IVP - Strangely Dim - Losing God for Mental Health

May 10, 2010

Losing God for Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month--a fact that I was, ironically, unaware of. Mental health as a social issue often takes a back seat to more pressing concerns--oil leaks, volcanic eruptions, televised performances by Lady Gaga and the like. It also often gets shoved to the side for more romantic health epidemics; not to take anything away from breast cancer or the AIDS pandemic, but the World Health Organization, the World Bank and Harvard University discovered in their Global Burden of Disease study that "mental illness, including suicide, accounts for over 15 percent of the burden of disease in established market economies, such as the United States. This is more than the disease burden caused by all cancers." Mental health, its bad press notwithstanding, is a problem that could use a little more attention.

Matt Rogers is honoring Mental Health Awareness Month by trying to springboard a conversation, using his Likewise book Losing God as a case study. In that book Matt tells his own story of the interplay of theological doubt (How can I be assured of salvation? How can I experience a relationship with an invisible and sometimes apparently distant God?) with what is ultimately identified as depression. The book is enough of a memoir to make for good beach or book club reading, enough of an extended essay on doubt and depression to spur some rigorous thought, enough of a confession (in the self-disclosing, not the self-blaming meaning of the term) to aid your attentiveness to someone you love who is wrestling with this far too common and far too underreported illness. Who knows--you may even find yourself in the story of Losing God.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at May 10, 2010 9:36 AM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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