Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 1203

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Faith as a substitute

Posted by Eddie Sylvano on November 6, 2002, at 15:04:03

Hey all,

I had a girlfriend that was in therapy and on medications for about 5 years. She was diagnosed bipolar, put on lithium and lamictal (and other stuff), and struggled on for years. Eventually, her concurrent alcoholism got out of hand, and she went to rehab. Either in rehab or after, she turned to religion. Previously, she would be one to mock religions, and the premises that they're based on. So now, aside from taking up religion, she's stopped medications altogether and changed character, to a strong degree. All of this happened in the span of several months.
Ok. It's been a positive change for her, I'll grant. She's recognized problems that she had, and addressed them. Her new friends in the church do an unofficial job of policing her (previously riotous) behavior. She says things are great. Still, having known this girl for several years, I question her decision to stop taking medications. I also question the authenticity of her newfound faith. I forsee her entangling herself into this new lifestyle over the coming months, perhaps forging friendships and romantic ties, investing heavily in this plan, and then eventually relapsing, with predictable consequences. My question to the group would be, can this work long term? Has anyone ever just bucked a lifetime of mental illness, changed their personality in a major way, and succeeded? Is faith forged in a moment of necessity durable enough to weather the distance? For that matter, why do people need a religious transformation in order to discipline themselves? Do they just not feel qualified to make their own desicions about what they should and shouldn't do? What's the appeal? Anyone?


Re: Faith as a substitute

Posted by Bizzou on November 11, 2002, at 23:40:50

In reply to Faith as a substitute, posted by Eddie Sylvano on November 6, 2002, at 15:04:03

Churches, people in churches, attentionate, friendly, understanding, loving and the words of God. That's what your friend is hooked on. And it's a good thing. It might be that she recoved some feelings she had lost along the way: esteem for herself, feeling of being worth it, that she can overcome difficulties. And yes she can. Some kind of compassionte therapyst might have done the same thing. Would have taken longer with the therapyst since he/she is a human being. However, God can create miracle. And he does create them, everyday. That's what your friend may be feeling. To help her continue on the positive side she will need you to make her feel important and worth a lot of love and acceptance.


Re: Faith as a substitute

Posted by shar30906 on December 5, 2002, at 0:17:01

In reply to Faith as a substitute, posted by Eddie Sylvano on November 6, 2002, at 15:04:03

eddie, you are founded in your concerns for your friend. Both my sister and my cousin took simular paths and regetfuly I have to tell you that my cousin didn't survive, she hung herself, and my sister is not much better off either.
Any type of church is a source of hope understanding and compassion for all that go there, I myself am a believer, altho I do not attent church. there was foul play with my cousin and after speaking with member of her church it came to light that they knew what she was planning and actually assisted her. My sister's entire life surrounds her church to the point where her family comes last in all regards, it's very hard for me to see it happening because she has no one else in her comunity, but they do support her going to therapy outside of the church. any decision to stop meds has to be done with your friends dr.s knowledge, or it puts her health at risk. But your fireind doesnt have to go to church to have a realtionship with god, but it is good for her to have an extended support system in place. My sister called me the sunday after thanskgiving and told me that the sermon was speaking to her about me and that my manic depression was caused by demon from saten attacking me, I have a hard time with that. My bipolar is caused by a chemical inbalance in my brain, neurotransmitters that are not transmitting the correct signals, I'm a believer, but I don't believe that illnessed mental or physical are caused by demons. I could and may be wrong. I believe as long as we believe in something, that is what happens to you in the here after, it doesn't matter weather yhou call him God allah, buda ect. I do believe people substitute faith for other things in many different ways, for soem it give them a reason for others it's an excuse. and to each his own.
Be thankful that yoru friend does have people to patrol her, but keep after her about going back to the dr. afterall god made dr's right. god made the scientists who discovered the medicines that can help. But is a long road to find out whic mwds will work for her, and many of us have to take them our entier lives, because we are ill, not crazy. Even if she is doing great she needs to go to the dr so he can see what she considers normal, or how she is when she feels well, by doing that it will help him treat her when, if she is ill again,
Hats off to you, she is very lucky to have a friend who is so concernd about her wellbeing, I've found that most of my friends make themselfs scarse when i am ill. and I suppose that is where the fellowship of the church is so imoprtant to her.
thanks for caring, hope your friend is and stays well

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