Kelly Willard: Her Battle With Bipolar Disorder

For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Kelly Willard is a musician who became well known during the Jesus Movement. She has made several albums and worked with scores of artists through the years. You can read more about Kelly  HERE.

I came in contact with Kelly maybe five years ago and have maintained sporadic contact through those years. I had asked Kelly if she would write an article for my blog and Kelly surprised me when she let me know she had finally written the article.

Our hope is that if you or someone dear to you is struggling with mental illness that there is help for you. So often many in the church have been marginalized by those who do not understand mental illness. Sadly some of these people are in the church and have done great harm to some who have gotten the courage to reach out for help only to be told their faith was weak or they were in sin. Some will suggest you are inhabited by a demon as I can attest to personally. The results of this type of counsel drives many into the shadows and even out of church as they feel condemned and unloved by God.

Finally. Pray for Kelly. Thank you.  Allan


Dear Fellow Overcomers,

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Allan asked me a loooong time ago to feel free to make a contribution to the blog and I told him I would, and so here I finally am, presently writing to you.

I was “officially”diagnosed with Manic Depressive Disorder in the spring of 1987 when I was hospitalized for having had a complete psychotic break with reality. I spent 9 days in the hospital but am convinced now (with hindsight) that I needed to be in the hospital until they found the right medication(s) to help me, although, I was “afraid of” medicine back then.

They did prescribe 3 different meds for me (not knowing if they were the ones that would help me or not), and turned me back “out on the streets”, so to speak.

All I knew was that the medicines I was taking were making me “vegetable-like” and all I could do was lay on the couch, listless and spaced out. I wasn’t even able to properly care for my two little ones, and had to have hired “help” with the normal day-to-day duties of a mother.

My brain chemicals were so imbalanced that it’s painful to think back on how much “pain” I was in, emotionally, mentally & physically, for almost a whole year.

I cried so hard and sporadically I saw no hope or “light at the end of the tunnel” day in and day out. And I was  trying my very hardest to “get well” so I could function “normally” again (if I ever HAD functioned normally!).

It took almost a year but I did begin to “clear up” and come back to some semblance of my former self. I was finally able to care for my children without “help” and that made me happy.

From that time until 2003 I would only take prozac to help me feel less depressed and anxious and THAT was prescribed as a solution to my PMS!

My very real depression and what is now called Bipolar Disorder was not even being dealt with. One day (in 2003) I realized that my emotions were so erratic and fast cycling, even just throughout the course of one 24 hour period of time, that I was afraid for myself.

I went to my psychiatrist one day, and he could no longer see me because of Insurance reasons. So they sent me in with the “Social Worker” on staff there. Well, God was looking after me that day because this simple “social worker” lady figured out that I had Bipolar Disorder and was not even being prescribed the correct medications for it.

She explained to me that if a person with Bipolar Disorder were JUST on an anti-depressant it could make them worse. She further explained that I needed a “Mood Stabilizer” along WITH the
anti-depressant to cover the full spectrum of the Bipolar cycle.

So she went on to prescribe a different anti-depressant and a mood stabilizer and I literally FELT my brain chemicals (and emotions) balancing out over the next three days. It was phenomenal what happened to me.

And none the sooner, for it was around about that time that an onslaught of stressful, hellish trials hit our little family and blew it apart, and I KNOW that if I had not been on the correct medication(s) for my Bipolar Disorder, I would’ve ended up somewhere in a padded cell wearing a straight-jacket indefinitely.

For you see, in 2004, my Father died, my Daughter committed suicide, my Mother died, my 29 year marriage died (we divorced), and my Stepmother took my inheritance from my Father away from me.

Needless to say it is a miracle that any brain cells in my head are in working order, even more that I am still alive!!!

I give thanks to God for giving the Doctors wisdom concerning medications. My advice is to “keep trying till you get it right” on the “right combination” of meds. I am finally on the right combination of meds (for me), and it feels good to be “balanced out”.

All praise to God.

Here is a link to Kelly’s website.  Below are three of her songs.