The Appropriate Christian Approach in Dispelling Mental Illness
With the many stresses that we encounter in the world today, there are many who are weak in the spirit who may suffer from mental illness. Conventional treatment of mental illness involves the possible use of psychoactive drugs, and psychotherapy. In a recent post by LifeWay Research they said “A third of Americans – and nearly half of evangelical, fundamentalist, or born-again Christians – believe prayer and Bible study alone can overcome serious mental illness.”
This is the reason why many churches across the country show support by establishing support groups for those who suffer from bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. Although prayer is an effective way to treat mental illness, it is still important for those who suffer from mental disorders to seek treatment from a mental health professional.
While some Christians think that it is sacrilegious to depend on man to dispel mental illnesses, the Bible does not condemn those who seek medical treatment for their maladies including mental illness. In Matthew 9:12 (NIV) “On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick”, Jesus encouraged his followers to seek medical treatment if they were suffering from an ailment. In fact, the Bible provides principles on those who want to seek medical help, and, at the same time, follow the rules of God.
The scripture says in Proverbs 14:15 (KJV) “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going”. This means that when seeking medical treatment, it is important that we search for reliable information and not put faith in every word by those who guarantee relief from your ailment. On the other hand, scripture also talks about seeking a second opinion. The passage reads “Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” Proverbs 15:22 (HCSB).
With these passages, the Bible says that it is okay for those who suffer from mental illness to seek treatment, but they have to exercise their judgement in choosing medical treatments that will help them improve their well-being. In fact, medical treatment and prayer should always go hand-in-hand with one another. While medical treatment focuses on the physical health of an individual, prayer deals with the overall well-being of the spirit. In fact, prayer and medical treatment, when used together, could be considered as a perfect solution to dispelling any type of mental illnesses.