36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38) Delight in Disorder Ministries is much more than just a hobby of Tony Roberts. We are an international ministry, with the mission of informing and inspiring those impacted by brain illnesses and other mental health conditions. We have a five-person board of ministry shepherds who volunteer their time, talent, and prayerful oversight to see that we stick to mission and carry out God's calling in an ever expansive field. If you would like to learn more about our ministry efforts, follow this link -- https://delightindisorder.org/supporting-didmin/. The first and best you can do is pray for us. When Jesus saw that his [...]
Hope for Troubled Minds: An anthology of letters between those with brain illnesses and our loved ones.
Photo of a young Linda Rippee and Catherine Rippee-Hanson with their baby brother Mark. Mark developed a brain illness and died of undertreatment and the chronic effects of homelessness. I am dedicating this project to the Rippees, a testimony that even life-long devoted love isn't yet enough to conquer serious brain illness in this life. Yet. But his legacy lives on and promotes positive change that gives Hope for Troubled Minds. Tony Roberts, author of When Despair Meets Delight: Cultivating Hope for Those Battling Mental Illness ; podcaster of Revealing Voices ; and administrator of the Facebook community group Hope for Troubled Minds is shepherding a project through his blog at delightindisorder.org we hope will culminate in a book with color photos entitled Hope for Troubled Minds: An anthology of letters between those with brain illnesses and our loved ones. Submit your letter written to your loved one (first [...]
I was first diagnosed with a mental health condition in 1990, the heyday of what were becoming known as "second generation antidepressants." Alternatives to lifetimes of misery in locked wards of psych hospitals gave psychiatrics a whole new tool to treat those desperately depressed. Even "family doctors" were getting into the act as drug representatives passed out samples like happy pill candy of the dubbed "Prozac generation." But my depression in 1990 was not garden variety and these pills I took sent me into a medication-induced psychosis, keeping me up in a manic frenzy for six days and six nights concocting mission schemes and conducting ministry initiatives (as documented in my memoir When Despair Meets Delight). Ultimately, I would break with conscious reality and become a danger to myself and others. Were the drugs the cause of the psychosis or, because they were not properly prescribed, did they just light [...]
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 [...]
This is my love letter to my wife Susan. We have been together now for three years and have experienced as much joy and sorrow than many couples together for fifty. We now live in our own home with our devoted lab Briley. We enjoy listening to music, Facetiming grandchildren, taking drives through Brown County state park, and visiting with family. Susan, When we first met we went on a whirlwind romance that was magical. It also had some of the marks of a manic episode, but it was much more than this. I was not psychotic; we were crazy in love. We talked for hours on my trip to New York and back. I stayed up through the night making a playlist filled with your favorite music and selections that would soon become “our songs.” We still listen to it on quiet date nights, look over at [...]
I have been more active on social media than ever before as I promote my book. While I worry of becoming grandiose by focusing on my own story, I am delighted at the friendships I am forming around the world with people who share the same passions about reaching out to those impacted by brain illnesses with the compassion of Christ and the consolation of the Holy Spirit. One friend I've recently made is Rosette. Rosette is from Uganda and is part of a faith community which takes seriously the call of Christ to engage in healing ministry. She shared a story of a woman with severe schizophrenia who had been left to flounder in isolation. Members of the church visited her, prayed with her, advocated for her to get and take the medication she needed. Now, while not cured, she functions fully in the life of the community. She [...]