Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grace for the Afflicted by Matthew S. Stanford, PhD (Book Review)



Title: Grace for the Afflicted - Viewing Mental Illness Through the Eyes of Faith

Author: Matthew S. Stanford, PhD

Publisher: Paternoster Publishing

First sentence: The Scriptures tell us that in Christ we have everything we need for life and godliness, correct?

It is always hard for me to review a non-fiction book. I am not quite sure why this is. I requested this book for the First Wild Card Tour because I have a daughter with ADHD. I was hoping that it could give me some perspective on how to help her as she is growing up. (She is currently 16). This book was able to give me encouragement as a parent and in the gift that she is as my child, but I think it is more orientated to those who might actually be called upon to counsel people or families with different mental illnesses.

Grace for the Afflicted starts out detailing how we are created and that we embody body, mind and spirit - and that any illness, whether physical or mental, needs healing on all levels.

There are then a series of chapters going into more detail on different mental illnesses including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, substance use disorders and borderline personality disorder. Each of these disorders are broken down even further, giving us specific types of each disorder and their symptoms. Causes of them, psychological, environmental, physical, biological are all listed as well as possible treatments. Each chapter is summed up with what the Bible says about the disorder, if anything and reminds us of how are faith can play a role in supporting the person afflicted.

I grew up with an older sibling that has had many labels, include schizophrenia as an adult, so no one had to convince me that mental illness takes more than just praying for person to be healed - or that the person just needed to want to get better. Now as a parent with an ADHD child I have seen first hand the effects that correct medication can do to ease some of the symptoms. Like I said, I did get encouragement that it was not something that I did wrong as a parent that "made" my child have ADHD, but reminded me that my child was given to me as a gift from God for a reason, and while I might not know what that reason is yet, He has equipped me with the ability to love and raise her as a believer in Christ. He will support me in whatever trials still lay ahead.

I think this book would be good for any church member who may or may not struggle with accepting mental illness as "true" illnesses and the best way they can council other believers. This book would actually be good in pointing out to ANY person that mental illness is just as serious and just as real as physical illness.

8 comments:

J. Kaye said...

Life is very tough when you have a child with extreme ADHD. I say extreme, because there are levels. my oldest is twenty and made it through his childhood...lol! It was a struggle to keep him in one piece until he made it to adulthood. I say that with a smile now, but he almost burned our house down, almost downed, cut off his hand, and wouldn't stay away from sharp things such as knives.

We opted to no do medication. That was a long time ago and the choice was one. I saw the result with others like him and didn't want to follow that path. That's when we started home schooling.

We all learned quite a bit. There are some regrets, but we all did the best we could. We did the best we knew how.

The other two children have benefited greatly. Billy, my oldest, is an awesome kid. I am so proud of him, so it was all worth it! :)

naida said...

sounds like a helfpul book, great review.
'but reminded me that my child was given to me as a gift from God for a reason' so true!
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

J. Kaye said...

Hmmmm....should have proofed the post first...lol!

Kristi said...

J.kaye - glad to hear that we will make it through! My daughter has never done anything that extreme, but I think maybe I was over protective. She is currently living with her dad, and has much more responsibility over there than she had with me - and is excelling. I don't know how you ever homeschooled! I couldn't do that with my children who do not have ADHD!

Teddy Rose said...

Kristi, I added the link to the ARC Challenge post.

Staci said...

Excellent review...I've seen first-hand at school how the correct diagnosis and medicine can help a child with ADD/ADHD get through their day.

** I meant to comment before about your header...it's gorgeous! How long did that take you to do?

Kristi said...

Staci - I am guessing about 6 months. I belong to an ANG chapter and they have picked one of my UFO's that I have to finish in the next year - I will be blogging about it and showing pictures of my progress. It is a cross stitch with 2 racehorses!

Staci said...

makes me want to get mine out and start back up again!! 6 months!! Wowser!! I can't wait to see your next one!!

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