Ministry & the Mentally Ill


“Religious people love to hide behind religion. They love the rules of religion more than they love Jesus. With practice, Condemners let rules become more important than the spiritual life. ”
— Michael Yaconelli

“We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed out our sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself. … That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed.”–C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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People with mental illnesses, for the most part, have been diverted underground.  We have been pushed into hiding our true identity;  we can come out into the open, but only if we agree to play according to the rules–their rules.  We are expected to censor ourselves, and say proper things at the right time.  Pharisees [who are alive and well] insist on a level of purity that all must maintain. [Hey, I am not picking on anyone, it’s just a generality.]

If I say that I am depressed, paranoid, manic or desperate I will upset the apple cart and muddle up everything.  “Truth?  You can’t handle the truth?”, [from the movie, “A Few Good Men”.]  But if we use our shortcomings as credentials, we have the ability to speak about grace, love and of self-acceptance, with some authority.

Christians with mental illnesses, have been given a gift that we are to share with the Church.  The Holy Spirit has sprinkled us into each fellowship of believers.  He places us as we are suffering into strategic places. Our “gifts” are to speak to the Body, spiritually about a lot of things, but especially grace.

If our fellowships become religious, it is usually because we in our weaknesses, we have allowed ourselves to be silenced into submission by the “interpreters” of scripture.  If we don’t like the rules, we are told to go elsewhere.  We are not welcome.

But don’t you see, that is our moment to shine!  Our “unsightly” presence shouts out to the “wonderful” people, proclaiming grace in weakness.  Those who receive us, in a way, receive Him.  Those who turn from us, muffling us, are doing that to Jesus. Frightening, isn’t it?  It’s interesting to note the those who do not believe yet have often used “legalism” as the reason for their decision.

I would strongly suggest that we take our illnesses into the open.  That we become transparent before others.  As we do this, we can ‘oh-so-gently’ guide our fellowships into true grace and love.  They look at me and they see Jesus.  And that is our ministry as mentally ill people to the Church.  Our weaknesses are really our strengths.

9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power  is perfected in weakness.”  Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 10 So because of Christ,  I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

                               2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (HCSB)

The gospel is either radical, or it is nothing.

This may result in our decision to follow Jesus.

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kyrie elesion.

 

144 Responses to Ministry & the Mentally Ill

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have just discovered this blog. I too am a very broken follower of Jesus. I wrestle with pride and stubborness and yes mental health issues too. I can’t seem to help myself and I stuggle to find Jesus. Thank you for this site. I would love to write more but i am in need of face to face help. I can’t leave my house and i am driving my lovely husband crazy. I believe I am a truly horrible person so it is comforting to read about jars of clay

    Like

  2. Andrew D says:

    In my experience trusting the pastor with your weakness may not be wise. It may open you up to the accusation of your perceptions of truth to be called paranoia or lies.The resulting conflict can exacerbate mental illness. (A house divided cannot stand. That includes being repeatedly being told your truthful perceptions are faulty and a consequence of mental illness by a pastor that claims to be informed and works with the mentally ill in the community or any other such qualifications.. The devil lives in the church too.) The real recovery starts when you begin to question those lies, but the whole business can be extremely messy until the boundaries are defended and the lies are questioned instead of being piled high on a life that has already been significantly broken by the lies of the devil I’m sick of both the secular world AND the church attempting to make faulty judgements of my motives. They almost always get it wrong. However i have never found the Pastor make a judgement call on my motives for tithing though and giving me my money back because it was given in a state of mental illness.

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  3. I got diagnosed with Paranoid Personality Disorder, Type II Bipolar Disorder, and Psychosis.
    I am also a dedicated Christian on a consistent basis trying to remain strong in my faith.

    My mom doesn’t support me at all when it comes to mental illness.

    You see my mom is a survivor from a sexually abusive family in a 3rd world country, and so she holds extreme views and lacks compassion for people who struggle in 1st world countries.

    When I told my mom I needed help badly, she complied. She believed I’d be diagnosed with something curable and that it’d be blamed on my father (they’re divorced).
    However, I got diagnosed with something uncurable and it was actually blamed on her and how she has raised me (when I was 7 she made me watch documentaries on human trafficking so I wouldn’t go outside.)

    Instantly my mom backed out. She told me I won’t see the psychologist and that I don’t need any meds to control my hallucinations and dissociative episodes.

    Then she told me this: “You’re screwed up because you’re not close to God yet. If you just go to God its all going to go away.”

    My mom is diagnosed with Depression and she doesn’t even believe it. “Theyre just chemical imbalances which is a result of sin. You should never believe in what you feel ever. Its all sin. When you’re depressed, its because you’re sinning.”

    I told her Bipolar Disorder is a form of depression and she blew up on me, telling me im jealous of my autistic brother and I’m trying to be messed up.

    She is known as the heavily devout christians in my church.

    I love my mother. I love God more. In fact God called me into that psychiatric unit. That is why I went.

    Now my hallucinations are worsening and my manic stages are developing into episodes. I started work and I’m still not talking to my coworkers because my paranoia is off the charts. And I’m trying so hard to get by and keep turning to God.

    Lack of compassion like this hurts people. I self harmed the other day after 5 years because I’ve gotten to that point.

    I keep telling her I need help, but she is OBSESSED in comparing me to her life in Pakistan.

    My jerk of a father who abandoned me in my childhood is the one being there for me and showing me compassion.

    My mom believes all mental illness is from sin and its the victim’s fault. Unless you are born with down syndrome or autism, you’re just a bad sinner.

    That hurts

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    • Andreea says:

      I am so sorry to hear that! I have depression and OCD (self-diagnosed). I have repetetive behaviours – like going daily to the same store and buying almost the same things :). I think I am known to the entire neighbourhood.

      I have depression and sometimes, like today, I forget to take my medicines and it’s horrible. Many times I just want to die and I wonder what have I done to deserve this. I know I am a sinner, but so are all of the other people in my church.

      It has been 7 years since I was diagnosed, but the mental illness was present even earlier and it distroyed my life. I think the cause was somewhat genetic (I had an uncle who had schizophrenia), but the main cause were people – I have been heavily persecuted by my classmates because I was always talking about Jesus, I was persecuted by my family and even the people in church avoided me because I was trying to live a totally dedicated life to Jesus. I gave everything to Jesus, but I don’t know why He allowed this … even after many years, I can’t understand it.

      I am sometimes so angry that I am disabled for life and the people who hurt me are doing well, starting a family etc. I can’t even get married. I was and still am in love with a boy from my church, he was deeply in love with me also, but he never told me anything directly and now he is getting married. I am so distroyed, ruined. I have loved him for so many years, we know and like eachother since 2001 or 2002. He is the love of my life. I can’t conceive someone else will have him. I don’t know why he didn’t have the courage to talk to me, but I’m afraid it might also be because of my ilness, I don’t know.

      Today I started crying and couldn’t stop, I just wanted to die. It was mainly because I forgot to take the pills. I feel so bad right now, I am having nausea.

      Please, pray for me and encourage me …. I know this illness has tought me a lot and I have become much stronger, now I am the one who tries to serve and encourage others. But sometimes I feel sooooo bad.

      I haven’t lost faith in Jesus, but I haven’t really prayed and read the Bible lately. I know I am a sinner and need to repent. Please, pray for me.

      People from church are so not compassionate and don’t know the truth about depression, but I forgive them, with Jesus’ help.

      Be encouraged. God is in control anyway. We may not understand here, but I am sure we will on the other side. I think we must strive to enter heaven, that’s all we have.

      Andreea from Romania

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      • Erica says:

        I praise God because God is a God of miracles. He can heal you. I am praying for you that you will be healed and comforted. You have a good heart, you are willing and trying to forgive people who hurt you. I pray that God will give you sound mind, mind of Christ. Then you will be free from depression, loneliness, and other bondages. I pray for your freedom. Have a great expectation for God, but not for people, He will surprise you as you expect him to move in faith. Amen

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    • amc35084 says:

      Hi. This is just another terrible story of re-traumatisation by those who claim to love us. Trust only in Gods advice. Remember not all who claim to be of Israel are of Israel and stand your ground in the truth you know in your heart. Your only sin is listening to the world that you are faulty and that this is your fault. (that’s not a statement of judgement) Remember the world belongs to Satan and he is the accuser and he will attempt to destabalise you in any way he can even through well meaning Christians. Be cautious of all “professionals” in the secular world they are following satan’s agenda. This is not to say do not listen to their medical recommendations and that they are not capable of compassion as they are made in Gods image. Question the treatment it if its not working and do not take all you hear as truth. The consequences of Sin do not respond to medicines. Neither do satanic possessions. Chemical imbalances are a consequence of the fallen world, the introduction of sin into the world. Creation groans because the world is broken by sin. It is not a sin to see a person die of an illness, it is a consequence of a fallen world. Christ did not remove death from this world, neither does he necessarily take away mental illness. Why? Only God knows. Weigh it all up against Gods word and the backup of multiple sources telling you the same information.(unless you have a totally screwy church which you should get out of). God Bless.

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    • Eddie Martinez says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that. When I was in college and struggling with depression and suicidal ideation, my pastor at the Baptist church I was attending actually said from the pulpit that if you were depressed, then you were of little faith. Needless to say, I never went back there. Now, many years later, I returned to the Catholic faith, and although my manic depression is much better now, my pastor didn’t know what to say when I brought it up to him. I wish these guys would learn more about mental illness in seminary, so they can better serve their parishioners. I’m in a large parish, about 4000 household. I’ll be 100 bucks I’m not the only one there with manic depression.

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  4. Heather says:

    Hi,

    I have dealt with depression off and on for most of my life. I have sent the last few years just trying to hold on. I have read some of the posts on Mental illness. I can relate to the “unreality” feeling you talked about. That is actually where I am now. I am married and a mother of a six almost seven year old. Some days I wonder if I need to go to an institution or will end up there. I just try to hang on daily and “fake it till you make it.” I never use to be this way. I grew up in the Lord and was saved. I had some big mistakes in my life and I walked away from Him. I don’t trust myself anymore. I want to live and die at the same time. If that makes since. Scared to die, but not wanting to live anymore.
    I never thought life would end up this way.

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    • Lilyamongstthorns says:

      Dear Heather,
      I understand where you are coming from. I have just come back from a suicide attempt about 4 weeks. Thankfully, I was too sick to hold it down and ended up in the hospital having surgery for for something else. (Hence, I couldn’t hold it down)

      Depression is a scary beast. And, if it goes too far, the only thought is making the agony stop and not the consequences that come with drastic measures. I have tried to post at many sites trying to find comfort in fellowship but no one seems to give a rat’s backside in my case. The indifference and insensitivity of other believers are so painful.

      I recently went to an outpatient program that was more helpful than any inpatient program I have been in. They made me study hard about my brain and why it was malfunctioning. They did labs that showed deficiency in quite a few areas.The recent study done on mental illness predisposition was explained in 10 groups of hits to the frontal lobe. 4 out of 10 leave you predisposed, but the interesting thing is something they called “epi-genetics”. I am medication resistant as I have tried 11 now. I also had hits in all 10 categories which is highly unusual . I want nothing to do with ECT. These 10 precursors (they call “hits” to the frontal lobe) have many facets that are within our control to change. I believe there are two that can’t be. But at my wits end I have been wholeheartedly following instructions and utilizing tools to try to make a difference.

      I have to say it is seriously helping and my health is complicated. All forms of self harm seem to be losing their potency as I keep pursuing help. Life is too short with our little ones to “fake it until we make it”. Find a good Christian Counselor. You can press your insurance to respect your religious beliefs in this area. I had to. I’ll tell you I have had some counselors in the secular forum that left me scratching my head, thinking they were more insane than I am. (And I’ve been pretty far gone (catatonic))

      Hang in there Heather, I am so sorry you are in such torment. You don’t have to go through this alone.
      Arms around you dear one.
      Lilyamongsthorns

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    • Thea Ramsay says:

      Hi, Heather, Shaheena and everyone. I understand the urge to self-harm, as I have depression, anxiety/panic, and borderline personality disorder. I am also totally blind–born that way, and have several severe chronic pain conditions. I am born again, and so was my late ex-husband. My mental illness has robbed me of my marriage, my husband’s love, and my children’s being close to me. I am grateful that they have forgiven me things said during my episodes, but I feel I’ve lost everything: my husband and children, who are now young adults; a beautiful house on Maui, where I lived for 11 of my 16 years with my husband. Now I am poorer than ever. Because of my illness and the dysfunction of my marriage, because I felt so paranoid and unloved, I have gone from living in my little “honey” house in Hawaii, which was all paid for, to being poorer than ever. I live solely on Disability, and the landlord is taking over 80 percent of my income. I have gone to psych wards several times, both when I was married, and after the divorce, and after he passed away. I asked to reconcile a month after I separated from him, but he said “no”. Four years later, I am still hurting and lonely inside. All I ever wanted was his love, but he always just wanted to read the Bible all the time. He didn’t want to bond with me or our kids. I did my best to be a good mother, but my son and daughter both had AD/HD, and I was so ill and fragile, well, I did my best, but we had no friends or relations to help us. We were both blind. Anyway, I want to say that being a Christian doesn’t mean God is going to take these diseases from us. As I write, a good friend who is a born again believer, is in hospital in a hypo-manic state. Mental illness has to be one of the worst signs of the Fall. Not that I believe mental illness, or physical illness, equals sin, because it doesn’t. I will just be glad when Jesus returns with our health: for me, sight, a sound mind, and freedom from physical pain. I’ve never gotten over losing my marriage, often have tantalizing dreams about my beautiful house on Maui, and dream that Rob said “yes” when I asked him to reconcile. But the reality is, he said “no”, and now he is dead. I feel so isolated. Now, my best friend is moving away. I often feel like I wish I were dead. I often wish God had taken my life instead of Rob’s. With borderline personality disorder, not to mention blindness and physical pain, I guess I will not find another mate. I have been scammed by romance scammers from Africa who know how to exploit my weaknesses. This happened once, and I’m still trying to pay off a loan. At midnight, I just wish I could have someone to talk to and cuddle with. Everyone I ever loved is dead or has deserted me. I wish God’s love were more physical: I wish I could feel real hands and real arms holding me. My kids say there is no room for me to go back to Maui, back to the honey house I shared with them and my deceased ex-husband, with whom I tried to reconcile after the divorce. Only he said it was too hard to love someone with a mental illness.

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      • Marie says:

        Praise God.
        The Lord blessed me with 3 mentally ill brethren in my ministry. I have never been to Bible school ,or I do not know about psychiatry, I love them and I am used to hear the same thing over and over.
        By the grace of God I am just blessed to tell this Christian lady I love you as you are, it seem to help a bit. I believe these people just need unconditional love. I cannot fix them, I do not know how far our daily prayers help but I know they need LOVE and support. They need attentive ear without judgement or prescription.
        JESUS LOVE THEM ,may I do love them too.
        They seem to be worse when they are left alone to sink in their thoughts, hearing from self, remembering their rejection , failures and listening to Satan accusations against them.
        Which Christian has not been there?
        Checking on them daily,if they have eaten, taken care of themselves, just being there for them may be is helpful. They or their parents may have gone through deep rejection .
        Seeking to give ,praying for others, or ministry according to their calling is also good to them.
        Give and it shall be given to you give all men they worth.
        May be somebody may help me , I am ready to learn.
        Thank you.

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    • Erica says:

      Please study spiritual warfare. Enemies surround us and they try to frustrate us, discourage us, and defeat us. You don’t fake it, you speak against the enemies. Tell them to “leave from me since I am a child of God and purchased by the blood of Jesus. You have no claim against me!: Then keep praising God for his attributes such as holy, righteous, mighty, merciful and devils will flee because they hate our praise.

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  5. David Moore says:

    I have experience of healing the mentally ill thro the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. At the Cross He bore all mental and physical sickness. Nothing is too great for Him. in Gethsemane, the blood shed like sweat from His brow was for the healing of mental illness. Each case has to be discerned individually. Generational curses, rejection, personal sin, particularly with the occult, sometimes severe trauma, but remember, the healing is already done. Meditate on relevant verses of scripture: 2Tim 1v7 would help. For you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free. From my own faith and spiritual gifting I proclaim healing and wholeness to all who read this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Paul says:

      Am looking for a deliverance from mental illness can you help me

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      • LilyAmonstthorns says:

        Dearest JoAnne,
        I encourage you to take a good look at the factors behind what’s going on with you. Find out if there is an organic reason for what is going on. Dear Lord, I pray this is what happens for JoAnne. Also, take a look on the inside, instead of just wishing for it to go away.

        For years and years, I stuffed and stuffed and it worked for a season. I would try to pray away things instead of stepping out in faith and making changes in my life. Confessing and believing does not remove us from the task set before us in the end. We need to face and embrace our weaknesses so that Christ can shine in light of them.

        If you only seek deliverance, it is like shooting for the moon before you build the launching pad. “Create in my a clean heart Oh Lord, and renew a right spirit within me”. I used to think this was only sin. I had a dream about it though (won’t elaborate) a clean heart in short is one that is not only cleansed of our sin, but the sins against us by others and circumstances beyond our control. Think of yourself as wood in the Carpenter’s hand. In order to join one piece to another (connection with others) the Carpenter has to first sand off the old debris. He uses friction to remove the pain,suffering, abandonment, piety, and apathy that has wounded our hearts. When that is cleared then we can step back and look at our mental illness, and see it from an easier place to find God’s direction for healing. Even if it is to His pleasure that it becomes a “thorn” in our flesh as with the apostle Paul, We will reap the benefits of God’s strength shining like a beacon from our weakness. To not do the process and go through the journey is to deny ourselves the growth that Christ wants to give us.

        There is no shame in our weakness dear one. Use it to not only give the enemy a headache, but to wake up the overgrowth of pharisees and Sadducees that are so unkind in today’s society. Church needs to be a place we can run to when we are hurting, not a place where we have to hide who we are, where we have been, and where we are suffering. How can we ever be one with other believers as His Word commands if they reject that which is uncomfortable. Today’s Church needs a real wake up call when it comes to shooting its wounded. Who knows. God’s plan just might create from you a catalyst of change. That will be between you and God. My prayer is that you don’t suffer in vain. That you grow and learn and gain every blessing of the heart that comes with the fiery trial you are in.
        Arms around you in Him
        LilyAmonstthorns

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  6. Waseem Yousaf says:

    Dear Brother,

    The Lord be with you and make God’s face to shine upon you and give you peace.

    I am Waseem Yousaf from Pakistan. I have studied your web site, and have found it to be one of many wonderful sites offered on the internet which gets to the Truth of the Word of God. As is the case with others whom I have contacted, you have created material which is full of knowledge concerning development of religious faith. Living in Pakistan, we Christians face many obstacles in getting access to God’s Word. Most people in Pakistan speak Urdu, and are not capable of understanding the English language. Because of limited access in our native tongue, my people have a true hunger for fresh Christian Perspectives.

    Proficient in both English and my native languages, I would like to offer my services as translator to you. Presenting your material in both Urdu and Punjabi would be a true blessing to the Pakistani and Indian people. For a nominal fee, I will enable you to bring the message of Salvation to a most deserving people.

    Blessing you in advance for your consideration,

    Email: waseemyousaf153@yahoo.com

    In Him,
    Waseem Yousaf
    Pakistan

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  7. Mae says:

    I have yet to meet an “angel” working in psychiatry. If someone finds one, please provide their name so we may all benefit. I have no faith in psychiatrist or the medications they prescribe. I think they often diagnose (or misdiagnose) without testing for other illnesses. I encourage anyone with psychiatric symptoms to do some research. Other illnesses can have the same symptoms. I just learned of one called autoimmune encephalitis, which I hope to have my son tested for. The problem I’ve found with psychiatry is that, once a person is labeled with a psychiatric illness, it is difficult to find any doctor who will look beyond that diagnosis, even when psychiatric medications have not helped. I suggest that anyone suffering from psychiatric symptoms be checked for heavy metals (hair analysis), food allergies, vitamin deficiencies, etc. Another thing…my son was on monthly anti-psychotic injections for years. He was so much worse when he first got his injection, and improved as the injection wore off. I tried to tell his doctors this and they didn’t believe me. Well, a DNA test is available which will show which medications a person can or can’t metabolize. We eventually learned that my son was not able to metabolize any of the anti-psychotic meds he’d been taking for years. So, to anyone who’s having trouble with meds, I suggest you request this test.

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    • LilyAmonstthorns says:

      Dear Mae,
      I have a Christian Psychiatrist. I told him about my life…physically, emotionally, and spiritually and he got down on his knees and prayed for me. No physician let alone Christian had ever done anything so humbly to me before. He is not pro med. ( I am medication resistant) and is into a lifestyle changes that help “reboot” the brain. People like that do exist dear one.
      I am so sorry for the trial you and your son are going through. I realize this post is a couple of month’s old. I still wish God’s brightest hopes for you. And pray, you find the people and resources you need to get through this.
      In Him
      LilyAmongstthorns

      Like

  8. Annie.N.Brooks says:

    I need help. I am at the end of my road and I can’t seem to get a real person online, please can somebody help me.

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    • S. Kiser says:

      has someone reached out to you yet? i am just a mother of five, but i didnt see any responses to your plea and am willing to offer any encouragement i can.

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    • Tom who has bipolar disorder says:

      This is what I can say. God has given people in this world the knowledge and power to help we mentally ill people. Try this: 1) Go see your primary care physician. Let them know about how you are feeling and that YOU NEED SOME HELP as soon as possible. Ask if they know of any Psychiatrists that they could refer you to, preferably for an Emergency Appointment. Be open and honest about the problems you are having and that you need help now! IFYOU ARE SUICIDAL AND FORMULATED A PLAN TO END YOUR LIFE, GO TO A HOSPITAL ER OR CALL 911. Tell whoever assists you that you are thinking about hurting yourself. Don’t be afraid to be hospitalized. It is scary but it is a step to getting better. Trust me on this one. 2). Go to the Psychiatrist. Be as open and honest about your symptoms and feelings as you possibly can. Don’t be embarrassed at all. They are trained for these types of health conditions. They will most likely diagnose you with a condition ( depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc) and prescribe medications to help with the symptoms. Take your medications exactly as prescribed by your psychiatrist. Every day, at the right time, try not to miss (forget) doses and never intentionally skip doses. If you have side effects from the medications, tell your psychiatrist as soon as possible. Together you can decide if they are tolerable or if the medications need to be changed. It may take a while to find the correct combination of medications that work for you. Keep trying. The goal is to feel better. If you start to feel better, don’t stop taking your medications. This is where so many people go wrong. Most of these conditions are life-long and you must never give up on yourself. 3) Ask your Psychiatrist for the names of several Therapists or Mental Health Counselors. If you prefer women, take the business cards of women Therapists. Make an appointment and go to it. If you don’t care for the first one you meet with, try another. The key is to find someone that you are at ease with so you can discuss your symptoms, thoughts, fears and when you feel comfortable…any traumatic experiences. Talk therapy is just as important as medication for treating mental illness. You and your Therapist will determine how often you should meet. Keep going!!! 4). Surround yourself with people you can trust and confide in: family members, friends, people from church, an established Support Group for your particular diagnosis. The last can usually be found at your local Mental Hospital. I would advise against sharing your issues with people at work. In a perfect world there would be no stigma attached to mental illness, but in reality some people will treat you differently. Keep it out of work, trust me. If you must take time out of work for your condition, remember that under Federal HIPAA Privacy laws make it illegal for your employer to ask about your health. Ask your doctor more about this.

      You may be asking where God and Jesus fit into this? That is a very individual matter that varies from person to person. Each of us are one of God’s children and we interact with Him in different ways. Every night before bed, I pray, thank God for the blessings in my life(even though they may seem to have disappeared), ask Him to help me in my troubles and all his people that need His help. I always try to remember that I will be perfect in heaven, if and when I make it there. Jesus suffered more than any of us for the sake of all of us. Life is God’s gift to us. To squander it would be a shame. Never stop caring about and loving yourself. You can bet God never will. Be strong and choose to live. God has given these Doctors and Health Providers the knowledge and skills to help mentally ill people such as us. It’s part of His plan for them. They are angels disguised as humans doing his will, even if they seem unaware of it. May God bless and keep you in the palm of His hand! Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous says:

        Its been proven the whole biochemical imbalance theory is a money making scam.. Fuck psychiatrists. Every single one of them ,eccept one all hurt me and my family

        Like

      • Joe Terrell says:

        My reply is to “Anonymous” who believes that the chemical imbalance theory has been proven wrong.

        The theory has not been proven wrong. It may not be the right diagnosis for every mentally ill patient but it is the right diagnosis for some. I do not know the details of your experience with psychiatrists but mine was a good experience. I am sorry for your sake that it did not go well for you. But you should not enter a sight like this an discourage others from seeking help simply because it did not work for you. Added to this is that not all psychiatrists are good at psychiatry – or even good at being a human. Added to this is the fact the the brain is a very complex organ and the very best of psych’s hardly understand it. but many are doing the best they can and many have been helped by their ministrations. I hope you can find the help you need. IN the meantime, it is best not to discourage others.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I believieve we all have an imbalance in our lifes that we have to address Everyone has something to offer we give away our own uniquie power to easily i put my hand up to this I have thought about finishing my time here and at at times have done things to bring that around I Say to you fight on rise above it You Can Fight it You Can achieve what you want After a fire a Pheonix always flies xx

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  9. tomana says:

    Ever heard of William Cowper (pronounced ‘Cooper’)? Might want to Google that name. He encouraged his pastor John Newton to write hymns and thus, the hymn called Amazing Grace was eventually born. William is, to this day, said to be one of the most gifted of Christian poets of all time. When you read about his mental illness it will hopefully spur you on to a renewed walk with our Savior Jesus Christ and if you are reading this and you think He is not your Savior you will then hopefully know He does in fact save mentally ill folks (aren’t we all? Yes, we are). If you need more you can read about David Brainerd (a missionary) and John Bunyan (who wrote Pilgrahm’s Progress)?

    “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9

    That’s what Bryan said up at the top of this page when he said, “Christians with mental illnesses, have been given a gift that we are to share with the Church.  The Holy Spirit has sprinkled us into each fellowship of believers.  He places us as we are suffering into strategic places …”.

    Why? So that the power of Christ might rest on us and then God will be glorified through us.

    Scripture says God forms us in the womb. I found myself wondering why, if that was so (and it is because the bible says it is so) then why was my friend born without an arm because his mom took thalidomide? And why are so many people born with debilitating physical and/or mental infirmities and why is it allowed, that a mother can ingest something and permanently harm the baby? Eventually, the only answer that remained, after all the others had faded away was …

    It’s because we live in a sinful, cursed world. Man looks at the outward appearance (this includes one’s disposition, functionality, etc does it not?) but God looks at the heart.

    Stop blaming yourself, stop blaming devils and above all, stop blaming God for you infirmities. Instead …

    Jesus said, “If you abide (stay, live) in My word then you are My disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32

    and

    “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. joelsax47 says:

    I have a name for this “sane privilege” where those without mental illness get to define for us what it is like to have a mental illness and what we are able to do. They would not tell a person missing a leg to walk faster, but they jump on us all the time. They tell us what is good for us without listening to us. It is a difficult struggle.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lana Hill says:

      or they say ,oh don’t do this or that. as if you would do what would help you and make you feel better . as if you can fix it just by ones words, they may mean well but it hurts me when they do this to someone,and don’t have a clue. as to why it won’t go away that easy,

      Liked by 1 person

  11. sarah says:

    i would like to get some help

    Like

  12. sarah says:

    i am a schzorprenia christian for 10 month i god later in life the hearing voices thing early in child hood i had hallutionation and sleep paralezed i need prayer so these voices go away gbu

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claudette says:

      Sarah, the Lord lives in you. He is with you and will never leave you. He came down to bring forth a new life for you. All the old person of mental illness, sickness, and sin was crucified with Christ. You are going through the old man’s life and the enemy is trying to convince you that you are “still” this old man. Sarah, what a beautiful name! Your name means Princess and Queen. You are the apple of His eye. He loves you unconditionally. He prepared your new life in Him and He in you, before the foundations of the world. Sarah he knows exactly what you are going through. He took schizophrenia into His body on the Cross for you. Jesus became you on the cross Sarah. He reconciled you back to the Father, with God Himself. You now have the mind of Christ. the Gospel is the Good News for you to hear over and over. The Gospel is only Good News there is no bad news in it. It is the Power of God unto all of your Salvation (healing, wholeness, peace, and much more) Listening to the Good News alone is enough to transform you. There is no work to it. The voices you hear will stop as you keep listening and speaking out who Christ is and what He has done for you. He lives in you. Please if you need support please email me. So many weaknesses we once were will appear in this world, but have courage in Him, be of Good cheer He says, and do not be afraid my daughter, my little flock, for it was the Father’s Good Pleasure to Give you the kingdom Sarah!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • lovegod1 says:

        I love your comments to Sarah. I am a believer and my nephew has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia last year. Since then, my family’s lives has changed forever. He was once this normal human being who was full of life and mental illness has taken so much from him. I have prayed for him but he refuses to pray with me. My heart aches for my sister (his mom) but I am still believing for him to be delivered from schizophrenia. I was wondering how many believers out there has been delivered from this illness.

        Like

  13. Brian Farmer says:

    Pastor, please remove all text associated with my name, including this one. Security concerns.
    Brian Farmer

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,
      I wish I could. I’ve been all through WordPress and have found nothing that would show me how. I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure this out. I will continue to search.
      Bryan Lowe

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brian, Most emails generated like this have a tiny “unsubscribe” button on the bottom of every email message. I honestly don’t know what my emails look like, so I don’t know.
        Bryan

        Like

  14. Dean says:

    I find it strange that no where in Gods word does it even infer to an illness like what it described in this age as mental illness. How can we forget that an un Godly association of mental doctors named these patterns of thought. I have lived with three sisters with proclaimed mental illnesses, one bipolar, one manic depressive, and other paranoid psychophrenic. All three of my sisters reject Christ as being Lord of their life, oh, they want the benefits of Christ, but not Him to rule in their hearts. My oldest sister, the one who is a “PP” remembers a time when she was given the choice of taking up her cross and following Him, she chose not too. My other two sisters have very rebellious hearts to God. How can they ever be relieved of all their fears, how can they know the peace of God that passes all understanding, how can they be given the spirit of love and power and have a self controlled mind if they reject Christ to rule their lives. Oh we can have all of Gods promises if we come to Him, His way with no reservations. In 1981 I came to Christ through the Holy spirits drawing and was relieved from all my fears, and I had many. He pulled me out of the pit and set my feet upon a solid rock. I still have evil fearful thoughts run through my mind but I don’t have to let them dwell there anymore thru the power of Christ, “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”. There is victory over our thoughts which bring us low but, remember Christ was made low that we might be lifted up. We as Christians are over comers thru Christ, we are not defeated anymore but, we have to believe that, and thats possible thru the Holy Spirit, not the worlds therapy. God is way above man, so much more. Trust Him today, plead with Him to help your unbelief today.

    Like

    • Brian Farmer says:

      Please remove me from receiving emails.

      Brian Farmer 678-296-1445

      Like

    • Amber Williamson says:

      Dean,
      Your words are so unloving. I wonder if you ever offered tangible love to your sisters? It’s true that people abuse grace and resist the Father’s lordship over their hearts, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying. For many many many people living in this generation, God’s love is seen as a legal transaction, not a covenant of trust. We get to trust that His heart is full of accepting and yearning love for us in the midst of our mental struggles. He doesn’t burden us with timelines for healing. So often the “church” does that. You may do that. Perhaps God overwhelmed you with his beautiful Spirit so that you might sacrifice your time to sit and listen and love. Maybe He wants to move through you to bring His Spirit to them. This world can be so damn hard and the spiritual torment can be relentless. How do you know that your fears and troubles brought the same level of pain as they do to your sisters? Do you know their hearts? Is it your place to know them? Your job is to love them and RELENTLESSLY encourage them. Perhaps they waiver in their beliefs, love them anyways. The Father does. I too believe that trusting in God’s provision brings peace, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a mental battle you never lose. In Psalms, David doubts and whines and cries. He also praised and was faithfully delivered from his enemies. Ever sing “Awesome God”? Rich Mullins wrote that, but he also wrote some pretty sad songs. He lived a tormented life where He couldn’t always fathom God loving Him. He struggled with alcoholism. He overcame because people like Brennan Manning listened to him without endless patience. It’s true that doctors over-proscribe mental disorders, but there are still accurate diagnosis. Bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, eating disorders, etc have all given evidence of their physical affect on the brain that can be empirically seen in brain scans. Thankfully we also have evidence of neuroplasticy. Thinking habits can change by taking thoughts captive, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take time. Perhaps your sister’s enemies are demonic, perhaps they are the doctors who don’t offer hope with their labeling the conditions as “chronic,” perhaps their enemies are people the people who present a Jesus that died on the cross, defeated sin and now just sits around and waits for people to muster up the willpower to believe and trust His peace-giving love, perhaps they are people who say “have faith” and then quickly leave to return to their comfortable lives…

      Like

      • paul simpson says:

        The prodigal son was always loved whether at home or in a distant land. However to experience the father’s love and security the son had to return so he did whole hearted and repentant. As all including I have to. No exception. Repent and believe the gospel.

        Like

  15. Bart says:

    Have you read Dan B. Allender’s, “Leading with a Limp”?
    I recommend you check it out if you haven’t. It’s worth the time.

    Like

  16. Jesus is for pussies says:

    I hope the mentally ill die in a horrible blaze you ridiculous religious people , if SCIENCE permits it I hope you all catch fire also .

    Like

    • Oh what would Jesus do? He loved everyone .Jesus would move the mountain to get through to a mentally ill.person .

      Like

    • Courtney says:

      Can I ask, why?

      Like

    • Greg says:

      “Jesus is for pussies” At first as I read your post all I could see wsa your rage, anger, hatred and malice. My answer to you is even more startling..we who are believers in Christ actually in a way are “worse than pussies”. You see we have come to realize first that we are…sinners, completely unable to help ourselves and in complete lostness and rebellion. Only then are we able to see and appreciate what Christ has saved us from. I do hope that you will see also.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dane Bramaged says:

      Hey “J is for P”, I have OCD. But despite my mental illness I still want to live my life to the fullest. Might even go to Hawaii one day. Want me to send you a postcard in case I trip into an active volcano? 😛

      Now, on a more serious note, to anyone on this page who thinks that a mental illness is simply a tool used by God to humble everyone else, rethink. Like I said, I suffer from OCD and it is a serious mental illness. It takes a person’s character and replaces it not only with self doubt, but with doubt about everything else in the world, even God. You go through a metamorphosis and often find yourself transforming into a shell of who you were, and then strength is something that becomes farther out of reach each time and each time you find yourself trying harder and harder to find it. Picture Sisyphus pushing that boulder up a hill and it keeps on rolling back, forcing him to start over again. That’s what it’s like trying to cute yourself of a mental illness, and some people struggle to get that boulder up by even an inch.

      When you have OCD, you start having unrelenting and disturbing thoughts on a normal basis and your brain tricks you. At my worst, I was suffering from panic attacks and my mental pain became physical. Literally. Imagine your thoughts having enough power to turn your body cold, make you shake, make your heart thump to the point that your chest feels like it’s going to burst, and nonstop rolling and crying. Who on earth deserves that? Pay attention here too, “J is for P”, hopefully you might learn something useful here.

      Now to say that I am just God’s tool to humble Christians around me feels like an insult. I am now a tool and not a soul? Excuse me, but what? I am especially selected to suffer on a MENTAL level to teach patience or empathy or something alike? That’s awful.

      Empathy and patience, amongst other good qualities shouldn’t be learned solely when others are subjected to pain and you’d feel guilty not to pay an ear or a shoulder. No, I heavily disagree. These are things that should come from another source, such as God in the case of Christians, or such as being humane instead of human even when agnostic, like me. Love for others comes from loving yourself, and if your opinion entails loving god as well, then I respect that. But saying that I deserve what I get because it’s in God’s will? It feels like an insult.

      I have good intentions as try to better them, I apologize for my mistakes, I catch myself when I’m not being humble, the point is I’m TRYING. So why do I have OCD while adulterers, murderers, thieves, and unscrupulous government officials who do what they do on purpose are many times living mentally sound lives? It doesn’t make sense and it’s not ok, and if it’s from God, and he is indeed existing then I’m beginning to question his intentions. Is that not fair?

      Like

      • klowe says:

        Out of curiosity, is your faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross and nothing else for salvation? If it is, then you’re in Christ and it’s finished- you can rest in Him now. All that’s Christ’s is yours and visa versa. You have the ability to come before the Father in Christ and ask for relief (Jesus took down the veil), but you must have faith; the scriptures say it’s impossible to please God without it. When we complain we’re glorifying Satan. You have authority over everything- including Satan- in the Name of Jesus Christ.

        Remember, God the Father also chastises us during our sanctification. It’s for our own good. You’re already justified by trusting Christ so don’t worry. It’s difficult to understand why sometimes because we can’t see what God has in store, we just need to have faith. He is God after all 🙂 Try praising Him for saving you by sacrificing His beloved Son- look to the Glory of Jesus Christ. When we take our eyes off Him we start to sink, just like Peter while walking on water.

        Also, consider the things God has given you on top of salvation. Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have food to eat? Do you have clothes to wear? Can you pay your bills? Millions Christians around the world have suffered much more than you and I.. many to the point of death for faith in Christ Jesus. Count the many blessings that you have.

        I have thyroid problems so my hormones are out of whack sometimes. I can relate somewhat, it’s a real struggle sometimes. Nonetheless, when I praise God I feel so much better. Just remember, faith in Christ plus nothing equals salvation. Build a solid foundation on Christ’s finished work. You may be putting yourself under unnecessary condemnation, which can amplify those kind of problems (speaking from experience). Trust in Jesus, He’s not going to let you go. My prayers are with you!

        Like

      • Empathetic says:

        Hi Dane Bramaged,

        As a fellow OCD sufferer I enjoyed reading your message. I can relate in many ways, especially to your statement “[OCD] takes a person’s character and replaces it not only with self doubt, but with doubt about everything else in the world, even God. You go through a metamorphosis and often find yourself transforming into a shell of who you were.” Well said.

        The intrusive thoughts associated with OCD are certainly stomach churning and naturally make a person doubt their faith and doubt the existence of God. OCD suffers ask “why me?” and “how could a merciful God allow such a terrible affliction?” To make matters even more complicated, the religious scrupulosity form of OCD compels the sufferer to pray rigorously and mortify oneself to please God. The OCDer thinks, I must do “this” or “that” or God will punish me. In response, the OCD mind says I must pray harder, or longer, etc. The prayers become ritual compulsions that, as we both know, only worsen the intrusive or scrupulous thoughts. The fact that rigorous prayer, can at some point, distress to the OCD mind is mind boggling. The OCD person thinks “shouldn’t God alleviate my symptoms because of my fervent and devout prayers?” OCD is certainly a mystery. I have some thoughts of my own, though.

        Except through divine healing which is quite uncommon, our OCD is not going away. We know it has a physical dysfunction that can be seen by brain scan.

        The OCD community has many devout and well-learned Christians (some pastors) that are psychologists and psychiatrists that well aware of that OCD will be a lifelong challenge and the common experience is that it won’t be prayed away. We do hope for the uncommon miracle though through our faith in Christ.

        I highly recommend attending the annual International OCD Foundation’s Conference (IOCDF) in Chicago, July 29-31, 2016. The conference is an annual event where thousands of people just like us gather to establish long-term friendships and support one another through our lifelong hardship. We also learn from the world’s leading experts on OCD therapy. It has changed my life. Check it out: https://iocdf.org/programs/conference/

        If you haven’t already, check out CBT and ERP (exposure response prevention) on iocdf.org. There are great intensive therapy clinics all around the country that can be found on the website. I spent 2 weeks in intensive therapy and it changed my life.

        Hang in there. I can relate.

        Like

  17. Joe Terrell says:

    Most of us are familiar with the phrase, “God moves in a mysterious way…” Most people associate it with odd coincidences and so froth…more like “God moves in a spooky way..” It was written by William Cowper as the opening line of a hymn. He was Poet Laureate of England and close friend of John Newton. He and Newton compiled a hymnbook. One of the famous hymns to come our of this book is “Amazing Grace” by Newton. Cowper wrote many of thehymns in the book, among them, the one that starts with, “God moves in a mysterious way…” Cowper suffered horribly from depression and anxiety, so much so he rarely was able to leave his home to attend church. He attempted suicide at least once. In the hymn, Cowper was not saying that God’s ways are spooky but that they are often contrary to what we would expect. As he felt himself slipping into another episode of Major Depression, he wrote,

    God moves in a mysterious way
    His wonders to perform;
    He plants His footsteps in the sea
    And rides upon the storm.

    Deep in unfathomable mines
    Of never failing skill
    He treasures up His bright designs
    And works His sov’reign will.

    Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
    The clouds ye so much dread
    Are big with mercy and shall break
    In blessings on your head.

    Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
    But trust Him for His grace;
    Behind a frowning providence
    He hides a smiling face.

    His purposes will ripen fast,
    Unfolding every hour;
    The bud may have a bitter taste,
    But sweet will be the flow’r.

    Blind unbelief is sure to err
    And scan His work in vain;
    God is His own interpreter,
    And He will make it plain.

    It is only recently that metal illnesses were automatically considered “spiritual matters.” Newton considered Cowper’s problem to be a health issue and never condemned him for it. The puritans exempted the “Melancholy” from introspection and consideration of their guilt for they considered them sad enough already.

    Unbelievers have no spiritual life; believers have no spiritual problems but both may have psychological problems.

    Like

    • Greg says:

      Thank you so much for this post. I also had read about Cowper. It is sad that more people do not know his history but sing his songs. Out of the real broken pain that he walked was he able to compose a hymn with such depth and beauty.

      Like

  18. Gary says:

    I pray for all my fellow believers that they maybe healed or guided towards straight paths. I too have suffered more than most, not more than him. He is always with you and promised never to leave you. He moves mountains and will carry you to the finish line.

    Gary k

    Like

  19. wvmmrh says:

    if religious people ever begin to accept mental or emotional conditions as being normal,NOT spiritual or due directly to ‘lack of faith’ ,then the entire ‘religious world’ would have to accept psychology and psychiatry as being legitimate and not of the devil,as they now teach that it is./the religious world would have to completely change quite a few of it’s standard beliefs which they’ve been clinging on to since ..well…god only knows…so in my opinion,they will never accept the fact that emotional and mental illness as being anyhing but spiritual and
    of the devil’..isn’t it funny (and hypocritical) that the ‘church’ will advise one to get medical help regarding severe cuts,bruises,gashes..but not mental or emotional issues..they’ll religiously yelp about depression being a spirit and bipolar being the cause of one’s lack of regarding the complete atonement of christ,but ask any of these same ministers or evangelists why they don’t preach the same accusational message to people who’ve lost their limbs ./the reason is that it would be futile as they realise arms and legs won’t grow back./it’s all hypocritical nonsense./the preacher that sits next to me at the counter,drinking his coffee and pouring sugar into his cup but he’s bashing tobacco or the friday night beer during the mavericks game..i’ve bena christian since i was 17..i’m 59 now and still a christian.i watch certain ministers on tv,but i stopped going to church a long time ago.

    Like

  20. kris hayhurst says:

    I really like this piece. I have generalized anxiety and depression as well as adult ADD. I also am married with two adult children on the autism spectrum(close to Aspergers, but the DSM has changed). I’ve wanted to get my kids ‘out there’ in church and in the community because those places=opportunity. How can they learn to be social without social interaction? I find that in order to recover from life’s wounds, we have to be authentic. I can tell you that I’ve met more authentic people in the process of trying to live life. I have Christian friends and Autism mom/families with whom I do not need to explain my level of stress or struggle, because they are right there with me. God gives us grace to make it but He gives us people (etc.) to show it.

    Like

  21. Chuck Halstead says:

    Can I use your quote on my Facebook Page? (“The gospel is either radical, or it is nothing”)

    Like

  22. Brian Farmer says:

    Instead of Peculiar People of Christ, I have created:

    http://www.outsidethecampchurch.org

    We are in the Novi, MI area

    Like

  23. Brian Farmer says:

    Peculiar People of Christ

    A new start-up house church openly for those, friends, and/or families of Christians with mental disorder(s). This church supports and sends pastors (leaders) and missionaries who have sustained a stable mental disorder(s) history and network. – Brian Farmer

    To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims (1 Peter 2:4-11a KJV)

    Like

  24. Barbara says:

    Hi Everyone, so sorry to read about the heartache going on in your lives. I pray that God moves in each one of your lives as He has done in my life. I just released a new book called “Arise My Daughter- A journey from Darkness to Light” the perhpaps will be of great help. Here is a link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/Arise-My-Daughter-Journey-Darkness/dp/1484931017/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373383976&sr=1-1&keywords=arise+my+daughter
    May God’s blessings of healing touch your hearts, minds, soul, and spirit.
    In Jesus name I pray, Amen

    Like

  25. DennisJ.Teel says:

    i’m a 58 year old man who has studied for the ministry and now ordained but i don’t hold services. or have a church at this time/i was diagnosed as bipolar in 1981 and also have a sleep disorder which is identical to the definition of delayed sleep phase syndrome disorder and my dr believes that it might be exactly what i have./having bipolar and the sleep disorder and having chronic anxieties on top of both,i probably am like many of you./Music and movies are a huge part of my daily life ,/i began receiving total disability the same year i was diagnosed and have been unemployed since that time.i’ve never worked at all however ,as i could never hold down a job for more than a few days because of my conditions./over the years,my love for christ has accompanied my love for music and movies and contrary to what most christian ministers would tell you,you CAN watch movies(horror,comedies,drama,action,mysteries,sci fi,etc)and still achieve and retain spirituality and a wonderful relationship with christ.//i feel blessed by the fact i have the ability to watch and purchase movies that i like and music that i listen to.i collect music./everything from ritchie valens and the beach boys to green day,evanescence and xandria..i enjoy action movies like the die hard trilogies and jason statham movies and even horror movies./they don’t interfere with my relationship with christ./if anything having them bonds us together as i feel blessed that i have music and movies to pass my time when i’m awake for 17 hours a day before i go to bed.i have my daily prayer times but i cannot spend every second of my awake time with my nose in the bible as some ministers and ‘religious’ people have said is required of me tn order to ‘avoid’ idle time that makes those things ‘accessible to my spirit’…(hogwash!!!) as i said i feel blessed that i have those things to enjoy and i maintain my walk with the lord because of those blessings,i am ,however,extremely lonely,as i know of absolutely nobody that has any of the same interests as me./while i’m a christian ,i also do not enjoy religion as being 98% of the topic of my conversation as so many christians seem to believe is required to make rapture(or at least that’s what i feel like they believe).i cannot seem to meet ANYONE that is a professed christian who listens to secular music as i do ‘nor watches movies as i do..Christians that i meet either have felt convicted and given up doing those things or feel as though those things are insulting to the lord and have sacrificed them or are legalistic and believe it’s manadatory to crucify the flesh daily by refusing those activities/.it doesn’t matter which of those 3 reasons someone chose,it’s all the same in the end.//i can’ seem to meet other christians like myself..i remain lonely..i don’t enjoy having to always do what others want to do ,never to have anyone even meet me halfway/.it seems like when i DO meet christians and get into a conversation,it always leads to them bashing the media..usually the same movies i watch and bands i listen to,as though the media is to blame for all the problems and woes of the world.(hollywood is a product of sin not a cause)./.this is why the church bashing elvis and other artists in the 50’s and 60’s never amounted to anything positive and the same with bashing artists in the 70’s (alice cooper,etc)80’s(bon jovi,twisted sister,etc) 90’s(nirvana,metallica) to now(lady gaga,pink,etc).i let legalism go a long time ago.i told the lord in prayer a long time ago that i give him complete permission with no struggle, to take whatever he doesn’t want in my life(music and movies specifically) by drawing the interest in those things from me..somebody told me once that i’m absurd in doing that as jesus won’t by force remove anything from me..but i it isn’t by force..i gave jesus complete permissoion to draw the interest from me and regarding whatever percentage of it he desires,whether partial or all/.when the lord does that sort of thing he’ll always replace that hole that’s left with something else,whether spiritual or otherwise,as he won’t take something and leave a gaping hole of lonliness or emptiness to remain/..he’s not stupid..he’s god./god forgave man ALL his isns at the Cross.all it takes is for man to accept that he did so and accept him as savior and lord of all.obeying his voice and his words and commandments has nothing to do with bruce willis and aerosmith..it has to do with your faith,your walk,your trust,your hope in him and your testimony to others when you’re led to give it..to pass on that free ticket to heaven..to pray with and for others depending on how your led..and what you can do..my level of commitment might not be the same as yours and yours won’t be the same as your neighbors.;do what you’re able to do not what some man or woman tries to obligate you to./live without the being under the bondage of the law( top 20 list of do’s and don’ts)//i have a site that i’m still working so don’t laugh if you surf to it..http://afc.rr.nu play that ozzy!! that kelly clarkson!! green day!!watch that fast and furious,that twilight that movie about that guy who hacks up that group of kids on prom night..but above all..understand that jesus wants a relationship and a closer walk with thee..it’s all about a foundation based on jesus …he wants your faith and trust and hope not your movies and music. or your tithes.tithing is great if you can..it’s not a requirement as so many people teach and believe/.you reap what you sow many times over but it’s not sinful if you don’t tithe/. Live happy in your relationship with christ.it’s lonely if you’re not a legalist,especially if you’re disabled/.but you’ll be alot happier when you understand that you do not have to live your life feeling guilty over the fact you don’t live by the letter of the law/.scripture claims that(living by) the letter kills(spiritually).accept your music and movies and any free time you have or assistance you receive due to your disability as being a blessing from the lord,not a curse or product of the devil as so many ‘religious’ people claim/.disabled people area group that god has placed a special design on and around/religious people are seeing them in a distorted manner due their own self righteousness and arrogance./when you’re looking at something with that kind of speck in your eyes ,even the godly look blurred and out of focus/i learned to live with my disability and i won’t let religious people or anyone for that matter ,take my joy..don’t let them take yours either!

    Like

    • Kelly Hailey says:

      Dear Mr. Teel,
      Thank you so much for telling about yourself. I am grateful to have read your writing. I am a recently retired service member that was discharged with minor maniac depressive disorder (supposedly) and Depressive/ Anxiety. I have achieved earning a nursing assistant license, a emergency medical technician license and on my way to becoming a nurse.However I agree with you on the matter that ” i cannot spend every second of my awake time with my nose in the bible as some ministers and ‘religious’ people have said is required of me in order to ‘avoid’ idle time that makes those things ‘accessible to my spirit’ “. I have kept a strong faith in God and will even go farther to say that I have had a better understanding of things with God and I have had a better ability to help show God to others through my speaking and counseling with others. Being disabled as the regular world likes to label has done nothing more than give me a greater relationship with God and show that with God everything is possible.

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you, That was very helpful
      God bless

      Like

  26. Pastor Bryan – Thank You for living out loud the grace of Christ in you. I found your site because someone in trouble saw my number on the internet and began calling in the middle of the night. I prayed with him but could tell that he was struggling with some psychological illness. I went searching for Christian hotline numbers for him since I am not a counselor or doctor. I pray that he is finding the help he needs.

    He found me because I have begun sharing more of my healing and journey out of childhood abuse on http://www.WoundedHealerWarrior.com. I have struggled on occasion with depression but have also been diagnosed with post traumatic stress just this year as I have been experiencing flash backs. So to say the least, I am grateful for your site and for the encouragement to press on with our voice in the church.

    You are a Wounded~Healer~Warrior! Thank You!

    Like

  27. Damien H says:

    Awesome

    Like

  28. Damien H says:

    Beautiful worthy real and so very Godly ,you don’t bring the illness to people you bring Jesus ever so close to them,God bless you through Jesus DJ

    Like

  29. Anonymous says:

    i have bipolar ptsd and i had a seizure and they thought it was a demon i have been really sad that this was done

    Like

  30. Barbara says:

    Darlene, I understand what you are dealing with..I too had been shunned because of my transparency with an issue I was battling with. The counselor at my church suggested I go and volunteer at a local library stacking books or whatever…in my heart I knew God was not calling me to that task…He had mightier plans to use me. Ended up becoming an inspiring devotional writer, blog mentor to the hurting, and to top that off an influencial women’s small group leader. Today, God has me finishing up writing my life’s story and it is going to be used in mighty ways in setting His beloved daughters free. Darlene, Do not allow “dysfunction” to hamper God’s mighty works being done in and through you…allow His Holy Spirit to graft you into your purposed “functioning role” in the body of Christ! To Him be all the glory, honor, and praise! Always aim to hear, “well done my good and faithful servant with you I am very pleased. You finished that which I called you to accomplish. Here is your reward!” I pray that God bless the works of your hands and a great harvest will come forth in time to come….

    Like

  31. Darleen says:

    Amen Amen Amen!!! Awesome post here here….No more pushing us away CHURCH we have something to say. God has given us the gift to serve in this way…

    Like

    • Barbara says:

      We all have a part to play in God’s kingdom work here on earth….so may His body be ever so kind and gentle to accept those with limitations…for when we are weak-then He is strong. The Lord loves to use the presumed foolish ones and do mighty things through them to dumbfound the so-called wise. Darleen, May the Lord bless you in all that you seek to do for Him.

      Like

      • Darleen says:

        Thank You Barbara, it seem with mental illness that the stigma is also in the church and for years I have be shunned on to serve because of my mental illness.. This has been somewhat frustrating and hurtful. Satan can have his way with this and certainly has done this to me.. It was said to me that I cannot be in a study group because they were scared what I could do to their children. This makes someone withdraw and I have been. Not any more I know that God has given me the gift to serve this way to help in mental health in the church. You know that still voice you hear deep inside you saying this is the plan for you. I going to stop hiding and start doing what God wants me to do…

        Like

  32. Sunny says:

    I’m a 60 y/o Female who has survived 50+ years of multiple abuses, rapes, my 1st husb sold my firstborn daughter…I have 5(five)mental illnesses.I KNOW tht I wouldn’t be here if my Father hadn’t had His hand on my shoulders, if Jesus hadn’t carried me most of my life! I still struggle w/ severe depression,
    triggers, flashbacks, the loss of years of memories tht have been blocked out and have yet to find an accepting church home. Now homeless, without family(they’ve rejected me as well)and NO friends, I am sooo lonely. “Church people” have told me too, that my faith isn’t strong enough and/or I’m “demon/spirit oppressed/possessed and that I’m “holding on to my demons”, etc. Because of this type of feedback, I continue to HATE myself and have become a “self-injurer”, scratching my own flesh, burning myself with cigarettes, banging my head and punching/slapping myself; my Fiance (not yet a Believer) turns up the radio to drown out the sounds of the slaps and the horrible, nasty things that I say to myself.
    I pray that He understands my illnesses and my inability to stop/change it myself and will forgive me and still put my name into His book; because yall see, the beloved child tht I prayed so fervently for has severe mental illness too, and I DESPERATELY want to lead him, and my dearest Fiance(who loves me and accepts me for the loving good tht he sees in me)
    and anyone else tht I come into contact with, to my most Beloved, Dearest God, my Father. I don’t really want to commit
    suicide, I don’t want my life to have been meaningless, I don’t
    want to die in the madness….

    Like

    • Sandy says:

      Sunny, you speak eloquently of experiences and feelings that others understand to greater and lesser degrees. I understand this experience from a different perspective – in having various physical, sensory and disfiguring conditions. I also know how terribly hard it is, even for church members who are working, to ‘break in’ to a church’s “mentality” to see the need for mental health ministries, etc. They don’t see ‘us’ because they don’t WANT to ‘look’ … not because we don’t wave our hands wildly, yell out with conviction that we need to be heard … but because they fear the unknown of what hearing us may mean to hearing one another. Some thoughts on finding spiritual connections (1) keep coming back here – there are real people with souls who read what you post and understand. (2) Share your ‘area’ (New York? Los Angeles?, etc.) and church preference … There ARE groups that have mental health ministries – I know of a ‘mental health minister’ in northern CA with an active ministry. Other groups have other programs. (3) The reality is that whatever is found will not be perfect … and that is the scariest thing – that in our deep vulnerability and reaching out, we risk being hurt again. (4) Find a place where you can talk out in anguish to God. Out loud. Let it all hang out. AND… (5) Start a journal. Write down the wisdom you are gaining. Write down anything that gives you comfort. Write as though you are the one and only BEST ADVOCATE for yourself. If that hurts deeply, write down what self hate says, and then see what your inner wisdom says in response. (6) There are ‘peer counseling’ places … ‘consumers’ (AKA like people like us) who know how dark and dangerous the road is … see if your local MH center has that (7) if you have any opportunity, find a doctor who doesn’t prescribe meds for depression. I went off all my meds of 25++ years … it’s been very hard at times, because in healing from PTSD I gained a Voice (vs. passive) and have dealt with some deep retaliation … I am now taking “5 HTP” – a supplement you can get in a drug store. … I hope you find some help within all this…

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      God loves you Sunny. He is with you in the middle of the your struggles – He said that he would never leave you or forsake you. Don’t give up. There are many resources and new medications available to help us, and blogs like this where you can share your heart with other Christians who understand.

      Like

    • Barbara says:

      Dear Sunny, I understand and can relate to the inner pain that you are in. May you know that I care about your life and the things that you will do while God has you here. I pray that God blesses you with His Joy and fills your mind with His peace!

      Like

    • God loves you Sunny and so do I!!! I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have suffered from sexual abuse, self injury, depression, post traumatic stress disorder and have been in psychiatric care once. I too have heard from the church that it’s my fault for not letting go or not believing enough or I don’t have enough faith and that’s why I am not healed. People do not understand that we heal in different ways and in different times. Your life is not meaningless because you mean something to God. You meant something to me when you shared your story. Your story touched me and made me know that I am not alone and that you are not alone. I pray right now as I type this that you be covered in the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ for your protection and that the Holy Spirit will bring you comfort my beauty. You are loved and are very important. Keep telling your story and sharing because you have touched a life, mine and will touch others who also feel alone and who are going through similar situations. You may even bring light to the church on a need that needs to be filled. Please don’t give up because God has not given up on you. You will be in my prayers. God bless you, lovely. 🙂

      Like

  33. Wearybuthopeful says:

    I struggle with severe anxiety and depression. I have found for me, once i let God off the hook for not healing me and once I let myself off of hook for being a human as He made me to be, I found a lot more grace for myself and for God. It is indeed heartwrenching how cruel and indifferent people can be while using God’s name as a license to do it in. Some mean well and some are jsut too stuck on their own ego. I had to let people off of the hook too. I have also learned too to remind myself when I am in the pit that eventually the sun will shine again. We are human being and with that comes the frailties and weaknesses of being human. We are no less human tat those that wear glasses or those that take insulin or those that have addictions or those that struggle with secrets sins or those that have really bad attitudes about spirituality or others.. I aked myself one day, what would Jesus say to me if he met me on the street and how would he react to me knowing everything about me. In order to answer that question, I had to do some work and study how Jesus treated those that were ill and people that were sinners. Well, he was actually quite kind to them and ministered to their being from a place of goodness and love. He healed them. He forgave them. He still loved them. He never once rejected them or scolded them for being sick or for needing his goodness. He never condemned them or isolated them or ignored them or rebuked them or told them they had to do this and that and the other to be worthy of him or his love or his acceptance. Unconditional love and “blind” acceprance and just “being” with someone is healing and comforting. Jesus offers that to us. Just as we are. Weaknesses, frailties, and illness and all. Healed or not. Whole or broken. Yes, we need people. We were also made for relationships with others. Yes, our humanness gets in the way of that at times in as much as other people’s humanness gets in the way of their being able to relate to us. We have a responsibility to do what we can to help ourselves. We have the option of finding rest in his love and acceptance. God is for us regardless of our humanness. I have learned to take every moment as I can and there are bad moments, lots of them. There are good moments too, lots of them. I ask God to be in each of these moments with me. To nourish me in the famine of my soul as well as in the times of plenty of the soul. He is there. I have found a great deal of comfort in just “being”. No more beating myself up for my weaknesses and failures. No more if I do this and that I will be whole. No more if only I could be this or that, God would heal me. no more I am not this or that until others say that I am so. No more blaming and no more if onlys. No more looking for redemption of past abuse or past wrongs or validation from others. No more begging and pleading in prayer to God like I am a beggar instead of a child of God. Just the knowing that He loves me as I am perfectly and completely. I have also found that I need to be wise in whom I share my humanness with. I have a therapist and a support group. I go to church to worship God and I don’t need to disclose my disclaimer with others to do so. Find safe places and safe people to share your heart with. I have a dog that I talk to about things as well. As well as a flower bed of flowers. I also took up cooking and cake decorating and organic hobbies. Maybe i am a tad manic. :o). Do something. Don’t stay stuck in the paralysis of fear and self loathing. Set small goals. Be still before God in your soul. Offer him your moments and yourself even if you is broken and lost. He loves us. He really does love us. Just as we are. Even in the darkest moments. And remember, He promises that we wil lbe healed and that he will use everything for our good. We may not see it in this life. But He will do as he promised He would. Rest.

    Like

    • Ann says:

      Wow – This blessed me so much today. I have just come back into relationship with the Lord after a long period of being angry with Him. I gave up believing that God really did love me because I just couldn’t figure out why He would allow me to make a fool of myself when I was trying to serve Him. I was diagnosed with BP 1 in 1995. Over many years, I would have manic episodes with psychosis where I would think God told me to do things Like, call the pastor at 2am or quit wearing my glasses because He healed my eyes. In the end I would end up in a mental hospital horrified when I realized what I had done. I quit going to church, threw away Christian books, and put my Bible away.

      Well, I took my Bible out a week or so ago and listened to some sermons from my first Pastor that I found on the internet. I have hope again and wonder how I have lived so long without God. But, I am scared beyond words that I will get out of balance again and become manic. This site has helped me so much this morning. I have been pretty stable for the last year and I feel my medications are just right. So, it is scary to open up myself to God again. I’m trying to quit isolating and being afraid. Baby steps for me right now. Anyway, thank you for sharing.

      Like

      • Wearybuthopeful says:

        You are welcome. I know those places are so hard and i know exactly what you talking about. I resigned myself to just sticking with the basics of what Jesus taught. Simple things like being kind, forgiving others, and so on. I kind of go through the same thing with my anxiety. Questioning everything. Feeling sure of nothing. Don’t trust myself to hear from God. Getting advice from other people about spiritual matters and discovering that often times that the advice was at opposite ends of the spectrum. I would end up even more confused and feeling total angst constantly like I was missing God or failing him or displeasing him. So, I decided just to take a time out, a time of rest. I told agod I have faith in you and I believe that Jesus is your son that died for my sins. i have nothing to offer you right now but me and my pain and my struggles. i am a hot mess more than I have it together. i need you to be a friend to me as well as my God. and peace came andI started to realize the triggering thoughts and patterns that would get me into a landslide of thoughts and fear and panic. I avoid those things now. I also force myself to get out and socialize a little bit even if I am afraid to or feel like i have nothing to offer anyone and I force myself to stay busy with something so I don’t. Ave time to get into a pit. I read my bible. I pray. I go to church when I am up to it. I it all gets to be too much, I take a timeout for awhile. I don’t obesses about being healed anymore or like I have to solve all of the mysteries of spirituality with God anymore. And I try to be a friend to myself now. God understands our struggles. I stopped allowing myself to feel the pressure of figuring everything out or striving to perform for God/other people anymore or constantly being at odds with him anymore. See God as a being that totally gets us. That totally knows and understands everything about us. He doesnt hold our struggles against us. He is merciful and forgiving and compassionate and ever so loving.

        Like

      • tlcgreene says:

        Wow! Ann I understand completely! I too am experiencing depression, not even wanting to go outside.My husband has a boxer/ pitbull female dog named sweety and I barely want to take her to walk. I will schedule a drs. appointment to do blood work and get ALL necessary meds (if needed) to balance me out!!! I don’t drive but try my hardest to get on the bus line to do shopping.I really don’t know what happened! One day I just woke up in a fog and haven’t been the same since. Maybe I’m passing into my last year of being fourty something.I have had to adjust to some pretty different ways of living.My husband and I lost our jobs 2 years ago and as a direct result of just living on unemployment and I’m just not knowing where our next meal would come from or money to pay for rent,it took a toll on my person and I believe thats why I feel like I do. My husband comes from a background of being locked-up to a VA counselor currently. And you would think he could help me? Of course he watches me go through the day by day gloom that I carry.So he cares enough to get me to a dr. soon.When I get the underlining anweres and results I will share where I’m at!!!!

        Like

  34. Austin W says:

    I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder bipolar type and I am also recovering from drug addiction. 4 months ago I started going to a new church that fit better with my beliefs and it is in walking distance from where i live and has many small groups. I believe this is the church God wants me to go to. I have a mentor who goes there who is getting a degree in psychology from a christian university. My problem is that when I told the pastor i suffer from mental illness he said there is no such thing as mental illness and that i just destroyed my brain from doing drugs. There was another man there called my family a bunch of nuts (my sister suffers from mental illness too) and said two of us had the same thing wrong with us. This makes me not want to go there any more. There is so much ignorance and stigma even in the church. Some people think mental illness is just demon possesion. I feel like i would be better off not getting too involved with the church instead of being descriminated against.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Austin – I read your post a few days ago and have thought about it several times. The more I get to know who God is and who I am in his eyes the more peace I feel. I need to be around people who build me up not tear me down. I hope that you know that some people are just not educated about struggles like we face. I also struggle with alcoholism and addiction along with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder1. Follow your heart and you will find the right church family. I am looking for the right place for me and my family at the present time. I won’t go where I feel condemnation or shame because I have mental illness. It is what I have – not who I am. We all need each other. I feel so blessed to have read this blog because I can relate so much to most every post. Hang in there and love yourself because God loves you and cares deeply about your every need.

      Like

    • Ar says:

      Austin I would ask how you came to believe this was the church God wanted you to go to and IF in fact this is where God wants you don’t you think it logical that Satan would immediately begin throwing obstacles in your way to discourage you i.e. the Pastor and other man’s remarks. Perhaps between you and your mentor working together you have a job to do at this church to enlighten your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to mental illness and in the process heal them to enable them to better minister to others in need. You just may have found your purpose or God’s calling. Are you and your mentor up for the challenge to mend the hearts of those broken believers? You just might find it the most rewarding and self helpful work you’ve ever done. May God be with you and keep your mind and heart allied with Job.

      Like

  35. jair1 says:

    I too am a broken believer. For my fellow sufferers, I have compiled a Windows desktop gadget of Bible verses (slide show) which can be installed for use on Vista and newer operating systems which if interested you can email me at neatsheep@gmail.com.

    Like

  36. Anonymous says:

    Robert Cornwall was
    pastoring a small church in Salem, Oregon, when he approached the directors of the state mental institution with an offer
    to do part-time counseling. His first assignment was Building 37 – an area which housed severe mental patients. On his
    first day the guard let him into a room filled with deranged, half-clothed patients, human excrement was everywhere.
    When he tried to talk to the inmates all he got were groans, moans, and demonic laughter. Then the Holy Spirit prompted
    him to sit in the middle of the room and for a full hour sing, “Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.” At the end of
    the first day he saw no response.
    During his second visit he again sat on the floor and sang the simple song about Jesus’ love. The third week, about
    twenty minutes into the session, a large black lady began to circle him like a dog circles its prey. Robert continued to
    sing and finally the lady began to sing softly with him.
    Over the weeks one after another joined in singing this song of God’s love. By the end of the first month thirty-six of the
    patients had been transferred to a self-care ward, and in less than a year all but two were released from the mental institution. (From “Whose Love Is It Anyway?” Judson Cornwall and Michael Reid, Sharon Publications, 1991, p. 58-59).

    Like

  37. Marcia says:

    I am 64 years old and have been broken since childhood…periods of deep, despairing depression. I’m so tired of this life, and am waiting for God to take me home. I come out of these dark places for a very short while, then am in the pit again. Tried almost every antidepressant medication out there, with very limited (if any) relief. You say to bring our sickness out into the open? I have shared many times, only to be met with statements like “You don’t have enough faith,” or “Jesus wants you healed…” All these name it/claim it statements make me want to vomit.It seems like a curse that God has given us His Word to comfort us, but in this darkness, I cannot take in His love and comfort. Desperately needing prayer…

    Like

    • Sandy says:

      Marcia … I am 63 now, and understand brokenness … I truly hear myself in what you are saying, so deeply. In 2010, when ‘it’ hit yet again, I started reading voraciously … I knew it was more than ‘treatment resistant depression’. I read my way past workaholic, family dysfunction, alcoholism, suicide, emotional/verbal abuse to PTSD, then complex PTSD. I ‘self-diagnosed’ myself … and when I learned the Ph.D. I was seeing had no PTSD training … I started looking for someone who did… Believe me, this has not cured it … the initial exhilaration I felt at “AHA!!!”… has led to deeper despair because the wall is breaking down…. I went off all meds (9 pills/day) in spring of 2010 – I am meeting with a psychosomatic MD on Friday to start something … I am guessing it feels like someone burning you, over and over, and the skin sadly heals pink and fresh so it can hurt badly once again. Over and over… I’m joining a local UU church this Sunday – 2 others and me will be starting a “Talking Circle” where this kind of stuff can be shared (not the same as the sharing in 12 step groups)…. We want to bring vulnerability and hurts to the light of healing and compassion. (While I ‘write good’ … believe me, the anxiety/depression et al of PTSD is ‘right there’ deeply… ). We have only this one life … somehow, ‘in all this’ … we owe it to the little children we once were – the ones who went through ‘all this’ and hurt so very much now, today … to somehow, even if only a tiny way … to shine a light on a better way of living. Our technology has outstripped our humanity in importance, and we suffer the dire consequences …

      Like

  38. Darlene says:

    Dear Catherine,
    Thank you for you kind words. I don’t know where you live but in the Christian realm there is a 12 step group called Celebrate Recovery,for all kinds of problems,including mental llness- google it and see if there is one close to you. Also, there are mental health support groups around the country by an organization, NAMI( Secular) which can be excellent…I would give you my email address as I could be a support, but don’t know how without giving it to all… Praying -keep me updated! Darlene

    Like

  39. Darlene says:

    Hi Catherine, I too suffer rom bipolar disorder for forty years…My advise is to be cautious in finding the right church, as some don’t understand. Talk with the pastor and be sure that they will love and accept you and encourage you to serve in their church. Also, try to read the Bible and get to know God. “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” God does love us who suffer from mental illness and has His reasons for the horror we go through. We need to trust and obey.I hope this has been helpful,and I will be praying for you and DO know your pain…. Darlene

    Like

    • catherine says:

      thank you darlene for your kind words..i dont even know what category my mental illness falls under.i’ve been contemplating suicide for quite a some time now.but unable to do it..as the thought of my mom stops me and also i dont want to go against jesus and his teachings..i have no one with whom i can share my plight with..i attend a church which is good enough..but im afraid there is any place for people like me.im apprehensive about sharing it with any church member or pastor fearing rejection and unacceptance..my previous experience of sharing it with the people close to me has not at all been encouraging..though they were supportive,they couldnt understand my problem which only left me feeling stupid.i seriously do want to overcome this problem but dont know how..thank you for praying for me..i too can understand the pain and plight you must have undergone all these years..may god relieve you from your difficulty soon..will keep praying for you..
      catherine..

      Like

  40. Watchful One says:

    I am in my 30’s and am a Senior Pastor at a church. I struggle with Bipolar 1, ADD and a host of other things nonsignificant to this blog. What was said about how we (people with bipolar) are shunned so-to-speak underground is right on. This is not just a fear or insecurity, but a reality when I write that because of the culture (I do not want to specify), the generation gaps, and other factors, I know my wife and I would be asked to leave the church if they knew I had bipolar. What was encouraging is that I do preach on Grace quite often. 🙂 Another factor is that Bipolar is only 1/3 of my testimony as it has been a long road. I am of the type with mixed and frequent highs and pit type lows. That means that during the process I am climbing/scratching/scraping within my soul trying to get out of my skin, and all I want is to feel normal. It is virtually unbearable and I become vulnerable to activities/sins/vices that the enemy disguises as short term solutions.I am beginning to learn how to trust God through these times and not blame Him, see how these episodes can one day be used to grow very strong and mature in Christ, but in the midst of it, it is so challenging.
    I love this job, and when I am well, I enjoy pastoring them and preaching and so forth. When I am ill though, I cannot tell you how challenging it is to do pastoral duties, to spend time with God, prepare sermons and a host of other responsibilities, plus be a husband and everything else. But when I’m expected to do too much here, like I am, it really takes a toll. I did the Hobbs Stress evaluation test tonight and scored 683. At 200 you may want to consider a check up. At three hundred it begins to affect your health. There is so much stress in my life that in a low two months ago, I foolishly fell into smoking e-ciggaretts for relief. Like all temptations, it has been a vice, and a bear to surrender, and so it eats me up inside and has brought in more destructive temptations to try and take its place. I’m prone to hyper-sexuality and overspending, and then there’s the ADD annoyances.
    If anyone wants to see me or my current position through anything else other than grace, please save it- I assure you I already hear it, fear God’s judgement if I don’t fully surrender soon and more, one way or the other every day.
    Nice blog by the way. Keep up the good work and persevere in your efforts, God is obviously using you through it. I’ve seen many blogs and have never really felt compelled to share on them, but yours somehow had His grace in it and I couldn’t resist. Thanks, God bless you all.

    Like

    • Darlene says:

      I am a 55 year old Christian woman and have been struggling with discrimination in the church for 40 years because of bi-polar disorder .I.Always felt called to missions but as a teen and onset of illness I was accused of being on drugs(I was not) then as an adult,I was told by pastor I was “too broken to be used” in that manner and was actually asked to leave church because of my need of support and prayer during my illness. This caused me to flounder in my relationship with with the Lord, backslidding and not attending church.I spent 7 years with unbelievers because they loved and accepted me just as I was, something I never got in church. I love the Lord and know “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” I just need to find a church that will believe that that verse is for me too!!

      Like

  41. debbie says:

    I have severe ocd depression and anxiety I forgot to take out taxes for SSDI my husband makes lots of money so its taxable I’m so scared. we lost our home 3years ago borrowed money from family, retirement credit cards midical bills are high . we owe for a new engine my car blew up I have 2 kids I’m scared I see a CPA on Monday if I make it that long.
    all I do is cry and i have thoughts .

    Like

  42. La'tisha says:

    I am diagnos with Schizophernia I see demons and the devil. I hear voices some want me to think low of myself…. But I know God is love and he love me no matter how much they bring up my past. I know its in the sea of forgetfulness because I ask for forgiveness. We have power over all demons or devil u have authority u rebuke them…. I see alot of suicide demons bothering you guys….Been there done that speak to him seriously and with authority… Say satan I command you and your friends and tools go back to the pits of hell where your destiny is at…. and prayer psalms 91 for protection I love you guys peace be still y’all really somebody dont let anyone tell u different lets share charity and strive to be a peacemaker

    Like

  43. Breanna says:

    Thank you. I cried happy tears. I needed this, I really needed to read this.

    Like

  44. silentchaos says:

    I stumbled upon your website quite by accident. What a relief to know that I am not the only one who feels this way. I have dealt with depression since my early teens. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, major depression, and anxiety around 5 years ago. My dad, a pastor since I was a small child has told me that if my relationship with God was right I wouldn’t need medications. When I am at church or with church people, I feel that I have to look, act, and respond in a certain way (not myself) for fear of misrepresenting or embarrassing my dad. I have to behave like the perfectly normal sweet pastor’s daughter. I really have a hard time not beating myself up for not being good enough. So I isolate as much as I can. I really do not like interacting with people, yet I am stuck in a job where I must do exactly that all day every day. About a year ago, my teenager was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was told that my child was “self centered and needs to grow up”… this is the hardest thing of all for me to take. I have always loved and been close to my family, but when it c
    comes to the mental illness I must deal with, they pretend they don’t know….and that makes me feel very much alone. However, just today I was reading my favorite Psalm and now I am convinced God loves bipolar people too!!! Check out Psalms 139. It highlights the highs and the lows…and guess what? God is still there. This has given me a reason to hold on and keep living one day at a time.

    Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; 8 if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 9 if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, 10 your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me 11 and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; 12 the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

    Like

  45. Anonymous says:

    Found this blog searching for the author of a quote I found in my late mom’s ancient Bible promise box. Didn’t find the owner, but I think the quote actually belongs here. (Guess God had a bigger plan..He’s like that 🙂 ). Here it is: “If you and I live a sanctified and broken life, there will be pieces of our lives left to bless others.”
    God bless your ministry

    Like

  46. Rob Koch says:

    I am 50, a surviver of long term sexual abuse. I am Bipolar 2, have OCD, (bad, intrucive thoughts) and PTSD.
    I have been in teratment for over 25 years, and I am STILL a mess. And the pills made me FAT!

    I am crinic suicidal. I know that one day, I may do it. Not sure why I have held on this long.

    Had physical issues as well, 4 spine operations, heart disease early.

    Sexual confusion.

    God, stop the boat, I want to jump off! This is not, and have never been fun. I have never enjoyed life. I never was a kid. I was never good enough, blah, blah.

    Please pray for me as I attempt to get apart time job to make ends mert from home. (I am on disability)

    Thanks,

    Jesus bless you,

    Rob

    Like

    • Colleen says:

      I am reading thru these blogs & know this is from July, but know because you know what you struggle with & that you do believe in Jesus you are still around… I so understand exactly what you go thru & will pray for you Rob. Life is not fun when we have dealt with this our whole life, & we feel like we can’t wait for life to be over with, but there has to be a reason that we struggle & I guess figure out God’s will of this & use it to bless others somehow…Colleen

      Like

    • BrokenDolls says:

      Praying for you, Rob. I understand all too well. May God bless and keep you and each of us broken believers from giving in to the enemy’s desire (for our death), in the Powerful Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

      Like

    • Kierstin says:

      leave me a message at polkadot246@yahoo.com

      Like

  47. Maria Tucci says:

    I have suffered cycles of depression most of my life. When I am well I can be very creative and be positive and a caretaker for others. I can be focused and very productive. However when I am depressed, the self-loathing is crippling. And the thoughts of suicide are constant. I don’t think I would do it because I was brought up Catholic, although I no longer consider myself one, but I think it is spiritually wrong. However, right now I can’t support myself, even though I have worked for over 25 years despite the pain of depression, and inability to focus when I am depressed. I can usually hide it fairly well for a while or I take anti-depressants when I am very, very bad. But right now I have only $50 to my name, 2 months behind on my mortgage payments, no cell phone which I need for
    potential jobs, and two dogs that need to be fed. I see no way out. I have tried everything and each day I feel I am sinking further and further. I have a therapist but she keeps telling me to be patient and to explore new avenues of help, but I feel that I have exhausted those, and I can not longer
    ask my family or friends to help. Will God and my higher power forgive me. I pray and meditate 2x a day and ask for relief, I ask to be taken in my sleep (I’m afraid of physical pain). I have written a goodbye letter to my family to ask for their forgiveness. I don’t want to hurt anyone or cause them
    pain but I can’t bare losing my home and living in poverty. I know I’m a coward because I’ve seen people in the US and Central America live in poverty with dignity and strength and perseverance. But my character is not as evolved, and I I guess I’m too materialist to live with nothing, and too ashamed of my circumstances. I thank you for listening. And I commend all those who have the resilience to keep going.

    Like

    • BrokenDolls says:

      Praying for you, Maria. I see your post is from awhile ago, but I pray that you have found the strength to hang on. May God bless and keep you and each of us broken believers from giving in to the enemy’s desire (for our death), in the Powerful Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

      Like

  48. Eve says:

    I struggle so much. I often pray God would take me in my sleep. I suffer from bipolar2, borderline personality disorder, limbic ADD, and anxiety. Thats a lot! Plus, im the creative type. I dont know how to get away from suicidal thoughts, all I can do is cry and believe God hears me. The medication only does so much. I feel like satan is always out to get me, I do get comfort on my knees in prayer. It is hard to understand why other people get to have lives and success and I dont. I have to watch the self pity, without invalidating my own feelings. Thank you for your article. I just have to believe God will use all this.

    Like

    • Struggles will come, the issues rather then causing issues, maybe see as part of the creative purpose. With the list you gave, I’m willing to guess that you have pursued “explanations” before. Yes, the meds seem to only cover 80 per cent.That at least is my experience.

      You have been gifted, but you will need others giftings as well. At least that is what Ive learned. You mention matters of bitterness and self pity. These can really be nasty. These two culprits take a lot of energy from us. But they do have a slight upside. They make you very much aware of the weaknesses that others need to deal with.

      Things are tough, but the Holy Spirit is tougher. When He infuses us we will see more weakness, but we will also see more strength.

      ybic, Bryan

      Like

  49. Dee Smith says:

    I get really depressed sometimes. One friend called me a maniac depressive. Right now I am in my maniac state because I am positive. However sometimes I hate myself. When I was younger I had an abortion. I am Catholic. However, it was one of my wilder weeks. I had sex with two handsome guys. If I could do it over I would have said NO to both.

    Like

  50. Allam says:

    Hi, Bryan. I got a link to your article on social isolation and then read this article also. I began having anxiety attacks in the Fall of ’97, and they graduated to social anxiety and then agoraphobia in the following years. Like one of the other comments here said, I went through many deliverance and inner healing prayers/ministries, and I actually got worse rather than better. I’m a very social person, and this has been a major blow to me. I’ve prayed many years about this issue, but I’ve received a lot of rejection in churches and among Christians; a lot of pretentious Christianity but nothing substantial. Thanks for your articles. It’s sad to see so many Christians retreating into isolation and rejecting other Christians when the Bible says, “How good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity” (Ps. 133).

    Like

  51. Emily says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this blog. It is so encouraging to find another believer who is “real”. I’ve been battling depression for years, since at least Junior High, and now am 34 yrs old. I notice a HUGE difference when I am battling depression, compared to when not depressed. I am extremely self-conscious, filled with shame about every person in the past who rejected me, and feel incredible social anxiety. I feel disconnected from people, and even from myself, and desperately want social interaction, yet so afraid that i will appear “off” to people that i shy away from it. What’s so frustrating is that I don’t feel depressed all the time (thank God for times of relief), so I know the difference, and how much easier life is without depression. I know that I am “off” during these times, so the anxiety I feel that others will notice, too is great. But, I know my battle with this serves the purpose of understanding pain and suffering, and hopefully to make me more compassionate, humble, and like Jesus. Please pray that God will use this in my life-because sometimes I wonder if this pain serves a purpose at all.

    Like

  52. Andries says:

    Hi Bryan,

    Please pray for me. I’ve been diagnosed with general anxiety, social anxiety, depression and OCD. Sometimes it feels like all the worries are getting too much for me, but at other times I still feel that God has a good plan for me. I am on medication currently, but am struggling with side-effects and finding the rights meds and dosage.

    Also, I desperately need to forgive myself, becuase I blame myself for certain of my mental health issues and keep on comparing myself to others that went to secondary school with my. My anxiety sometimes reaches to such heights that I get severe panick attack. Please Lord Jesus, let me be aware of your presence again and let me not lose hope!

    Like

    • Dear One,
      I can totally relate. You seem to have several issues going on at once. This is really hard. Give time for the meds to work. It took me 2 months before they went to work. Also, not being able to forgive yourself can be a lingering handicap. I know this as well. PA are pretty ugly as well. Expect the meds to work though, and to help you ease up. Find your own way to worship. This will keep you in a good place.

      About the meds, you mentioned side effects. Most of the time, these will start to settle down. It’s like a ‘muddy creek,’ over time it will start running clearer as things start to settle.

      Because you’re on meds, I assume that you are seeing either a psych doc your GP. If things heat up, you may consider a therapist. But wait and see. The next two months could be rough. A good pastor/elder is worth his/her weight in fine gold. A loving church is a big advantage as well. But granted, these relationships take a lot of time to build. But little steps are much better than no steps.

      I’m here.

      ybic, Bryan

      Like

      • Andries says:

        Thanks for your reply pastor Bryan, I appreciate it. I went for so many deliverance prayers and inner healing courses and was so disappointed when none really helped me.

        Like I said I sometimes struggle with my faith, but I know even though I’m struggling God is still a good God and will use anyone (even psychiatrists and therapists who are not Christians) in my process of getting better.

        Thanks again and keep up the good work supporting those with mental illness who might think society and the church has given up on them. Even now, at our lowest point God is willing and able to bring breakthrough in our lives (Sometimes it’s just very difficult to ride out those storms that come our way!)

        God bless.

        Andries (South Africa)

        Andries

        Like

  53. Joseph Moore says:

    I’m pretty mentally ill right now with depression, religious OCD/Scrupulosity, and the horrible strange feeling of depersonalization. As accepting as my Church is of all of this, I’m not of myself. I need to be more open about my disorder/illness to people that can provide me inspiration and truth in my weakness. This speaks so much truth into my life. You’ve really been a blessing.

    Like

    • TY Joseph. Your opening up will bring healing to yourself and others. Like a musty basement, we do better with the sunshine drying things up. I suggest being slow, often healing comes in increments. Be patient with yourself. There are almost 1000 posts here, read what fits.

      Are you on meds? Seeing a therapist? A pastor?

      ybic, Bryan

      Like

      • Joseph Moore says:

        For sure, patience and acceptance is key. I’m not on any meds, but I am seeing a therapist and a pastor which helps me cope with everything. I don’t quite understand my life right now. It seems like all confusion, but I just keep holding on for the ride.

        Like

  54. Zoë says:

    Hi there
    Does anyone know of any Christian Mental Health ministries, either in Australia or elsewhere?
    many thanks

    Zoë

    Like

  55. jamie says:

    Thank you for sharing this. As the spouse of a believer who has a mental illness, I can also relate–even though this post was intended for those who have mental illnesses. I think each of us can receive the Lord’s grace and find that He is sufficient for each day. Many times the “day to day” is hard, but ultimately, God is good.

    Like

  56. Edmund Ball says:

    Dear Bryan,
    What a blessing to read this site. I stumbled over it when googling William Cowper. may the Lord continue to strengthen and guide you in this fantastically important ministry.
    (From England)
    Ed Ball

    Like

  57. katiekoppin says:

    thank you for this encouraging post. i have Bipolar and panic disorder and really have been struggling with going thru it alone cause people don’t usually care to stick around very long. i am thankful for the few that have and pray i can encourage other broken believers and air on the side of grace because i am a living testimony of His grace.

    Like

  58. Doug says:

    I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar schizoaffective since I was 20 years old. I deal a lot with self-condemnation. I struggle in areas and fear God is mad at me because I can’t seem to find my way out of the sin. Finding a place to simply express this frustration without being judged is important. Deep down I have a feeling that God is using this to mend me and make me stronger than I’ve ever been. But right now I’m experiencing tremendous amounts of guilt, shame, and worry. I pray God bless you wonderfully.

    Like

    • Dear One, condemning yourself is an ugly habit to fall into. The more we do it, the more desperate it gets. It is something we do to destroy ourselves. Your concern about God’s anger directed at you is completely invalid. He poured out His anger on the Lord Jesus. He chose to be assaulted, in order to bring us life.

      You’ll always be welcome here, on this site. I definitely hope that all you face in here will only strengthen you, giving you power.

      Like

  59. zachary warren says:

    I have watched myself slowly lose both my faith and my mental stability over the past three or four years, and am now at the point of resolve with myself that I know undoubtedly that the Lord wants to and will assist me with my spirits of fear and worry. My problem being is that i am having an unnaturally tough time coping with self condemnation. Part of the problem is my obsession with begging for forgiveness instead of resting in God’s grace… ignoring paranoia is a trial, but forgiving myself seems insurmountable lately. I am not handicapped in the reasoning department, which is what has been consuming me. I need to stop using worldly reasoning on God and matters of the spirit. I don’t necessarily know what to ask at the moment, but I am becoming overwhelmed… Pray for me, if nothing else.
    thank you

    Like

    • We seem to struggle through so much. Our issues are dealt with by our Father. All we need to do is to turn toward Him. I will pray for you. Jesus’ presence is going to meet you.

      Like

      • zachary warren says:

        thank you for your time… I am only 24 years old, and knowing that a good deal of my mental health issues could have been avoided by my own actions is hard to cope with, but I am finding rest in God. Thank you for you prayers. There are big events going on in the world concerning our faith, and I appreciate the attention you have allowed yourself to give to the ill and weak like me… Bless you and I’ll be praying for you too.

        Like

      • Learning to completely forgive yourself can result in a dark, and deep sadness. Some of us have created a deep evil in the things we have done. Yet others have found a deep and definite release from all our past sins. You have to choose. And I can’t really help you when you come to this point. Please, dear one– choose wisely.

        Like

      • Zach, something just tells me that as you seek Him, He will show you mighty and tremendous things!

        Like

    • As I reread your note, I’m struck by this. You need to connect, by your active and find a sincere presence, a relationship with Him! He will ask you to press into this, and much will have to be beaten out of you. But, dear one– press through this “small” issue and He will take you higher.

      Like

      • zachary warren says:

        Thank you, brother, i’ve needed some words of encouragement to that extent, and it truly is a blessing to physically receive them, as opposed to reasoning it internally. I have had a long history of pulling heartstrings within good people, the only problem being I tend to not be steadfast in my own decision making process, which is definately not the way to shine the good light. I truly hope you also find some resolution within yourself, you are a most deserving person from my perspective, and I’m sure our Father has a similar judgement for you. I have made a few leaps in improvement since I first corresponded with you. Im still struggling, but I have found some rest. Thank you and bless you Bryan.

        Like

  60. Cristina says:

    pastor,Bryan,
    Estou muito triste porque além de cuidar minha mãe acamada e idosa, ainda tenho uma preocupação com minha irmã que tem diagnóstico de depressão e bipolar. Peço orientação (ela faz tratamento clínico com psicanalista e medicamentos), mas eu acho que nada é impossível para Deus. Só ELE pode curar esta e outras doenças. ELa já esteve melhor apenas com oração , mas a igreja que ela frequenta não sabe orar por isso.Ajude-me, por favor. Estou muito cansada. obrigada. Deus o abençoe mais e mais. Cristina
    cristina_bidel@hotmail.com

    Like

  61. Carol W says:

    Once when I prayed and told God that I felt something was wrong because I didn’t ‘reflect Jesus’ in my life, I sensed that He answered me by saying, “You DO reflect Christ. I said that whatever you do unto the least of these my children, you have done it on to me. You are the least of these; you are their opportunity to serve me.” That’s not a word-for-word quote, but quite close. I suspected that maybe I had thought up a self-serving answer, until I read this piece in your blog. You have put it so well. Thank you.

    Like

  62. marie ballew says:

    My 17 year old daughter has been diagnosed with borderline personality tendencies. We are in counseling and want to help. What else can we do? Please pray for her. Her name is Nicole. Pray for wisdom and peace of mind for my husband and me.

    Like

    • Not so much “doing” but being. There can often be a hyper-paranoid reaction to any activity on your part that she perceives. A parent’s sadness over their confused daughter is staggering. And we will often overcompensate. Keep pulling on that which enriches you deeply, maybe, rather then add something new, look at the sources you already have, but take it deeper than you already have.

      I will be praying for Nicole. And I will lift up you as parents. I think I should add one thing more. Please try to find joy in the better moments. That joy and peace will give her a sense that things can be better. And she needs hope right now.

      Like

  63. Janine says:

    I don’t go to church anymore. I went for 20 years to the same church after the Lord healed me of alcoholism.
    The reason I left, wasn’t because people didn’t know I had OCD, with demonic suggestions, and demonic torment and torture, but because no one could help me. The Bible said Jesus came to set the captives free. Before I worry about what a church thinks of me, I want to be free from the daily, minute by minute torment of OCD. God healed me of alcoholism, but my Ocd is so tormenting, I feel like a herd of pigs being driven off a cliff by the sheer desire to escape the unrelenting evil torment of OCD.

    Like

  64. Ann Restad says:

    I love that you are saying these things, Bryan.

    Like

  65. Paul says:

    Thank you for this, my wife is mentally ill and we need prayers and all the truth we can find.
    God Bless’
    Paul

    Like

    • Bryan Lowe says:

      I sincerely hope you are finding it. Having a church that understands and helps is a true blessing. Also, look for doors that will open for you two to be a blessing to others. That is very important.
      ybic,
      Bryan

      Like

      • catherine says:

        sir,
        i have been suffering from severe mental illness from past five years…i have been trying to overcome it…but to no avail..i have lost all my strength..i have been praying to god to relieve me ,show me a way out of this mental agony..till now he had just paid a deaf ear..given the nature of my problem,i cannot even share it with anyone..i cannot live like this anymore..can you pls suggest what i should be doing now sir???
        awaiting reply..

        Like

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