I so appreciate the perspective Jay Mahler brings to the importance of spirituality in healing and recovery for people who have struggled with darkness in his interview, SPIRITUAL MEDICINE: BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN RELIGION AND PSYCHOLOGY. This excerpt from the full article published in Religion Dispatches, highlights the importance of spirituality in mental health:
It appears that spirituality is very important to people who have lived with mental illness. What role does it play in recovery and wellness?
Jay Mahler: The experience of “madness” can include a profound experience of connection and spirituality; oneness with nature; and the meaning and purpose of life. The mental health system has viewed this spiritual aspect of madness as delusional and as only a manifestation of the mental illness; denying the profound and potentially positive effects of this experience. The experience of madness can also lead to a painful and heightened awareness of the hand you were dealt in your life and the inequities of society. For many people with mental health issues, spirituality is key to understanding this experience. It is essential in their journey of recovery. Also faith communities have provided a sense of belonging and welcome to me, and to others who have been marginalized and experienced stigma and discrimination resulting from the public’s fear of persons with psychiatric diagnoses.