Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness

Artist: Greene-McCreight, Kathryn

Book

Barcode: 9781587431753

Release date: 04/01/2006

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Where is God in the suffering of a mentally ill person? What happens to the soul when the mind is ill? How are Christians to respond in the face of mental illness? In Darkness Is My Only Companion, Kathryn Greene-McCreight confronts these difficult questions raised by her own mental illness bipolar disorder. With brutal honesty, she tackles often avoided topics such as suicide, mental hospitals, and shock therapy. Greene-McCreight offers the reader everything from poignant and raw glimpses into the mind of a mentally ill person to practical and forthright advice for their friends, family, and clergy. Her voice is a comfort to those who suffer from mental illness and an invaluable resource for those who love and support them.

From Publishers Weekly
Shortly after the birth of her second child, Greene-McCreight fell into a deep depression that lasted on and off for several years. Five years later she was diagnosed as bipolar, "a disease that scuttles between depression and mania." With mental illness so severe that she was hospitalized five times, she nevertheless continued to work as an Episcopal priest and theologian, wrestling with questions that therapists rarely broach but that Christian sufferers can't help asking: If all of God's intentions for us are good, why do we suffer? What is the relationship between mental illness and sin? Is the "dark night of the soul" different from depression? Will God forgive suicide? By means of personal story, theological reflection and practical suggestions for caregivers, Greene-McCreight takes readers into her mind as she plunges from frantic ecstasy ("Gorgeous exotic turbulent swirls of snow. Magic. The world tingles. My brain sparkles, all things connect") to profound despair ("the absence--so present you can feel it, taste it, sometimes even heaven forbid, see it and hear it--of the good"). With firm but never facile faith, she offers hope to Christians with mental illness and understanding to those who live and work with them. (Apr.)
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About the Author
Kathryn Greene-McCreight (Ph.D., Yale University) is an advising pastor in the seminarian intern program at Yale Divinity School and assistant rector at St. John's Episcopal Church in New Haven, Connecticut. Her previous books include Ad Litteram: How Augustine, Calvin, and Barth Read the Plain Sense of Genesis 13 and Feminist Reconstructions of Christian Doctrine.