Of course you can hear them. Of course you can hear them speak. They are your own thoughts. But what of those voices Diego could hear that were not his thoughts, were they mere fantasy? His friends thought it he was odd to hear these ghostly spirits that nobody else could. That did not make them any less real in his world. No. You see, Christians may suffer psychosis too.
Diego Felt He Could Only Trust Himself
In Diego’s world what you and I believe to be real, he might not think is altogether true and likewise his perception of reality is eschewed by our logic as well. How can one trust his own thoughts in such a situation? But that is just the issue. When one is experiencing a bout with psychosis and delusions, Diego feels he is the only one whom is to be trusted.
Now, this does not make Diego any less Christian than you or I. It simply means his is a Christian experiencing a psychotic break and I tell you it can get much worse for Diego. And no, this does not mean the unfortunate brother is demon-possessed. Because there is a world of difference between biblical demon possession and clinical psychosis.
Diego’s Troubling Psychosis Could Get Worse
Diego might go on to develop visual hallucinations such as seeing shadows or people that are not there. He may also become paranoid that someone is spying on him or something to that effect. Diego could have the sense that he smells or feels things that you or I do not such as the odor of death and decay. These are only a few of the troubling things this brother in the faith could experience in psychosis. It is part of having his mental illness. In Diego’s case it is Bipolar I and he in an advanced stage of mania.
It can also be seen in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder which have separate diagnoses from bipolar. We will not go into those at this time. What I want to get into now is there is hope for Christians experiencing psychosis.
Helping A Christian in Psychosis
Let me say right here and now that I do not possess any type of professional credential to diagnose or treat a mental health disorder and what I say is for your personal Christian edification.
Before, during and after you or your loved one experiences a psychosis, do a lot of praying – and I do not that to be a cliché. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Th 5:17). Putting on the full armor of God in its entirety is necessary if you will overcome this battle of the mind. Now, I would be amiss if I tell you all you must do is pray. No, I will tell you right here and now that to be foolish.
If you feel yourself slipping into psychosis, while you are praying get into contact with you doctor immediately. At this point, I am not concerned with the reasons you have gotten to this point. We will address that in a moment. If you cannot reach your doctor, go ahead, and go either to the Emergency Room or to a Behavioral Health Hospital with the goal to be evaluated to see if might need medications immediately. If the doctors at the ER tell you it is safe for you to wait to see your doctor they will do so. It is to your advantage. Do not forget to pray all the way through this trial.
Reasons Christians Relapse In Their Mental Health
Now let us consider some possibilities for reasons some Christians relapse in their mental health. Sometimes people feel genuinely cured and stop taking their medications. This is a mistake, and many are fooled into relapsing back into their condition this way. Then there are times like the case of Diego. Diego had a change in psychiatrists and his new doctor did not prescribe his anti-psychotic medication for him. Nobody is perfect, even the professionals flounder at times. There are many other legitimate reasons that may cause relapse in mental illness, such as the pharmacy running the stock out of a medication. This has happened to yours truly.
If you or a loved one suffers like Diego does and you are a Christian, know that you are not alone. Countless saints just like you are suffering secretly not knowing what to do or where to turn. I tell you the first place to turn is to your Father God who is the one who sends us the power to hope in His Spirit and live in His grace. If you are without Christ and you are suffering, Today is the day of your salvation. Trust the Lord always, in all things, in all ways.
November 27, 2021