Biblical Answers For Schizophrenia
Dale Johnson: Today, I am delighted to have with us Dr. John Street. Every time Im around this guy I laugh until my belly hurts. I love being with Dr. John Street. Let me tell you a little bit about him. He is an elder at Grace Community Church and has been for a number of years. Hes a longtime board member at ACBC. He serves now as our board chairman, which Im delighted to work with him on a consistent basis. Hes also the chair of the Department of Biblical Counseling at The Masters University and Seminary. He serves there as a professor. I love Dr. John Street, and I appreciate him being here with us today to talk about what is often considered a very difficult subjectthe subject of schizophrenia.
Where I want to start, if I can Dr. Street, is just asking about this idea, this term of schizophrenia. So many people are confused by it, so many people dont understand it. We understand it sort of from a cultural perspective and what we think when we hear that term, but theres a lot of confusion. That goes without saying. How do we define this idea of schizophrenia? I mean, what are we talking about here?
John Street: Its been a pleasure to be here.
Dale Johnson serves as the Executive Director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. He is also the regular host of ACBCs Truth in Love podcast.
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Sharing The Truth About Mental Illness In Faith Communities
Recently, on October 8th and 9th, Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, hosted its 2nd Gathering on Mental Health and the Church, with more than 2,200 people attending and nearly 4,000 people watching the conference online . This conference and website provides many of the most valuable resources for churches and Christians to care lovingly and biblically for peoples mental health.
These kind of conferences are few and the needs are great, as shown in this article, Rick And Kay Warren Launch Saddleback Church Mental Health Ministry After Sons Suicide
Still, the situation is especially dire among evangelicals, said Warren. Survey results from the Southern Baptist-affiliated nonprofit Lifeway Research, released in September, found that close to half of evangelical, fundamentalist and born-again Christians believe prayer and Bible study alone can solve mental illness.
Frank Viola explained how different Christians have different understandings about mental illness, in 3 Christian Responses to Mental Illness Which One Is Most Biblical?
Throughout my years of being involved in various and sundry Christian movements and denominations, it seems that Christians understand mental disorders in one of three chief ways:
1. Mental illness is demonic in origin. So the antidote is to cast out the demons that are causing it.
I cut my teeth on a movement that promoted #1. Ive met many people who believed #2. But I believe #3 is often the case.
Yet its not so simple.
Family Therapy Is An Effective Treatment
Family therapy is an effective treatment that combines all three areas. It has been successful in reducing environmental stress among schizophrenic individuals. Schizophrenic patients discharged from the hospital have a more successful recovery when their families demonstrate positive emotional attributes and high levels of approval, sympathy, and emotional involvement . This therapy helps the family work through emotional issues ranging from resentment and hostility to hopelessness and a sense of loss.
Biblical Help And Hope In Christ For People Struggling With Mental Illness
If were honest, in the midst of our battles, it is tremendously difficult and tiring not to look at what is in front of us. Its hard not to look at the things that we are currently dealing with. However, this is precisely what Paul is telling us to do in 2 Corinthians 4:18. Paul is someone who experienced various forms of suffering.
He was shipwrecked, beaten, weary, and in danger of being killed. On top of this he had a physical, spiritual, or an emotional thorn that he dealt with throughout his ministry. How could Paul consider the various forms of suffering that he experienced as something that was light? They were light in comparison to his coming weight of glory. Dont look to what is seen. I am not minimizing anyones battle. Lets continue the practice of focusing on the beauty of Christ as He renews our mind daily.
For Christians struggling with mental illnesses, know that there is a weight of glory that is exceedingly greater than what you can see. Know that Christ deeply loves you. Know that Christ intimately knows and understands you because He experienced your battles. Know that these things are helping you to rely upon Him and experience the sustaining power of His grace. Know that your mental battles are creating a precious unimaginable glory. Continue to press on and fight. Follow the lead of the One who has already won the battle.
18. Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us.
Dealing With Disruptions Of Important Activities And Values
When you find yourself in a depressed mood with its sadness and hopelessness or lose interest and have no pleasure in most activities or if you are in a manic mood where you feel abnormally euphoric and full of energy, immediate action must be taken. If you are a believer and are doing or experiencing things that are detrimental to you or is not pleasing to God, then you must focus on allowing Christ to control every thought .
You must think of every decision as act of worship . Immediately use firestorm prayer to get your mind on the things of God . Look for common thoughts, seasons, weather, or anything else you find that seems to be happening when your moods swings and write them down in a journal. If you have not had a physical in some time, get one so that you can rule out any contributing factors like low thyroid or other metabolism irregularities.
Finally, Biblical counseling with a Pastor or mentor is invaluable. The Apostle Paul writes of this in 2 Timothy 2:1-7 and Titus 2. With Biblical counseling, you can learns how to deal with bipolar disorder Biblically, and affirm your value to God as His child. Lastly, you can also learn how to help others with bipolar disorder.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Marijuana
There are many side effects of smoking marijuana, both physical and mental. The physical side effects of using cannabis are breathing problems, an increased heart rate, as well as intense nausea and vomiting, which often turns into Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome.
For women wanting to build a family, marijuana causes multiple problems with pregnancy and issues regarding the development of the infant while still in the womb as well as after the baby is born .
When nursing mothers use marijuana, the marijuana passes from the mother to the child in the breast milk and can cause problems with the development of the babys brain .
There are also multiple investigations underway to determine whether or not marijuana played a major role in the death of many of its users . In addition to the physical side effects of cannabis, there are also mental side effects of this drug.
The mental side effects of cannabis include changes in mood, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, difficulty sleeping, difficulty in concentration, low motivation, and psychotic illnesses such as psychosis, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder.
Each of these psychotic illnesses can leave a person being disabled for the remainder of his or her life. Living with psychosis, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder are all difficult illnesses to live through during a persons life.
Defeating Fear And Mental Illness
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
If you want to overcome mental illness, God is ready to give you the benefits that come out of relationship and fellowship with the Godhead. The power being the Holy Spirit, the Love coming from relationship with the Father, and the sound mind coming out of renewing our minds with the washing of the water of the Word of God.
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Let God Lead You Through Mental Illness And Hard Times
The LORD is my shepherd I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his names sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:1-4 KJV
Even when we walk through hard times, if we follow Him as our shepherd, we have no reason to fear. He will under-gird us with His power, love, and sound mind. But we have to choose to follow Him and to trust Him, even through the valley of the shadow of death.
God Is Close To Those Who Are Suffering
What is constant throughout Scripture is that God provides comfort to the suffering and meets the needs of the brokenhearted . His Word promises that those who are in the midst of suffering, whether experiencing death or depression, have the hope that everything is working together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose . It is outside of Gods character to senselessly torment those he loves . We know that the trials that we are experiencing on this earth, while difficult and uncomfortable, are for the testing of our faith , to produce endurance and character , and are never without purpose.
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Biblical Help And Hope For People With Mental Illness: Idea #38
Every one of us probably knows someone that struggles with mental illness, as these startling statistics from Kay Warrens article, Hope for Mental Illness illustrates
Sixty million Americans – thats one in five adults – will experience a mental illness in the coming year. That means every one of us knows someone who is living with a mental illness – depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, an eating disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and some additionally have a substance abuse.
- Half of all adults will suffer from mental illness in their lifetime.
- Half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14.
- One in five children will have a mental illness by age 18.
- Ninety percent of people who die by suicide also had mental illness.
Medical Treatments For Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a debilitating condition that requires treatment for the individual to function in society. There are many treatments for schizophrenia including medication, psychotherapy, and folk remedies. Medications prescribed by medical doctors are effective in reducing some schizophrenic symptoms. Prior to the 1950s, there was no medication for individuals with schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medications are now the main treatment for this disorder . The first antipsychotic medication used for treating schizophrenia was chlorpromazine, and it is still effectively used today . It is important to note that medication helps to relieve symptoms and prevent relapse. It does not cure schizophrenia .
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Bible Verses About Mental Illness
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What does the Bible say about Mental Illness? Scripture tells us that the fall of man, sin, led to total depravity and death. Our physical and mental bodies are attacked by disease. Mental illness is a part of living in a fallen world. Treatment of mental illness involves the whole person. Counselors and doctors can work together to attend to the physical and mental aspects of illness. Read these Scriptures related to mental illness and find comfort from the one who created you and wants you to experience freedom.
To find the full context of shorter scripture quotes, click on “Chapter” above each verse.
Christian Quotes On Mental Health
When God has already defined you as His and purposed by Him, no mental illness can change that. Brittany Moses
Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say My tooth is aching than to say My heart is broken. C.S. Lewis
When you cannot see the future and not knowing the outcome gives you anxiety, focus on the One who has gone before you. He knows the plans He has for you. Brittany Moses
Even as a Christian, youll have good days and youll have bad days but youll never have a day without God.
When it feels like youre empty and hurting alone know God is present in this space with you. And as you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. He sees what no one sees, He hears what isnt said but is cried out by the heart and He will restore you.
I find myself frequently depressed perhaps more so than any other person here. And I find no better cure for that depression than to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and seek to realize afresh the power of the peace-speaking blood of Jesus, and His infinite love in dying upon the cross to put away all my transgressions. Charles Spurgeon
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Scriptures To Renew Your Mind And Defeat Mental Illness
Where does mental illness come from? Is it a random occurrence or is there a reason that its there? Is it possible to defeat mental illness? These are all important questions to search out and to understand. As believers, its essential that we search in the right place for these answers. The world might have lots of ideas about mental illness but the most important question that we can ask is, What does the Bible say about mental illness? If God is our creator and knows everything about us, including our thoughts, better than we do ourselves dont you think He might have some insight into what is going on?
Did you know that the Bible specifically addresses mental illness on many occasions? In fact, it provides real solutions that, if addressed and followed out of a humble heart before God, can lead to complete recovery from every form of mental illness.
The first thing that I want to establish is that mental illness is not a physical issue. Therefore, we need to look beyond physiology and look at what is going on spiritually. The root causes of mental illness is the torment that results from agreeing with something that is contrary to how God thinks, speaks, and acts.
Destined To Be Great Or To Be A Devil
It may be helpful to close with a story of warning and hope from the life of the namesake of Boyce College, James Petigru Boyce. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina on my birthday in 1827. He attended Charleston College, then Brown University, and then Princeton seminary. While he was at Charleston College, he was not yet converted. He was more of a prankster and a playboy than a Christian. One day President Brantley saw Boyce hiding behind a tree and said, There is Boyce, who will be a great man, if he does not become a devil .
That is true of every person in this room. You are destined to be great or to be a devil. Those are the only options in the end. Boyce had not yet been given the condition of sacred schizophrenia. That would come later. But that is the only path to greatness, and life.
If you are a follower of Jesus, you have a sacred schizophrenia. It is painful and glorious and temporary. There is a self that must be denied. And there is a self that denies.
The denied-self desperately seeks life in the pleasures of the world and the praises of man. And, therefore, says no to the cross.
The denying-self loves real life that lasts forever, loves Jesus as all-satisfying, loves meaning more than money, and loves the praise of holy heaven more than the praise of sinful earth.
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What Are 5 Causes Of Schizophrenia
It can also help you understand what if anything can be done to prevent this lifelong disorder.
- Genetics. One of the most significant risk factors for schizophrenia may be genes.
- Structural changes in the brain.
- Chemical changes in the brain.
- Pregnancy or birth complications.
- Previous medicine use.
Demon Possession And Schizophrenia
Often the hallucinations and delusions of people suffering from schizophrenia will be of a religious nature. Individuals may even claim to be God or Satan. People in the Christian church may view these situations as demon possession. Although demon possession and demon oppression are a reality and not fiction, schizophrenia is not synonymous with demon possession. Skip was a college student and a pastors son. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in college when he began hearing voices and became overwhelmingly paranoid. His symptoms subsided when he began medication, but his father was convinced that his son was demon-possessed, and not suffering from a mental illness. The elders of the church prayed for him and his father refused to allow him to take his medication. Skips delusions and hallucinations returned and he became confused and extremely paranoid . Unfortunately, this story is as true as it is disturbing. The voices Skip heard were diminished when the medication was taken. If he were demon-possessed medication would not have diminished his symptoms .
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