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19 posts
12/1/2011 9:49 am
Jesus and Mental Illness

WHAT? Can those two go together??? That isn't right! You must not be a very good Christian if you say you are mentally ill Repent!!! Get revelation!!! Get right with God!!

That is what I hear. And man, I just have to say, WHATEVER!!!!!!

I am Christian, that has struggled with mental illness longer than I have been a christian. It was easier being an unbeliever than a christian. I was also more accepted. I was not a pirhuanna of society. It was becoming a christian where the true insanity blossomed. Added a whole new depth of reality to get a handle on. A whole new realm of spiritual beings, powers, and truths.

I struggled through for a long time, thinking it was all me. My fault, my choices, my character weakness.

But it's not my choice to be ill. I have finally accepted that. And now i see how very condemning and opressing it is to blame mental illness on the person who is ill, and how much worse it makes their battle.

If you are paralysed, and someone tells you "hey, you can walk if you get right with Jesus" think how damaging it woudl be if the paralysed person believes that. THink of how much guilt will come upon him when he does everything right, and he is still paralysed. Or worse yet, when he does do something wrong, than HOLY COW, the guilt that arises when his legs don't move. Everytime someone hands him something, everytime he gets moved from one position to the next, everytime he is helped toileting, is a dig and a reminder than he could do this on his own, if only he would "get right with Jesus"......but try as he might, pray as he might, read as he might, he just cannot seem to attain a "right" relationship with God.

John Piper has a great teaching on this. It is in his Desiring God site and it is under Biographies. It's his biography on William Cowper, entitled "insanity and spiritual songs in the heart of a saint".....or something close to that.....

WHAT??? insanity in teh heart of christian??? How can it be??? the lord promises a sound mind!!!
I hate that verse. I dont' understand that verse. How can we promised a sound mind, and yet not have one.
How can we be promised joy, and yet not have any?
Pipers teaching is helpful I think for christians with mental illness to know they are not alone, and this is not new. ANd this is a helpful teaching for ALL christians, becuase John Newton was a faithful friend to Cowper, and kept him alive. It can help us all learn how to support each other through our struggles.

of course, I still have choices. I can choose to make things worse. I can choose to identify what things make my illness worse, and what things alleviates that, and follow through with the implicated actions.

Of course, there are spiritual powers at play. HAve you read Frank Peretti's, THIS PRESENT DARKNESS?? A must read fiction book for all christians. Of course, I am under spiritual attack. I keep imaging a scene in that book, with a demon of despair, depression hovering over me, following me, sinking it's talons into my skull as it massages my brain and gives me a work over and tells me there is no hope for me.

But you know, God gave me Abilify, a med, and now I don't feel that burden like I did. Is that pill spiritual? How did that pill fix a spiritual problem???Did that pill put some spiritual armor in my brain, so the spiritual realm cannot get through there? Was it a trick of satan for the pill to work, to decieve me to put my trust in doctors, instead of God?. Is it a spiritual conspiracy to cause idolatry?

There are so many questions about where the lines cross on spirituality and mental illness. The lines DO cross. But both are real, and BOTH are valid.

IF you knwo christians that struggle with mental health, give them a hug. Pray with them. Be supportive of anything that makes their life a litte less crazy. Keep in mind you cannto fix them. You can be there to help, or to listen, or to pray, but you cannot fix them. Whatever you do, do not tell them to get right with God.

To forgive yourself is to give up hope for a better past

Tropical_Man 68M
6389 posts
12/1/2011 2:25 pm

The Soul is where the torment is found. Our soul is temporal. It is made up of our mind, emotions and will. Knowing Christ does not mean we will always be happy. I have struggled with depression over the years, but for me I have used it to allow me to be sensitive.

The major problem with Christianity is that denominations turn it into a performance based thing when that is not it at all. They turn it into the exact opposite of what it is intended to be. They ask you, do you know who you are in Christ? That puts the onus on you. The reality is do you know who Christ is in you. Christianity is supposed to be an exchanged life, not a mind your p's and q's.

trade your burdens for his. Abiding means allowing him to live through us, the imperfect vessel. Sometimes what we eat also affects our moods. But over all we need to realize pain is often a scab to a wound. I do know when our focus is on who Jesus is and not on ourselves, things are better.

James Dobson has it 100% wrong. The Fathers of Psychology hated Christ. Look it up. You don't spend time trying to fix your self esteem. The bible does not teach that. It teaches us to identify in who Jesus is, what he did. If we concentrate on self, we will find tons of ways to see our personal failures and inadequacies. But the word says what? I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.

Psychology always fails. Always. All it does is look at issues and give them a name and then an endless rabbit trail of always being a victim. Its not about how we feel, its about just coming to a place where issue by issue, your answer is no longer trying to fix something, but rather placing the focus on what God can do. Does he love you or doesn't he? Even if he does, and you do not believe it then there is a block. Your wall, not his.

Anti-Depressants all cause permanent forms of brain damage with extended use. That's a fact. The Chemical Imbalance that they once taught as a fact was never proven and is no longer taught as factual. The SSRI drugs are just medicating and controlling, but very dangerous. They put caution: can cause death on the warning on there bottle. I have experienced this.A friends daughter died from SSRI drugs.

I would never tell anyone that sin causes depression. Or a lack of faith. One time I asked God, why does everyone seem to seek happiness do much? He told me, happiness is not of him. It is fleeting. He said, seek my peace so that you can also experience my joy. Just maybe that is why Paul said to strive for one thing, to enter into the peace of the Gospel.


12/1/2011 7:35 pm

Lily, Thank you for welcoming me to Blog land!!!! My first two BLogs, ever, anywhere. I felt like writing and going on a rant....blogs are PERFECT for that!!!!! Why didn't I discover them sooner?????

To forgive yourself is to give up hope for a better past

RueHue 58M

12/2/2011 12:01 am

PTL, Look at it this way - A Sound Mind: What 'sound'? The sound of God speaking to you in his still, small voice. If your life (namely, your thought life) is full of turbulent, loud voices and sounds, you will not have a sound mind. I imagine your mind is full of constant activity: conversations you're having with yourself or imagining with others. Maybe you are upset at your mother and resenting and judging her? Maybe you begin to wonder who you really are and which voice is actually yours? The very first thing to do is to cease all resentment and judgment.

'Mental illness' is a term developed by those who don't understand or fully appreciate soul and spirit (with few exceptions, of course, professional or otherwise). All they focus on is the behavior one exhibits and conclude that such a person has a 'mental illness' or some disorder, because they don't conform to the 'norm.' This is a mechanistic way to view human nature. Their approach is to develop drugs to modify or manage unwanted behavior so the 'machine' functions properly, at least for a while. If you notice, there is never a cure because, not only would they be out of business, they truly don't have the answers.

But, if one can be still within their thought life, they can objectively observe what is occurring around them and identify the causes which make them appear or act 'mentally ill.' Another word, 'disease,' is a better way to look at it: Dis + ease = Not at ease. The way to be is at ease, or to be still in one's soul. Only when at ease can one come to attention when the need arises. But if one is always at attention, then dis-ease is the result.

Does it make sense? Does it sound simple? It is simple. People imagine it is "more complex than that!" And, assuredly, they set out to complicate it as much as possible, developing another drug, identifying yet another disorder and so on. It never ends because they never get to the beginning or root cause of it. Symptom therapy is all they offer and sympathy is all one receives.

Yet, it's the peace that surpasses all understanding that Jesus spoke of, by being still and waiting on the Lord. I don't need to quote you verse and chapter (although I easily could). I suspect you already know the truth of what I'm saying. The difficult part is being still, as easy as it sounds. Too often, we want our distractions, detractors, and the things in life that give us good feelings. Yet, these feelings never last more than a few hours or a day or two.

In that stillness is where you will find the 'health' (peace) that surpasses mental, physical, emotional and whatever else kind of understanding there is in this world. It goes beyond our limitations and attunes us to the One who can make all of our cares dissipate with the burden of His Light (I don't know if you've seen light before, but it ain't heavy ). He truly cares for us like no else will nor can.

Don't listen to anyone or anything unless it is drawing you closer to Him. I argue that listening to nothing by being still is where to begin. It sounds simple yet it is the most difficult thing for us to do, because we are constantly on the go, trying to do this, be that, reach this goal, preach this sermon, perform this musical, and on and on and on. We've forgotten who we really are before our Father.

I pray you rediscover some of who you really are today in the Light of His Heavenly Face. May He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.


12/2/2011 5:37 am

Lily, you are a peach. I do, indeed, expect a certain amount of reproach for bringing up a controversial subject, but I could not help myself. For so long I thought my struggles my fault; my character fellow christians fostered and reinforced those beliefs....Christians were far more condemning and harmful than I could express....I feel the need to stand up and speak out about it, realizing my words could attract some negative attention. I hope some other struggling christian can find strength in my standing up to say IT'S REAL, and IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!!

To forgive yourself is to give up hope for a better past


12/2/2011 6:00 am

Blair, I went through and read the blog you linked in, and it was excellent reading. I am glad you reposted it. I am also very glad you are out of some of your struggles, or at least, I think that is what you are saying. Praise the Lord for his healing touch.
My depression is not because of anything that happened to me as a child, I don't think. My childhood wasn't teriffic, but neither was it horrific, either. I remember on my 12th birthday, it was not okay to be happy, because my stepmom's father passed. It wasn't okay to be happy that day, and it wasn't okay to be happy in the days that followed. Somehow, I never pulled out of that. I think that is when my depression began, because I don't remember ever being happy after that. Some depression is situational, and some seems to have no cause. I think I am in the category of the latter. One day I was fine, than I was not. For me, no therapy or self help book seems to have an impact. I learn from it all, yes, but it doesn't impact the nothingness that surrounds my heart. I admit, my faith has faltered quite a bit this last year. when I came to end of myself and my patience for waiting on god to pull me out of the miry clay....but I have some faith left in me....GOD DOES HAVE A PURPOSE!!!!!!! and though I do FEEL utterly abandoned, I know I am not. Thank you for the reinforcment and for sharing your own struggle. And you are invited to hog my blog anytime you care to!!! (not that you DID, but you are invited to)

To forgive yourself is to give up hope for a better past


12/2/2011 1:18 pm

    Quoting  :

"Sound mind, of course, has nothing to do with noises, rather it has to do with reconciling the myriad facets of your life and becoming more soundly grounded."

Very interesting concept. I will have to think about this. I have not considered that a mind like mine may be considered sound. I will have to look this up again, and more fully evaluate "sound". Perhaps there will be some nugget of definition that blesses me. Thank you Skar.

To forgive yourself is to give up hope for a better past

Tropical_Man 68M
6389 posts
12/2/2011 11:10 pm


Explanations of why people behave the way they do and how they change have concerned philosophers, theologians, cultists, and occultists throughout the centuries. These explanations form the basis of modern psychology. Yet psychology deals with the very same areas of concern already dealt with in Scripture.

Since God's Word tells us how to live, all ideas about the why's of behavior and the how's of change must be viewed as religious in nature. Whereas the Bible claims divine revelation, psychotherapy claims scientific substantiation. Nevertheless, when it comes to behavior and attitudes, and morals and values, we are dealing with religion -- either the Christian faith or any one of a number of other religions, including secular humanism.

Nobelist Richard Feynman, in considering the claimed scientific status of psychotherapy, says that "psychoanalysis is not a science" and that it is "perhaps even more like witch-doctoring."

Carl Jung himself wrote:

"Religions are systems of healing for psychic illness. ... That is why patients force the psychotherapist into the role of a priest, and expect and demand of him that he shall free them from their distress. That is why we psychotherapists must occupy ourselves with problems which, strictly speaking, belong to the theologian."

Note that Jung used the word "religions" rather than Christianity. Jung had repudiated Christianity and explored other forms of religious experience, including the occult. Without throwing out the religious nature of man, Jung dispensed with the God of the Bible and assumed the role of priest himself.

Jung viewed all religions, including Christianity, as collective mythologies. He did not believe they were real in essence, but that they could affect the human personality, and might serve as solutions to human problems.

In contrast to Jung, Sigmund Freud reduced all religious beliefs to the status of illusion and called religion "the obsessional neurosis of humanity." He viewed religion as delusionary and, therefore, evil and the source of mental problems.

Both Jung's and Freud's positions are true in respect to the world's religions, but they are also anti-Christian. One denies Christianity and the other mythologizes it.

Repudiating the God of the Bible, both Freud and Jung led their followers in the quest for alternative understandings of mankind and alternative solutions to problems of living. They turned inward to their own limited imaginations and viewed their subjects from their own anti-Christian subjectivity.

The faith once delivered to the saints was displaced by a substitute faith disguising itself as medicine or science, but based upon foundations which are in direct contradiction to the Bible.

Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, in his 1978 book The Myth of Psychotherapy, says, "The basic ingredients of psychotherapy does not always involve repression." He points out that while psychotherapy does not always involve repression, it does always involve religion and rhetoric (conversation). Szasz says very strongly that "the human relations we now call 'psychotherapy,' are, in fact, matters of religion -- and that we mislabel them as 'therapeutic' at great risk to our spiritual well-being." Elsewhere, in referring to psychotherapy as a religion, Szasz says:

"It is not merely a religion that pretends to be a science, it is actually a fake religion that seeks to destroy true religion."

Szasz also says that "psychotherapy is a modern, scientific-sounding name for what used to be called the 'cure of souls.'" One of his primary purposes for writing The Myth of Psychotherapy was:

"... to show how, with the decline of religion and the growth of science in the eighteenth century, the cure of (sinful) souls, which had been an integral part of the Christian religions, was recast as the cure of (sick) minds, and became an integral part of medicine."

The cure of souls, which once was a vital ministry of the Church, has now in this century been displaced by a cure of minds called "psychotherapy." True "Biblical" counseling has waned until presently it is almost nonexistent.

Tropical_Man 68M
6389 posts
12/2/2011 11:16 pm

SSRI Drugs


After years of foot-dragging and thousands of excess suicides, the FDA finally admitted that “two to three children out of every hundred” could be expected to develop suicidal thoughts or actions as a result of antidepressant therapy (Harris 2004). The risk of suicide events for children receiving SSRIs has been three times higher than placebo. (Healy 2005). Amazingly, no bans or restrictions have been placed on their use in children in the U.S.

While the increased risk of suicide in children has become better known, most people are unaware that a similar risk exists for adults. When adult antidepressant trials were re-analyzed to compensate for erroneous methodologies, SSRIs have consistently revealed a risk of suicide (completed or attempted) that is two to four times higher than placebo (Healy 2005).

Turning short-term suffering into long-term misery

A growing body of research supports the hypothesis that antidepressants worsen the chronicity, if not severity, of depressive features in many subjects. Antidepressant therapy is often associated with the poorest outcomes. In a large, retrospective study in the Netherlands of more than 12,000 patients, antidepressant exposure was associated with the worst long term results. 72-79% of the patients who relapsed received antidepressants during their initial episode of depression. In contrast, only one of the patients who did not relapse received no antidepressants during or following the initial episode. (Weel-Baumgarten 2000)

Longitudinal (long-term) follow-up stuides show very poor outcomes for people treated for depression in both hospital and outpatient settings, and the overall prevalence of depression is rising despite increased use of antidepressants (Moncrieff & Kirsch 2006).

Epidemiological observations have long held that most episodes of depression end after three to six months. However, almost half of all Americans treated with antidepressants have remained on medication for more than a year (Antonuccio et al. 2004).

Long-term effects of antidepressants

Antidepressants have been shown to produce long-term, and in some cases, irreversible chemical and structural changes to the body and brain.

The administration of Prozac and Paxil raises cortisol levels in human subjects (Jackson 2005, p.90). Given the fact that elevated cortisol levels are associated with depression, weight gain, immune dysfunction, and memory problems, the possibility that antidepressants may contribute to prolonged elevations in cortisol is alarming to say the least.

In a study designed to investigate the anatomic effects of serotonergenic compounds, researchers at Thomas Jefferson University found that high-dose, short-term exposure to SSRIs in rats was sufficient to produce swelling and kinking in the serotonin nerve fibers (Kalia 2000). Research performed by a different team of investigators demonstrated a reduction in dendritic length and dendritic spine density, and in contrast to the previous study, these changes did not reverse even after a prolonged recovery period. The results were interpreted to suggest that chronic exposure to SSRIs may arrest the normal development of neurons.

I want to emphasize that what I’ve covered here is only the beginning of the story when it comes to the adverse effects of antidepressants. There are volumes of published research and many books which present this information with much more detail. I recommend Peter Breggin’s landmark “Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry” and Grace Jackson’s “Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs” as resources if you are interested in pursuing this further.

By Chris kessler


12/3/2011 6:16 pm

Tropical Man,

Perhaps anti-depressants cause brain damage. They very well may cause all kinds of damage we know little about yet. That goes for all meds out there. But for some of us, they keep us alive. A bullet through the brain is far more harmful than the long-terms effects of any anti-depressant. Sometimes we have to choose the worst of the evils.

Re: Psychology....There are different parts to that word. One aspect is the study and research of human behavior. This is not a bad thing. God gave brains to non-believers too. It is not a bad thing to appreciate their research, and understand more about how we work. This can be advantageous to biblical counseling. Wisdom is a good thing. It would be sticking our heads in the sand to ignore all the years of research that can help us.

Psychology as it pertains to counseling: Has it's good points and bad points. God tells us to renew our minds. Counseling can really help with that. We all need teachers in our life. A good christian counselor that has studied human nature and the bible can be quite successful in helping the average person to relearn how to think. A good counselor who is not a christian can still help us recognize thinking errors and make better decisions. That is not evil either. Counselors are trained to never take away a persons hope. If they have a spiritual belief, they should be encouraged in it. Only a bad counselor would turn a christian away from Christ.

I wont dispute there are bad counselors who would try to take your eyes off Jesus. Just as there are bad churches. Bad Pastors. Bad schools. Bad teachers. But we should not discount the value of counselors, churches, pastors, schools, and teachers because there are a some bad ones out there.

Rather than turn from this field of study, I would encourage Christians to actively pursue the study of human nature along with their bibles. I would hope more and more Christians would get the education and training to counsel. Do not abandon this field to Satan. People are coming for help. People are coming for guidance. People are coming for help to renew their minds. By the hoardes, vulnerable people are coming for help to make changes. These are broken and hurting people. Who do we want them counseling with? Buddhist counselors? Athiests? Ignostics? Or trained christian counselors???

Secular schools are shaping our childrens minds and teaching them how to think. How many teachers hate Christ and teach our kids to also? Yet shouldn't we still send our kids to school??? Shall we call schools evil, because some aspects of it are tainted? Or do we take what we can get from this worldy wisdom, and spit out the bones???

My point is, Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, and don't abandon the fields of research or counseling to non-believers. We need to wage spiritual war and fight for minds and souls.

To forgive yourself is to give up hope for a better past

RueHue 58M

12/3/2011 10:56 pm

LOL. Hmm. So, which psychology, religion, philosophy does one choose? Psychoanalysis? Judaism? Behavioral? Methodist? Anarchist? Cognitive? Atheist? Existentialist? Systems? Hinduism? Buddhism? Baptist? Confrontational? Lutheran? Assembly of God? Disassembly of God? (okay, I made up that last one )

How many voices have we heard from already? Everyone thinks they have something to say to you on the topic, and they reason from their own perspectives and personal motivations. Skariff was the closest to the truth in commending you on the 'work' you've been doing already to come to terms with your struggle (because, ultimately, the Truth in you knows just what to do).

Some analyze what others say and act in the professional role of [your title here] and attempt to exert some kind of authority on the subject; but, mostly it's a regurgitation of religious, psychological, philosophical, etc., knowledge without the efficacy of wisdom gained by a transcendent understanding or at least some personal experience.

Nothing is as important as being still and waiting on the Lord. If you've tried this, even for a few minutes and failed, you then have some idea of how much it is needed. This is the difference between being in a meditative, prayerful spirit instead of the typical hypnotic, trance-like worldly state. Many have a need to "be the one" to support or save people, but that, ultimately, comes from the Lord and from the Wordless word in your heart. I suspect you know He is there, though you may have been doing it "your way" for quite a while. Trust that still, small voice you hear as your conscience. Follow it because it is leading you to what is 'true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.'

There is only One God and Savior, not several. People can't save you, nor drugs, nor therapy, nor anything else. The kingdom of heaven is within. Your mental illness is not uncommon. Reading most of the advice given above should tell you everyone suffers from something.

A wise man once said, "The 'righting' of the human race is fundamentally not a people task. It has a higher power." Ex cathedra (authority derived from one's office or position)pronouncements only reinforce the pride in someone to "be the one" to save you and is an attempt to play God and create in you another dependency (most are unaware that they do this--they have a 'need' to be needed).

When you refuse to doubt God is within and has forgiven you in Christ--more profound than any theologian or therapist can expound or explain--you will enter that stillness and know that peace which surpasses all understanding. Suddenly, 'mental health' becomes only a term that those in-the-know use to classify, categorize, and some to marginalize. God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything (1 John 3: 19-20). And that includes any and all things mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, physiological, mystical, magical, diabolical, literal, imaginable, ad infinitum.

[however, if you are at immediate risk of harming yourself or others, please check yourself into the nearest hospital]

Porttage2332 67M

12/19/2011 3:04 pm

Seems to be what is the majority here for some reason; mabey its the techno aspect that allows so many socio-paths to engage online hiding behind their computer screens. We have the whole gamut of crazies here. But; as representative of "life" in general everywhere; crazy; unhinged apparently is the norm these days; when more often than not, morally bankrupt ppll enegage.


12/21/2011 8:37 am

Free, Oh, how it pains me that my daughter is stuck with a depressed parent.....I do my best, but I know it affects her.... Worst part is, she is an only child, so there is no one to offset that and be more involved with her...she wants a sibling so bad....I cant' even handle babysitting to give her playmates Tried doing foster-care and respite before I got bad, but my placing worker was crazier than I my little girl is stuck alone only me...good thing she has a wonderful Gramma to fill in the gaps.....Did you have anyone to fill in the gaps???

To forgive yourself is to give up hope for a better past