Well that's difficult because everyone has their religious belief system (or lack of) but when someone is manic they can experience what is called religiosity where a person is obsessed with religion. I know that I am basically a non believer but have some interest in Buddhism and its ideals. But when I was manic (and frankly psychotic) before recovery it became an obsession. But if someone were deeply religious it wouldn't mean of course that anything was wrong. But any belief of any kind that suddenly increases during manic episodes is of concern. And I went to "meditation groups" that turned out to be steering grounds for cult religions (left on the spot) so sadly there are groups willing to capitalize on this, some anti-medication so its important to take care. The point is if you start to experience a loss of reality at any time speak to your psychiatrist.
Not with an organized religion, but I have been working on my spirituality. I listen to Marianne Williamson on Oprah.com and am reading A Course In Miracles along with the Bible. It gives me great comfort and gives me peace of mind.
In my experience, a great many of the ultra zealous religious people out there ARE bipolar. I used to be a born again, spirit filled Christian back in the day. When I found out my condition I figured out also why I had such a passion for religion. Frankly I feel much more peaceful and wise without it and am glad to be back sliding!
I was raised in a religious church going home. It was a very loving nurturing environment. Unfortunately, for me, my rebellion and now as I see it my illness kept me from something that may have helped me to cope a little better as a teenager. I do get very "religious" now that I think back, when in an episode. I start going to church again, but the Christian religion that I was raised with is not the only thing that I start getting interested in. I start doing Tarot and get interested in Astrology and Psychic ability and other things like that. That is what I've realised over the last couple of weeks as one of my warning signs of a possible manic episode (I think!) I am kind of new to this so I am just learning, I was diagnosed quite some time ago, but like I've said so many times, lived in denial. So anyhow, the church religion part may or may not be a manic thing for me, but when it all starts happening I think I will be contacting my doctor next time to make sure I'm OK! I think thats what you're talking about, sorry about the tangent.
As the son of a minister, I was surrounded by --even walled in-by-- religion in my vulnerable formative years. Puberty isn't exactly smooth sailing for most boys, but if you add guiltifying preachings and teachings to the bubbling and troubling hormones, you create ideal conditions for depression and other emotional turmoil.
Thoroughly convinced of my abject sinfulness, I sought refuge in prayer. "Ask and you shall receive" sounded promising. So did "Knock and the door shall be opened." After a lot of asking and knocking, I finally realized that nobody was listening.
"Ahhh, but," I can hear you say. "Of course it doesn't work if you ask for worldly goods. God doesn't provide sports cars." I knew that. I only asked to be delivered from my own sinfulness, about which I had heard so much on Sunday mornings. Sin was everywhere: disobedience, lustful thoughts, sloth, and of course masturbation, which ranked just behind murder. Sin was bad, guilt was good, because guilt keeps you trotting to church in search of forgiveness for real and imaginary trespasses.
It took me decades to heal from the damage inflicted by religion. I can't describe the rest of the journey here, but I can say that, after many wanderings, it ended in a destination where inner peace is possible. Only I could have found this place much sooner had it not been for the pernicious influence of Mother Church.
What is on your mind? I find it hard myself because my church is very structured and my bipolar doesn't get being structured. So many times I did not get to church but I asked my Priest and he said do the best I can I am always welcomed. That was a comfort.
I think that when some of us were growing up we were pounded over the head with the bible and all of these ideals of what we were supposed to be. I am not what my parents exactly wanted me to be, and what my parents church wanted me to be. I didn't agree w/ it. But I do believe that believing in something can help, no matter what it is. I too went off on my own because after praying and praying and praying for these depressions to go away, they just wouldn't. My parents didn't know what else to do except to pray, maybe? I don't know. I don't fault them for that I just wish they would have sought medical attention for me. I found that I do believe in God but don't need to be in a church on Sunday for him to love me and take care of me the same as the guy w/ the microphone! Anyway, I have no idea really even where I'm going w/ this and why I felt compelled even to write back to you, don't think that I'm disagreeing w/ you because I'm not, really. Although I wasn't damaged by religion, I was mildly hurt by the ideals of someone I was supposed to trust, really he was just an ***, and saw me as lower because of my depressive manner, so I said screw him and bailed. Anyway, I'll stop rambling! Contact me if you'd like to talk!
It certainly is a comfort to have some higher power to believe in (and blame) but it really is not an option if you... don't believe. See what I mean? I was not damaged by religon either - just very disappointed. Aadel, it sounds like you might still have some things you need to forgive yourself and your parents, etc. for. You must have been in a very uptight heavy handed sect and that can so warp a person. Not that you are warped. I'm just saying to try to let all that go and feel yourself calm when you think of all that. My church actually sees me as being afflicted with demons! Talk about living in the dark ages! They tell me to stop being full of self pity. Stop being lazy. To try harder. Mental illness does not exist in their world but it's not just religons who don't comprehend our condition. The concept that most mental illness is bogus is very popular - go on YouTube. It is easy to prove you have mumps and difficult to prove you have BP to the willfully ignorant. I am so glad there is a name for what is wrong with me instead of being a "jezabel". Yeah, I was actually laid hands on for having a jezabel spirit as a teenager. But I sure do miss the feeling of support I got from being (in theory) accepted as I am by a large group. People who are purposefully trying to like you.
Guess it's one of my "rant" days. Sorry.
Religion is the search of man for God and to connect with Him. Is this what you are seeking? Christianity is God searching and connecting with man. Over the history of time man has messed up and given religion and christianity a bad name. You can believe nothing begat the universe, the big bang in which there must be an igniter, or christianity where the igniter is God.
What is my experience? Grew up lonely sitting under the side of an organ or the front pew and when the doors were open, yes my brother, sister and I were there as organist kids. As a teen had an emotional experience, which I believe was my first manic attack.
Walked away when the feeling left. Drugs, sex, small thefts, hitch hiking all while working, and pulling down a 3.5 grade average...oh I totalled my parents car during this time. That was then.....do you want to know about now 35 years later? And the lead up to here?
Of course I am interested in your experiences. I do not mean to dismiss anyone's beliefs out of hand (although it probably sounded like it) as mine are very mixed. It is not intelligent to blame a religon by the actions of a few of its adherants. I only speak from what I have learned first hand.
I once had an experience (at a ripe age of 16) where the people in my church, right after trying to pray this disease out of me (not that I don't believe in miracles I'm sure they happen just not to me), wanted me to pray for a teenage boy. He had the "gay" demon in him. I think I stopped going for good after that, that was when I started wondering if the God I knew was the same that they knew? Instead of talking w/ this boy who obviously came seeking counsel as I did, they were going to strike the evil out of him. I was hurt by this, and haven't thought of this in quite some time. I remember being quite upset that I had told them this dark secret of mine, of my fragile state, and they had prayed and thrown me to the side, like they were going to do w/ this boy. This was just my experience, I'm happy that some people have found what they're looking for. aadel has found peace, after reading his words, I have realized that I haven't really found my peace. I haven't found what I'm searching for. I still pray, and I still suffer. I do the things told, I still suffer. Anyway, I'm ranting too, agologies, everyday is a ranting day, just depends on the moment.
I have,....I am christain but I used to be kindof hard core. when I was younger I was going to a youth group durring the week but them I became morman because that was my grandparents religion.
I strted going to church for four hours on sundays.....two hours for mass and then a two hour bible study.
but the youth group I was attending back then was not morman
it was fun to study. I remeber when I first started going the pastor wanted
to give me a blessing. I wasn't quite sure what kindof blessing it was I talked to my neibor
about it abit and she told me some things she had a brain tumor and was going through all these health issues and sfter she got the blessing they had supposedly cleared up
and how great it was and blah blah
so I supported the idea. So I got the blessing and so on but later on I started to feel like the church was manipulative....
they tried to tell the kids in bible study that if we weren't well behaved we might not get into the same kindom of heaven as our relative and that it would be hard to visit them......
looking back on things it just seems really wrong
I tconfided my friends mom I was a mormon and she hardcore down talked me saying the religion was wrong and that people should get into heaven for their faith and not their deeds it made me cry and on top of that I used to think I was goin to hell because I am too damn selfish.......
I have ad other experiences too at one point in time I went as far as doing witchcraft and studing phan and other times I have criued or had moodswings in church
nowadays tho....I try not to get too involed tho
Thank you for that comment and in no way did you suggest you were not interested in hearing, I just like to sometimes ask if I don't know the person, to be considerate.
I was on my second marriage, one child the second marriage and definately not near God. I brought our first daughter home after seeking solice at my brothers in California. Determined to get a divorce. After several weeks and being told by my gyno that the blood I was pouring out of my body and the pain was in my head because I, crazily wanted to be pregnant and we had gone the gammet of tests. No way was I pregnant.
LetaB, I was pregnant and almost died, the baby was eight to nine weeks along in one of my tubes. Now I only had one tube, one ovary. The new gyno said I was not to try for at least a year and that it would be almost impossible to get pregnant. What he did not realize is, when I woke up from the surgery and morphine, I gave my life to Jesus Christ.
Why? Because I had done everything my own way, run from Him and was destroying my life with a kind, gentle and loving man. Ten days later, I was pregnant again, she is twenty six years old now. The next and last child was another tubal pregnancy and I had to go to a specialist because my dr. couldn't find it but I knew the symptoms. The fertility specialist after doing tests over the next six months said it was impossible for me to get pregnant. The falopian tube hair follicals flowed backwards, pulling the fertilized egg back up the tubes!!!! The oldest girl is thirty one, married and has two adorable kids.
We mourned the loss of both children, but they are in heaven. What did God do in these situations? Bring home one child early to save a marriage. The second for us to confess our sins and realize the blessings of the two we have!
I am not perfect. I am a Peter, David and saul/Paul and sometimes seen as a Mary sister to Lazarus.
Why do I write you about my story? Because LetaB there is no other reason I have children and am still married to the man I almost divorces, we celebrated thirty three years this past year.
There is so much more to share about all the things that could have led me away from God or said, why me God...go pick on someone else.
BUT God can only be Holy and Righteous. That is why the crimes comitted in His name are false and excuses for people to use to keep God at a distance.
Is Jesus, God? Yes. Did he preform miracles, yes. Did He willingly come to die for each and everyone of our sins? Yes. Is truth objective, NO. If the Bible is fact and the living word of God, can christians proclaim it's truth? Yes! Does that mean God of the Bible is God and there is no other book to add or take away? Absolutely. Where are all the good religious founders of other religions? In their graves. Does Jesus love you more than even you love yourself or anyone else? Yes. Is He in heaven and going to reappear to take us home? Yes! Is my bipolar something that He gave me or caused to be a flaw in me? NO, absolutely not. He made it possible to endure to the end the pain of our disorder and to bring glory and honor to Him when I am able to share the Hope, the Light that keeps me from ever going catatonic.
Hope this helps.
A good college level book is, I don't have enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek
And the questions and answers are not mine, they are the Bibles and some are words right from the mouth of Christ.
Thanks for keeping an openess and know when you have Jesus you have everything.
Sorry, I just read many of the comments and then your comments back. You do not need a church to be a follower of Jesus Christ, but then there is no fellowship and learning more about God himself. I am not a zealot nor does my bp contribute to my passion. The passion is from all that I personally have experienced and witnessed. I don't believe that I will get healed of Bp, but with God all is possible. The pastors know my story and a few select others at church, I have taught on Jezabel, I have taught about Hope and fulfilling the role/destiny each of us have here on earth. Sometimes I have been in bed so long I miss a lot of the year. That is why scripture memorization is good, journaling and patience. I don't blame Him for having it or the alienation of some in my family who believe it is not real. I see a christian counselor monthly and my pdoc is Hindi and allows me to speak quite openly. I rarely have swings to mania since I have been on Lithium for ten years and my mania usually comes out in anger and agressive behavior. Those that know me aren't aware of the battle that rages except those in my inner circle. It is good to be a good person. If you have ever lied, just once can you stand before God clean as a lamb? Do you not know that the blood over the threshhold of the door from the lamb at Passover is history, yes, but it symbolically points to the blood that is needed to allow the death angel to pass over you and that is the Blood of the Lamb. Ok, through ranting. Not trying to preach, it is just so clear how much Jesus loves you and I hope you get it.
Wow. I feel honored that you have made such a depth of writing to explain to me what you think on this. I will need some time (and a clearer head) but I will try to concentrate on it and consider your earnest feelings. Thank you.
Hahahahaha! I'm happily surprised to hear your sense of humor about this theme. I was afraid that I was going to see a long objection to something else I wrote here - it happens frequently to me. No, I'm afraid I'm quite beyond "saving" but I remember how I used to feel and believe so strongly and I respect and admire that sentiment with a wisfull sigh.
"In my experience, a great many of the ultra zealous religious people out there ARE bipolar. I used to be a born again, spirit filled Christian back in the day. When I found out my condition I figured out also why I had such a passion for religion. Frankly I feel much more peaceful and wise without it and am glad to be back sliding"
I was zealous about a few things, but once I got on the right meds, my brain cleared up and I wasn't so wildly passionate. I'm like Leta, I'm a much calmer person, and my spriritual beliefs are much more peaceful and comforting.
i do believe in god and those who don't will surely find out when they die that there is a god and a heaven and a hell. just be careful of going off the deep end during a mood episode. there is moderation, think about that when you're manic if your extreme behavior is just due to the mania or lack of interest due to depression. try to find a happy medium. god doesn't always heal us for whatever reason but it doesn't mean he doesn't care or isn't listening. it may be something we have to go thru to teach ourselves or even someone else something. god doesn't do bad things but if we aren't right with him he can let them happen. we don't have to understand god but do the best we can to live right and just deal with whatever comes our way the best we can. being bipolar that's not always the best way but there is always a reason for everything, it's not up to us to understand it. obviously i haven't been healed but i just deal with it with prayer and medication. if god didn't want us to see doctors he wouldn't have made them. we also have to use knowlege and not be afraid to see a doctor-it doesn't have anything to do with your faith, just don't treat the doctors like they are god and you'll be o.k. it's good to question religion, i personally don't believe in religion, i believe in the bible and my personal relationship with god. i am soo far from perfect but i try to be a good person and not kill anyone during an outburst so i think i'm doing o.k. good luck and if you need direction, open your bible maybe to proverbs, pray, and just trust that god is real even if you don't understand him.
quote from velvetvenus:
"god doesn't do bad things but if we aren't right with him he can let them happen."
God lets things happen to us even when we are right w/ him read about Job in the Bible. He let Job be tested to the point of complete destruction of all of his worldly posessions and the death of his entire family, and let Satan inflict him w/ sores so painful that we couldn't even comprehend the impact. Job was right w/ God, yet God let it happen, don't say that if your right w/ God he won't let things happen to you, that's ********. I don't mean to be so heated and forward but this kind of talk is just the stuff that I was fed as a child.
Yes you can get very excited and caught up in any religious setting, I believe because with an inbalance with the mind, our emotional being is very real. I don't know if you know anything from the Bible, but many think that Kind David had some form of bi-polar. He danced before the Lord with only a loin cloth (basically in his underware), and God saw that it pleased Him very much, where others especially his wife judged him as a wack job, and later she could not have anymore children. Basically God was very pleased with David's emotional response to Him, and he judged his wife and left her barron. A good lesson not to judge anyone right. I say this all only to say that I have found that Jesus is the Way when it comes to any religious experience. He has promised if you come to Him honestly and say that you want to go to Heaven when you die, and if you tell Him that you are sorry for all the bad things you know you have done, He will forgive you and give you a new born again experience. Some think that born again is a religion. It is not, because Jesus Himselph condemed organized Religions that look good on the outside, but inside the person is ugly and out only for him or herself. When Jesus comes into your heart after you invite Him in. He makes you a new person. I have had this experience by asking Him to forgive me of all my sins (wrongdoing), and then to ask Him to be the Lord of my life. He did, and I was and still am a different person as He had promised. I know I'm going to Heaven because He has put in me the assurance that i will be in Heaven because He being God died for and experienced Hell Himself. His other promise is that, whoever comes to Him will neve be disappointed. I know we can't see this Jesus in the flesh, but it doesn't mean He is not there waiting for someone to except Him and cry out to Him. Just to end it, there were 2 thiefs, murdurers on 2 crosses to the right and left of Jesus when He was crucified. One said to Jesus, if you are who you say you are (meaning Jesus had already said and showed to many that He was not only a man, but God Himself equal to His Father GOD), then come off that cross and avenge Yourself. The other man who was on the other cross said to Jesus, "Jesus please remember me when you die), and it says that that very day that man was with Jesus in paradise. You see, that was proof that noone can earn their way into Heaven. You must go through Jesus, the One who made the door open to all who just confess their sins to Him, and believe that He is The One in Whoom He said He was. Simply, if you just say Jesus show me what is true and real, and say that you want to be in Heaven when you die, He will come in like a flood and fill you with the knowing that you know that you know that you know that you are saved from going to hell which is a real place for those who reject Jesus's death and ressurrection. Remember He did not come to condemn, but to forgive anyone who is willinig to be sorry for their past wrongs. I hope this helps and that I have said this simply enough for you to respond to the Holy Spirit of God to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.. Much Love,
You know in one of the other religion posts there was talk of scare tactics in the church. It doesn't really matter what church, religion, organized religion uses it. It's been talked about on here, and I can't get it out of my mind, and its starting to drive me a little batty and I'm super pi**ed about it. As a teenager being prayed for depression and for this disease and to be protected I WAS right with God, and he let horrible things happen to me. I did everything, I looked to him and trusted him, and awful things happened to me, not at church but outside of church, so dont say that if you're right w/ him he won't let bad things happen, thats pure bull**it and lies. You're feeding people the same scare tactics and lies that I was fed as a teenager, you're saying to palpable minds the same things that I was told then, when thats not what they need. I don't reject God, but I do reject someone's scare tactics. I have so little respect for people who stand up for what they believe in and say they look to the word and they don't even know the word, you can read the Bible all day long every day of your life, but if don't retain any of it, or don't read into it the right way, the way God intends it, then your not going anywhere. You're not moving forward in your walk w/ God. Don't get on here and tell these people that if they don't believe in God that they're going to hell. WWJD? Do you as a Christian think that Jesus "scared the hell" out of people to get them to believe in him an his father? Maybe, maybe not. Tender people like Joeyd777 (sorry if you don't want me to use you as an example) make me feel calm, like I remember the calmness of love of some people who love God, then there are some people who don't know what their talking about and they spout out threats and scare tactics, and then there's some - they stand up at that pulpit with the big camera in their face and millions watching w/ dollar signs in their eyes...I just can't sit here and read this stuff and not say anything, obviously religion and sprituality becomes a big deal to us, to people suffering w/ bipolar and mental illness, why? Because sometimes we want to die...that's a fact man! Where are we going to go when we die, in comes spirituality, don't you dare come here and straight out tell someone that might be contemplating suicide that they're going to HELL! DAMMIT! That's not what they need to hear! They need council, they need kind words, they need help.....
Interesting thread...and here I thought I was the only one struggling with all of this. i'm not sure it's comforting to anyone to know others are trying to deal with religion and being BP, but it is helpful to know you're not alone. I appreciate everyone's thoughts/comments on this one back to glory333 and others.
" i do believe in god and those who don't will surely find out when they die that there is a god and a heaven and a hell."
I'm sure you are sincere in your religious convictions, but your statement is typical of the fearmongering that the Christian churches have employed for ages. For most people such tactics are probably harmless enough since they can recognize them for the cheap manipulation they are and shrug them off. For others, especially those suffering from mood disorders and various other mental illnesses, they can be deeply disturbing and thereby exacerbate their depression and anxiety.
Does anyone really think that it is possible to scare people into the Kingdom of Heaven?
" i do believe in god and those who don't will surely find out when they die that there is a god and a heaven and a hell."
This sentiment represents why I left the Christian belief. If there is a god up there who made us so screwed up, dropped us on this planet, refused to intervene in any obvious way and then had the audacity to BLAME us for our mistakes.... I mean what a jerk. I don't want that god - it goes against our own human nature about what is right and wrong, how good parents would treat their child. My explanation of why there are so many BP people represented in radical religiosity is our penchant for "magical thinking". Goes to figure.
That's complex. As for known historical figures I believe historians have summarized that Joan of Arc had bipolar. That's one example. That doesn't mean particular people's devotion to religion or other causes is not real. Those of us (such as myself before recovery) who have been in a psych. hospital have seen people in a psychotic grandiose state who believed they were the embodiment of a higher power. Not very pleasent. It works both ways. I know someone who is an atheist and part of their thinking really to me reflects to me what they are against and with their hatred and cynicism I would say its not healthy and in the past they were referred to talk therapy but they weren't open minded enough to it for it to work. But I do know another person that is quite religious (not Christian but to be fair minded I won't detail what religion as this is a public thread) and diagnosed with bipolar and the moment they start talking in an obsessive way about religion I know that things aren't going well with them. And they are starting to realize it themselves as well. And talk it over with their provider.
The psychiatrists I've known have been very respectful of different cultures and religions and faith based recovery. The important thing is that it not stand in the way of treatment or reflect a negative approach to other people or ourselves or reflect a sense of self importance that can happen during grandiosity. We all have to slow down and realize our place in the world. Working on accomplishing things including through faith based means in positive. But for myself at least the biggest step in recovery was putting aside my own ego. Once I got to the point where I did not feel myself more important than other people nor afraid of them either but just equal I had a sense of self acceptance which is an essential part of recovery.
Frrom ILADVOCATE: " But for myself at least the biggest step in recovery was putting aside my own ego. Once I got to the point where I did not feel myself more important than other people nor afraid of them either but just equal I had a sense of self acceptance which is an essential part of recovery."
Well said, ILADVOCATE. I suspect that's an enormous achievement, though, and I'm not at all sure that many people--including myself--are capable of it. How does one let go of one's own ego?
That's basically a rhetorical question since I'm well familiar with all the possible theoretical answers, both from western and eastern perspectives. But hey, how do you ACTUALLY DO IT?
There was tons of hard won wisdom in your last comment and I truly admire your good sense. I include athiesm as a religion - if that's how it's treated. My brother was a hard core athiest, he procelytized, he preached, he worshipped its martyrs. He is also bipolar. So it's the extremism of beliefs that I think is our likeliness to attach to. I am seeing more and more at my advanced age how my sense of grandiosity has influenced my thinking and the subsequent exclusion or upheaval that resulted. I am trying very hard to be more cautious in my reactions to subjects that incite my fervor. Hope y'all appreciate it.
Well for myself it gradually happenned as treatment advanced and self awareness increased. When a person has self awareness, which can vary depending on people's recovery rates, you can think about why you are doing things and what other people's responses are. Besides how medication functions, in a standard sense I've tried meditation and for some people cognitive behavioral therapy is good. Being homebound for a while I tried internet political debates (on other sites) where I could find a way to leave on a polite concessionary note with the other person perhaps gaining an understanding of what I said but me understanding their perspective as well. I guess the most important thing is in everyday actions to plan them out. Think of other people's responses, their feelings, how it might affect them. Its really hard to explain but it can be talked over with a therapist. If people find faith based techniques helpful that's fine too. Either way you ultimately have to gain an insight into the thinking of other people around you and if you don't know it doesn't hurt to ask. For one think a person's anger to me is a defense mechanism. Don't emotionally react and you are likely to help them tone things down whereas if you act confrontational you are feeding it. Just an example.
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