Thursday, December 8, 2016

Catholic believers, mental illness, social media: why the silence?

A devout Catholic woman, disappeared from Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon on December 2 early in the morning; edit- December 13th- she is now found- and her husband asks for no questions. Perhaps from not taking medication for depression or manic episodes, she fasts from all food for the sins of the world and goes to adoration chapels. For a woman of 100 pounds and 5' 8'', she is in grave danger of death six days into her disappearance.  
The silence on social media is deafening. Is it embarrassing to share this story- a mother of a young child who makes a habit of wandering off, fasting on no food for days for our sins? Are we hesitant to diagnosis her with mania or obsessive compulsive disorder and then think we are superior to her sorrows? Do we think that a devout Christian should not suffer from a mental illness? or perhaps we refuse to believe in a mental illness and rejoice that she is a victim soul? In any case, please share the news story, look out for her at adoration chapels, and keep her in prayers as she is most likely very close to death. 

( I have edited this post and deleted the photo per her husband's wishes. he is grateful for those who got involved and asks for privacy now that she is found)

7 comments:

  1. I suffer from anxiety. I am not superior to her as I believe that we all struggle through life. She may be someone very in touch with God that we should be paying attention to for wisdom. At the same time, I will share this with my friend in Portland because her loss would be a heart ache for all of us. God bless you!

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    1. She is mentally ill and wants to fast until she dies. Her husband and baby son are desperate to find her. She could be anywhere in the United States and has been missing over a week. This would be more than a heartache- it would be a serious tragedy.

      -FD

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  2. Thank you Priest's Wife for helping to publicize this.

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  3. Some info on:

    https://twitter.com/archdpdx/status/806167767166566401

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  4. some are saying that we should respect her privacy- but if she were a diabetic, missing and needing insulin- it would be very well-publicized

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  5. Thank you for talking about this. I was very discouraged by comments on FB by Catholics who, rather than acknowledging her mental illness, we're giving "props" to fasting until death, victim souls, making reparation for sin, etc etc. when this dear woman clearly needed professional help. I was also frustrated that the first 5 days of her disappearance were handled as request for "prayers for the family" rather than basic information that this mother of a nursing 5 month old infant had left her family due to mental illness. Those were valuable 5 days in light of her condition, and it is a shame that the stigma of mental illness clouded her husband's judgment in this way. (And I say that in all charity, as I'm sure he was doing what he believed to be best.)

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    1. Now that she is found- we can pray for her even more! I can't imagine what would 'cause' her to leave....

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