with the good news of life. That mind set is outstanding! He realizes that he has done terrible things and is probably at the bottom of the totem pole, but he still gets it. He gets to serve God. Do see that? He gets to serve God. He is joyful that he gets to serve God and tell others about Jesus’ sacrifice! This verse makes me think about one thing: Am I focusing too much on the bad and not on the joy and honor that I have in Christ?

Now we get to the angels. Verses 10 and 11 reveal what the angels think of what is going on down here on this little planet called Earth. “Through the church, the manifold wisdom of God is being made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Uh… WOW! We, the church, are unfolding the MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD! And who are we revealing it too? The rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. I would assume that is mostly angels. God’s plan was to save us and show us His love through Jesus Christ and that plan is unfolding before the angels very eyes. The angels had no idea what was happening! They want to know what is going on in us humans! We were discussing the difference between us and the angels before. Well, that is the difference. We have been reconciled through Jesus and are now filled with God’s Spirit, and our job is to tell everyone we can about this reconciliation. The angels serve and worship God, but they don’t have the experience of being taken away from God and brought back to Him through His Son. What a privilege to be the ones that God loves enough to send His Son to die for. But the crazy part, is in the next verse.

Verse 12 says it all. “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Did Paul just say that? We may approach God, the ruler and creator of all life, with freedom and confidence. God would have struck anyone down had they done something wrong in the tabernacle or if they approached and touched the ark of the covenant (2 Samuel 6), because that is where He dwelt with His people at that time. But now, if we trust in Jesus and give our lives to Him, we can approach God with freedom and confidence. We are free from our transgressions and we are confident in forgiveness of God. Nothing is more encouraging than that! We are blessed with every spiritual blessing, so we can approach with freedom and confidence. I cannot wait for that day when I approach God with freedom and confidence, ready to worship and serve him for all eternity.

So all of this combines into one main point: We are privileged. We are privileged because we have been saved by God and we now have His Spirit in us, and because of that, the angels look down in wonder and amazement. Through the grace God has given us we can now reveal the mystery of Christ to all of those around us. We need to spread the word that God has saved us and we can now approach God with freedom and confidence! We are privileged! No matter what we go through we know that we are forgiven and we have an eternal life with God coming our way and we need to send that message out the world. So after reading this today, I hope that you feel privileged to be apart of God’s chosen children. Even the angels look down in amazement at the mystery that is being revealed in us, so do you feel that amazement, thankfulness, freedom, and confidence in Christ?

Facebook: The Journey

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

So, I recently got a Facebook, and I am a bit surprised. I guess I didn’t expect what it could bring to the table, but I find myself way more connected to events in people’s lives. I enjoy that. And I can tell people what I am doing. I became friends with an old friend of mine and it’s been cool to actually talk with him again. Another thing is that my youth group does most of it’s announcements on a page on Facebook so that is a plus. The only other thing is that now I find myself wanting to check it all the time.

So that is my brief Facebook experience. Basically, having a Facebook isn’t necessery to life but it is pretty useful, especially for finding old friends and such.

That is my amazing post for about the next month or two! 😛 Don’t wait up on the next one…

-George Stanley With a C.

CIY Conference

This past week I went onto a week long vacation ot Tennessee. This vacation was with my church youth group to CIY MOVE! This week was an awesome experience! Christ in Youth is a fun, entertaining, and very awesome way to learn about God and find what He wants you to do with your life! I definetely learned a few things through the week. It is also an amazing way to get closer to your youth group.

CIY MOVE was incredibly fun. The Music was awesome. The band, the Caleb Rowden Band, was exciting and played some AWEsome songs. Caleb Rowden is a great singer and really gets the crowd into the songs. The free time with the youth group was fun as well. We played Wallyball, four square, soccer, and we even played in a dodgeball tournament. We lost in the first game but it was an exciting game. The sessions and sermons were cool as well. The messages each speaker gave us were inspiring and moving. The stories shared were terrible, but such good testimonies of getting back to Christ through the darkness. We talked a lot about Trusting God and Fatherlessness. They emphasized on the first day that God is our Heavenly Father and we need to treat him like that–with respect, fear, awe, but also like a friend and helper for us.

The group that put the CIY week together did a fantastic job and I was very impressed with it all. They did a great job communicating, organizing, and creating a fun week for all us highschoolers; and they got some fantabulous speakers. They all spoke with such influenctial passion and kept me connected with the words they were saying. I loved it.

The CIY group also did a great job of focusing it all on the youth group. We did everything together, and we didn’t go off and make new friends and forget about the others that came with us–we still made new friends though. But the lessons, seating, and sessions were all great for connecting as a youth group. I enjoyed that a lot.

I have a lot of great memories now from that trip. I strongly encourage anyone or any church to go and attend this conference. It is awesome. I am already looking forward to going back again next summer.

GO CIY!

Movies x 3 = 3 Reviews

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Image via Wikipedia

Hey there folks! I have really wanted to see a good many movies lately. For example, I have wanted to see Pirates of the Carribean 4 for a while, Transformers 3, Real Steel, and Tower Heist. Well this past month, I saw three movies. One of them was in my list of movies that I wanted to watch. The other two were not.

Before Christmas, my whole family sat down and watched Planet of the Apes and the third Planet of the Apes. My parents said that the second one was just weird so we skipped that one. After watching the third one, my dad surprised us when he decided we could get Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the new one that came out this year, from On Demand. So we all settled in with some snacks and started the movie.

This movie was a really good movie and doesn’t dissapoint the first three Planet of the Apes movies. It really doesn’t have a whole lot of action until the end of the movie, so to keep the movie interesting, the plot and suspense were all amplified. Especially the suspense. The whole movie I was just waiting for something to go wrong with the apes. I will say though that watching the first Planet of the Apes and third Planet of the Apes right before watching this new one did make it more interesting at points because of the references sometimes in the earlier movies.

Oh! And one last thing! There is a clip at the end of the movie in between some of the credits that really makes the end a little more reasonable. My family and I were all talking about how this and this happened and why they didn’t explain some key parts of the story, but those parts are in that ending clip that you NEED to watch. So when you think it is over, you need to wait and watch the last clip.

Overall, I give it 4 stars. It was a really good movie that complimented the earlier Planet of the Apes. I would definetely recommend this movie to a friend or even a stranger!

After Christmas, my whole family was off of work, school, etc. So we, well I was anyways, were getting bored so my dad again suggested going to the $1 movie theater. We all loved this idea and my dad found two movies we could watch that day: Puss in Boots and Real Steel. We watched both of them, but Puss in Boots was first.

This movie was as expected: A cute little movie were there was a cute little plot where an evil guy hatches out some plan and Puss saves the day. The only thing was that it is all fairy tale related and there were some pretty good jokes in it as well, so that was a plus. Out of 5 stars, I would give this one 2 stars just because it was similar to a lot of movies out there. The only difference was the fairy tale theme and jokes that I mentioned before. This was a pretty good pass time and I would recommend it to anyone with smaller kids. Adults will enoy it as well (as I said, a great pass time), but I would rather go see…

(Sorry, post is acting weird, it won’t show this review I’ll fix it later)

Dodge Challenger Rocks!

English: English: 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T Cl...

Image via Wikipedia

Cars are really cool machines. I have recently gotten into cars because of the show on BBC, Top Gear. It is a great show! Anyways, I have been watching the show for about half a year now (maybe), but my love for the Dodge Challenger has exceeded that. Man! Does it look good! It is so simple that it is beautiful.

The Challenger has never been the best at speed and handling though, but last year, Dodge improved the speed and handling. The Challenger now has a top speed of 180 mph! Here is a review of the car from Motor Trends.

(from http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1011_2011_dodge_challenger_srt8_392_test/)

Well, this car is my all time favorite car and I really hope that more and more people start to appreciate the beauty of the simplicity.

Stunners!

Bills get winning field goal on Sunday

Wow! The Buffalo Bills are 3-0! And they beat the Patriots 34-31! The Bills are really running good right now. They have a special ingrediant this

season that’s making them so powerful! Want to know what that special ingerdiant is?

It’s DETERMINATION! When I was watching the Bills, I saw determination all over the place. They want to win and show everone that they are now a team that needs to be view as one of the greats. And I am starting to view them as one of the great teams, especially this for this year. They are hungry for the playoffs and most of all, the Super Bowl. Determination is how the Bills beat the Patriots on Sunday. They didn’t give up and knew that they could win the game.

Another suprising team is the Lions! They’re 3-0 as well! Now, they haven’t played a great team yet, but they played the Buccaneers and the Vikings, and they won both games. And the Viking game last week was fun to watch. It was 20-0, Vikings, at the end of the first half. And then the Lions scored 10 points in the 3rd quarter and 13 points in the 4th! And the vikings scored 3 points in the 4th to make it 23-23, so they went into overtime! The Lions eventually put in a field goal and won the game.

The Lions next three opponents are the Cowboys, Bears, and 49ers. So, I think we’ll start to see if the Lions can handle the better teams as well as the average teams.

Oh, and I am not to sure what the Lions secret ingrediant is, I don’t even know if they have one. I haven’t been watching their games intently, so I have nothing but what the highlights show me.

Well, the Steelers are doing pretty well! They are 2-1, their one loss being that pathetic game against the Ravens.

The NFL has been pretty entertaining this year, with injuries, surprise wins, surprise records, even surprise losses. And just because there are a lot of surprises doesn’t mean that the Steelers can make it normal by going to the Super Bowl. 😛