Where is God in the suffering of a mentally ill person? What happens to the soul when the mind is ill? How are Christians to respond to mental illness? In this brave and compassionate book, theologian and priest Kathryn Greene-McCreight confronts these difficult questions raised by her own mental illness--bipolar disorder. With brutal honesty, she tackles often avoided topics such as suicide, mental hospitals, and electroconvulsive therapy. Greene-McCreight offers the reader everything from poignant and raw glimpses into the mind of a mentally ill person to practical and forthright advice for their friends, family, and clergy.
The first edition has been recognized as one of the finest books on the subject. This thoroughly revised edition incorporates updated research and adds anecdotal and pastoral commentary. It also includes a new foreword by the current Archbishop of Canterbury and a new afterword by the author.
Kathryn Greene-McCreight (PhD, Yale University) is associate chaplain at The Episcopal Church at Yale, priest affiliate at Christ Church in New Haven, Connecticut, and a theological writer. She also serves on the board of the Elm City Chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and on the Patient and Family Advisory Council of Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. She is the author of several books, including the forthcoming I Am with You: The Archbishop's Lent Book for 2016.
I am often asked by people who have read Hannah's Child, my memoir wherein I tell the story of what it meant to live with someone suffering with bipolar disorder, how to go on in the face of such an illness. I simply recommend Greene-McCreight's Darkness Is My Only Companion. I do so because the story she tells is shaped by her profound Christological commitments and wisdom, making this a book that we simply cannot live without.
- Stanley Hauerwas, professor emeritus of divinity and law, Duke Divinity School
In Darkness Is My Only Companion Kathryn Greene-McCreight takes the reader on her private journey through the hidden world of mental illness. Personal, painful, and informative, this experience is shared so that others may be healed. Weaving Scripture throughout her story Kathryn shows us that the engine of hope that drives recovery is faith in a loving God who hears. This book is a must read for every person struggling with a mental health problem, every pastor that ministers to those in distress, and every family member whose loved one has been taken away from them by a mental disorder.
- Matthew S. Stanford, author of Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness
In this honest and poignant reflection Kathryn Greene-McCreight seeks to 'witness to the working of the triune God in the pain of one mentally ill Christian.' She does so beautifully, graciously guiding readers through the depths of depression and the cacophony of mania to the hard road of 'reconstruction'--always relying on Scripture and the prayers and hymns of the church to give voice to her experience. This 'extended prayer' of a book is a gift to the church and to anyone who seeks to walk faithfully alongside someone with mental illness.
- Warren Kinghorn, Duke University Medical Center and Duke Divinity School