About tonyroberts

I am a man with an unquiet mind who delights in the One who delights in me.

Mental Health or Brain Illness Awareness?

Recently I've been sharing my story in a variety of places that reach people interested in faith and mental health. I've gotten a wide ranges of responses and I'm delighted for this. I want to share one with you that I found very thought provoking. Hi Tony, am appreciating your posts on FaithNet but how come you’re promoting brain illness instead of focusing on nervous system dysregulation and recovery? Things like the importance of restorative sleep and techniques to calm our nervous system? My short answer is borrowed from a quote of Jesus in Mark 2.17a -- It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  May is known as mental health awareness month and, from one perspective, this is unfortunate. While it is true that the mental health needs of many need to be addressed, it seems lately we have tipped the scale to favor those [...]

Mental Health or Brain Illness Awareness?2022-05-03T17:26:00-04:00

Sharing My Story with Law Enforcement and Facebook Responses

I published the following post and it elicited much response: My name is Rev. Tony Roberts and I live with my wife Susan and lab Briley in Columbus, IN. I have a diagnosis of rapidly cycling bipolar disorder with psychotic features. Every day is an adventure. Some are joyous. Others are volatile. Thanks to the grace of God, the miracle of medicine, and the support of my caregiving team, I do relatively well, though I have limitations others do not have. On my best days, you could never tell I have a severe mental illness. Then there have been days when I’m confined to bed and see no future beyond the next labored breath. In February of 1995, I was riding high — an ambitious pastor with a young family at a church poised for growth. I was driven to succeed, to make a difference in people’s lives and have [...]

Sharing My Story with Law Enforcement and Facebook Responses2022-05-02T01:47:52-04:00

Psychotropics and Side Effects: You are getting very sleepy.

“I was not taking [my prescription] quite as often as I was technically supposed to. Partly, I kept forgetting, but also there was something else I couldn't quite identify, some way-down fear that taking a pill to become myself was wrong.” ― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down “Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don't believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it's good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.” ― Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression   I have been taking psychotropics in one form or another for nearly thirty years. As someone diagnosed with rapidly cycling bipolar disorder with psychotic features [...]

Psychotropics and Side Effects: You are getting very sleepy.2022-04-20T20:52:36-04:00

My Unquiet Mind: A Recent Bout with Anxiety

Anxiety's like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you very far. ― Jodi Picoult, Sing You Home Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippiansn 4.5-7) Have you ever had a panic attack? I had one this week. I was feeling fine, hopeful after getting the first sound sleep I had gotten in days. I was going about my morning routine, doing a devotional in fact. Suddently out of nowhere a tightness gripped my chest. My breathing became labored. I had no idea what was happening to me. I called the pharmacist. He reviewed my medication. He said nothing would indicate that [...]

My Unquiet Mind: A Recent Bout with Anxiety2022-04-16T18:23:42-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom

Jonna Terhune is a social worker living with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She writes, "... [my diagnosis] does not define me.  By the grace of God, I am still alive and blessed to have the support of my best friend/mother.  I know this letter cannot show the extent of sacrifice and love that my mother has given to help me live but I do hope that it gives a glimpse into our experience.  I pray that one day I can give back as well as pay it forward.  Thank you for spending a few moments to read my letter to my mom."   To my best friend, I call you mom, I never thought I would make it this far.  You stood by me through all the sleepless nights, not just as an infant but as a teenager and adult when mania engulfed me or depression strangled my heart [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom2022-04-13T14:32:55-04:00

Will you lay down your life for me?

Jesus asks his disciples and us this pivotal question of discipleship. It has often been interpreted as martyrdom. Will you die for me? But I learned this week that the Greek word translated life here is not bios, or physical life but psuche, which describes our inner life of thoughts and feelings. So Jesus is asking: Will you lay down your internal orientations and agendas? Are you weilling to pattern your life around my example? Will you let your heart come into sync with mine, until you care about the same things as I do. (from The Reservoir: A Fifteen-Month Weekday Spiritual Formation Devotional by Renovare). This insight makes all the difference in the world to me. It affirmed my decision to go on psychotropics, for instance, in an effort to experience relative balance and continue to provide and be present for my family. Had I not been a husband and a [...]

Will you lay down your life for me?2022-04-10T18:49:49-04:00

A Blessed Union: Sleepless in Columbus

April 6 I am facing a major dilemma in my mental health care. I am currently taking a prescribed medication that makes me extremely drowsy much of the day. I sleep 10-12 hours at night. I'm getting anxious about projects I've committed to do. I feel I'm letting people down, myself at the top of the list. Now I could talk to my Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner about weaning myself off this medicine but my dilemma is it is the one and only thing that has worked out of many dozens of psychotropics for curbing my mania. Manic episodes are great for energy, but they can also shorten life span. My choice? To be sedated, or To die young. What would you choose?   April 7 It's 3 am. My favorite time of day, though I would like it even better if I were getting up early refreshed from sleep. As [...]

A Blessed Union: Sleepless in Columbus2022-04-09T00:58:38-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: To My Dearest Ann from Your Honey Bunches of Oats

Kwee Ann Yap was born on March 31, 1963, in Selangor, Malaysia.  She is the youngest of 3 siblings.  Growing up, Ann was not keen on socializing, she mostly kept to herself to avoid any kind of social activity.  She loved reading and spending time with her family.   Steve was born Steven Nonaka on August 25, 1949, in a Sugar Plantation Hospital in Waipahu, Hawaii.  He is the oldest of 4 children, a brother and two sisters.  His stepfather adopted him and his younger sister, changing their last name to Fukunaga.  The family moved several times before finally settling in at Pauoa Valley located in Honolulu, Hawaii.   In late 1997 Steve decided to explore a forum for pen pals, and it was there he found Ann’s bio and started to correspond with her.  Steve felt Ann was a good and loving person in working with children with developmental disabilities.  They [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To My Dearest Ann from Your Honey Bunches of Oats2022-04-02T15:37:20-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: An Open Letter to a Fellow Traveler by Brandon A.

Dear Fellow Traveler, Did you think life was going to go like this? You had plans and dreams about work, life, accomplishments, where you wanted to live and with who. Then mental illness stepped in. Now what?  I was 14 when the darkness fell on me. I had been a freshman: insecure, loud, loving, caring, smart, prideful, naïve, hopeful, occasionally hardworking, unfocused, etc. I played drums in bands, played goalie in soccer, and played risk with my friends, sometimes for days.  Then I was nothing. I was a contaminant. I was walking anguish.  I got home every day and carried myself upstairs to my room. I would turn on the radio, collapse into my comforter, and sob. The music drowned out the crying so no one else could hear.  I was not alone. Kay Redfield Jameson had bipolar disorder, like I do, and she survived. She had become a clinical [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: An Open Letter to a Fellow Traveler by Brandon A.2022-03-27T21:53:04-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Twisted Twin Sister Advocates

As an American Curbside Caregiver and SMI/SBD Advocate Linda Rippee Privatte supports her disabled blind brother with a serious brain disorder who has gone untreated for 34 years.  Since then, he has been homeless for 14 years.  She is one of two twin sisters who advocates for change in the United States, also known as 'Twin Tag Team' and more recently as Twisted Sisters Advocacy & Activism for Serious Brain Disorders. They each do things the other cannot.  Her twin, Catherine, is skilled at social media awareness, advocacy, and education, but Linda is the last family member capable of reaching Mark on the streets and providing him with the necessities of life.   To my younger and only brother, Mark; I grew up believing that love could fix anything…that love conquers all. That love would carry us through any situation.  I believed that family never gives up on family.  I [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Twisted Twin Sister Advocates2022-03-20T15:25:50-04:00
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