Mental Illness And Addiction: The Struggle Is Real-Part I2018-11-08T15:53:15+00:00

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Mental Illness And Addiction: The Struggle Is Real

TAKE 2 FOR TRAINING – PART I: Fear Of Vulnerability


When I was asked to do this talk, of course I wanted to check out sort of what Connecting Streams was all about.  The one thing that really came… that struck me was a good starting point for addressing spiritual needs of people with mental illness and addiction was Building Relationships.  I think this is just based on this foundational truth that we were created as relational beings.  We are in need of a relationship with God; we are in need of a healthy relationship with ourself and with other people.  Most of us, I think, at some point in our life – especially in the culture we live in today – are taught to deny this fact.  We’re taught to live very individualistically, to be self-sufficient, to not reach out to others for what we need, and do things by our own self-will not God’s will.

Regardless of what the problem is, whether it’s some sort of specific mental illness or an addiction it’s usually due to some sort of fracture in one of these relationships.  And usually the pathway to recovery is built on the restoration or the building up of these relationships.

I just wanted to maybe throw it out there for anyone:

What barriers do you think exist to entering any form of relationship?

Stigma.  Yeah, absolutely

Trust. Yep

Pre-determined assumptions about that person.

Bad experiences in the past.

So just in the context of this talk it’s basically a matter of semantics.  These are three big barriers that I’ve found and have identified:

  • Lack of understanding.

So I want to talk just a little bit about some foundational definitions and things around mental illness and addiction today.  Kind of help us with that.

  • Fear of vulnerability.

We talked about trust.  Talked about past experiences.  I think any time we enter into any form of relationship there’s got to be vulnerability from both sides.  So a lot of the people who are marginalized have had adverse life experience in the past. There’s going to be a big fear on their part to make themselves vulnerable to us and there has to be a way that we can build that trust with them.  But at the same time there’s also fear on our part because making ourselves vulnerable to people is a scary thing as well. And if we want to tell the truth about our hearts to other people that makes us vulnerable to being hurt.

The definition of vulnerability is “susceptible to being hurt or injured”.

And so that’s obviously a barrier that all of us (anyone) that wants to enter into any form of authentic relationship is going to have to overcome.

Go to TAKE 2 FOR TRAINING – Part II: Lack Of Understanding
Go to TAKE 2 FOR TRAINING – Part III: Humility

TAKE2 Videos by Title

TAKE2 Videos by Trainer


  • TRAINER: Dr. Ian King, BMSc, MD

     SOURCE:  Volunteer Training Workshop (2018 03), Edmonton

    POSTED:  Mar 2018

full-length video


  1. Loralyn Lorch November 6, 2018 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    The initial video is listed as restricted content. Would it be possible to refer someone to this website who is struggling with addiction?

    • Laura Falk November 6, 2018 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      @Loralyn – thanks for asking. I have a bit of editing to do on it but should be able to post it by the end of the week.

      • Laura Falk November 8, 2018 at 4:23 pm - Reply

        @Loralynn – The full-length video is now available near the bottom of this web page behind the blue Flip Box labelled “full-length video”. The content that is more related to addiction starts at about 12:20. Thanks for sharing Ian’s message.

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