This is a very subjective (to me) meditation on mental illness (a form of which I do suffer from occasionally.)
It is subjective because it is based merely on my own personal experiences.
Hopefully it will get you to reflect on your own experiences and seek some kind of healthy resolution and relief.
This is a "pro-life" meditation in that it affirms that even in the face of the deepest despair, life is very much worth living. That there is hope for absolutely everyone found in the saving Love and Mercy of a Father and Creator that is looking for us, a Son (and Brother to us) and Redeemer that found and paid our ransom, and a Holy Spirit and "Sanctifier" that gives life and the ability to carry out our own missions of redemption in this world.
Statement: It is a miracle that I am alive and I don't have a good answer as to why that is except to say that God is merciful. It could have been a lot worse.
What is "mental illness"?
Personal opinion: It is the result of trauma to the physical brain that somehow weakens the neural pathways that facilitate intellectual and emotional life. i.e. it allows for disturbances to the way we think and feel. Both in my opinion.
What has helped me over the years?
Medication and talk therapy.
Is there a cure?
Opinion again: there is no known cure but full and lasting remission is quite possible in MOST cases.
What words of advice would I give to a person that is faced with the fact that they have a mental illness?
Simple. Act responsibly and seek help.
What do I have to say as a Christian regarding this subject?
God is Mercy. Bask in his mercy and forgiveness. Allow it to shine through you.
Final thoughts: Do your best. Believe it or not god does love you.