No Shame in a Broken Brain

#3 in the news blog series – Original post on ACEsConnection, September 19, 2013

No Shame in Broken Brain“There’s no shame when any other organ in your body fails – so why do we feel shame if our brain is broken?”  This was one of the latest tweets by Pastor Rick Warren at #WarrensOnCNN.

He is so correct.
Emotional pain + failure of our mental health system = Tragedy.

In the wake of his son Matthew’s suicide, Pastor Rick of Saddleback Church, one of America’s largest, said in a July 26 statement:  “America’s mental health system is irreparably broken.”  The system, he said, “failed Matthew with misdiagnosis and wrong treatments his entire life…America’s mental health system needs far more than repair.  It needs to be reinvented and revolutionized.”

Matthew, his dad said, was mis-diagnosed as having bi-polar disorder when he actually had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

On September 17, Pastor Rick and his wife Kay spoke out on their grief on CNN’s Piers Morgan.  It was the couple’s first media appearance since Matthew’s passing, and, it seems, the start of a much-needed public education drive:

Rick & Kay Warren posted 9-12-13“Matthew was not afraid to die. He was afraid of pain,” Pastor Rick said.

“I remember 10 years ago, when he was 17, he came to me sobbing,” said Pastor Warren.  “He said, ‘Daddy,’ he said, ‘it’s really clear, I’m not going to get any better.

” ‘You know, we’ve gone to the best doctors, the best hospitals, the best treatment therapists.  Everything … prayer, everything you could imagine … good support.’  And he says, ‘It’s real clear I’m not going to get any better, so why can’t I just die? ‘ ”

Asked by the host for Warren’s reaction to his son at that time, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church shared his message:

“I said, ‘Matthew, the reason why, is there is a purpose, even in our pain.  And I am not willing to just give up and say that the solution isn’t there.  You might give up, but as your father, as your mother, we’re not ever giving up, that we won’t find the solution,'” he explains to Piers Morgan.  “I really believe Matthew could have been a great advocate for children in the world.  He was an amazingly compassionate kid.”

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