Biblical Counseling Coalition Book Review

for Help! I've Been Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder, reviewed by Nate Brooks
"Help! I’ve Been Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder is a small little book, but it’s packed with hope. Chappell is a wise guide through a difficult topic—offering clear biblical instruction on considering what a diagnosis is and is not, how Christ is the ultimate identity of every believer, and how to wisely engage with God in the midst of suffering. If you’re looking for a bite-sized book to walk through with someone distressed by a diagnosis, this book will serve you well."
Some books take courage to write. I suppose every author has a certain degree of courage as they set ideas in stone and allow others to evaluate and critique them. But some topics are more fraught with confusion and trouble than others. Christine Chappell’s Help! I’ve Been Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder addresses a topic that is inescapably personal. Mental disorders are not an “out there” topic, distant from people’s lives, but an “in here” topic that is woven through a person’s own perception of reality. Whatever we may think of the term “mental disorder,” we must first start by recognizing that it speaks to a person’s experience of themselves and others and that deep suffering is taking place.

From the very beginning, Chappell makes clear that this is not merely an academic topic for her. By sentence three, she has declared, “I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder II” (p. 5). She’s quite open about how this diagnosis impacted her internally. “I feared that life as I knew it was over. It felt like a ball and chain had been placed around my ankle, and I was anxious about what the future held for me. More than that, I was unsure how my faith in Christ intersected with this particular problem” (p. 5). (Continue reading article here)