As for mental illness in general, I think it's made worse by religion and the overwhelming guilt we receive if we're anything but straight and their version of sane. I experienced it firsthand.
I'm sorry you had to deal with some very sick, unenlightened people. I rarely "preach" or get much into theistic discussions. I understand the lack of scientific proof for theism and don't care to debate about it. But all Christians are not stupid or cruel people. And I do feel obliged to defend that.
This statement is printed in every bulletin (programme) for every church service at the church I attend: "STATEMENT OF INCLUSIVITY: Convinced of God's Grace, we affirm that there can be no exclusiveness in the body of Christ. We welcome all regardless of race, ethnic heritage, national origin, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic standing; and we encourage the full participation of all in the life of our congregation."
I realize that there are numerous quotations in the Bible that can be thrown at me to contradict inclusivity. We choose to follow the directions given to love and to serve. Our mission is not to convert; but to feed those who are hungry, clothe those who need clothing, find shelter for those who are homeless, provide school supplies for inner city kids...
end of mini-rant.