mental health

Journey to wellness: Personal stories of struggles help those with mental illness

In the winter of 2001-02 Mike Eisenbath was enjoying his work as a sportswriter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, traveling with and covering St. Louis Cardinals baseball games. Family life, with four teen and preteen children and a loving wife, was a joy.

Sometimes, though, he couldn't get out of bed. Other times he just barely made it to a recliner, then couldn't get out the rest of the day. He'd call his mom and ask her to pick up his children.

A doctor diagnosed him with clinical depression and prescribed a mild dose of a common anti-depressant. But his condition worsened.

Strong faith helps families cope with mental illness

Juanita Bishop talked with Michael Mason Oct. 9 at the shelter in the basement of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in the Soulard neighborhood. Mason told her he is writing a book on freedom called “Who are You?” Bishop helps lead Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish’s mission where they feed homeless men twice per month at the shelter.

Juanita Bishop didn't know where to turn.

Her son, Tony, a junior in high school, always was a student with a report card full of As and Bs, loved sports and enjoyed his job. All of a sudden, he had Ds and Fs. His employer at a restaurant called to tell her they no longer wanted him to come to work because he had failed to show up as scheduled.

"Everything kind of fell apart," Bishop said. She tried talking with him, but made no headway.

Next, he gave away all of his bedroom furniture to another teen -- waterbed, dresser, stereo equipment, everything.

Editorial | Numbness and wrenched hearts

Numbness was one of the initial reactions to the Dec. 14 shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 20 children and six adults.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, hit on a key point when he spoke out against the culture of violence infecting our country. All of us, he noted, are called to work for peace in our homes, in our streets and our world, now more than ever.

He also noted that the shattering of a peaceful preparation for Christmas "wrenches the hearts of all people."

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