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What does the bible have to say about mental illness/disorders

#1Chicken InspectorPosted 1/26/2013 8:55:59 PM
I deal with anxiety issues, depression, and a few years ago i recovered from anorexia. I am curious as to what the bible says about Mental disorders, and where those passages are in the book. It seems like mental issues are something that isn't given proper attention and care up until recently.

It would help me get through the hard times in my life, like earlier today, I had a bad breakdown in front of my parents.
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#2LunarAmbiencePosted 1/26/2013 9:31:19 PM
Jack ****. But science has plenty to say on it.
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#3Moorish_IdolPosted 1/26/2013 10:02:57 PM(edited)
Not to add more to your stress, but when I was a Christian with a mental disorder, I was told repeatedly that I was being harassed by a demon, or was straight-up demon possessed. I also remember one sermon from my pastor in particular who said that depression is caused by possession, and that only through faith can a depressed person "be happy again". (In other words, if you are sad, you're not a good enough Christian.)

I know these things aren't universally preached by all Christians, but I've heard it a fair number of times through my life, and from others who went through the same thing. And it's all nonsense, tbh, and does nothing to help people who need it (and in fact worsens it).

So my advice is this: do not seek organized religion to help you cope with your struggles. If you are comforted by things like prayer, that's fine, but don't seek the advice of religious texts, nor clergy. They aren't trained to help you. You must keep seeking help from real mental healthcare professionals.
#4JonWood007Posted 1/26/2013 10:43:43 PM
Pretty much nothing. Either you're demon possessed, or don't trust God enough. Or they just don't discuss the subject at all, because they didn't understand such things when it was written.

Do yourself a favor and don't rely on religion when you got a mental illness like depression or anxiety. At best it will try to comfort you with nice words (it's okay, God loves you, has a plan for you, etc), but at worst it will try to make these things out to be your fault (you sinned / didn't trust God enough). I really don't think the people who wrote the Bible knew what they were talking about on these issues.
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#5Polish_CrusaderPosted 1/27/2013 12:07:33 AM
One guy asked jesus about a physical disorder- a man born blind- and he was asked to the effect: "Who was it that sinned to get this blindness- his mother or father?" Jesus said to the effect: "Neither one of them sinned, but he is like this to bring glory to me". Then he healed him the blind boy and the people watching were awed and believed in jesus.

So in other words- god has every physical/mental disorder happen for a reason to bring glory to his kingdom. If not for the love of the people around them, then for a miracle to happen to them and bring the poeple around them to God. It works the same way with my health problems. I have come closer to jesus when he healed my TMJ.
#6fuzzypickles12Posted 1/27/2013 1:04:16 AM
Polish_Crusader posted...
One guy asked jesus about a physical disorder- a man born blind- and he was asked to the effect: "Who was it that sinned to get this blindness- his mother or father?" Jesus said to the effect: "Neither one of them sinned, but he is like this to bring glory to me". Then he healed him the blind boy and the people watching were awed and believed in jesus.

So in other words- god has every physical/mental disorder happen for a reason to bring glory to his kingdom. If not for the love of the people around them, then for a miracle to happen to them and bring the poeple around them to God. It works the same way with my health problems. I have come closer to jesus when he healed my TMJ.

If we're going to accurately talk about Bible verses, it's important to first accurately know what the Bible verses say. From the King James Version (all versions are pretty much identical here):

And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

-John 9:2-3

There are some subtle, but important, differences there from what you said (some of which are for another topic). Though this man does get healed, it's important to note that it doesn't imply that everyone with disorders gets healed. It doesn't even imply that everyone with disorders who turns to God gets healed. It says only that they have these things that the works of God should be made manifest in them.

I don't know that I can point to a specific verse, but a general theme throughout the scriptures is that God judges us according to what we've been given in life. He understands if we've been born in Africa and never heard of Jesus. He understands if we have disorders, physical or mental. He understands all of these things and makes adjustments as necessary for us.

But I think it's true that the Bible doesn't speak much toward mental disorders specifically, as the people didn't understand much about them at the time, as others have suggested. That's part of the reason why it's good to reach out to medical experts if you need to. God gave us brains and reasoning abilities to further our understanding through science, as well.
#7Chaos ScadePosted 1/27/2013 1:30:29 AM
Moorish_Idol posted...
Not to add more to your stress, but when I was a Christian with a mental disorder, I was told repeatedly that I was being harassed by a demon, or was straight-up demon possessed. I also remember one sermon from my pastor in particular who said that depression is caused by possession, and that only through faith can a depressed person "be happy again". (In other words, if you are sad, you're not a good enough Christian..

JonWood007 posted...
Pretty much nothing. Either you're demon possessed, or don't trust God enough. Or they just don't discuss the subject at all, because they didn't understand such things when it was written.


It makes me sad that this childish Christianity is the only thing you guys were ever exposed to. I'd probably de-convert if that was my experience as well.

I mean, for example, here's what an abbot of an Orthodox monastery who I know said to me in an email when we were discussing schizophrenia and a Baptist I knew of who was convinced he was in contact with Satan:

"The first thing i will say on schizophrenia, is that it always has a heightened sense of religious experience of feeling God like and central to a theme. it is very complex but it is not a spiritual experience at all. In fact, it is delusional. The problem here is accepting his condition, working with the medicos in understanding and monitoring his condition, and having the patience in seeing him manage himself correctly so that he will be a functioning human being again. When a person is unwell and cannot function within reason of his own will power, if he has not dabbled in demonic material sometime before, the devil cannot reign a person within (even if that person can be influenced at the same level as we all are) - they are NOT possessed. With heightened sense of the spiritual, especially in religious or pious church going circles, schizophrenic people give the sense of the demonic and spiritual realm very verbally. Once they take their medicine (which they think is demonic too) they naturally become reasonable fairly quickly and bingo, them demons seems to have gone. Its wrong to put a universal explanation to the condition and they need a balance between prayers for their well being (God forbid an exorcism!), medical treatment and patient long suffering for something that will look much bigger than heaven above."
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#8lastheroPosted 1/27/2013 6:07:10 AM
It makes me sad that this childish Christianity is the only thing you guys were ever exposed to. I'd probably de-convert if that was my experience as well.

I mean, for example, here's what an abbot of an Orthodox monastery who I know said to me in an email when we were discussing schizophrenia and a Baptist I knew of who was convinced he was in contact with Satan:

"The first thing i will say on schizophrenia, is that it always has a heightened sense of religious experience of feeling God like and central to a theme. it is very complex but it is not a spiritual experience at all. In fact, it is delusional. The problem here is accepting his condition, working with the medicos in understanding and monitoring his condition, and having the patience in seeing him manage himself correctly so that he will be a functioning human being again. When a person is unwell and cannot function within reason of his own will power, if he has not dabbled in demonic material sometime before, the devil cannot reign a person within (even if that person can be influenced at the same level as we all are) - they are NOT possessed. With heightened sense of the spiritual, especially in religious or pious church going circles, schizophrenic people give the sense of the demonic and spiritual realm very verbally. Once they take their medicine (which they think is demonic too) they naturally become reasonable fairly quickly and bingo, them demons seems to have gone. Its wrong to put a universal explanation to the condition and they need a balance between prayers for their well being (God forbid an exorcism!), medical treatment and patient long suffering for something that will look much bigger than heaven above."


Everything in the above paragraph was either wrong, completely useless for dealing with schizophrenia, or just nonsensical.

Seriously. Just seek professional help.
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#9Chaos ScadePosted 1/27/2013 7:47:02 AM
lasthero posted...
Everything in the above paragraph was either wrong, completely useless for dealing with schizophrenia, or just nonsensical.

Seriously. Just seek professional help.


Did you actually read it? Like, seriously? What do you actually think he was saying?
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#10GBALoserPosted 1/27/2013 8:06:52 AM
Kinda like what CS was talking about.

It is actually more sane than what most every other church I attended had to offer. Pray for recovery, but realize they need real medical help.
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