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what do pentecostals believe about mental illnesses

Discussion in 'Pentecostal/Assemblies of God' started by Debbi, Sep 10, 2004.

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  1. Debbi

    Debbi New Member

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    What does pentecostals believe about mental illnesses? Like, do you believe that a person can't be healed of depression because it is up to the person to think about the good things. God don't heal depression because it isn't an illness. The person just thinks too much of their past is the reason and it is a sin to be depressed. Depression is de-pressing or not pressing forward. A person wouldn't have a mental illness if they truly trusted God. DID is just demons not alters. I go to a Church of God church and the pastor has different views about depression and mental illnesses and I have trouble accepting this. I get depressed but I didn't give up on God, though. I've been in other pentecostal churches that had similar ideas about mental illnesses. I sometimes cut but it was like to atone for something. I picked that up in a pentecostal church that didn't really believe much in grace, but I felt that God was always mad at me for not keeping the church rules well enough. Anybody want to comment about what pentecostals believe and is this belief all that different from other pentecostals?
     
  2. racer

    racer Contributor

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    Well speaking for my faith, Assembly of God, they believe God can cure/heal anything. No matter if "depression" is just a state of mind (if one tends to believe that), why wouldn't a prayer to God cure a negative state of mind? An AoG member would sooner suggest that you pray for mental healing/healing of depression than to suggest you take medication for such a condition.
     
  3. enoch son

    enoch son Guest

    I must say God can do anything ( no limits). But God can use anything also. For He is God. I have always found that rules are pretty dumb. ( don't eat, don't touch etc.) But asking God for favor is very smart. " You have not because you ask not. And when you do ask, you ask a miss." Coming into God blessing is not a miss. Go and seek His understanding in these matter and He will show and teach you the path He has for you in these things. Sometimes the deeper pain is what He is after so that one can be totally free.
     
  4. Jedi christian

    Jedi christian The Force = The Lord

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    I'm sorry if I offend ANYONE, but I think that thinking God cannot heal depression is extremely closed minded. God can free you from anything, many times we can not get out of it ourselves. An example of this is people being healed of things like depression, and addictions, etc.
    Jedi_Christian
     
  5. Emma!

    Emma! Veteran

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    God is not mad at you!! That is a lie from the enemy, God loves you no matter what!! And he can and will heal you from depression. There is NOTHING God can not do! HE LOVES YOU NO MATTER WHAT!!!

    A good book to read is by Joyce Meyer and its called 'Battle Fields of the Mind' it is a great book!

    Remember you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, then you are a Child of God. And He loves you more than you know and is not mad at you for not following some church rules (that are probably man made rules rather than God made, depends what you are talking about though).

    If you are talking about sinning, then the depression may be coming as a result from that, because if you open the door through sin to the enemy than it can allow other things in eg. depression.

    If this is the case, God STILL loves you and can help you from sin and depression and NOTHING will stop His love for you.

    On the cross Jesus over came everything and that includes depression so He has already won it for you, you just need accept that.

    Be praying for you
     
  6. Debbi

    Debbi New Member

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    I think I might vaguely understand what was meant in a way about God not healing depression. In my case, I was down about not getting enough hours at work and I was down. But down deep though, I have had stuff happen to me all my life, abuse, violence, false teachings that left me with several mental illnesses. God wasn't going to just suddenly make stuff disappear and stuff. I've had stuff all my life, I wouldn't know how to be "normal". I don't know how to just trust him. So, making depression just disappear wouldn't help. What I really needed for God to heal me over time by my talking to him and having a close personal relationship with him and learning to trust him. It is in talking to God and his talking to me and keeping me in his hands that will in a continuing way, heal my heart.
     
  7. Macca

    Macca Veteran

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    Debbi,
    Sometimes mental illness is caused by chemical imbalance in the brain, as is depression, sometimes.
    I believe that God can heal anything, but consider Nebuchadnessar, in the book of Daniel. He was inflicted with a mental illness until he was ready to acknowledge God as the most high God.
    Some rules need to be in place, but more as guidelines to keep all members safe. No person can keep all God's rules all the time, not even the pastor.
    1 John 1: 9 is the verse to remember for when you go wrong. god is not angry at you.
    He is the God of the second chance. Every time you sin and ask forgivness, God forgets it, so next time you come repenting God gives you a second chance; then a second chance after that. God is never the God of the third or fourth chance; always the God of the second chance.
    Macca. :holy: :preach:
     
  8. Sianpu

    Sianpu New Member

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    Is there a medicine for mental sickness?

    How does it effective then?
     
  9. Shalia

    Shalia Veteran

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    I'm bipolar. This last summer was just about the most rotten summer I've ever had, and one of the reasons was a bout of mania that included me thinking God had told me to stop taking my meds and that I was cured. <Actually standard manic thinking, believe it or not.> I spent the summer in and out of mental hospitals because of this thinking, and because the crash of stopping meds made me s**c*dally depressed, and oh it was a mess.

    I decided something during all this. I decided God made us smart enough to create doctors and meds for a reason. He made us able to to help ourselves through modern medicine for a reason. I've NEVER had a clearer mind. I've never been able to sleep like I can now. I've NEVER been able to work like I do, concentrate like I can, etc. I can do it because God created people who can make medicines. It's made me so thankful for modern medicine I now want to go into pharmacology.

    Yes, prayer helped. Reading my Bible helped. Knowing that even during the darkest times, God was carrying me through the footsteps through the sand helped. But so do my drugs every day. I wouldn't be sane without them. I don't think that God would want me to suffer like I was again, and I think He sent me to the hospital again and again so I could learn that. It was an important lesson.

    My husband has muscular dystrophy. It's pretty rapidly destroying all the strength he has in his arms, shoulders, and stomach. My son is autistic. Very few have told me to tell THEM to "snap out of it". Actually, no one told me to "snap out" of mania either, I only hear it when depressed. No one has told my husband that if he just "prayed harder" his muscles would grow back. No one has told my son that if he just "believed enough" he could stop being autistic. It's only those of us with messed up brain chemistry, which is just as much a physical illness as diabetes, that are insulted in a way to make us believe that we don't deserve to feel as ill as we truly are.

    So what if someone doesn't "believe" that you should feel depressed? You know what you feel, and you know what you are, and you cannot snap out of a chemical imbalance that is just as much of a malfunction of hormones as any other physical illness. Absolutely pray and lean on God for healing. And then see your doctor, who God has provided with the knowledge to make you feel better.

    Shalia
     
  10. Shalia

    Shalia Veteran

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    Be careful what you recommend, OK? "Battlefield of the Mind" is what lead to my psychosis. I ended up in the hospital for the next 7 days convinced that I didn't need my meds, God was talking to me, and that I was seeing angels and demons everywhere. I couldn't handle any noise, I couldn't handle people talking to me, I couldn't handle anyone touching me. As well as halos on street lamps, crosses for every telephone pole and street pole, and for some bizarre reason, foxes on the floor. I ran from my husband screaming that he was "going to take me back there, I could feel it", tried to drive away where he had to throw himself back into the car and refuse to let me leave, and in an abrupt shift of mood, I suddenly start smelling flowers and declaring how beautiful the world was and how thankful I was that God made it that way. And how God assured me I was going to be fine, I didn't need meds and if my husband just listened to me, we'd never have to deal with me having problems ever again. My husband STILL shudders thinking about how bad off I was that night. I've never dealt w/ psychosis like that. I'm sure Joyce's book can be an excellent book, but for someone already in a dangerous mindset, who's bipolar, who is already having problems, books like that can CAUSE the problems. I promise.

    I still want to read that book. I've been told it's excellent. And I'm afraid to, cause I canNOT afford another 7 day hospital stay.

    It's NOT always a "Battlefield of the Mind". Sometimes it's really a chemical imbalance and needs to be fixed. Meds can fix that. Sometimes it's SEVERAL meds that fix it. In my case it's SIX meds that fix it. But it's worth it to avoid situations like that again. Joyce's book might be the best book in the universe, but it's not always applicable.

    Shalia
     
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  11. Shalia

    Shalia Veteran

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    There are TONS of meds used for mental illness. You'd be surprised at how many. A friend of mine owns a website for mental health drugs. I'm shocked at how many meds he has listed on there. Most are used for bipolar, but there are TONS. Just atypical antipsychotics alone there are at least 6, but I'm thinking I'm missing one and it's 7. And that's just one class. There's SSRI's, SNRI's <although there's only one of those>, SDRI <again, only one pure one>, multi-reuptakers, several anti-convulsants used <mostly for bipolar> <a MINIMUM of 10, I think more>, the lithium family, the benzodiazapine family, the atypical antipsychotic family, the typical antipsychotic family, the tricyclic antidepressants, the MAOI's, the atypical antidepressants, etc. And that's not counting brand vs. generic, etc. Yes, there are several medicines for mental illness.

    As to how effective? Depends on your problem, your symptomology, what side effects you are willing to put up with, and what hormones/brain chemistry is messed up in your brain. <Example, Zoloft works on seratonin, so if you have problems with seratonin in your brain, you probably have depression issues and Zoloft can work on seratonin reuptake. For bipolars, Zoloft is often mania in a bottle. Trileptal, however, works on sodium channels, and is better for bipolars, as most unipolar depression people don't have problems with sodium channels in the brain. Wellbutrin reuptakes dopamine, another hormone in the brain which can cause depression, so for some people that seratonin didn't work for, dopamine might be the answer for them. So it frankly depends on what is wrong and why.>

    Hope that helped. :)

    Shalia
     
  12. Debbi

    Debbi New Member

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    None of the 6 antidepressants I've taken helped me at all. I got hallucinations from them and bad flashbacks. The last time I visited a psychiatrist, she said I had Borderline Personality Disorder. It meant that I had several mental illnesses but not enough of 1 to get a definite diagnosis and since I self injured, I got BPD. I had been diagnosed before with depression, PTSD, and DID. I don't keep depression all the time though due to changing alters. But then, I don't know why sometimes I cut either. I talked to a Christian Psychiatrist though right after I cut my wrist in March (suicide attempt?) and he just told me to talk to my pastor. Some shrinks just think it is a major spiritual problem and told me to talk to my pastor.
     
  13. Shalia

    Shalia Veteran

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    Have you looked at any of the anticonvulsants or antipsychotics? Bipolars cut, too, and there is a type of bipolar called "bipolar 4" which is bipolar induced by antidepressants. Seeing as antidepressants cause you to hallucinate, that's a possibility for you.

    Not trying to diagnose or anything, but it'd be nice if you could get the help you need. :)

    I know an excellent bipolar board online, and we have several people w/ BPD and DID on there as well. There's a folder just called "alter central" where people w/ DID can feel safe talking to others w/ DID. Even if you don't have a bipolar diagnosis, you'd be more than welcome to come say hi. It's at http://bipolar.about.com and I'd love to see you there. There's also a good spirituality folder, although it is not exclusively Christian. < That's why I hunted out THIS website!>

    We're really friendly. I promise. :) And very understanding of mental illness. <Hope I don't get in trouble for this! I'm just trying to help!>

    Shalia
     
  14. Father Rick

    Father Rick Old Catholic Priest

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    Back to the OP real quick...

    God deals with us in a holistic manner. By that I mean that He deals with the whole person, not just one part.

    When mental illness of any kind is involved, there are three areas that need to be looked at:

    1. The physical/biological-- is there a chemical imbalance, a brain injury, etc. that may be a contributing cause.

    2. The mental/emotional-- has there been abuse, traumas, etc. that affect the person's mental/emotional state?

    3. Spiritual-- is there demonic activity/oppression involved?

    In any case of mental illness, it could be 1, 2, or all 3 issues involved. The best way to deal with it is to build a team including 'specialists' in each area. This would mean a medical doctor, a counselor/psychologist, and a pastor. Together they can minister to the whole person and whatever treatment is necessary can be administered. That may mean meds. It may mean deliverance. It may be counseling/therapy. It may mean a combination of the above. Or sometimes God completely heals as well.
     
  15. Shalia

    Shalia Veteran

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    Wow, three REALLY long posts from me, and you say it so much better. :)

    Shalia
     
  16. PatrickM

    PatrickM What? You're not a Fightin' Irish fan????

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    Isn't it interesting that with physical ailments, meds directly address the ailment, not merely the symptom, in their treatment? Yet in psychoacitve therapy, the meds merely dull the brain in various ways, yet apparently do not address the actual illness.

    If I break my leg, and am given morphine, my "pain" is relieved, but my problem is still there. Similarly, if I am having emotional issues, meds will relieve my "pain", but won't solve the issues my soul is having problems with.

    For example, if one is diagnosed with a "chemical imbalance", can the doctors say what the "balance" would be? If I'm doing a math problem, and my answer is wrong, there must be a right answer with which to compare and know it's wrong. It can't be the meds prescribed, because these aren't found naturally in our system.

    God says in 2Pet1:3, "as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us."

    The word for "life" here is soulish, or the principles of, life. He is not addressing everyday, physical life here, but the spiritual, emotional level of life. And all things pertaining to this portion of life have been (past tense) given to us through knowledge of Him. I don't know of any better way to obtain this knowledge than through His Word.

    "Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, anything of virtue or praiseworthy, think on these things . . .", "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplications, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (including man's) will keep your hearts and and minds through Christ Jesus."
     
  17. Shalia

    Shalia Veteran

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    Can the doctors address what the "balance" would be? Well, yes. If they give an SSRI <selective seratonin reuptake inhibitor> and it WORKS on depression, it is reasonable that the chemical imbalance was in the amount of seratonin in the brain. <Most common problem causing depression.> If that does not work, and they move on to Wellbutrin <a multireuptake inhibitor, starting on norepinephrine and moving onto dopamine> and THAT works, the logic applies that those two <or one of those two> hormones were the ones out of balance. If those types of drugs do not work, one might move to lithium, even for standard depression, as they might be lacking natural lithium in the body, which can cause depression. Again, a chemical cause. Then one might switch to Lamictal, which I *believe* <don't have time to go look at the PDR right now, forgive me> works on GABA in the brain, which if THAT works, shows GABA is out of wack. They might move to an MAOI, which would work on MAO in the brain, etc. When they find the drug that WORKS, it shows which chemical was out of balance, does it not? Simply because there is not an accurate way to test ahead of time what the chemical structure of the brain is <and I'm *guessing* the reason is because the necessary brain chemistry for every person is different> does NOT mean we cannot know which chemical is out of balance. Logical inferance tells us otherwise.

    Do you know that if you take a PET scan of a normal brain, and a PET scan of a bipolar brain, there is a very visible difference. The frontal lobe of the bipolar is noticably more dense than the frontal lobe of the non bipolar. As in 30% more. http://www.bipolarsurvivor.com/chemistry_print.html That is NOT spiritual, that is PHYSICAL. That is just as physical as diabetes and heart disease, yet you don't regularly hear "pray away your child's diabetes, and stop giving them their insulin, they'll just get better" from the Pentacostal community. Yet those of us with REAL mental illness are expected to endure ridicule in the spiritual community for our REAL problems, simply because people don't understand.

    Now, do I think that *some* people have problems in the spiritual realm rather than the physical realm when dealing w/ depression or panic attacks or something? It's possible. Satan can do all sorts of things to mess w/ people, and assuredly that's one of them. And by all means, we should be praying for healing for everyone dealing with any and all problems, whether they be spiritual or physical.

    But when there is PHYSICAL EVIDENCE that bipolar patients have DIFFERENT BRAIN LAYOUTS than regular brains, that is not a spiritual attack, that is a physical disease that requires mental health drugs.

    Shalia
     
  18. Father Rick

    Father Rick Old Catholic Priest

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    So would a diabetic's insulin just 'dull' the pancreas? No, but rather it replaces something that is missing because the body's production for that particular compound is 'out of whack'.

    So it is with psychotropic drugs.... whatever chemical is missing, or in short supply, is supplemented with a medicine.

    In addition to the psychotropics however, many times issues such as depression can be the lack of a hormone-- for example hypothyroidism (or low production by the thyroid gland). By administering a synthetic thyroid medication (such as synthroid/levoxyl), the hormone imbalance is corrected and the symptoms disappear on their own.

    The difficulty with your logic is that you were comparing an injury with an illness.
     
  19. PatrickM

    PatrickM What? You're not a Fightin' Irish fan????

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    This is the point. With insulin, it aids the body in producing the required chemical that's deficient in operating properly.

    Psychotropic drugs do not do this. They do not aid the body in producing what's lacking. Rather, they inhibit the body's function, as in SSRIs, that's all.
    This makes sense, and is in line with my previous statements.
    Technically, perhaps. However, isn't any ailment considered an injury to the body's normal function? Additionally, how is a chemical imbalance equated with an illness?

    If you want to be technical about this, isn't an illness equated with a foreign body invading our normal function, i.e. a virus? How can this be correlated with "mental illness"? What is the physical properties of "mental"? If it is truly a brain abnormality, of course, treat it as such. But even the APA doesn't define all mental illnesses this way, thus separating "mental" from "physical".
     
  20. PatrickM

    PatrickM What? You're not a Fightin' Irish fan????

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    These only are various ways to nullify the brain's normal function. By inhibiting the re-uptake of seratonin, they are abnormally adjusting the normal function of the brain. Nowhere is it defined as to how much seratonin is required for normal function.
    Not necessarily. I would refer to my previous example with modification. If I had the flu, and took morphine, I would feel better, but would not be addressing my actual illness.

    Similarly, seratonin levels affect more body functions than merely the brain. So tinkering with it's levels has adverse consequences to other body functions.

    It's rather complicated here, but a site you might want to consider checking out is by Harvard psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen, MD's site. In his highly documented book, "Prozac Backlash", Dr. Glenmullen goes into great technical detail on the adverse side effects of all SSRIs. Just FYI for you. http://www.prozacbacklash.com/
    But does the PET scan change when one is on an SSRI? Does the current psychotropic therapy actually treat this frontal lobe problem?
    A different brain layout is not the same as saying there is an illness here. There are other brain layouts which do not indicate any illness at all. Will get back to you on the details, if you like.
     
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