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Pray it away?

Have you been a victim? Or have you contributed to your own stigma?

by Duckysmom » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:43 am

I am not a religious person, but I am spiritual. For the record, I was baptized Catholic as a baby, raised Protestant and baptized as a born again 12 years ago. But stopped attending church years ago after several bad experiences with people who didn't practice what they preached. I ended a friendship several months ago for getting way to pushy with her new-found religion, insisting I would get better if I would just go to her church and let Jesus back in life.
And once again, I have ended a friendship. I was told I needed to pray harder, longer, with more vigor and I could get off my meds and be healed.
Say what?
Got into quite the argument. Somehow it is my sin that created this. "Uh, chemical imbalance and traumatization, dude." God, doesn't make mistakes. "He pretty much fucked up here. Sorry." It is sin to be angry with Him and that's what's holding me back. "Oh, I'm way past that stage. And even Jesus had his moment of frustration. Have you read the bible?"
So this conversation came without prompting from me. I said I was in the hospital and on restricted return to work. And suddenly I'm a sinner and would be healed if I gave up my sin and prayed.
This is not meant to be a condemnation of religious points of view. But i initially tried to educate this person on my illness, but gave up. Stigmatized by someone I thought was a friend, whose offers of prayers I readily accepted, then who turned on me in some odd form of "kindness". I got sarcastic and even angry - not good to make a manic person angry. So, yes, I sinned when I told him to take a flying leap into a vat of batshit. Oops!
I believe in prayer. I believe in whatever Higher Power there is and I believe in everyone's right to follow that. I think spirituality can help some people deal with this shit we all go through. I hate losing friends. I have so few in RL these days.
Maybe I should have put this in Rants. But it is stigma that made this happen, I think. And I hope I didn't offend anyone.
Maybe those who believe in God/Allah/the Higher Power/Mother Earth could send up some words to help me get over this.
"Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one."
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by Pancake » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:56 am

Big hugs DM.

That kind of narrow minded knowitall busybody judgmental nonsense doesn't matter if it comes from a religion, vegan, antivaxxer, tiny house off-gridder, paleo dieter, doomsday prepper or self-styled diet and fitness guru, it's not fun to deal with. Some of them give everyone else a bad name... I find it awfully and hypocritically intolerant.

* not trashing vegans. Most vegans I know are ace.
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by Jac68 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:56 am

I have a very similar experience w/religion (baptized 3 times 3 different religions)

My family and I went to the same church for years. Then they hired a new pastor. He was there a couple of years. One day he made a FB post that basically said that depression was Satan trying to control you, and that if we put it in God's hands life would get better (paraphrasing). I lost it on the pastor. Told him people have a hard enough time dealing with their mental illness & the stigma. Told him it was dangerous to tell people they can pray it away. Didn't go back.

I still believe in God, and he has a reason for everything. Even though I don't know what he has in mind.

I know several church goers who are understanding. It's just a shame people can't practice what they preach.

You did right by getting rid of people who are self righteous and don't bother educating themselves.
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by OceanBlue » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:10 am

Ugh. I can't stand that, it makes me cringe. So I'm a seminarian & I have to deal with these issues in the church. I hope to be a teacher of theology & in doing that also help correct the stigma and misunderstandings of mental illness in general in the church. The idea of praying it away or having more faith is much too common. My mom while depressed was told, "Oh you need to pray more" or "Oh you need more faith." She felt like something was deeply wrong with her because of her lack of faith. It made her feel worse. I do believe in prayer, don't get me wrong. But if someone gets sick, it's not because you don't pray enough or lack of faith. That's ridiculous. Of course i'm more sensitive about it because I experience it.
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by KittyFox » Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:35 pm

That kind of behavior turns my stomach. It's insensitive and rude. But at the same time I understand that it's a fear-based form of denial that causes such blind and illogical reactions. I'd rather be the way I am now than to be so afraid that I behave in that manner. It seems like a terrible way to live life.
I wasn't raised any particular way. My Mother was raised Protestant and my Father Catholic. But they were hippies once they were old enough to be on their own, so that meant they didn't push ideologies onto their children. My paternal grandparents were very Catholic, especially my Grandmother (who was really not a nice person at all, even my Husband hated her and my Husband is the kind of man that hates and judges NO ONE). She would constantly buy me religious gifts and tell me that Jesus and the Lord could save me and all that hogwash.

It's hard losing friends. I lost THE best friend I ever had, we'd known each other half our lives, a few months ago. Long story there, but the sense of further isolation doesn't help at all with BP, at least for me. I'm sorry you had to go through that situation. How sincerely unpleasant. I send you love and light.
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by Mocha » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:16 am

I swear, I thought I had replied to this topic last night......but obviously not.......:roll:....

The title caught my attention because of my upbringing (bio family shoved religion down my throat like you wouldn't believe...Southern Baptist, down in the Bible Belt...omg.....I wasn't having any of it and my biological sister in particular. No offense to any of you, but it wasn't my thing, and I don't buy into any type of organized religion period.
Again, that's just me......I'm not judging anyone who does. Everyone has a right to believe whatever gets them through the night.

Now back to my 'holier-than-thou' bio sister....whom I haven't seen in over 30 years. (Along with the rest of the bio family).

Bio sister told me I was just filled with Satan and if I would just get right with god all my problems would go away. She was crazier than me.....:lol:.....And btw, did I mention she's one of my biggest triggers ever? That's why I cut off contact with her all those years ago.

Oh and get this.......her daughter also has bp, and she told her the same thing........that her only problem is that she's filled with Satan.....oy fucking vey. Fortunately, her daughter is like me and laughed in her face and got help from pdoc and tdoc. she's doing just fine now.

This woman is the most judgemental,supposed, Christian I've ever met. Our nick name for her is 'Miss First Baptist'.. :twisted: ..that's because she's in the church everytime the door opens......:lol:

What a complete fake.....

I bet 'Miss First Baptist' is one of those who thinks you can "Pray The Gay Away" too.... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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by Duckysmom » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:22 am

Why does it seem that the most "faithful" are also the most judgemental? And sometimes the most immature? The friend I walked away from a few months ago, I really enjoyed being with until every contact was a push to get me in her church and give my illness over to God. I finally told her off after gently pushing back. I was even polite until I realized polite was not ever going to work.
Her husband and my BF had become fast friends after their first meeting. When I ended my friendship with her, she told her husband he couldn't be friends with Bill anymore, that he would be disrespectful to her.
He told Bill that he asked her what grade she was in and if she could point that part out in the bible. And he is a man of faith, who attends church every week, bows before every meal.
So they are still friends. We just don't do couples things anymore.
"Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one."
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by mps2391 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:22 pm

Thanks for posting this. Another user shared it with me. I'm going through something similar although it's just been one person from my church. She wanted me to see her counselor that way the diagnosis could be "erased". The rest of the people who know have been supportive but again try to bring God into everything. I haven't been going for a while just because I am angry that this happened to me. I am worried what everyone else at church will think. And my biggest fear is that they'll say it happened because of my sin and I need to pray to make it go away.
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by Pancake » Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:55 pm

mps, I'll start with an 'I'm an anti-religious atheist that doesn't care what you believe no matter how daft I think it is, just be nice to people' disclaimer.

People who think they know better than history, science, your doctors and you, and think they can tell you what to do, don't deserve your time. They're the ones who give religion a bad name, and I think (hope?) represent a minority, if a particularly opinionated, noisy one.

I might be oversimplifying things, but maybe if your entire church was going to jump on the same bandwagon, you could think about finding a more tolerant church.

Remind me, you see a therapist right? Maybe they can help you assert some boundaries with this person?
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by Polrus » Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:12 pm

Isn't there something in the constitution about separation of church and the mentally ill? That's about something else? Really? They should put my one in too.

Build a wall, lol.
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by Jemane » Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:42 pm

I grew up in a cult and the leaders stopped my suicidally depressed father from seeking medical help for his illness as psychiatry was 'evil'. He almost killed himself but we stopped him and disobeyed our cult leaders by getting him admitted to hospital (our first act of defiance against the cult which helped up to eventually move on from it). It made me so angry.
I then became a leader/preacher in a Pentecostal church (complete with tongues, prophesy, arm waving etc etc) and when I became unwell and very depressed was told I just needed to pray more.
Needless to say I'm now an atheist bordering on anti-theist, but like pancake I respect people who have beliefs (as long as these beliefs don't hurt anyone).
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by mom6 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:17 am

Ducks mom, thank you 4 sharing that story. I know it must hurt tremendously. I Also experienced Christian rejection. How sad to lose one of your supports. We all know how precious those can be. My son's friends father picked him up an hour I told him I was bipolar. I did not particularly care about his friendship but I cared about my son's friendship. It just made me cry for him. I am Proud that you stuck up for yourself to a very holier than thou person. I Don't care other peoples version of God. My God doesn't work like that. Your friend must be under a lot of pressure if her god is that vindictive. I am glad that you are weeding out the people in your life do not help you.I am weeding some of my own.
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by robinrules » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:07 am

Caught a bad cold so I been away from the group. I am back. Missed you guys. Been there done that with religious folks. They are fake people of God. They are so uneducated with mental illness. When I would have asthma problems, they would say see a doctor take your asthma meds. But not mental illness. That is why so many church folks commit suicide. My belief is God gave me bipolar to help others with mental illness. I don't answer to man just God. I still follow my treatment plan because I can't help others if I am sick. You do you forget them church folk.
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by Sandyal » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:48 pm

Please don't lose your faith. I am a member of an independent Baptist church. Gasp! My daughter was recently diagnosed. I have talked to my pastor and his wife on several occasions about her and my little brother,who has paranoid schizophrenia. They have both been so supportive. I am thankful that they are not ignorant about mental health issues. They both agree that a combination of therapy and/ or meds should be utilized. Also, I'm finding out that bp is a lot more common than most people realize. I personally don't believe that you have to go to church to have a relationship with God. I will be praying for you to stay strong.
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by Question » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:01 pm

New to forum and just saw this and thought it was interesting.
I'm not BP. Just had someone in my life who was.
I just wanted to put it out there
1) I know some with bp have a hard time accepting diagnosis. Do you think family and friends do too and maybe it's not really about religion.
2) in a lot of ways they cannot help. Only a trained professional can. Do you think they struggle dealing with the ups and downs they experience when with you too and not being able to do anything about it. A lot of people turn to God/ religion when they feel helpless or down.
I've never been to the "bible belt" but if you believever in God I understand you would see it as a source of help.
Of course I would think it a terrible idea to not be on meds and therapy etc.
Hope this makes sense.
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by Pancake » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:54 pm

Question you sound like a very tolerant person looking at different perspectives.

The OP's former friend is free to believe whatever she wants, but we have to live with our reality as it is. Someone who is unwilling to learn, and who constantly questions our treatment based on zero amount of knowledge, fact or evidence can add additional unnecessary stressors when we are already fighting a war inside our own head. At times we are highly vulnerable and sometimes we just have to set boundaries.
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by Sovereign » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:45 pm

I have nothing but bad experiences with strongly religous people. I always end up in an argument with them. God is perfect so he creates perfect, my ass. If sin is somehow involved, if sin is somehow the reason you and we are bipolar, that means our bipolarity is a punishment, right? So where is sin involved with kids being born with leukemia or HIV? Where is the sin in kids being blown up because they picked up an undetonated handgrenade in Afghanistan or DR Congo?

But then there's the alternative answer from the religious - maybe he's punishing the parents for something, through their child. Or maybe he layed this heavy burden of a bipolar child, or a schizophrenic child or whatever, onto these parents, because he KNEW they could handle it. But what's the point of that? How does that sound GOOD to you? I'm sorry but, If that's the way god operates, then he does not deserve our love and worship.

I think reality is much simpler, yet much more unsatisfying. It simply happens. The human brain is a very complex organ, and the more complex something is, the more can go wrong. Nature isn't perfect. It's produced weird specimens since the beginning, and if they function badly in their time/environment, they go extinct - if they function well, they might live on to become a different species entirely, over the course of millions of years that is.
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by cottontail » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:44 am

I am a spiritual person. I believe there is something more when you die just through experience. In any event next weekend I am going to see a clairvoiant :D :D I am really looking forward to it as I have never been before. Maybe she will tell me I am not mad and my voice is actually old great, great uncle Monte come for a visit.
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