Women At the Well Ministries

A ministry to women who suffer with mental and emotional problems

The 3 Most Common Forms of Mental Illnesses

There are many different kinds of mental and emotional sufferings, but I am only covering the most common for now. As anxiety and panic attacks are most commonly associated with depression, much of what I write will apply to these distressing conditions, also. These cover generalities.

Taken from LifeWayResearch (2014)



  • Illness most familiar to all of the experts
  • Depression was mentioned the most often as being directly impacted by situations, personal care, friendships, and spiritual life


  • Experts placed a much higher emphasis on the need for medication with patients who are bipolar than those with depression
  • Bipolar frequently causes a great deal of strain on the patient’s closest relationships
  • Advances in medicine provide a hopeful outlook with a bipolar diagnosis
  • Those dealing with bipolar face challenges in areas that are their best avenues for making progress:

    • Inconsistency
    • Difficulty getting plugged into groups
    • Trouble making relational connections
    • Difficulty feeling connected to God and others
    • Actions can have strong impact on community of faith


  • Is a brain disease
  • Seen in all faiths, religions
  • Found in all socio-economic strata
  • 1% of population (all over the world)
  • Cuts across people groups
  • Shows no preferential selection or de-selection
  • Has 3 categories of symptoms

    • Positive (adds something to the person’s personality)
    • Negative (takes something away from the person’s personality)
    • Cognitive (lower functioning than general population)


  • People with mental illness or their families deal with a large amount of shame and social stigma around the illnesses

    • People assume the person has “done” something to cause it

  • Honest conversations that bring clarity to the topic are needed
  • Conversations about mental illness need to change in frequency and in tone. Mental Health Experts on the Family
  • Parents of children with mental illness deal with a substantial amount of denial and grief
  • Questions about suffering are common
  • To move forward, parents have to learn to dream new dreams for their child and their families
  • Key tools for families

  • Establish realistic time frames
  • Understand illness isn’t going to just “disappear”
  • Let go of others’ expectations
  • Make room in their lives to deal with the illness
  • Establish boundaries that lead to success
  • Understand that it’s not about them Mental Health Experts on the Church & 
  • Community

  • People with mental illness often turn to the church first for help
  • Church has an opportunity to be a place of healing
  • Pastors’ reactions to people struggling with mental illness are varied
  • Pastors need to understand their own limitations
  • Walking with the mentally ill can benefit the congregation, not just the individual
  • Prepare for the cyclical nature of it and potential relapses

  • Pastors are most likely to change their view on mental illness once they are personally impacted by it

If you have been diagnosed with or are suffering from any of these potentially debilitating disorders, and you are "sick and tired of being sick and tired," please contact