Christians And Mental Illness: Our Experience With Bipolar Disorder

Remembering back over ten years ago to the police officer's phone call still gives me a chill. “Mrs. Flett, We have taken your daughter to the hospital. We found her at the radio station acting very strange.” I was confused. I was in shock. Our brilliant and beautiful daughter, acting strange? There must be some mistake.

I was still in a state of confusion when the doctor diagnosed Samantha with bipolar disorder. We wondered what they were doing to her. We were afraid to let them put her on drugs. After a few days we brought her home, and I tried my best to take care of her.

She was on a high most of the time, laughing and giggling, hearing voices, and thinking she was infallible. I was constantly on edge wondering what was going on, wondering why it had happened and if it was demonic, wondering why our prayers for her recovery were not being answered, and wondering if the nightmare was ever going to end.

It was hard to see her acting, and thinking like a three year old. We prayed for her and asked others to pray. Many people thought it was demon possession, and we were not sure what to think.

There was definitely reason to believe that Satan was playing with her mind. Some days she would think there had been a rapture and we were all just figments of her imagination. Other times she would hear the voice of a movie star, telling her that he wanted to meet with her.

It wasn't until after she had done something pretty scarey that we called a Christian psychologist friend and asked for advice. “I know what you must be thinking,” he told us, “but you do need to get her to the hospital. There is something medically wrong with some of the connections in her brain. The receptors are out of control and need to be brought into line.”

I was scared enough to take his advice.

She crashed while at the hospital, and the down with it's flow of tears was as hard for me to take as the high. If she tried to read the Bible she could gain nothing but condemnation from it, and again I wondered.

She gave me permission to go through her things and throw out anything that wasn't good for her to have. I found a book and pictures of the movie star. The book was filthy and demonic. I did a thorough housecleaning of everything among her possessions that was Satanic.

During her sane times she wanted help. She asked for prayer, and during that time she let go of her obsessions. We felt that she was delivered. But the sickness was still there.

We finally realized that we were dealing with two things. Samantha had always walked the fine line of the creative genius. Her walk with the Lord and our prayers had been what kept her sane all these years, but she stepped out from under that protection when she developed an interest in the satanic movie star.

She opened the door a crack, and her mind snapped.

The mental imbalance in itself was not demonic. Bipolar disorder is a medical term for a medical condition that happens in the brain. All sickness is a result of sin in the world, and mental illness is no exception. It can often be a hereditary weakness or the result of an imbalance in the system caused by dietary deficiencies or other physical health problems.

But the devil can easily manipulate the weakened mind of the mentally ill if that mind is not thoroughly protected by prayer. When Samantha gave herself totally back to the Lord, her brain still malfunctioned, but we could see a difference in her actions and thought patterns even when she was having a break.

She learned to keep away from any of Satan's favorite tools. She got rid of her TV and tried to keep from watching it anywhere else. If she didn't, we knew there would be trouble. Satan used every foothold he could find.

We could also see the difference it made when we surrounded her with prayer. As her mother, that responsibility fell heavily on my shoulders. The connection between prayer and Samantha's safety was so great that I plan on dedicating an entire post to that topic.

Many of the questions that plagued me back when it all started happening have been answered. I now know more about bipolar disorder than I ever wanted to know. I also learned more about myself than I wished to know, but that was God's doing, and I plan on discussing it in the next post.

Be First to Comment

  1. supermom said:

    One of my brothers has Bipolar and was diagnosed 12 years ago at 22 years old. I read your story which was so similar right down to the fact that he was picked up at a radio station(he was trying to get in to talk to them) It has been a long and hard struggle for the family. My older brother since has been diagnosed with it as well. He seems a little “better” than my younger brother. My younger brother is on medicine which has to be changed often and it is hard for him to keep a job. His wife divorced him and moved away with their children. He is very depressed and rejected on top of everything else. When he had his first break down he thought he was 100 years old and would call people and think he was married to girls he had grown up with etc..My mom is so consumed with it all. I am the only child that is healthy praise be to God but I feel so much pressure. To take care of them someday(I have a bunch of kids myself. I am my moms”therapist” I am just so strung out. I know I am being selfish but I am truly overwhelmed. Are there Christian support groups or Christian group homes for people with bipolar. He just needs a little extra help to get by in life. My mom needs to have a friend she can talk to. I just can’t do it right now. I am pregnant and homeschooling. We are all Christians. My brother and my parents. People in the Christian community have been the hardest and treat him different now.. Thanks for listening.

    January 29, 2011
    Reply
  2. said:

    Supermom, You have brought up a point that is so important to address in the Christian community. Christians need Christian support. I learned the hard way. If any of my readers know of Christian support groups for the mentally ill, or Christian group homes, could you please share them with us?

    January 29, 2011
    Reply
  3. said:

    Supermom, You have detailed an important shortfall in the Christian community. The mentally ill desperately need our support. If any of my readers are aware of Christian support groups or Christian group homes, could you please let the readers know about them? Thanks.

    January 29, 2011
    Reply
  4. Dorothy Ruppert said:

    Your experiences with bipolar in your family are very similar to mine. For way too long, Christianity and mental health providers have been out of touch with each other. This past year I published a Christian book called, “God Placed Her in My Path -Lessons Learned fromt the furnace of Bipolar Disorder. It is the story of raising a child who suffered from bipolar disorder. My husband and I are now raising two grandchildren who also suffer from it. I feel called to comfort the affected families and to break the prevalant stigma of mental illness. Thanks for sounding your voice for this issue.

    December 26, 2011
    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *