Part 3: Christians and the Mentally ill

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This is for anyone who wants help with any kind of mental malady. I don’t claim this to be some kind of cure-all, merely it is things that may or may not help, depending upon the individual and their situation. It is not written through the eyes of some type of harsh judgment. It is written mainly from my personal experience. So feel free to either receive or not the words I speak. If something does not feel right to you, then by all means disregard it.

To the one who is afflicted: If right now, at this moment, you are able to read this and focus, then I am going to assume you are having a good day. It is with that intent, I speak to you.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18 —

There can be a lot of fear with the Schizophrenic. It takes a certain kind of faith to trust God when paranoia and other voices take over. You may not be able to see it, but a lot of times, the person suffering through this, is doing their very best to trust God. Just because you can’t see it, does not mean they aren’t.

I do not believe faith is always the absence of fear. If as a parent, you see your child run out into the street, your first reaction is one of anxiety or fear. That fear causes you to jump up and run to pull them from harm’s way. You are not going to sit there and flippantly say, the Lord be praised, I trust Him. If you do, then you are an idiot and need to have your children taken away from you. Faith is being able to put one step in front of the other, in spite of fear.

1.  Be honest with yourself. Don’t try and pretend to be something you aren’t. Not even for the sake of others. It will just bring more confusion. Example: When my mother was sick, I was on the verge of being a basket case. Someone told me I had to be strong. What does that mean? Not showing emotion? Somehow developing some kind of superhuman strength, when in reality I had none?  There is nothing wrong with being weak in an area. You do not have to prove anything to anybody.

2.  Do not allow your affliction to become an excuse for something, when down deep you may know differently. Example, I once was talking to someone diagnosed with Borderline Personality. She was more or less told through counseling because of her affliction, she could expect to make up long tall tales that were not true. And she did. Tales that were outrageous which caused her to act upon them. It was a light matter to her until she opened up one day and told me. I simply called it lying and we went on from there. She is now free from that “diagnosis.”

3.  Try to remember through your bad days, through the mood swings, through the voices, that this too shall pass — even though it does not feel like it at the moment.

4.  Do not worry about what others think of you. Your real friends will be patient and not judge you in your weakness and times of confusion. Those are the ones you want to hang on to and trust. All others aren’t worth having in your life. You will find they will just find ways to bring you down.

5.  Find a hobby, something you can enjoy doing.

6.  Do not expect others to full fill your time or emotional needs. See number 5.

7.  If you are on meds, do not let anyone tell you, you should come off of them. That includes faith healers, preachers, etc. That is between you and God. If there comes a time when you think you may want to give it a go and or sense God wants you off the meds, He will not only show you, but He will pave the way.

8.  Do not allow yourself to come under any kind of condemnation by comparing yourself with others. So what if others are able to do something you can’t do at the moment? Big deal. I would almost bet, there is something you can do that they can’t.

9.  Do not entrust yourself in the hands of others who only want to see you as a feather in their cap, just so they can fix you. These people are more concerned about how they look and at being self-important. Usually it creates a dependence upon them that is not healthy.

10. Do try to reach out to others. Remember, the universe does not evolve around you. In spite of your condition, you are here for a reason. There are lives only you can touch, no matter if you are considered quirky or not.

11. Remember there will be those that no matter what you do or even if you get better, who will refuse to see you in any other light than being mentally ill. Let that be ok to you. You don’t have to prove anything to people like that.

12. Remember also, assuming you are nice to those around you, there will be those who in spite of your quirkiness will be quite fond of you. Once again, let these people in your life.

13. If you are a Christian, read the Word. If not, then it wouldn’t hurt you anyway. But it is your choice.

14. Seek out those whom you trust to pray with. Be just as willing to pray for their needs as they are for yours. Remember, it is not all about you. The world does not evolve around any one person. Don’t make it so, for anyone who is trying to befriend you or help you.

15. Do not be so needy that others find themselves not wanting anything to do with you. Put your dependence upon God. If you aren’t a Christian, the same goes for you: Do not be so needy that others find themselves not wanting anything to do with you. Some harsh words for both Believer and unbeliever, still, it is true. There is nothing worse than a person who sucks the very life out of you. Christian or not, people can only give so much. Your mental well being is really your responsibility. No one else’s.

I apologize it has taken so long to get this article up. I have been doing number 5 for quite a while. Pursuing another hobby of making log cabins out of popsicle sticks. Thank you for your patience and God bless you.

If anyone else has any suggestions, feel free to make a comment, so others can benefit from your help. Thank you.

Part 2: Christians and the Mentally ill in the Days to Come — how to help

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This is a list based on experience from both sides of the issue of Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder on things to do and not do when trying to help or befriend those who have been diagnosed as such. Hopefully, you will find it helpful. Take what may be useful and feel free to discard what may not be. If you have things to add, please leave a comment, as I don’t claim to have the monopoly of truth on this.

These are also things that can be helpful in any relationship where there are other mental afflictions.

Things not to do:

1. Don’t be quick to assume it is always the devil. There isn’t anything worse than having Church people looking at you as if all you need is a touch from them or their pastor.

2. Don’t be quick to think you can just lay hands on someone and “cast the demons out.” Not that it can’t be done in some cases, but you better make sure God has called you and not of yourself. Remember, just because someone is diagnosed or labeled something, does not mean they are going to allow everyone who comes along to lay hands on them. It does not mean they are possessed if they don’t want you to. Just because someone may be a little quirky, does not mean they themselves have no discernment on the type of person you may be.

3. If you aren’t willing to be a friend, then don’t bother at all. One thing a lot of schizophrenics are able to perceive, is who is sincere or not.

4. Do not and I mean never, put your friend in some kind of category all by themselves. Just because they may be a little different  does not mean they aren’t any better than any other friends you have. I know of one woman who loved putting one of her friends in the category of “my F—ed up friend.” If I have to tell you what is wrong with that, then you have no business trying to be a friend to anyone.

5. Try not to become confused or angry if the person becomes paranoid. Remember, they may not be able to even express what is going on in them. But if you give them time, and if they trust you, more than likely they will.

6. Don’t see yourself as some kind of savior. People need to see God as their help, learning to hear His voice. Not yours.

7. Do not allow yourself to be used in such a way that you become a doormat. Example: Everything is about them all the time, while they care nothing about your needs. I’ve been on both sides of this and it is not good. A person will dump and dump and dump on you, not listening to anything you have to say, leaving you feeling like a cow bird just flew over and dumped a big poopie on you! No one is obligated to put up with that kind of selfishness. It enables people instead of helping them learn the world does not revolve around them.

8. Do not talk down to them. Some people find this sickening and will run from you. On the other hand, you may have those who want to be talked down to because they like to be babied. In which case, don’t do it, because it enables people and you have just set yourself on a pedestal. See number 6 above.

9.  Do not put unreasonable expectations upon them. Just because you like something, does not mean someone else does or even obligated to.

10.  If a person is on prescription medicine for their malady, do not take it upon yourself to tell the person to show their faith by coming off of them. I do not care if you are a pastor, preacher, or in a deliverance ministry. That is not your call. Many times, a person may have been on meds for years. To suddenly come off may be dangerous, both physically and mentally. For you to say you have faith is beside the point. It is not something you are going to have to live with.

Things to do:

1.  Love them. If this can not be your top priority, then do yourself and the other person a favor, by moving on.

2. Be willing to hang in there with them for the long haul. Course if someone’s behavior is so obviously nuts that you have found them a danger to yourself or others, I do not believe for one second you are obligated in any way. But that’s your choice.

3.  Pray for them in such a way to always see and know the truth.

4.  If they let you, put your arm around them. Sometimes, people just need an arm around them with no spoken words. One would be surprised at how that alone can have healing effects. But don’t force it. Your touch may not feel quite right and let that be ok. Don’t take it personal.

5.  Listen to them. If they need to get something off their chest, let them. Even if it makes no sense for the time.

6.  Speak the truth always.

7.  Find something fun to do together.

8.  Find something to laugh at together.

9.  Ask if you can read Scripture together. If they don’t want to, don’t force it. You can still read scripture on your own.

10. Do not be afraid to interject your own thoughts in a discussion. It’s more than ok. Sometimes the person who has certain issues tend to hog a conversation. It’s ok to say, “Ok, I have listened to you now for 20 minutes. My turn now.” In fact, do it. It makes the other person responsible for listening just like anybody else. If you don’t do this, it will be a one way street of communication and you will find yourself resenting the person. The point is normalcy.

11. Know the difference between an excuse and a reason. Do not be quick to judge either one, as you are not in their shoes. If you have found yourself in a place where you must judge, then let your judgment be one of love, truth, fairness and righteousness. Anything short of that will lead to condemnation, more chains, more yokes.

12. Ask if you can pray with them. If they don’t want to, don’t force it. You can still pray on your own.

13. Ask them if they truly want the truth. Many people say they do, but in reality they don’t. If they don’t, then you have to look at the fact that they may be playing you. Know also, just because they may not be willing to cling to your truth, does not mean they aren’t interested in the truth. You will have to know the difference.

14. Require honesty. I can’t stress how important this is. If you find someone is just playing games, then either hold them accountable or move on. Find another outlet for your empathy and understanding until they are ready to be real with you.

15. If your friend is wanting to try and come off any medicine, tell them to seek the doctor first. Are there times when a person may be called off of them with out the ok of a doctor? Absolutely. But again, that is not your call. If they do come off, make yourself available at anytime. This may mean phone calls in the middle of the night. If behavior warrants being on medication, then speak up.

16. Realize there are doctors out there who prescribe drugs in such a way to keep people in bondage to them. I say this because I know of people (not schizophrenics, but others) who are on so many prescription drugs, they literally are like little zombies. Why some body needs high dosages of Klonopin (an anti-seizure med) night after night to help them sleep, while taking Xanax through the day, is beyond me. But what do I know?

17. Realize as much as you try, there still may be those for whatever reasons, who want to keep their issues alive and going full throttle. They thrive off drama and have been deceived in loving their darkness. Some people just do not want to be functional and or whole. Unless you like being part of that, you will more than likely move on. You may have to learn to be ok with that.

18. Do realize that it you treat the person as if they are beneath you by talking down to them, instead of treating them as an equal, they will probably end up resenting you. Wouldn’t you, if someone did that to you?

19. Do know that if you mock your friend, they will likely have little to do with you and never trust you.

20. Also remember there may be those who will require medication for whatever reasons. As much as you would like to see them do without, you will have to trust God and accept it as it is and pray what your role is, if any, and how it is to play out.

Part 3 will deal with the Schizophrenic’s responsibility.

Part 1: Christians and the Mentally ill in the days to come


After the death of our dear friend, I have been thinking quite a bit about his situation and I would like to address the subject “mental illness.” Ben had concerns for the days to come if he would not be allowed to get his medicine. It is with that in mind, why I write on the subject.

Let me first start off by saying, it is hypocritical for some within the Church to have this kind of attitude toward those who may appear mentally unsound: “Just claim your healing.” Really? They are the same people who if they have a toothache will go to the dentist, if they need glasses they make sure they get them, if they need blood pressure meds they will use them. If they need insulin they will use it. If their child has a sore throat they take them to the doctor. See the hypocrisy? If that is you, then read no further because you will find the following not spiritual enough to suit your tastes. And any comments you may want to leave, will not be welcomed.

It is my heart’s desire to see people free. I speak to the Christian and anyone else who is interested, who find themselves diagnosed with maladies. The particular malady I want to look at is schizophrenia. Along with Schizoaffective disorder. Because I believe these two disorders, if they can be helped in any specific way, then other disorders can too.

I can’t be quick in judging what causes this diagnosis in every case. And neither can you. Some will say it is a chemical imbalance. Could be true. For some odd reason the schizophrenic does appear to have an extra amount of copper in their body. How or why? I don’t know. The implications of that, not sure. Others are always quick to say, “it is demonic.” I think it could be misleading to assume either way, as I believe both can be true. Each case is different.

I worked with a young Christian woman years ago when I was a house parent in a children’s home. She was one of the sweetest and kindest people I ever met. For some reason she suddenly withdrew and locked herself in the bathroom. She was silent. Not knowing what she was doing on the other side, I sat on the floor and talked to her, hoping she was not trying to take her life, while help was on the way. Her mother came and eventually my friend unlocked the door or either the maintenance men did, I don’t remember.

Many things can trigger types of psychosis of this kind: Isolation, too much stimulation, a certain amount of anxiety/fear that begins to get out of control, etc. But the common factors in my personal experience are — not knowing the truth, not facing the truth, and not dealing with the truth. In the above friend’s case it was the Jim Jones mass murder/suicide cult that triggered it. She had to end up quitting her job, while trying to get her mind restored. Wanting to help her, and meaning well, I had done research through books and came to my own conclusion what she needed was certain vitamins. I asked if she would be willing to try them and she said yes.

But, we ended up going our separate ways because her illness would not/could not allow her to have friends. It caused her to withdraw. All my gentleness and encouragement meant very little. The oppression was too great and to even mention God would have been enough to cause her to withdraw more because of the way the Jim Jones thing affected her.

As of today, I have known at least eight people who have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective disorder in my lifetime. None of them violent or dangerous, so I speak with that in mind.

If you are familiar with my testimony, you already know what the Lord delivered me from at the age of 19. Many years have gone by since then, still, I have had to deal with on occasion that dark cloud of mental confusion every now and then. It’s a terrible place to be. In my case, I never once wanted to harm another human being. Instead there was a great self-loathing,  The illness/oppression crippled me at times. It caused me to be paranoid. Sometimes the paranoia was warranted, other times it was not. Being able to discern between the two was/has been the hardest part. One area I had to come to terms with, was knowing I could not read minds. This was a hard place to arrive. Because as long as I could read minds, I could protect myself from others. Yet, my reading minds was nothing more than a type of witchcraft that I was trusting in and needed much deliverance. I could not read minds. A person may be able to discern what is going on in another, but to actually read another mind, no. Any discernment I may have had at the time, was used against me to keep me sheltered, safe, from those who I thought meant me harm. When in truth, it was stopping me from being blessed and being a blessing.

Part of that great deliverance is no longer caring what others think. Not in a rebellious sort of way, but in a way where you no longer have made people, the thing, you look to for help. Your heart has de-throned the lust for the acceptance of others. You come to a point where all that matters is knowing: He made us accepted in the Beloved. — Ephesians 1:6  — Something that I think most of us who have suffered with this affliction, has been fear of rejection, for whatever cause.  

Some years ago, I was talking to a woman who told me her husband was a schizophrenic and she was telling me a little about their situation. Both of them Christians. I started off simply saying God could help. I was stopped in my tracks when her immediate reply was: “We don’t want to lose the government check.”  I was shocked. Dumbfounded. I was baffled how anyone, especially someone who confessed Jesus, would prefer a government check for a disability over possible freedom. Yet, this is becoming more and more common. I was not claiming an instant cure-all, as if by some type of waving a wand he would be healed, but just giving her the possibility that he could have his mind restored. Please, remember, I was not judging. I was looking at it through the eyes of what God brought me through.

Our friend Ben, was pretty much isolated for many years. I often wonder what his life would have/could have been, had he lived near us and we saw him on a regular basis. Would my husband and I have made a difference? The same kind of difference that those precious ones God brought into my life when He spoke to my heart and told me to trust Him?

It’s been well over two decades since I was last medicated for the mental oppression I suffered. My day of deliverance began one day when I was having my devotional alone with the Lord. I heard Him — not actually heard Him, more of a type of knowing or discerning — tell me to come off the meds. “But, Lord,” I said, “if I do, I will lose my mind.” Three scriptures rose up out of me from like the deepest recesses of my heart: “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” “But how, God? The doctor said I would be on this (medication) for the rest of my life.” “He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.” “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and power and of a sound mind.” Sound mind! Was it even possible? What did it look like? Would I have set backs? What if…what if? “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” 

I did come off the medicine and please know, I am not endorsing others to do the same. I simply stated what happened to me.

God began placing people in my life who I could trust. Most importantly, He was showing me I could trust Him. It’s been a long hard road at times, but God has seen me through. It is because of what He has done for me that I wish to reach out and hopefully be able to express to others that there is hope. That there is light in that darkness. That truth does set free.

Not that I am some great expert on the subject — I am not — but Christians have been ignorant for too long in this matter. It is time we rose to the occasion for the days to come. If you or someone you know suffers from mental oppression, it is my desire that we all come to the truth and ability to help in such a way that it really begins setting the captives free. That we learn how to be a real friend to those who see as quirky or different. Know this too, just because someone is labeled something, does not mean that they have nothing to offer you.

So please, fire up your discernment and get it going along with me as we go into Parts 2 and 3 to follow.

What’s it like to experience schizophrenic symptoms?


I hope to bring to the blog some things I have been writing on regarding this. Please, do not be quick to judge what you may or may not understand. I won’t, with the articles I intend to put up. I just want to be able to shed some light on the situation for those who find themselves suffering from this and for those who find themselves dealing with it through a loved one.