SHAME IS THE COUSIN OF BI-POLAR DISORDERS
This is a brief discussion of factors associated by bipolar disorders with some simple answers to resolve them. The term “bipolar” is a psychological term, not a Biblical term; therefore, this writing will address the symptoms and not give diagnosis.
1. The first major factor is Generational Curses.
Generational curses are negative character traits that are spiritually passed from one generation to the next. We should also understand that some negative character traits may be learned sociologically through following the models of our parents and peers. However, other, more embedded traits, may be spiritually inherited even when modeling does not exist. The Bible uses the word “iniquity” to describe these negative traits (Lamentations 5:7). Our forefathers have sinned and left us with a bent toward their sins. The Hebrew word translated “iniquity” literally means “perversion”. Instead of being “straight” according to God’s standards we have a “perversion” or “bent”. It is not uncommon that people who suffer from a bipolar disorder also have biological parents who have suffered from the same disorder.
Learned or modeled behavior can be replaced with new thoughts and new habits. However, generational curses must be broken. In brief, we should understand that Jesus became a curse for us suffering for our iniquities as well as for our sin (Galatians 3:13). Therefore, we can through confession, repentance, and declaration of faith declare that the curses are broken. [For a more in-depth study of generational curses, please see my book, “How To Destroy The Evil Tree“. ]
2. The second factor is Abuse Issues.
Verbal, mental, physical, and sexual abuse may play an important role in manic-depressive disorders. When the emotional wounds surface to the conscious level of the mind, the result may be anger, usually followed by depression. When the hurts subsides below the conscious level, there may be a joyful release and the result may be the manic side.
Furthermore, there are two types of emotional wounds. One type of an emotional wound is a cutting wound. Such emotional wounds do not heal properly by themselves. As open wounds, they invite contamination (anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, or deceptive manic thoughts) by the enemy. These wounds must be cleansed, then healed by faith in Jesus, the Healer (Luke 4:18). [For more information on the healing of hurts, please see the article, “Healing for the Emotions“.] The second type of emotional wound is that of an emotional bruise. Emotional bruises are the result of blows to one’s identity. Some significant person might say to us, “You are no good” or “I wish you were never born”. If we believe these words, they become emotional bruises. As we strive to gain self-esteem, we my find ourselves on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.
For one to overcome this cycle, he must receive emotional healing and find an entirely new identity that does not change. One must exchange his old (damaged) identity for a new identity in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:11, Galatians 2:20).
3. A third factor is Strict, Harsh Childhood Discipline.
There is a high coincidence between bipolar disorders and strict, harsh childhood discipline. The Bible sets out a proper guide for discipline of children using strict consistent discipline coupled with love (Proverbs 23:13-14, Ephesians 6:4, Titus 2:4). However, harsh discipline (with anger and rejection) without love produces negative results. The child needs to feel loved and accepted. When a child does not receive unconditional love, he will try to receive conditional acceptance through performance. When he performs well he may receive a few positive strokes of acceptance and will feel great about himself. At least for a time, he is not being punished. However, when he doesn’t measure up, he receive no acceptance, only punishment. Then he feels terrible about himself and becomes depressed. This begins the cycle of performance and exaggerated good thoughts and feelings, then a failure to perform and depression.
One may sometimes get stuck in this cycle of the past, but he doesn’t have to continue in the past. The individual can not change his childhood experiences, but he can change his future. He does not have to continue swinging from one extreme to the other. He can discover God’s love and acceptance which is not based upon his performance (Ephesians 1:6).
4. A fourth factor is Legalistic Religious Background.
Families that seriously adhere to legalistic beliefs concerning God have a high incidence of bipolar disorders. A good definition of legalism is the belief that man must live up to a certain standard for God to accept him. Carrying legalism a step farther, some would say that one is saved by faith in Jesus, but can lose his salvation by some evil act. As long as the individual measure up to the set standard, his is on a spiritual high, but the truth is that he will not stay on that high. Sooner or later, at a weak moment, he will let down his guard and fail to live up to the standard (whatever he perceived that to be) (Romans 3:19-20). Then he will experience a spiritual low that usually is followed by depression, with feelings of frustration and hopelessness. After a period of time, a cycle of highs and lows is set in motion. The cycle is based upon performance (good works verses sin) and acceptance (salvation and a loss of salvation).
For such an individual to become stabilized, he must come to understand that salvation is not based upon his own good works but faith in the finished work of Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). [Please see my article, “Searching For Truth“.] Furthermore, he must come to understand that he can not live the Christian life by his own ability, but only by the grace of God (Philippians 2:13).
5. A fifth factor is Occult Involvement.
Occult involvement may take on many forms: playing the Ouija board, fortune telling, reading occult material, participation in occult rituals, reading the horoscopes, and possessing of occult artifacts. [For an in depth study see, “Know Your Enemy“.] Any kind of occult involvement opens the door to one’s soul to evil spirits (Leviticus 19:31). When evil spirits enter the individual, they will periodically take over a particular area for a time. The evil spirits will precipitate negative emotions or undesirable behavior (Luke 8:27).
When the spirits are active, the individual is out of control. The individual often finds himself doing things that are shameful or embarrassing. The result is guilt and depression. When the spirits are inactive, the individual may experience an exhilarating freedom. Here again, we may see a bipolar cycle develop.
To find lasting freedom and stability, the individual must acknowledge and renounce all occult involvement. Then he needs to ask God to forgive him and to cleanse him (1 John 1:9). He should also expel all evil spirits in the name of Jesus.
6. A sixth factor is a Darkened Conscious.
Sometimes a person does things that he knows to be very wrong, but does not get caught or may deny everything. When this occurs, it leaves a darkened conscious. Often the individual thinks that since he does not get caught or was able to talk his way out, that everything will be O.K. However, the memory of the wrong and the guilt remains. By willpower or preoccupation with current thoughts, the memory and guilt may remain suppressed for a time. However, at a weak moment, maybe when the individual is mentally or emotionally exhausted, the memory and guilt surfaces producing depression. After a while, the eruption of depression subsides and the individual get back on his feet again. He may simply compensate by drawing his attention to his “good” work or mission. Then again, at a weak moment, the memory and feelings surface (1 Timothy 1:19).
The basic solution to this cycle is to confess the wrong to God (1 John 1:9) and to any other offended parties, ask forgive their forgiveness, and be willing to make restitution as needed (Matthew 5:23-26, Acts 24:16).
7. A seventh factor is the Physical Cycle.
One aspect is that once the mental, emotional, and spiritual cycles are established the body may conform to the cycle. Since I am not a physician, I will not attempt to detail this area. Another aspect of the physical cycle may be diet. One may eat healthy foods and feel good for a while, but then go on a sweets binge that causes an immediate high. The high will be followed by the “Sweet Blues”, better known as Depression. Therefore, the result is mood swings from one extreme to the other. Exercise may also play a role in the physical cycle. Some people go from one extreme to the other concerning exercise. They may go all out for exercise for a while given them a lift. However, they over do it or get bored. They withdraw from most all exercise and feel a letdown.
It should be noted that even after the other areas are covered, there may be a sight lag in the physical. The body may need time to catch up with the thoughts. Furthermore, one should generally lower their sugar intake and eat mostly unrefined foods that helps stabilize the metabolism. No exercise and too much exercise are equally harmful; therefore, one should keep on a steady light or moderate routine (Philippians 4:5).
Please understand that this brief overview is general in nature and does not account for all the individual factors. Each case is unique and should be treated individually. Furthermore, we should not tag anyone as being “bipolar”, but rather exhibiting the symptoms of the disorder. For example, a Christian is a new creation in Christ that may have some symptoms of a bipolar disorder. The Bible does give some descriptions that parallel what psychologists and psychiatrists describe as bipolar symptoms. (See Hosea 6:4, Ephesians 4:14, James 1:6). On the manic side, the Word says we are not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think (Romans 12:3). On the depressive side, the Word says that we should not remain cast down (Psalm 42:11).