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It seems that the depressive aspect of the bipolar diagnosis is its most damaging element. The anxiety and worry that cripples individuals is of great concern. The Bible is not silent on this issue of anxiety and worry. Matthew 6:25-34 provides instruction for those tempted to worry by providing a context for hope. If an individual is focused on the kingdom of God, then those things that tend to beat a person down have less impact. Philippians 4:6-9 deals with the contrast of anxiety and peace. The instruction in this case refers to the decisions of the mind. In each of these passages it is clear that the believer has a responsibility for personal mind control. This is a different attitude than that of being a victim of the mind.
Psychology considers bipolar to be a disorder of the brain. Without debating the accuracy of that statement, (that would be another blog.) one should still conclude that regardless of the affliction that might be upon the physical brain, there are certain responsibilities placed upon an individual to choose what things will be the focus of attention. Therefore, a believer should be concerned about the expectations and instructions that God has about depressive responses. Bringing the mind into obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), renewing thinking (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:15), meditating on proper things (Philippians 4:8), and adjusting the focus of thoughts (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:1) are God’s gift to overcoming depressive episodes.
Signs of Depression or a Depressive Episode:
Feeling hopeless, sad, discouraged, or empty; inability to experience pleasure. Nothing seems to be of interest anymore, including former hobbies, social activities, and sex; significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month; insomnia or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia); being “keyed up,” unable to sit still, anxious, restless or sluggish, slow speech and body movements, lack of responsiveness; feeling physically drained, even small tasks are exhausting; can`t do things as quickly as before; strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt; harsh criticism of perceived faults and mistakes; inability to focus; difficulty making decisions; can’t “think straight;” memory problems.
Worry and despondency is a regular theme in the Bible. Matthew 6, Philippians 4, and 1 Peter 5 are examples of Scriptures that warn against worry. Elijah in 1 Kings 19 provides an example of someone who expressed a “depressive episode.” He desired to give up and die. This episode actually took place after he was victorious over 450 prophets of Baal in a contest on Mount Carmel. And he expended an extreme amount of energy running faster than chariots and covering dozens of miles. Others who showed highs and lows include the following: David (Psalms); King Saul (episodes of usurping the authority of the prophet – 1 Samuel 13 and 15 then deep depression in chapter 16); Peter, as he was willing to step out on the water at one time, then act irrationally with fear at the trial of Jesus.
A sinful lifestyle can be one cause of depression or anxiety. In the case of a true believer in Christ, the person needs to realize that God is waiting for him to confess his sins, repent of them, and return to Him. Doing so will result in the spiritual, mental, and emotional healing a person seeks. Demonic influence is another potential cause of mental illness (2 Corinthians 4:4). A Christian can be influenced and/or oppressed by demons to the point of mental illness. It is important to remember, though, that Christians cannot be possessed by demons or influenced beyond a bearable amount of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). This is because believers already possess the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9-11), and the Holy Spirit will not share His “residence” with
Are you born again?As Jesus talked with Nicodemus, He said, “’I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water (we are ALL born of water, our mothers water broke, thus we are born.) and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh,(meaning born of the water from our mother) but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:3-7).
The phrase "born again" literally means "born from above." Nicodemus had a real need. He needed a change of his heart—a spiritual transformation. New birth, being born again, is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the person who believes (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1-4, 18). John 1:12,13 indicates that "born again" also carries the idea "to become children of God" through trust in the name of Jesus Christ.
The question logically comes, "Why does a person need to be born again?" The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1 says, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins..." (NKJV). To the Romans in Romans 3:23, the Apostle wrote, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." So, a person needs to be born again in order to have their sins forgiven and have a relationship with God.
There is a fine line between using medicine for healing purposes and continual reliance upon medicine for daily living. We need to recognize God as the Great Physician, and know that He alone holds the power to truly heal (John 4:14). We need to look to God first and foremost for our healing. Medicine used to treat a case of panic attack should only be used to the extent that it allows the sufferer to deal with the root cause of fear. It should be used to give back control to the sufferer. However, many sufferers take medicine in order to avoid dealing with the true cause of their ailment; this would be denying responsibility, denying God's healing, and possibly denying others the freedom of forgiveness or closure to some past event that could be contributing to the ailment. This, then, does become sin, as it is based on selfishness.
By taking medicine on a limited basis in order to treat the symptoms, then relying upon the Word of God and wise counsel to enact transformation in one's heart and mind, gradually the need for the medicine will diminish. The believer's position in Christ is affirmed, and God brings healing into those troubled areas of the heart and mind which are causing the ailment. God's Word has much to say about fear and its place in a believer's life. Reading through the following Scriptures and meditating on them is the universal cure. The following verses give confidence, and illuminate the truth behind what being a child of God entails: Proverbs 29:25; Matthew 6:34; John 8:32; Romans 8:28-39; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:4-9; Colossians 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:6-8;Hebrews 13:5-6; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 5:7; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 John 1:9; 4:18-19.
God can heal supernaturally and miraculously. We should pray to that end.