Friday, November 20, 2015

RU: Labor Exploitation for Jesus - Part One

Me: The Duggars have opened my eyes to a lot of problems within Fundamentalist Christian health ministries that I'd never heard of before. I wish they would stop getting involved in ministries that are going to kill someone someday.

 I have personal experience as an inpatient for mental health issues.  When I was 19, I suffered a severe episode of depression.  The first anti-depressant I was prescribed reduced my depressive symptoms, but caused severe anxiety and suicidal thoughts.  (This SSRI - which often works well in middle-aged and older adults - now has a black box warning about increased suicide risks in teenagers and young adults.  I missed the black box warning by 6 months.) After two months of outpatient counseling, I felt I was at risk of committing suicide and got myself admitted to Pine Rest.

Take-Home: Inpatient treatment for mental disorders and substance abuse is reserved for people who are unable to function in an outpatient setting AND have failed at repeated outpatient attempts OR are at imminent threat to their own life or the life of others.

Application to RU and Duggars: RU offers help with 15 addiction topics: Cutting, Huffing, Prescription Drugs, Steroids, Weed, Cocaine, Heroin, Porn, Acid, Uppers, Eating, Tobacco, Gambling and Meth.  (I don't know what the 15th is, but my best guess is Alcohol.)  Of the 14 listed addictions, eleven can require inpatient treatment with my assumption being that "Eating" includes anorexia since RU has a tract about how someone recovered using their methods.  I have never heard of inpatient treatment for tobacco, gambling or porn.

 While the "Residential House: School of Disciples" has a disclaimer that it is not a medical facility, they are selling a treatment plan for eleven problems generally treated by mental health professionals.  For these reasons, I believe it is reasonable to compare them to a inpatient mental health facility.

Me: See, in my local area, there are two mental health hospitals.  The one that is agreed by the local mental health professionals to be better (Pine Rest) is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church of America and the Reformed Church of America. Until 2 minutes ago when I looked the affiliations up online, I had no idea which Christian churches Pine Rest was connected to.   These affiliations had no effect on the treatment I received there. If you wanted pastoral counseling (which you indicated at admission), they would find you someone from your denomination or religion who was supportive of mental health issues.  If you didn't want it, you weren't bothered about it.    I do remember that if you were in the hospital on a Sunday, there was an option of going to an on-site church service and a few patients went to it.  The rest of us played cards, read or watched TV.

Take-Home: Good Christian health ministries provide health support first, enable spiritual support second, and never actively convert patients.

Application: RU has a long - and fragment filled - statement of belief that should weed out most non-Fundamental Christians and the entire recovery path is filled with Biblical applications.

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