Mental problems. Mental illness. Chemical imbalances. Environmental concerns affecting the brain and body chemistry. Human responsibility. Sin. Societal norms. Dysfunctional people from dysfunctional families. Seasonal depression. Anxiety. Bi-polar. Borderline personality disorder. Wisdom/foolishness. Schizophrenia. Co-dependency. Heredity. Environment. DNA altering foods and chemicals. Autism. Side effects. Chemical dependency. Addiction. Social anxiety. Brain injuries. Genetic (race) memory. Trauma. Phobias.
We human beings are a mess. We pastors have long struggled to try to understand why some people are as messed up as they are. Sometimes, like a good detective, we have a wonderful theory. Most often, a variety of factors contribute to create our problem behaviors and conditions.
Although we try to categorize and sort out the world of diagnoses and gravitate toward our explanations, there seems to be a distinction between plain, old fashioned sin and the mental state of some people. Not everyone believes in mental illness, and even saying a "mental problem" will raise some eyebrows among those who believe that, with a few exceptions, all our problems are the results of our sinful choices.
Whatever you want to call these people (I will call them "mentally troubled,"), some of them have always been around. But have you noticed a significant increase? Teens these days, for example, seem to think it is a sign of status for have a mental illness.
What is your take? Is the problem growing (here in the USA and Europe)? Plenty of room for comments and discussions on this one!