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Spirituality and Mental Health Finding Meaning Giving and Receiving Love Encountering Hope.

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Presentation on theme: "Spirituality and Mental Health Finding Meaning Giving and Receiving Love Encountering Hope."— Presentation transcript:

1 Spirituality and Mental Health Finding Meaning Giving and Receiving Love Encountering Hope

2 “Spirituality is the search for meaning through the inner journey which is mediated through relationships; - sometimes with each other, - sometimes with nature and - sometimes with God.” Harriet Mowat – - Sometimes with self

3 Lens through which we can view Mental illness: Clinical Experience - Social Experience - Lived Experience - Spiritual Experience -

4 Mental Illness in Ageing - A Clinical Lens Some people - long lived experience of mental illness - schizophrenia / depression Some people - onset that has accompanied the ageing process - Dementia - Alzheimer - Depression - existential / clinical - Psychosis -

5 Dementia-Latin - de meaning "apart" mens from mentis meaning "mind". Dementia is the progressive deterioration in cognitive function, the ability to process thought (intelligence). Progressive means the symptoms will gradually get worse. The deterioration is more than might be expected from normal aging and is due to damage or disease. Dementia is a set of signs and symptoms - a non-specific syndrome in which affected areas of brain function may be affected, such as memory, language, problem solving and attention. When dementia appears the higher mental functions of the patient are involved initially. Eventually, in the later stages, the person may not know what day of the week, month or year it is, he may not know where he is, and might not be able to identify the people around him.

6 Implications of Clinical Lens How we/others view the person How the person may view the self The meaning of the person’s life now How hope is held in the encounter Treatment and care

7 A Personal Response: “I cannot think of anything more destructive of one’s sense of worth as a human being than to believe that the inner core of one’s being is sick – that one’s thoughts, values, feelings, and beliefs are merely the meaningless symptoms of a sick mind…What the concept of mental illness offered me was scientific proof that I was utterly worthless, and would always be worthless. It was just the nature of my genes, chemistry and brain processes – something I could do nothing about.” John Modrow – How to become Schizophrenic

8 A social experience: “Mental health problems are social experiences - open to various forms of interpretation, abuse and manipulation.” J.Swinton -Cultural Issues -Gender issues -Impacting on the person, family members and friends

9 A Lived Spiritual Experience Bill “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full” - John 10:10 “ And so God made man in his own image and likeness.” - Gen 1:27

10 Ultimate meaning in Life Transcendence of loss and disability Moving from provisional to final life meaning Finding intimacy in later life Finding hope in later life

11 “Spirituality means not just one component of life. The spiritual is the ultimate ground of all our questions, hopes, fears and love...it concerns our struggle with loss, questions of self worth and fear of reaching out to make new friendships” K. Turner. Winter Grace: Spirituality and ageing

12 What is sustaining the person Now ? What gives them meaning?


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