Many church leaders live with their own delusions about mental illness. Since I began writing about my family’s story, encouraging churches to engage in our mission toward people living with mental illness, and speaking to churches on this topic, I have had many conversations with people in ministry who are—with wonderful and welcome intentions—wondering whether their churches should get involved in ministry to people with mental health challenges.
But this wondering is rooted in a delusion: if you want to minister to people, you don’t really have a choice. Churches are already neck-deep in this kind of ministry.
I had to realize that Christians can get depressed — and this is OK. Depression does not mean you have a weak relationship with God or that your faith isn’t as strong as it should be. This was a revelation for me.
My healing took therapy, and supplements to help my chemical imbalance. It took patience, understanding and compassion from church leaders. It took releasing God from the bitterness I built up toward him. And finally, when I was ready, it took prayer and spending time in God’s word.
People who experience depression aren’t less holy or less saved. They’re human.
Everytown is committed to using the most comprehensive, up-to-date sources of data to measure America’s unprecedented levels of gun violence. Learn more by exploring the stats below. Continue reading
“We’re adapting now to what the new reality is: that no one is immune to violence,” said Vilma Torres, director of Safe Horizon’s at the Bronx Family Justice Center in New York. “Now we have to think about how do I continue to get up in the morning? How do I enter a school? How do I go to the mall and prepare myself? We’re now having conversations with adolescents and even adults that if I hear a sound where do I go? What do I do? Where do I hide?”
“Toxic femininity” refers to women who are hostile to nurturance and cooperation, opting instead for aggression and backstabbing to get ahead. In this regard, the type of leaders and team builders who are hired is critical to a successful business. Certain personality characteristics are associated typically with leaders who are willing to be risk takers, assertive, fighters, and task-oriented. Nurturant is not a typical descriptor of leaders. It suggests a “mothering” approach and evokes images of passivity; that is, being a supporter rather than a leader, and being someone who is focused on relationships rather than tasks. Men who hire women to be leaders may not consider “nurturers” as competent for the role. Therefore, women in business leadership positions, may consciously or unconsciously, shy away from these and other “feminine-centric” images.
The phrase is derived from studies that focus on violent behavior perpetrated by men, and—this is key—is designed to describe not masculinity itself, but a form of gendered behavior that results when expectations of “what it means to be a man” go wrong. The Good Men Project defines it this way:
Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status and aggression. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly “feminine” traits—which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual—are the means by which your status as “man” can be taken away.
Trump’s embodiment of masculinity is a huge part of why people voted for him in the first place. “Tough on immigration.” “Tells it like it is.” His constant belittling of his political opponents. The characterization of liberals as “snowflakes,” fragile and easy to offend. Not being politically correct. His aggressive reactions to the press or other opponents. His assertion of power over others. These are all things that are undeniably Trump, if you find them repulsive or commendable is entirely up to you.’
But while mass killers are socially and emotionally disturbed, experts say they don’t tend to be mentally ill. Research from Columbia University shows that only about one in five mass murderers are psychotic or delusional. Another major report found that just 4 percent of all violence in the U.S. is attributable to mental health.
Amy Barnhorst, a psychiatrist with UC Davis, said medication isn’t the answer for people who are “full of hatred and bitterness and resentment” or who have “violent, vengeful fantasies against people they think wronged them.”
To say that violence is driven by anger, and that anger is rooted in fear, is not to mitigate the culpability of a frightened and angry murderer or any other criminal that engages in violence after experiencing fear and rage. On the contrary, we all need to make rational choices in our lives regardless of our emotional state, and we are all legally responsible for our actions.
However, the law notwithstanding, my experience as a criminologist has shown me that there are times when human emotions trump rationality, and no emotion is more powerful or motivating than fear. If you doubt this conclusion, ask a violent person to look beneath his anger and describe his feelings. If he is honest, he will describe his fear.