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Finding Jesus in the Storm
The Spiritual Lives of Christians with Mental Health Challenges
PAPERBACK; Coming Soon: 9/22/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7372-9
Price: $ 25.00
245 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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People living with mental health challenges are not excluded from God’s love or even the fullness of life promised by Jesus. Unfortunately, this hope is often lost amid the well-meaning labels and medical treatments that dominate the world of mental health today. In Finding Jesus in the Storm, John Swinton makes the case for reclaiming that hope by changing the way we talk about mental health and remembering that, above all, people are people, regardless of how unconventionally they experience life. This means accepting the reality and ramifications of suffering while also affirming that there is more to humanity than cells and synapses. 

Finding Jesus in the Storm is a call for the church to be an epicenter of compassion for those experiencing depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and related difficulties. Part of this compassion means breaking free of the assumptions that often accompany these diagnoses, allowing for the possibility that people living within unconventional states of mental health might experience God in unique ways that are real and perhaps even revelatory. In each chapter, Swinton gives voice to those experiencing the mental health challenges in question, so readers can see firsthand what God’s healing looks like in a variety of circumstances. The result is a book about people instead of symptoms, description instead of diagnosis, and lifegiving hope for everyone in the midst of the storm.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Life in All of Its Fullness: Living Well with Jesus
Part 1: The Art of Description
1. Redescribing the World of “Mental Illness:” Description, Explanation, and the Problem with the DSM
2. Resurrecting Phenomenology: Thick Descriptions and the Lived Experience of Mental Health Challenges
Part 2: Diagnosis
3. Taking Our Meds Faithfully: The Ambiguity of Diagnosis and the Social Power of Medication
Part 3: Redescribing Depression
4. Lament and Joy: Depression, Antifeeling, and the (Sometimes Vague) Possibility of Joy
5. Finding God in the Darkness: Testifying to the Presence of an Absent God
Part 4: Hearing Voices
6. Understanding Psychosis: Faith, Schizophrenia, and the Meaning of “Symptoms”
7. Hearing Voices: Moving Beyond “Symptoms” toward Meaning
8. A Strange Kind of Loneliness: Alice’s Story
Part 5: Bipolar Faith
9. Bipolar Faith: Toward a Spirituality of Bipolar Disorder
10. Bipolar Disorder and the Hidden Nature of Suffering: Delusions, Demons, and the Nature of Truth-Telling
Conclusion: Redescribing Healing: Theology That Drops Down into the Heart
Appendix: Mental Health Resources