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Old 06-26-2010, 04:22 PM
 
5,499 posts, read 4,572,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sub-Blue View Post
How many thinks its more physical then spiritual and that it can be controlled spiritually or only with medication?, or both only?

thank you!

Overview
Bipolar disorder involves periods of excitability (mania) alternating with periods of depression. The "mood swings" between mania and depression can be very abrupt.

Symptoms
The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms:
  • Agitation or irritation
  • Elevated mood
    • Hyperactivity
    • Increased energy
    • Lack of self-control
    • Racing thoughts
  • Inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities)
  • Little need for sleep
  • Over-involvement in activities
  • Poor temper control
  • Reckless behavior
    • Binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use
    • Impaired judgment
    • Sexual promiscuity
    • Spending sprees
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
Science have yet to make a dent on the probe into the human Psyche...

Since this topic is directly related to Christianity...how about imagining it as a bad angel and good angel sparring for control over the one suffering from it? Medication and faith could be used to determine who wins...

I believe children will readily accept this explanation...but we are reasoning adults...
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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June says: --Both the individual who suffers from bipolar disorder, and those loved ones in his/her life who are witness to the havoc and downright destruction that can ensue.

Indeed,and thank you for your entire post June,spot on,all of it!
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:44 PM
 
1,468 posts, read 1,876,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC122 View Post
June says: --Both the individual who suffers from bipolar disorder, and those loved ones in his/her life who are witness to the havoc and downright destruction that can ensue.

Indeed,and thank you for your entire post June,spot on,all of it!

It is a hidden scandal that "mental health treatment" (including both psychotherapy and medication) although it can be successful for many, is not the holy grail it is claimed in Western Culture (especially American culture) to be. This treatment can also cause havoc and destruction in the lives of individuals and families, even to the point of suicide. They never tell you this before you, or a member of your family, starts "treatment."
Caveat emptor.

I was first alerted to this "dirty secret" by a former practising PhD psychotherapist, a secular Jew whose friendship graced me, at a very young age, with many talks that went on long past midnight, about this subject and many, many others. He had no agenda other than to share the truth of what he had seen and learned with someone he thought was open-minded and curious enough to listen. RIP Robert--you were one of my greatest teachers.

Last edited by DreamingSpires; 06-26-2010 at 04:54 PM..
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:44 PM
 
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
13,856 posts, read 22,958,982 times
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They briefly classed me as bipolar as I had a manic episode, but I've never really had a depressive episode and I think they ended up deciding it was something else. (Also even in my manic episode I apparently had some control. I remember having excessive desires to be reckless or promiscuous, but I did not act on them or modified them to the point they were much less risky. I remained celibate throughout)

Yes God can cure bipolar disorder, but I think as a rule bipolar people should take medication. God can cure cancer, and I believe has as I recall, but that doesn't mean people with cancer should avoid medicine. I'm skeptical of many things about secular psychology, but I do believe there are such things as "mental disorders." I take medication for my anxiety even though I was once resistant to that. I think I feared it would change my personality or make me into someone else, but I see no evidence of that. I still go to Church, I'm still interested in Chinese history, I still like science fiction, I'm still good at doing math in my head, I'm still celibate, etc. In many ways I think I'm much more unchanging than many people I know.

Bipolar disorder unfortunately became "chic" for awhile and people were claiming to be bipolar who I doubt were. Also it's true that some secularist look for mental illness to assign to religious visionaries and bipolar is one they sometimes use. So when I say "bipolar people should take their medication" I don't necessarily mean everyone called bipolar is, particularly if the person is being called bipolar by someone without any real training or who has never personally observed them. Bipolar is not simple moodiness. Bipolar people behave in socially inappropriate and hurtful ways, sometimes without realizing they are doing so. If my manic episode is like that of people with bipolar than it can involve days of little sleep and clearly delusional ideas about your own importance. (Once I started thinking people were sexually attracted to me I knew I had become delusional and was either not having any kind of religious vision or maybe I thought the devil was after me so if medications scared him off good) The Medieval mystics I've read often avoided crediting "visions" brought by lack of sleep or food.

Possibly more controversial saying a person's bipolar doesn't really devalue everything they do. When I was in a manic episode I had some thoughts that I considered brilliant, but here's the kicker many of the doctors also thought they were brilliant. In fact I think a nurse on-call that night told my Mom something like "is this stuff he's saying true?" Having a manic episode did not make me stupid. I was maybe connecting information in strange ways that led to false conclusions, but it doesn't mean it was all wrong. Some of the great artists and scientists did legitimately great work while manic. The problem isn't that it's all false or bad, but that it's not sustainable and the intensity can lead to inappropriate or destructive behaviors. Much of what I said during a manic episode was valid, but the problem was it was delusional in that I was making myself responsible or connected to it. In reality totalitarian ideologies or sex scandals or global economic policies have nothing to do with my personal actions. That my understanding of them might have been pretty good for a 22-year-old, as I was then, doesn't change that.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:51 PM
 
1,492 posts, read 2,296,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamingSpires View Post
It is a hidden scandal that "mental health treatment" (including both psychotherapy and medication) although it can be successful for many, is not the holy grail it is claimed in Western Culture (especially American culture) to be. This treatment can also cause havoc and destruction in the lives of individuals and families, even to the point of suicide. They never tell you this before you, or a member of your family, starts "treatment."
Caveat emptor.

I was first alerted to this "dirty secret" by a former practising PhD psychotherapist, a secular Jew, whose friendship graced me, at a very young age, with many talks that went on long past midnight, about this subject and many, many others. He had no agenda other than to share the truth of what he had seen and learned with someone he thought was open-minded and curious enough to listen. RIP Robert.
all I can tell you is that the Dr's and the meds in this case were real lifesavers for him.yes,I saw that firsthand.otherwise I'm sure his job,family and most probably literally his life would have been destroyed.BPD is nothing to mess around with.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:57 PM
 
1,468 posts, read 1,876,134 times
Reputation: 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by SC122 View Post
all I can tell you is that the Dr's and the meds in this case were real lifesavers for him.yes,I saw that firsthand.otherwise I'm sure his job,family and most probably literally his life would have been destroyed.BPD is nothing to mess around with.
As I clearly stated, mental health treatment "can be successful for many."
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:20 PM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 10,009,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sub-Blue View Post
How many thinks its more physical then spiritual and that it can be controlled spiritually or only with medication?, or both only?

thank you!

Overview
Bipolar disorder involves periods of excitability (mania) alternating with periods of depression. The "mood swings" between mania and depression can be very abrupt.

Symptoms
The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms:
  • Agitation or irritation
  • Elevated mood
    • Hyperactivity
    • Increased energy
    • Lack of self-control
    • Racing thoughts
  • Inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities)
  • Little need for sleep
  • Over-involvement in activities
  • Poor temper control
  • Reckless behavior
    • Binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use
    • Impaired judgment
    • Sexual promiscuity
    • Spending sprees
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
How, as a Christian, do I look at bipolar disorder?

I look at it from the perspective of someone who has it. Medication is a God send. I am Bipolar Type I, which is the worst and what you described above. Being a christian has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with bipolar disorder. It's like asking a goat what it's like to be a sheep.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:09 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,642 posts, read 23,230,355 times
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As a mental disorder.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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I just spent a lot of time trying to find articles and abstracts addressing the treatment of major mental illness/bipolar disorder with religion and/or spirituality, alone. I was unable to find any that were able to address it as a viable means of treating either. If you are writing a book on this subject, Dreaming Spires, then I would assume you have already performed a lit review, and would have such research at your disposal. As I indicated previously, I would be more than happy to read anything supporting your claims.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamingSpires View Post
I don't want to go off topic on this thread or even "debate" you on this particular point, because I think it would not only "get very ugly" but would also serve no godly (fruitful) purpose.

Au contraire, I don't think there is any reason whatsoever for it to "get very ugly" and I do think that there is much "godly purpose" for a discussion on the topic. People are empowered by information and discourse/diaglogue. It's a good thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamingSpires View Post
It is a hidden scandal that "mental health treatment" (including both psychotherapy and medication) although it can be successful for many, is not the holy grail it is claimed in Western Culture (especially American culture) to be. This treatment can also cause havoc and destruction in the lives of individuals and families, even to the point of suicide. They never tell you this before you, or a member of your family, starts "treatment."
Caveat emptor.

I have no idea what "hidden scandal" exists in the mental health profession of which you are referring. Even as a psychotherapist I would hardly consider my profession a "holy grail" of anything, or a holy grail, at all. I would, however, say that when it comes to the treatment of major mental illness in general, and bipolar disorder in particular, the mental health profession is about as good as you're gunna get. If a loved one of mine developed bipolar disorder, I would seek out the best psychiatrist in terms of prescribing mood stabalizers, along with seeking out those forms of psychotherapy that have proven to have the most clinical efficacy in terms of long term results. I would NOT be inclined to take said loved one to a priest, minister, or rabbi, alone, for what is clearly a much needed mental health intervention. It is simply not their area of expertise, and much of the lit reviews, abstracts, and articles I just finished reading underscores that fact.

Here is what can cause havoc: Not treating a major mental illness, or treating it with ineffective forms of therapy, and/or substandard forms of treatment or therapy. I have no idea whether or not you have ever seen a person in the midst of a major psychotic depressive episode, or manic psychosis, Dreaming Spires, but I can you with utter sincerity that neither are utterly devastating. They are, in fact, downright heartbreaking to witness. To state that western cultural medicine and psychiatry can "cause havoc and destruction in the lives of individuals and families, even to the point of suicide" is very misleading. Again, if an individual is improperly medicated, or is receiving substandard treatment by a less than adequately trained mental health professional, then yes, there are bound to be problems! However, assuming the individual is receiving the proper course of treatment, much hope exists for those suffering from such an illness as bipolar disorder. Again, challenges are bound to be life long, as there currently does not exist any "cure" for bipolar disorder, but a lifestyle with stability and quality of life is clearly possible and not an unrealistic goal.

I have seen, first hand, the true havoc that results when people do not adhere to an effectively proven treatment regime. The likelihood for suicide soars to an index that most would not wish to have any knowledge of....Patients who go off their medication and opt out of therapy typically return, but not after having suffered in ways that most people would no doubt find a new definition of "havoc" for! In short, it is a dicey, if not downright dangerous state of affairs. I am not talking "mood swings" such as those that most of us experience as part of our typical life experience. I am talking about people who are unable to get out of bed, care for their most basic of needs, and fall into a state of suicidal, depressive psychosis. The flip side, being manic psychosis, is equally as ugly, and cruel. These people do not deserve to suffer so, if they don't have to.

What I DID find in my search for articles/abstracts was the role that both religion and spirituality can and does play in the life of patients suffering from bipolar disorder, and the positive role it plays. The key, however, is the fact that both religion and spirituality can play a positive role in the patient's life as opposed to being the primary, front line treatment modality. One of the points that needs to be pointed out is that for those prone to religious delusions, spirituality can be a two-sided coin that can either work for, or against the patient. With proper medication to stabalize, and effective forms of clinical treatment, yes, studies have shown that religious belief/spirituality can help. Studies exist that support this along cross cultural lines.

However, spirituality and religion alone as the primary, or sole treatment of bipolar disorder? No. If nothing else, it makes sense that it would be contrainidicated in an individual who is experiencing religious delusions, sans medication.

A major mental illness such as bipolar disorder (as well as schizophrenia) is a thought disorder, accompanied by delusions and at times halluciinations. Most religious figures (priests, ministers, rabbis) when approached and asked to treat such an individual would be more than likely to suggest, recommend, or even refer such an individual to a competent mental health professional. The literature/research is not lacking in terms of supporting that statement.

I have nothing whatsoever against religion. I want to make that clear. But I have seen and worked with people in the midst of psychotic episodes, and religious delusions (and just delusions in general) and I am of the professional (and personal) opinion that being treated for such soley via religious faith/belief is risky. At the very least, I would say it guardedly cannot be done. At least not over time. Sorry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamingSpires View Post

As I clearly stated, mental health treatment "can be successful for many."
And I would agree that religion and religious belief/faith can play an extremely positive, essential role in the lives of patients suffering from bipolar disorder. ---Provided they are being treated effectively by a physician/therapist, such that their religious faith is a support. But not the sole support.

Take gentle care.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamingSpires View Post
Perhaps this is true in your own professional experience but there are other qualified mental health practitioners who disagree with that statement. I have researched this area for many years (albeit as a lay researcher) and corresponded with some of them.

Moreover, from a Christian and Jewish perspective, God is capable of performing any miracle of His choosing. This would include curing of any condition whatsoever--including "bipolar disorder."

In fact that would be a relatively minor miracle compared to miracles such as walking on water, causing limbs to miraculousy regrow, and raising the dead.
I would appreciate any cites or names of these mental health practitioners who disagree. I am not familiar with ANY who are qualified that fit your claims.
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