Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

When Faith Turns Neurotic

When Faith Turns NeuroticWhen does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness and piety can disguise acute anxiety and depression.

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  • steve

    Hi and thanks for your thoughts!
    Could I make a suggestion…I have been reading a book by Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones called “Joy Unspeakable”. Dr Lloyd Jones was born at the end of the 19th century.
    His primary thesis is this: modern christianity bares virtually no resemblance to authentic christianity. You can measure this simply by the absence of joy in the christian life, the prevalence of fear.
    His view is that true christianity (a real love of Christ, true joy and access to his power) are only obtained by being baptized by the Holy Spirit. We cannot (of ourselves) connect with God – or manufacture faith ourselves. Our job is to seek God – not for the fruits that come from really knowing God – but simply to know God. Our job is simply to pray for this baptism by the Holy Spirit (i.e. seek). He takes it from there.
    God guarantees this will happen – although we dont know when.
    But when it does happen it is truly transformative! is really mind blowing!
    Forgive me if this is something you are already across.
    Thanks again.

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  • Annliz Taylor

    I to suffer from severe depession and panic dissorder and am a christian, but I have had such a HARD time the last several yrs believing that my prayers are being answered. Yes SOME are but most I don’t feel the presence of God like I used to. I keep to myself almost ALL the time when I used to have lot’s of friends, but they don’t understand me anymore since Ive gotten these mental problems and can’t even work anymore. Im VERY lonely at times but for the most part am ok as I see it if I stay to myself nobody can hurt me anymore.

  • Barbara

    Dr. James Dobson, many years ago, commented on his radio broadcast about how church leaders need to be trained to train their congregations about depression.
    A depressed person is far too frequently wounded, spiritually and emotionally, when told to “get over it, be glad you aren’t in {South Sudan, Isis territory, my substitution}”. Or “Where’s your faith. IF you were a real Christian you wouldn’t be this way.”
    DEVASTATING and can bring a person to the brink of suicide (or worse).

  • Barbara

    I have suffered depression since I was a young child. This is a simple fix, but it does work, the moment depression encroaches, DO IT (or as soon as possible). It may take a few days for deep depression. And by all means stay on meds until told by your doctor to stop. At the least you will feel better AND reduce the meds. Here is what I have that works every single time for me and those I shared it with:
    1. I searched Google Images for pictures with uplifting Scriptures
    2. I saved them in a folder I named “Life” in “My Pictures” on my laptop
    3. I play them on my laptop’s background at 3 minute intervals, reading each one out loud, softly but thoughtfully, thinking about what I am saying a couple of times, then do the same for each that comes up.
    Even in a deep depression my mood lifter after only 20-30 minutes.

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