Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Mental Illness

Posted in Christianity, mental illness by Kathy on January 18, 2008

There are so many people suffering today–so many people hurting–and there seems to be no answers, no relief. Take a pill. Talk to a shrink. “You’re not sick, it’s other people’s fault.” “You’re sick, it’s not your fault.” These are answers? This is relief?

When someone has a recognized mental illness such as bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, or is suffering while living in a lifestyle such as homosexuality, bisexuality, or some other sexually promiscuous lifestyle, the modern answer is that this person is “sick” or is suffering from an “illness” which is outside of themselves; or else that this person was born that way and can’t help it. But is that true? Does psychotherapy help? Is psychology the answer? Is someone depressed because of the way others treat him? Is someone bipolar because of a chemical balance outside of his control? Are you born “gay”?

First, psychology, psychiatry, and psychotherapy must be looked at without preconceived notions. What are the foundations of these “sciences”? And are the foundations true? Do they really help, or do people get better anyway? Is prescription medication the only answer? Is it even an answer at all?

First, medications may help; but I think they are only one small part of the answer. I don’t think they should be the first thing looked at; and so many people have been tried on so many different medications with little or no relief, that sometimes I wonder if they are any more help than a placebo. Just recently I read a blog from some guy who is seeing a new doctor and told her all the medications he had previously taken, and how they had done him no good; and her only answer was, “Well I will do a better job of prescribing medications for you than the previous doctors,” and proceded to write medications that he had previously tried that did not work. This is science? This is medicine?

As a Christian, I must look to the Bible first, and then look at other answers. I have just started reading a book by Jay Adams called Competent to Counsel, which looks at people’s problems–including mental disorders–from a Christian perspective. Actually, I have only read the introduction and am hooked. He details that he had almost no training or experience in counseling during seminary, and felt sorely incompetent to help people who came to him with needs. He took as much training as he could during grad school, but was disillusioned by the lack of help that Freudian psychology offered. Then he decided to look at what the Bible says about life’s problems. And found answers–answers that helped people, answers that gave relief.

This is one book in a line of books that I have recently read that just bring to the forefront how applicable the Bible is to any situation and every age. Other books that I have read include The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo, The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian, and Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot.

The first thing to consider when confronting a problem is, “What does the Bible say about this?” If you think the Bible has nothing to say about real, physical (and mental) problems, and is just a book about heavenly and spiritual things, then think again. No, better yet, actually read it! If you don’t, then I’m sorry, but you will not get better. If you do not follow what God has to say–and He made you, so He knows best–then you are going to keep getting what you’ve been getting. If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, then why not look to the Bible to see what can be done? What do you have to lose? If medications and therapy and all the world has to offer hasn’t helped you, then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying a totally different tactic.

Do you feel like you are in bondage to your homosexual, bisexual, or promiscuously heterosexual behavior? Do you feel like you are being bound by depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, anxiety, mood disorders, or anything else in the DSM? Do you want to be free?

The Bible says that if you give yourself over to a particular sin, you become bound by that sin–enslaved to it. Sin is your master, and you must do what it commands. You cannot break that bondage with a pill. Freedom won’t come from psychotherapy. Freedom comes from acknowledging your sin, and then breaking free from it (through Jesus Christ).

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2 Responses

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  1. Julian said, on February 8, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Oh…OK. Let’s set depression sufferers on fire to drive the demons out, shall we?
    Just like in the old ‘trial by ordeal’, your god will protect you IF you are innocent.
    And if the afflicted one gets injured or dies? Good riddance, they were pawns of the devil anyway, and so, not worth saving.

    It will stop being amusing when it hits YOU.

  2. womantowomancbe said, on February 8, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Hmmm, not sure what you’re driving at, here. Apparently you haven’t read the same Bible I have.


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