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mental illness and christianity

Discussion in 'For New Christians' started by megan_26, Sep 25, 2017.

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  1. toLiJC

    toLiJC Senior Member

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    what is more important is that a person be able to overcome the evil spirits, which is really a sign of being born again, and this presupposes the presence/availability of true church to help or implies the existence of true faith in the person

    Blessings
     
  2. samir

    samir Well-Known Member

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    Mental illness is a derogatory term psychologists use to attack people they don't like. Psychologists used to tell people with carpal tunnel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, dementia, and Parkinson's disease that they were mentally ill before science showed they are real medical conditions with physical causes so their opinion that someone is mentally ill means absolutely nothing. They also change due to political reasons (they used to consider homosexuality a mental illness but no longer do so for political reasons). Have an uncommon personality? Instead of accepting that God makes some people unique, they label that a personality disorder which they consider a mental illness. Some psychiatrists have even said that simply being a Christian or believing in God is a mental illness.

    Feeling depressed and anxious are normal human responses to abnormal situations (such as feeling depressed when someone you love dies) or sin (such as being anxious because your neighbors are very judgmental). They are NOT mental illnesses.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  3. megan_26

    megan_26 Member

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    That is not at all true. Feeling depressed is not the same as having depression. Being anxious isn't the same as having anxiety. They are chronic feelings that don't go away just by changing your surroundings or your situation.
     
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  4. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Certainly, you can be mentally ill and a Christian. But being a Christian and staying mentally ill doesn't seem to square with what Scripture describes of the Christian life:

    2 Timothy 1:7
    7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.


    Galatians 5:22-23
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
    23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.


    1 John 4:15-19
    15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
    16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
    17 Love has been perfected among us in this
    : that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
    18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
    19 We love Him because He first loved us.


    Philippians 4:6-7
    6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
    7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


    Matthew 11:28-30
    28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
    30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."


    Romans 14:17
    17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.


    And so on.

    How is it that a man who has the Spirit of the Almighty God of the universe within him and who Scripture promises will experience peace, and joy, and freedom from fear remain embroiled psychologically in fear and depression? Is Scripture lying to us? Is God not strong enough to fulfill His promises to us of an abundant life, a life of rest, and peace, and joy?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  5. rturner76

    rturner76 The silent majority needs to wake up Supporter

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    You are absolutely correct about one thing and that is without question. Have an emotional reaction to a person dying is not depression, it is sadness. Feeling uncomfortable because someone is talking about you and siing that parson is anxiety because you have entered an anxiety provoking situation. Now, feeling sadness for months on end with no cause ie, no one has dies, all your needs are met, you are engaged in meaningful relationships and are living a healthy lifestyle, that is an illness. It is called an illness because you do not feel well ,you feel ill and may literally feel so not well that you want to die so it can be a deadly illness. It is an illness that takes root in the mind so it is classified as a mental illness. The mental illness is called Major Depressive Disorder and you have it if you meet the DSM 5 criteria for Major Depressive Disorder.

    Same with anxiety. Being or feeling anxious or in distress is just a feeling. It is when there is no outside cause for the anxiety or, you are not in distress or in a stressful situation and you feel anxiety so much that it stops you from leading a "normal" life or 5a disorder as your thinking is sometimes dis-ordered. This can also be diagnosed using the DSM 5 criteria which is just a list of symptoms. If you have had said symptoms for said period of time, you may have thee disorder.

    In my opinion a body, mind, spirit approach is the best way to treat these things but I would never presume to give medical advise other than one should seek medical advise.
     
  6. rturner76

    rturner76 The silent majority needs to wake up Supporter

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    It can be detrimental to the treatment of a person with Major Depressive Disorder, especially if they are also burdened with Anxiety disorder to imply that God has not yet fulfilled his promise to the depressed person of peace, joy, and freedom. This implies the person is not ready, or has not yet earned God's peace. This makes them feel worse.
     
  7. samir

    samir Well-Known Member

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    No one feels sad for months for no reason because there is a cause for everything. A person may not realize why they feel depressed but that doesn't mean there isn't a reason for it. Some people with cancer feel depressed for weeks or months due to side-effects of chemotherapy drugs which is a physical, not mental, problem. If someone's depressive feelings truly had a mental cause then they would be able to cure it by simply changing their thinking.

    Chronic anxiety could have a biological cause or could be due to living in an area full of Pharisees who lie in wait to judge anyone who does anything they don't approve of. Such anxiety is not a mental illness in either case regardless of what a book of self-proclaimed "experts" says about it.


    The best way is to treat the root cause of the problem.
     
  8. samir

    samir Well-Known Member

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    I agree judging people who are chronically depressed or anxious can be detrimental. However, treating people as victims of mental illnesses who need years of expensive counseling by self-proclaimed experts to cope with their "illness" can be even more detrimental (to the patients, not the doctor of course who gets rich fleecing his flock).
     
  9. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    This entirely deflects the point of my post. Will you answer my questions and make sense of what Scripture promises in the face of the experience of these depressed and fearful believers? Can you? I can. And those struggling with depression and anxiety will never experience the peace and joy God promises them until they think through - however uncomfortably - my questions and the import of the verses I offered.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  10. megan_26

    megan_26 Member

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    Again these statements are not true. I have a disorder that makes it nearly impossible for me to feel loved and yet, through God's power, I still feel his love...so I don't think that someone struggling with depression or anxiety or the like will be incapable of experiencing all God has promised for them. The sickness of the body does not affect the soul.
    And again, mental illness is a real thing.
     
  11. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Please read carefully what I wrote. I did NOT say that it was impossible for a mentally ill person to experience God's love. In fact, the point of my first post was to suggest that a mentally ill person has a life offered to them in Christ they aren't YET experiencing. But they can.

    I never said mental illness was not a real thing.
     
  12. rturner76

    rturner76 The silent majority needs to wake up Supporter

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    Have you thought about this topic and then decided for yourself what answers sound the best or did you learn this somewhere?

    Yes there is a cause for everything and the cause for Major Depressive Disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain that makes your brain produce less of the chemicals serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. That's why they have pills....to replace it

    Anxiety is a biological response weather it is from your mind making your body have an anxiety attack for a reason or not for any reason. When you have anxiety attacks for NO reason, your mind has an anxiety disorder. I recommend taking a psychology course to learn this stuff
     
  13. megan_26

    megan_26 Member

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    I was mostly responding to the user who sticks to their belief that mental illnesses are fake.
     
  14. samir

    samir Well-Known Member

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    I studied psychology in college. Plus I'm smarter than most people so that helps.

    The chemical imbalance theory is unproven and will likely be discredited. Numerous scientific studies conducted by drug manufacturers have shown that antidepressants don't work for the vast majority (and only minimally for a few who are severely depressed) and that most people who take them are just experiencing a placebo effect. Pill don't replace neurotransmitters. They block the re-uptake of them which fries the brain over the long term. Addressing the actual cause would be safer and far more effective.

    No one has anxiety attacks for no reason. If there is something physically wrong with the brain (such as trauma from a car accident) then it is not a mental illness. If it has a mental cause, then addressing the cause will cure the problem.
     
  15. rturner76

    rturner76 The silent majority needs to wake up Supporter

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    I think scripture does not always deliver on that promise with many who have crippling depression. Anyone with Major Depressive Disorder who has a relationship with God And Is an active member of congregation will experience peace, and joy, and freedom from fear for a moment an afternoon or even for a few days toa week but if it's the real thing it will be backand when people tell them they are in the wrong or not doing God's will because of this affliction that they never asked for it only hurts them inside cause they can't help how they feel
     
  16. rturner76

    rturner76 The silent majority needs to wake up Supporter

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    So then when you have a man in his 30's, loves his job, loves his beautiful wife, mom and dad are alive and happy, he has almost no debt, in good shape but he wants to kill himself This happens all the time and it's not for a "reason" besides he had depression
     
  17. samir

    samir Well-Known Member

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    They could be atheists who need Jesus. I heard a testimonial from someone who was depressed for years. Then, he became a Christian and was no longer depressed. Something was lacking in his life (God) and once that need was met he was happy. People can be depressed for years without realizing they have an unmet need that needs to be fulfilled. Drugs like Prozac merely cover up the problem and prevent a person from being set free from their depressive feelings.

    This is circular reasoning. Since depression is just a label to describe people who feel depressed, all you're saying is people feel depressed because they feel depressed. The reality is there is always a reason why they feel depressed/"have depression."
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  18. NothingIsImpossible

    NothingIsImpossible Well-Known Member

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    Anyone who says you cannot born again and mentally ill probably has other brain issues if you get my hint. Sarcasm aside the gift of salvation is open to everyone. Mental illness does not mean one is not saved or that one has demonic activity going on inside them. Mental illness is simply a problem of being human just like any other health issues. Such as having a lost limb. Suffering from migraines...etc. The bible says sin is in the world. Its why we die. Its why people kill. Its why bodies age and get sick and pass. So being mentally ill is just part of a human life.

    Now there is a question of can someone be saved who has some sort of mental issue that cannot fully understand the bible? For example if someone has severe MRDD or lets say down syndrome. I don't mean saved really, I can't think of the right word. I believe even if they don't understand really the bible (or much else) that God is understanding of those whos minds are lost since birth and are unable to understand anything that goes on. Am I saying they automatically go to heaven such as a baby would?

    Well I don't know really know how to answer that. The bible doesn't fully address the issue. I don't picture God, letting those who are born unable to understand anything, go to hell.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
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  19. messager777

    messager777 New Member

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    If a convicted robber who was about to be crucified next to Jesus Christ could gain Paradise or everlasting life(LUKE.23:43), so too could the mentally ill(cf; DEUT.18:9-14, MARK.7:32) or other convicted sinners/evildoers/law-breakers who repent and believe.
     
  20. Strong in Him

    Strong in Him I can do all things through Christ Supporter

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    Yes.
    A born again Christian can suffer from depression, bi polar etc - just as they can with any other illness.
    Someone who is depressed, had bi polar or whatever, can still become a Christian.
     
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