A guest commented on my last post on “Spiritual Warfare in Manic Psychosis” and I wanted to continue the discussion of this state I experienced in my episodes back in 2004 and 2012. Their question was: “I’m very curious – how do you know when it’s spiritual warfare vs brain chemistry? Is it spiritual warfare or mixed up brain chemistry when I’m feeling my lowest? I’d love to know your take on that.”
As far as feeling depressed, there can be a number of reasons. You’d have to ask yourself, is it my attitude? Is it my lifestyle and life choices? Is it what I’ve sown in my thinking, and I’m reaping the results of where I’ve put my thoughts? Is it essentially a clinical reason – do I actually have a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia? Is it that I’m dabbling in things I shouldn’t, spiritually? Is it that I’m letting the lies of the enemy bring me down?
The reason you’re feeling low, depressed, or defeated could be attributed to one or more of the issues I just listed. If we’re talking spiritual warfare though, I know deception is a huge tactic that Satan can wield to get Christians off track. Look no further than Eve in the garden of Eden; 2 Corinthians 11:3 warns us of this: “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
Theologically speaking, the reason I chose to stop taking my medication in 2012 was because I was deceived. This was combined with an undercurrent of pride and blind faith, leading me to the forefront of the spiritual battle for my mind. But if we’re in our right mind thinking clearly, there’s less room for the enemy to persuade us.
Unfortunately, both at the onset of my bipolar disorder in 2004 and the detour from my medications in 2012, the lack of correct brain chemistry left my mind and psyche wide open for spiritual targeting. It was as if my spirit/mind was naked with my brain chemistry askew. If you were to go inside my head during that time, you would have seen a myriad of supernatural and abnormal things all occurring in rapid fire:
- a wilder imagination
- more vivid dreams
- a stronger sense of deja vu
- paranoia or fear of the unknown
- a sensitivity to the unseen spiritual forces
- a puffed-up sense of importance
- at times hearing voices of demons (that occurred only once for me while I was switching medications abruptly as a teenager)
- abilities to experience God in unique ways (I believe He met me in my craziness and allowed me to hear Him saying things I otherwise couldn’t)
- a stronger sense of spiritual activity
It was as if I went to the front lines of battle in this frame of mind. I opened Pandora’s box and it wasn’t good. Psychedelic drugs do have a reputation for being a door to the demonic, and with switching psychotropic medications I think there was a definite relationship. That’s why it is crucial that when your brain chemistry is off, whether you take these medications or don’t, you find a good psychiatrist as soon as possible to find the right medications that will bring you back into reality.
I know that sounds superstitious, out there, what have you, but I cannot deny my experiences. I know the Bible doesn’t really cover this in depth (although Paul and John are known to have other-worldly type experiences), but in my opinion, there is an explanation for mental illness and the spiritual forces at work to take advantage of those who are sick in their minds. That’s why I am such a proponent for medications. They work. I’m living proof of that. Not everyone has such an easy time finding the right balance, but I credit my success to God’s provision, and my lifestyle of talk therapy, exercise, reading the Bible, journaling, taking my medications, eating right, etc. But mostly the medications. I cannot stress that enough. The symptoms are at bay since getting on the right medicine.
Ephesians 6:13 follows what verse I quoted in the last post regarding not wrestling against flesh and blood but “against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Verse 13 states, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. “ This armor is crucial to our covering and stamina in the midst of a spiritual battle. That important concept is for another post. Until then, stay brave.