Dr. Dada Soul Care Week 2 10.13.19- CHALLENGES OF MENTAL ILLNESS AND THE CHRISTIAN:
Take the time in your groups to do some real soul care. Be willing to ask the hard questions, and evaluate where each other is at. Sit in the silence when you ask a hard question, and allow people to process and gain the courage to speak up. Be transparent and real, and set the example.
- The problem of mental health and mental illness is huge and cannot be covered in a single message.
Jeremiah 17: 14
Malachi 4: 2
Matthew 11: 28-29
- Mental illness is difficult to define. Even by mental health experts in the field. One definition is as follows:
- Mental illness is a medical condition that results in disruption of a person’s thoughts, moods, behaviors and ability to relate to others that is severe enough to require intervention or treatment. Otherwise, normal everyday life is a challenge or almost impossible.
- SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM. Do these statistics surprise you? Alarm you?
- By next year major depression will be the second leading medical diagnosis after heart disease.
- In 2017, there were 47,173 reported suicides in the U.S., according to the CDC Health Statistics.
- In 2018, there were 15, 478 homicides.
- That ratio is approx. 3:1
- By the end of this Service about eight people would have died by suicide in the U.S.
- In the past two months, two pastors have died by suicide.
- 25% of pastors are fighting depression.
- 68% of churches do not discuss this topic. This is a concerning problem.
- People who have suffered from Mental Illness/challenges:
- In Job Chapter 3, Job cursed the day he was born and wished he had never been born.
- In 1 Samuel chapter 1 she was deeply distressed, and she prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.
- In chapter 20, he cursed the day he was born. He wished he had never been born to see labor and sorrow.
- In 1 Kings 19, after the spiritual warfare on Mount Carmel when he prayed down fire from heaven that consumed the sacrificial animal, he caused 450 prophets of Baal to be executed. Jezebel, the queen promised to have him killed. He fled for his life and told God “I am tired, just let me die”.
- Martin Luther, the Reformer
- Abraham Lincoln, the president
- Charles Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers.
- Winston Churchill- had Bipolar Disorder
- Rick Warren, pastor of Saddle Creek Church:
- Kay Warren, his wife, and many other church leaders have dealt with despair, despondency. Yet, they have gone on to contribute to the advancement of the kingdom of God, and the world in general.
- John Nash, the Nobel Laureate in Mathematics and Economics, was Paranoid Schizophrenic.
- Looking at these lives listed above prove that:
- Life is not over because of mental illness. Your purpose in the Kingdom, your country and your legacy is not over just because of mental illness.
- A Simple Classification of Mental Illness:
- Mood Disorders
- Anxiety Disorders
- Personality Disorders
- Psychotic Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Trauma Related Disorders
- Substance-induced Disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Die by suicide vs. Commit Suicide.
- Challenge to see it and speak of it differently.
- We are so flippant to judge people in their struggles.
- Myths about Mental Health:
- What myths do you tend to believe? How does breaking these myths change the way you take care of yourself and how you care for those around you?
- 1. Mental illness is a sign of weakness.
- It is not a moral weakness. It is an illness. The brain is part of the body. If someone has a fracture, you wouldn’t say it is a weakness. For this reason, many who have mental illness feel guilty. The guilt adds to the pain of mental illness. People feel ashamed and hide. They don’t want people to know, or the stigma of it to affect theirs or their family member’s ministry.
- People tend to blame parents for the child’s mental illness. This is wrong!
- 2. Mental Health Condition means you are crazy.
- There is no rational reason for the stigma that mental illness has acquired. People should not be ashamed to seek help. Society has done this, and thus, creates more pain for people.
- 3. Mental illness is a sign that you are not spiritual; so when you have illness, you just need to pray more and fast more.
- Prayer has its place but we should also get medical help.
- If someone has seizure disorder, we will get medical help and pray. Same with mental illness.
- 4. Mental illness is a sign that there is sin in your life.
- If that is so, everyone should have mental illness. To be sure it is helpful for a believer to confess his or her sin to God. 1John: 8-9.
- We should always start with confessing sin and make sure that is not the issue and then move forward.
- If you are not a believer in Jesus, it is imperative to put your trust in Jesus for the salvation of your soul. That is the ultimate soul care.
- It is possible for mental illness or any illness to be a result of sin.
- In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar was so impressed with his power and position as emperor of the largest empire of his day. He was warned to give glory to God, but he did not. After 1year of the warning, he experienced what we read in Daniel 4: 33-34. The illness Nebuchadnezzar suffered from is Lycanthropy, (Lykos means wolf in Greek). It is rare, but it has been described in medical literature.
- A little bit of theology here. There are descriptive and prescriptive passages in the Bible. For example, in Numbers 21: 1-6, the people of Israel murmured against God and against Moses. So, God sent venomous snakes into the camp, and many were killed. This does not mean each time people grumbled about leadership, God will send snakes. If so, there will be few churches left standing. In the same way, it does not mean that when you are proud and you don’t repent, you will begin to look like an animal.
- 5. Mental illness is always demonic. Not Always So.
- A simplistic way of looking at mental illness is the chemical imbalance theory.
- The brain has billions of nerve cells. The nerve cells do not touch. Rather, they communicate via chemicals released into spaces between the nerve cells. The spaces are called synapses.
- Neurotransmitters like Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Dopamine play a significant role in Major Depressive Disorder.
- Dopamine, Glutamate and Norepinephrine play a significant role in Schizophrenia.
- Having said that, demonic forces can cause mental illness.
- In 1Samuel 18, a distressing evil spirit came upon King Saul, and he became very paranoid.
- In Mark 5:2-5, there was an extreme case of demonization reported.
- A lot of the times mental illness is not a result of demonization (I am not using the word demon possession). The New Testament word used is Daimonizomai, which means to have a demon or to be demonized. It does not mean to be possessed by a demon.
- Repeat: most of the time mental illness is not a result of demonization. In some cases, it can be. How do we tell the difference? It is not easy. We may need prayer and the exercise of the gift of discernment of spirit mentioned in 1Cor. 12. If you don’t know for sure, please keep quiet.
- Possibilities are high if:
- a. someone is hearing voices telling the person to kill himself/herself and others.
- b. If someone is seeing things that no one sees, and they see people in black.
- c. If a female, for example speaks with a male voice.
- d. If, for no reason, there is a paralyzing fear.
- Remember, we do not war against flesh and blood but against demonic powers and entities in heavenly places.
- A simplistic way of looking at mental illness is the chemical imbalance theory.
- 6. Suicide is a cowardly act.
- People who die by suicide kill themselves so that the pain will go away. People who die by suicide have lost hope.
- Some verses of Hope: Jeremiah 29: 11, Lamentations 3: 23-24
- 7. Another myth is that a believer who dies by suicide goes to hell. This is not true. Romans 8: 38-39
- Having said that, we must remember that we bear God’s image and we should get help rather than make plans to die by suicide.
- Do not use permanent solutions to solve temporary problems. Death is permanent. Suicidal thoughts are temporary.
- 8. Mental Illness is not treatable.
- It IS treatable, but like many illnesses, it may not always be curable.
- What is the response of the Church?
- Statistics tell us that most people in crisis call the Church first.
- Several Suggestions:
- 1. Anyone actively thinking of suicide needs to call the National Suicide Hotline, 1-800-273-8255, go to the Emergency Room, and activate the Church prayer line.
- 2. When there is no emergency, people can be sent to the prayer teams meeting in the Church prayer room. Prayer team members should pray, anoint with oil and direct the person to get medical help. Medical help is very important, but as Christians it not the only thing.
- Don’t underestimate the power of prayer!
- We have 3 daily prayer meetings as well as prayer meetings during every Sunday service.
- Medical attention without prayer is insufficient. 2Chron. 16: 12
- 3. The Church has a list of Psychiatrists and Mental Health Therapists as suggestions for people to call. This list is on the church webpage.
- Pillars of Care:
- 1. Spiritual Support (prayer, anointing)
- 2. Social Support
- 3. Doing Fun things with others (not stupid lawless things to numb pain)
- 4. Exercise/ Healthy Diet/ Good sleep (Know these Bible passages: Ps 3: 5, Ps 4: 8 and Proverbs 3: 24)
- 5. Medications and Mental Health Counseling
What is the hardest for you to manage in your own soul care?
- Some children are diagnosed with mental illness as early as 7 years old.
- School can be stressful. Do not minimize bullying, including cyber bullying.
- The psychiatric unit is full while school is in session, but not as populated during the holidays. This is an interesting reality.
- The absence of Fathers in the home is a contributing factor to challenges children face. Most of the children I see in the psychiatric unit do not live with their fathers. Most have not seen their fathers in a long time, while some even argue they don’t have fathers.
- A well-known apologist and evangelist, Ravi Zacharias, ended up in a hospital, because he tried to take his own life when he was 17 years old. While in the hospital, someone visited him and gave him a bible. He read the bible, and made a decision to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He was later called into ministry.
- Whether you have mental illness or not, you can give your life to Jesus and trust Him for salvation and healing.
- It’s never too late. You are never too late. Your illness is not too big.
Are you recognizing a need in the children/youth around you?
Do you have a role in helping our kids who are fighting to live in such a high stress world? Or living a life with no father at home?
God has something for you to do.
God understands the pain you are going through.
Will you trust Him?
Will you seek the help you need in the physical as well as spiritual to be set free?
How can we help those around us rise above the stigma of their often silent battle and seek help?
How do you treat those who seem to be fighting mental illness?
What is God saying to you thru this message?
- What is YOUR application of this message?