Bipolar Disorder Community
Bipolar/Christianity
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Bipolar/Christianity

I have been in denial for years about being bipolar. And I don't feel that it's my fault completely. I come from a family that have "the snap out of it, it's all in your head," mentality. I started noticing my dark moods and manic highs in my teens. I was homeschooled along with my 5 brothers and sisters, which, we weren't really homeschooled, mind you. My mother got me playing the violin which became my only window of opportunity out of my secluded, unsocialized life.And my mother started living thru me vicariously, acting like a teenager,flirting with men, when I was the teenager, acting like the adult.
My mother had to ruin all of my hard work.I was a "good girl" never did drugs. acholol partying, hardly ever dated. I practiced many hours per day, played in concerts, orchastras, and as a solo artist. She had an affair with my violin teacher,who had all the connections and support I needed, never mind the relationship and respect I had worked so hard to build and maintain. Mother then left my Dad. It's a long tragic story I won't get into, (worthy of a depressing violin solo.) My "mother" was diagnosed with bipolar a couple years after the affair, which happened when I was 18. I spent most of my twenties trying to find myself and survive in the real world. Being homeschooled give you NO idea of whats really going on.
A couple of months ago, my husband - who is bipolar as well - happened to bring up to an assitant pastor of my condition and the possiblity of me not being able to work and going on social security. The pastor was immediatly like, Oh no no no, that's opening up, spiritually speaking, alot of negativity to come your way. I told my doctor that I was afraid to say that I am bipolar because of this pastor, and my doctor actually started crying at the injustice of it!
  If there is anyone out there that is a Christian, could you please let me know what you think of the correlation between being bipolar and being a Christian? Because I am really torn from the real facts of how I feel from my symptoms, and how I've been raised spiritually. The thing is, we are supposed to be able to overcome with Christ. All things are possible with Him who strengthens us. Am I giving up by saying I have bipolar? Alot of the symptoms of bipolar are not accepted by the church. I go through alot of emotional pain that flares into anger, and then leave me crying like theres no tomorrow. I just have the feeling that if I were to tell a Christian that I have Bipolar, they would pray for me, for healing. I don't want to be looked at as a victim or a broken person. Then I think of the man at the lake in the bible that was unwilling to get well. He was asked, Do you want to get well? Because some people actually want to be victims. I don't. I just feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I guess, in the end, if I am not able to keep working, I will apply for sdi benefits. I won't let anyone know though. Thanks for listening.
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The fact is, sin entered the world through Adam.
The fact is, with sin came diseases, illnesses, etc.
The fact is, bipolar disorder is no different than any of these other illnesses nor is any other mental illness.  It's a brain chemical imbalance just as, say, cancer is an imbalance in your body when it comes to cell division and how fast a rate cells grow at.  It's not all just in your head.  It's very much a physical illness despite the fact it's experienced in an emotional fashion.

A lot of pastors and churches shun mental illness like it's something horrible, and that's really an injustice.  Instead of welcoming them, etc., they shun.  I suffered through horrible depression (my first episode) for years while I was attending a church like that and their school, but I never felt I could open up to anyone there because I felt like they would tell me I wasn't saved, etc., based on things they'd said during sermons where they mentioned the topic at random.  Never once did they seem to consider God allows things to happen to strengthen you.  But He never hands you too much to handle.  Bipolar disorder may seem like it is too much, but obviously if many of us are still here, it's not too much, right?  I think it offers potential for a testimony that is pretty awesome.

Don't let that pastor get to you.  You know what you have is real and you know how it affects you.  You tried, and that's what counts.  It may be in the future you learn to handle stress and bipolar disorder differently and more efficiently and may want to try a job again.  It may not.  Either way, you know you tried your best to do what you could when it came to the job thing.  I think it's a valid reason to accept help.
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- I think it offers potential for a testimony that is pretty awesome.-

Thanks so much for putting in a different perspective for me. It is an injustice to be shunned by the very people God meant to use for our support. But God gave people free will in the end to choose what they will do with His intentions. I agree God lets us go through things to make us stronger. Your experiance of being shunned at church, I'm sorry you had to go through that. I have had the same experiance.  I get the feeling at my church they would think I need to be exhorted, freed from bad spirits. And that is the part that real upsets me. But as you said, God lets us go thru things to strengthen us...that is a much better, comforting way of looking at it.  As far as sin goes, love covers a multitude of sins.  We are supposed to love even the unlovable. That is what being a christian is all about. Treating others as we would have ourselves treated. To look at it from a medical perspective really puts a completely different light on it. And this feeling of not being accepted, to feel on the outs with certain people at church, not that they say things directly now, but when they look at me like they see something  ...it doesn't help me spiritually in any way. But I will just focus on why I am there, to worship God, and fellowship with all that God is, in mind. “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18—
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I am a Christian and I am really lucky that the Christian people I have confided in have treated me with dignity and respect. I am careful who to trust though and I always divuldge under the knowledge that they can not share what they hear with others due to confidentiality. They pray for me. They would pray for me if I had another illness so I won't separate myself from that aspect of support.

We know that bipolar isn't demon possession, or any other malarky like that. It is about brain chemicals. It will get to the point where it is more accepted as illness. It has come a long way in the last 20 years. Don't forget that when cancer was first discovered people with cancer were shunned. People were scared they would 'catch' it. As people knew better, as more people talked about it, the stigma lessened to the point now where it is non-existent.

There will always be Christians who claim that any illness is a lack of faith. That if they pray for you and you are not healed it is your lack of faith. I don't think this is the gospel message. The Apostle Paul prayed three times for a pain in his side to leave him, and God did not heal him. If the Apostle Paul can pray to God and not be healed ... at least we are in good company. Last time I read the bible there seemed to be a lot in therre about judging other.

And even if it is sin - we are redeemed, we are covered in grace, and we are blameless before God. Although I know it isn't sin.
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Wow.  That is so my story.  I'm not joking--down to considering the man at the river (Namaan, wasn't it?)  I can't even believe how similar our stories are; you have no idea.  Honestly, I just decided that I'm going to take care of myself--that if God is as big as I think He is, He certainly understands what I'm going through...down to the tiniest neuron in my brain.  Also, He didn't abolish doctors when Jesus came to earth.  Jesus healed, but doctors can still help.  I think you've experienced a bit of spiritual poison, and this is very common in the church.
I know what it feels like to have someone 'pray' for you to have enough faith.  It feels terrible.  Honestly, prayer can be wonderful but not when it degrades another human being.  We are none of us more pure just because we were blessed with a stable neurochemistry.  God is Love, so you need to be like Him and treat yourself the way you would want Him to treat you--with gentleness and care.  Of course, we all have a bit of sin in us; we struggle with being exactly as Christ was.  And labelling yourself 'bipolar' should not take away your responsibility to do what you can to take charge of your behavior.  But it's like this: at a certain time of the month, women may be crankier and more moody.  Does this mean they're sinning or falling into the temptation of the Devil?  I don't think so...unless the Devil is in the form of hormones.  However, does this give them a license to treat others like trash?  No.  I think it's a balancing act; you've got to have sympathy for your condition but take as much responsibility as you can.  
I hope this helps!  God bless.
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In life I had to learn that from each situation comes either a blessing or a curse. If you choose the blessing, then GONE is the curse!

While we struggle with Bopilar disorder, we should pray: pray to God to send the right Doctors on our way, pray for the correct medication and for the meds to do their job. Pray when you are in a dip or diffucult sitaution. Pray to see the blessing in every situation.

This is how I survive every day. I am not sure when and how I got Bipolar. No family history. But I was sexually molested as a child and again as a teenager. I have a horrible medical history and stilk battling.....

But I reject the curse and choose the blessing.

God bless you and may you see the blessings.
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