If you aren’t familiar with the word clergy it is a term for Priests, Pastors, or other workers in church who have rank. Does that make sense? Its official definition is a group ordained men to perform pastoral or sacerdotal functions in a Christian church.
I have had lots of experience with Pastors and Bipolar Disorder. It has not been too positive, but one thing I have figured out is this. It depends which denomination you are a part of sometimes for the clergy to support you and your mental illness. Personally, I have always gone to a Baptist church. It has been my experience that Baptist Pastors refuse to be educated regarding Bipolar Disorder or any other mental illness for that matter.
I have had to work and work with Baptist Pastors. I haven’t been successfull. They think that Bipolar Disorder is because you aren’t right with God. Or maybe you don’t read your Bible enough. Or another common thing they tell me is just turn it over to God. He will take care of it. Or this you are a bitter woman and you need to make that right. Right with who? God I am assuming.
I will be the first to tell you that please do NOT let this get you down. Just because a member of the clergy refuses to be educated on Bipolar Disorder doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. Nothing could be further from the truth. The actual problem is with them. I have actually found that Catholic Priests, Episopalian Pastors, Lutheran Pastors and some others are more tolerant or even accept mental illnesses to a degree.
Unfortunately, mental illnesses still carry a stigma. That’s why we have websites like Ask a Bipolar or other ones out there to bring awareness to mental health disorders. It’s very necessary. Yes, it’s calledBehavioral Health. But our behavior off of our meds or if we are cycling isn’t our fault. Now, we need to stay on our medications that are prescribed. That is vital to us being successful with Bipolar Disorder and to keep the cycling at bay as much as possible.
- So next time you have an encounter with a pastor or leader of any religion give them a chance. If they still choose to be uneducated then remember the problem lies in their court, not yours!