I don’t think I’ve written anything on this blog specifically about my spiritual/religious beliefs.
Just to put this out in the open (not that I’m ever much hidden about what I believe) — I’m a hard polytheist and a witch. That means I believe in many different deities and I practice magic. For me, it’s just part and parcel of who I am.
What I wanted to talk about is the thing that I’ve wondered about since I got diagnosed.
Do I tell my counselor and shrink about my religious beliefs? Not necessarily the whole thing, just that I’m spiritual by nature, and I believe in otherworldly phenomenon and spirits. I know for a fact that it could turn out badly. I’ve read the articles from people that have stated they were treated crazy for believing in anything religious. I’m not concerned about mainstream vs. unusual spiritual beliefs. I’m more concerned with my diagnosis and what will be thought if I finally admit to a counselor (when I find one) that I’m spiritual. That I believe in things I cannot objectively prove. After all…me in a hypomanic state is slightly off-kilter. I know myself well enough to know that. So I’ve always been a bit uncertain as to how spiritual beliefs get taken in the mental health community.
Mental illness is already tricky enough to deal with. I’m not sure how to take spiritual beliefs into it. I don’t think treatment should involve my beliefs, necessarily, but I know that eventually I have to admit to a counselor what I can sense and see that isn’t normal. And I’m afraid of being called even “crazier” than I already am. So I’ve always wondered what other people do about this.
I have a friend or 2 in counseling. They have mild depression (as they’ve told me themselves). So to their counselors, religion isn’t a big deal. It doesn’t alter them in any way. But with bipolar on the table, and OCD, I’m not sure what would be said about me. So I’ll admit that in something that I’m usually completely honest about, I keep back 1 big part of myself.
I wonder how other people deal with religion and mental illness. No matter what the spirituality and religion…I do wonder how it is taken by mental health professionals.