Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 270497

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Religious obsession or just Bi-polar??

Posted by Arrianna on October 18, 2003, at 1:43:21

Hi. I am new to the psycho-babble faith board. Just to give you an idea of my faith: I am a believer in spirutality rather than organized religion. Through spirituality, I have developed a relationship with God. I believe that God is a spirit, an energy that works through us and the universe.

Religion never made sense to me, nor did it work for me. Being a spiritual person, however, is fulfilling. Yet, I don't apply that what I believe is the truth for everyone, just for me. I feel that everyone has there own truth of God, and if that is fulfilling to them, great.

What my concern is, is this: I've recently made friends with someone who seems to be "obsessed" with God and religion. I've known her for awhile as an acquaintance, but we've been hanging out alot lately and are forming a friendship. I really like her, yet I'm becoming concerned because all she talks about is God. She's centering her life around church and church activities.

Please don't get me wrong: I don't think this is bad in any means. She's just looking for truth in her life. What bothers me is that she seems "too" focused on it- everything is about "jesus", and "everything" in her religion is the truth. So, if anything differs what she is learning, she argues back to "her religion" as the truth. Does this make sense?

My friend is bi-polar and is taking medication for it. From what she says, she doesn't think she needs to be on meds. but is because her parents put her on it. It seems that she thinks her religion can fix her. I've also recently learned that some bi-polars will become overly-religious as a way to make sense of themselves?? They can also sometimes feel so good that they believe they are "heavenly spirits", have "grandios ideas" or as "intellectual geniuses".

I'm just wondering if this is what is happening to her. I really like her, and I want to continue a friendship with her, yet her "religious talk" is becoming exhausting. If it's working for her, great, but it bothers me that she's becoming less accepting of other's beliefs and what they choose to accept as the truth.

I'm also starting to feel somewhat "drained" and rather confused after being with her. If anyone can help, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions pertaining to this. Maybe I'm just wrong about it all........

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and I hope you can offer some feedback.

Arrianna

 

Re: Religious obsession or just Bi-polar??

Posted by MamaB on October 20, 2003, at 15:23:43

In reply to Religious obsession or just Bi-polar??, posted by Arrianna on October 18, 2003, at 1:43:21

> Hi. I am new to the psycho-babble faith board. Just to give you an idea of my faith: I am a believer in spirutality rather than organized religion. Through spirituality, I have developed a relationship with God. I believe that God is a spirit, an energy that works through us and the universe.
>
> Religion never made sense to me, nor did it work for me. Being a spiritual person, however, is fulfilling. Yet, I don't apply that what I believe is the truth for everyone, just for me. I feel that everyone has there own truth of God, and if that is fulfilling to them, great.
>
> What my concern is, is this: I've recently made friends with someone who seems to be "obsessed" with God and religion. I've known her for awhile as an acquaintance, but we've been hanging out alot lately and are forming a friendship. I really like her, yet I'm becoming concerned because all she talks about is God. She's centering her life around church and church activities.
>
> Please don't get me wrong: I don't think this is bad in any means. She's just looking for truth in her life. What bothers me is that she seems "too" focused on it- everything is about "jesus", and "everything" in her religion is the truth. So, if anything differs what she is learning, she argues back to "her religion" as the truth. Does this make sense?
>
> My friend is bi-polar and is taking medication for it. From what she says, she doesn't think she needs to be on meds. but is because her parents put her on it. It seems that she thinks her religion can fix her. I've also recently learned that some bi-polars will become overly-religious as a way to make sense of themselves?? They can also sometimes feel so good that they believe they are "heavenly spirits", have "grandios ideas" or as "intellectual geniuses".
>
> I'm just wondering if this is what is happening to her. I really like her, and I want to continue a friendship with her, yet her "religious talk" is becoming exhausting. If it's working for her, great, but it bothers me that she's becoming less accepting of other's beliefs and what they choose to accept as the truth.


> Arrianna,(what a lovely name!)
Please try and understand that for true Christian's the center, the focus of our faith is the truth.(and by the way it is probably better if you don't refer to it as "her religion", her faith is what it is) I am simply stating a belief here, not saying anyone MUST believe me, or that you are wrong.
Sometimes those who are new to Christianity, and I think "newbies" in other faith's as well, get a little carried away. You see, they want those they care about to have the same joy they know.
However, Christianity does not teach that one does not need to take medicine. (except Christian Scientists, but that's not what we are talking about) I am a Christian and have been taking antidepressant medication for twenty years.
I am not saying that you must believe what she does, probably the best thing would be to politely get her to change the topic.
The medication thing, that is a little trickier. You can tell her that you know of other Christians who take psychiatric medication. After all, God gave the doctors who discovered these medications and chemicals their gift for science and research.

> I'm also starting to feel somewhat "drained" and rather confused after being with her. If anyone can help, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions pertaining to this. Maybe I'm just wrong about it all........


>No one is saying that you are wrong,it just sounds as though you and your friend just need to come to some kind of agreement. I will pray for you both. MamaB

> Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and I hope you can offer some feedback.
>
> Arrianna

 

Re: Religious obsession PLEASE READ!! Arrianna

Posted by MamaB on October 20, 2003, at 15:37:20

In reply to Religious obsession or just Bi-polar??, posted by Arrianna on October 18, 2003, at 1:43:21

Arrianna,
I realized after I wrote the above post that I said something that might be taken the wrong way.
Instead of saying "the center of our faith is the truth" -- I should have said, "the truth is the center of our faith"..
I hope this is clearer

 

Re: Religious obsession PLEASE READ!! MamaB

Posted by Arrianna on October 20, 2003, at 17:01:58

In reply to Re: Religious obsession PLEASE READ!! Arrianna, posted by MamaB on October 20, 2003, at 15:37:20

MamaB,

Thanks for responding back because this has really been bothering me. Just want to clarify too, that I understand how precious one's faith is, whether it's christianity, catholism, etc.

Her faith and belief in christianity and the "truth" isn't what I'm concerned with. What bothers me is that she seems to be pushing it on me and is developing a closed-mind towards other types of faith, thinking others have chosen the wrong path.

I've went with her a few times to church now because I am interested in developing a stronger relationship with the spirit. I like the church and it's worship, but I'm having a difficult time with the preaching aspect of it.

Being preached to has never worked for me. Rather than being told what to do, it has served me best to be guided or directed towards finding the answers myself, if that makes sense.

I believe in God and prayer. Yet, I feel so much more confused and distant from God and myself after spending time with my friend, and not necessarily from church itself.

I guess I'm not sure what I'm asking. I'm really confused about all this. It's making me doubt what I believe to be true and what has been working so well for me up to this point.

I also understand what you said about newbies being so excited that they want to spread the joy, yet i really don't think this is the case with my friend. What's she spread to me is confusion and self-doubt. I still wonder if there's a correlation between bi-polar disorder and obsession with God??

Trying to make sense of it all.

Arrianna

 

I see a few possibilities here...

Posted by Tovah on October 20, 2003, at 17:24:28

In reply to Re: Religious obsession PLEASE READ!! MamaB, posted by Arrianna on October 20, 2003, at 17:01:58

1) Your friend could simply be very zealous in her faith. And many, but not all, forms of Christianity require "spreading the word" in the hopes of converting others so that may be what she is doing to you.

2) Your friend could be A) religious and B) bi-polar. During manic phases of bipolar, everything is more extreme and more urgent. She may be extraordinally excited about sharing her faith if she is in a manic phase; in a depressive phase it might not matter to her as much.

3) Your friend could have a religious obsession (a religious form of OCD, which is called Scrupulocity). This has little to do with religion per se; it just means that instead of obsessing over germs or door locks, a person obsesses over God. Sometimes the person is not even religious, just obsessional. But that really doesn't sound like the case with this person.

I know what you mean about spreading confusion and doubt, and sometimes people who are very zeaolus may cause these feelings without meaning to. I had been a religious Lutheran for many years when I went into college; my roommate was from a Fundamentalist denomination and she would talk to me about how I wasn't "really" a Christian because I did not accept a 7-day creation, etc. etc. This was the beginning of a slippery slope for me (see my post with my faith journey above) that started me asking questions and wound up making me choose first Fundamentalism, and then when that made no sense, I was nothing at all (agnostic, basically) for many years. In recent years I have found a different Christian denomination that answers the big questions for me. I am glad to have come to that understanding; however, if I had not met my husband I probably would have remained agnostic. The conversations that started with my roommate just caused me to ask too many questions for my faith to ever stay the same as it was before I met her.

 

Re: I see a few possibilities here...

Posted by MamaB on October 20, 2003, at 17:55:09

In reply to I see a few possibilities here..., posted by Tovah on October 20, 2003, at 17:24:28

> 1) Your friend could simply be very zealous in her faith. And many, but not all, forms of Christianity require "spreading the word" in the hopes of converting others so that may be what she is doing to you.
>
> 2) Your friend could be A) religious and B) bi-polar. During manic phases of bipolar, everything is more extreme and more urgent. She may be extraordinally excited about sharing her faith if she is in a manic phase; in a depressive phase it might not matter to her as much.
>
> 3) Your friend could have a religious obsession (a religious form of OCD, which is called Scrupulocity). This has little to do with religion per se; it just means that instead of obsessing over germs or door locks, a person obsesses over God. Sometimes the person is not even religious, just obsessional. But that really doesn't sound like the case with this person.
>
> I know what you mean about spreading confusion and doubt, and sometimes people who are very zeaolus may cause these feelings without meaning to. I had been a religious Lutheran for many years when I went into college; my roommate was from a Fundamentalist denomination and she would talk to me about how I wasn't "really" a Christian because I did not accept a 7-day creation, etc. etc. This was the beginning of a slippery slope for me (see my post with my faith journey above) that started me asking questions and wound up making me choose first Fundamentalism, and then when that made no sense, I was nothing at all (agnostic, basically) for many years. In recent years I have found a different Christian denomination that answers the big questions for me. I am glad to have come to that understanding; however, if I had not met my husband I probably would have remained agnostic. The conversations that started with my roommate just caused me to ask too many questions for my faith to ever stay the same as it was before I met her.

Hi Tovah,
You make some excellent points. Many "Fundamentalists" have a pretty shallow knowledge of their faith and can really do a number on someone they percieve as an "unbeliever". I don't mean that you must be a theologian or a Bible scholar either. I think it is better have a clearer understanding of one's own faith before you tell someone else that they are "wrong" or that they are going to hell" (that is between you and God, no one else can decide that at this moment in time) No true Christian is going to "tell you WHAT to believe", unless you ask them. That is something you learn as you grow in the faith. Yes, there a couple of basic beliefs you need to espouse to truly be a Christian, but not believing in the seven day creation is not one of them! It is not what you do NOT believe, but more what you DO believe. There are probably a number of things that I believe that you and Arrianna and others do not and that's OK for now. "Knock and the door shall be opened, seek and you shall find. Ask and it shall be given unto you." I always recommend reading C.S. Lewis' book "Mere Christianity", if they wish a clearer understanding of Christanity.
It can help to clear up a lot of things (IMHO)
MamaB

 

Re: double double quotes MamaB

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 20, 2003, at 23:53:42

In reply to Re: I see a few possibilities here..., posted by MamaB on October 20, 2003, at 17:55:09

> I always recommend reading C.S. Lewis' book "Mere Christianity", if they wish a clearer understanding of Christanity.

I'd just like to plug the double double quotes feature at this site:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#amazon

The first time anyone refers to a book without using this option, I post this to try to make sure he or she at least knows about it. It's just an option, though, and doesn't *have* to be used. If people *choose* not to use it, I'd be interested why not, but I'd like that redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20020918/msgs/7717.html

Thanks!

Bob

 

Re: Religious obsession or just Bi-polar??

Posted by daydreamer on December 29, 2003, at 14:09:35

In reply to Religious obsession or just Bi-polar??, posted by Arrianna on October 18, 2003, at 1:43:21

Funny..

you exclaimed-

"bi-polars will become overly-religious as a way to make sense of themselves?? They can also sometimes feel so good that they believe they are "heavenly spirits", have "grandios ideas" or as "intellectual geniuses". "

Do you know how many years Ive had to deal with my spirituality? Even my mother (who doesnt wish to believe shes bipolar)- believes herself some sort of "modern prophet".
She, for years, would tell me how
"special" I am spiritually to God and other beings. I, bing Bi-polar, beleived it.

But even then... before my mother even said anything..
as a child..
my spirituality was always very physical.. and intense.

I remember I was 8-- and was meditating.. listening to new age music and gregorian chants.
I felt God through music.. very physically, and still do.

But put yourself in my place. Youve had such a POWERFUL connection with the earth, energy, and God for so many years-- its become your own faith and a part of who you are.
Then imagine trying to explain your "feelings of spirituality" to a doctor..
and then they look at you and say.

"Oh--- that feeling of spirituality you think you have--- is just a disease"

Just think about that.

I really do feel I have a connection with God... and the earth-- like no other..
Whether or not it may seem crazy--


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