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Psychological Abuse -


Margee
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I really tried hard this morning to find if this topic has ever been posted, so it wouldn't be repeated. Sorry if it is...I had to really look at this information for me and since I've read sooooo much on depression, panic disorder, ocd, etc.......I thought I would see if we could get a few new opinions on this matter.This would be pertaining to the 'doctrine of punishment'.

 

It seems like all the pieces of the puzzle are coming together at this rather late stage of life for me. Sad.... so much wasted life being down in the dumps, trying to be perfect for everyone and the big 'god' of the sky.Maybe, if I had of known I was 'serving' an abuser - I would have tried to get out of the relationship a lot earlier.

 

Maybe it is possible when you have the information about the affects religion has had on us, we can become much more aware of our mentals states and not be so hard on ourselves.

 

Now I understand that many humans have chemical imbalances (probably right from birth), but I also look at the amount of despair and depression that is in the world today, possible because a lot of us were exposed to the whole concept of heaven and hell since we were children.

 

The effect of the belief of a punishing god that has been indoctrinated and brainwashed in most of us, has left detrimental, psychological scars in our mind. I read on the posts, while searching this morn, that many have stated that you can't mix fundamental religions with these 'disorders' because it make them worse?

 

What if a lot of these 'disorders' are CAUSED BY religion??

 

If that might be the case, wouldn't it be a little, tiny bit easier to recover, just knowing and becoming aware that you have experienced Psychological abuse due to the doctrine of 'punishment'??

 

These are some of the world's 'disorder's...................

 

•Depression

•Panic Disorder

•Social anxiety disorder

•Generalized anxiety disorder

•Agoraphobia

•Bipolar disorder

•Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

•Post-traumatic stress disorder.

•ADHD

•Schizophrenia

•Anorexia nervosa

•Antisocial Personality Disorder

•Borderline Personality Disorder

•Schizophrenia

•Bulimia nervosa

 

Just needed to put this out here today. I am just looking over the article below and I see so many things that have pertained to my adult life (because of an abuser god) and yet I continued to run back to the 'abuser'??? The article below could easily be contributed to the god of the old testament.

 

........ maybe we can help heal one another somehow??

 

What is abuse? Psychological abuse:

 

Any act, including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.

This is sometimes called emotional abuse. Some researchers refer to it by formal terms such as "chronic verbal aggression".

 

Psychological abuse can make the person feel "less of a person". It diminishes the person's sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth. Abused people often find that psychological or emotional abuse is the most hurtful form of abuse.

Psychological abuse may make a person fearful or cause the person mental anguish. This may be done in several ways, including by:

  • making the people uncertain about themselves and their abilities (lowering their self esteem),
  • threatening some form of violence, or
  • threatening to abandon or neglect the person.

Psychological abuse includes behaviours such as:

  • Name calling,
  • Yelling,
  • Insulting the person,
  • Threatening the person or threatening to take away something that is important to them,
  • Imitating or mocking the person,
  • Swearing at them,
  • Ignoring,
  • Isolating the person,
  • Excluding them from meaningful events or activities.

Psychological abuse also happens when the adult is excluded from decision making when the person is capable and wants to be included (in other words, "making decisions for them"), and depriving them of their rights.

 

 

Some examples of psychological abuse: (3)

  • Threatening to use violence
  • Threatening to abandon them
  • Intentionally frightening them
  • Making them fear that they will not receive the food or care they need
  • Lying to them
  • Failing to check allegations of abuse against them
  • Insulting, swearing, or name calling
  • Making derogative or slanderous statements about them to others
  • Socially isolating them, or failing to let them have visitors

It can also include:

  • Withholding important information that they have a right to know
  • Demeaning them because of the language they speak
  • Intentionally misinterpreting their traditional practices
  • Repeatedly raising the issue of death with them
  • Telling them that they are too much trouble
  • Ignoring or excessively criticizing them
  • Being over-familiar and disrespectful
  • Unreasonably ordering them around
  • Treating them like servants
  • Treating them like children.

From this article: http://www.vchreact....ychological.htm

 

 

 

 

Here's an interesting 'you tube' called, 'Get them while their young' that goes along with this.........

 

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It's great that you start this thread because OCD just came up in this other thread: http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/48560-my-epic-struggle-with-christianity/

 

I don't know if it's the same with everybody but I'm pretty sure by now my OCD was caused by Christianity. That you were required to do some things to be a "good Christian": you had to pray regularly (at least after you got up and before going to sleep), you had to read the Bible regularly (at least one chapter each day), you had to attend church whenever there was a sermon (twice a week) etc. etc. Since I was a Pentacostal, of course I was also required to fight "demons" off and all the crazy stuff. We were also taught that everything you do outside of Christianity is a waste of time. A "good Christian" spends all his time with God, right? So anything else I did made me feel guilty. Or if I didn't get to read the Bible one day or didn't pray in the morning or before going to sleep - it all made me feel guilty, so all these things became rituals and I made sure never to miss them. There came the obsessive thoughts as well. My mind was always looking for the "sin" in my life. A "bad thought" made me feel extremely guilty, after all Jesus said anger=murder and lustful thought=fornication. So I developed a ritual that any time a "bad thought" came up I started to pray immediately, either in tongues or normally. And I desperately asked God to forgive me. I didn't want to risk that if Jesus comes back the next moment or if I get hit by a car I will go to Hell because I just had a bad thought and I didn't repent. So any time something like that happened I made sure to pray and ask for forgiveness immediately. This became a quite obsessive practice for me as well. I remember people on the street giving me strange looks because they thought I was talking to myself (actually I did, now I know GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif ). It became very unhealthy.

 

Since I deconverted all these obsessive and fearful thoughts and pressures to practice certain rituals are gone! So I can directly link my whole problem to Christianity! It was caused by Christianity!

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Interesting! I have also been thinking along the lines of that the god of the bible is abusive.

 

I liked the video except at the end, since I am not an atheist. ;)

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There is no doubt in my mind that at least part of my problem with depression was caused by Christianity. The episode when I was a teenager was 100% caused by the strict teachings about masturbation. The second episode which climaxed in 2004 was caused by three different things going wrong, one of which was me being bothered by my lack of a relationship with God. Back then, I didn't know what "Stockholm Syndrome" was, but would say now that it accurately describes how I felt. With me being a first-born, which tends to make people into perfectionists, I was a horrifically conscientious Christian. I have respect for Beck's cognitive triad, in which he theorizes that depression is caused by thinking that the self is worthless, the world is unfair, and the future is hopeless. The Christianity that I'm aware of teaches that we are worthless - that any worth we have only comes from God. Matthew 5:10 and 11 is just one of the many places where we are taught that we aren't to fit in with the world. As far as the future being hopeless, I was raised Arminian, so as John Bunyan puts it in Pilgrim's Progress, one is capable of being at the gates of heaven, and still go to hell.

 

Studying psychology has been a life saver for me on unlearning the ways I used to think and trying to do better. But I still have doubts that I will live long enough to get completely over the mindset of fundamentalism.

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There is no doubt in my mind that at least part of my problem with depression was caused by Christianity. The episode when I was a teenager was 100% caused by the strict teachings about masturbation. The second episode which climaxed in 2004 was caused by three different things going wrong, one of which was me being bothered by my lack of a relationship with God. Back then, I didn't know what "Stockholm Syndrome" was, but would say now that it accurately describes how I felt. With me being a first-born, which tends to make people into perfectionists, I was a horrifically conscientious Christian. I have respect for Beck's cognitive triad, in which he theorizes that depression is caused by thinking that the self is worthless, the world is unfair, and the future is hopeless. The Christianity that I'm aware of teaches that we are worthless - that any worth we have only comes from God. Matthew 5:10 and 11 is just one of the many places where we are taught that we aren't to fit in with the world. As far as the future being hopeless, I was raised Arminian, so as John Bunyan puts it in Pilgrim's Progress, one is capable of being at the gates of heaven, and still go to hell.

 

Studying psychology has been a life saver for me on unlearning the ways I used to think and trying to do better. But I still have doubts that I will live long enough to get completely over the mindset of fundamentalism.

Awesome Eugene! I hope you have much serenity for the rest of your life!

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Since I deconverted all these obsessive and fearful thoughts and pressures to practice certain rituals are gone! So I can directly link my whole problem to Christianity! It was caused by Christianity!

 

This is so wonderful Suzy!! I am beginning to feel the same way!! Wow - it took all this time to learn this............never too late............

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Well, God certainly does seem overly micro managerial now that I think about it.

 

It can be said that the fear of open and closed spaces is similar to the space of Heaven and Hell. Yes, I include Heaven. Why? Because Heaven and Hell are both places you will be stationed inside for ETERNITY. If we remain as the humans as we are, if we were to experience that, then it will make us feel confined and scared then wish for merciful escape. Over time we will go insane and be cripplingly obedient. No matter how good it supposedly is, it can and does become frightening.

 

No matter how insular we are, travel is a real human need, whether it be from New Zealand to Finland or that unknown corner of the town you live in. To deny travel to your faithful and your naughty children is not to be loving. Yes, it is psychologically abusive. No wonder why so many people in Christianity are afraid.

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Well, God certainly does seem overly micro managerial now that I think about it.

 

It can be said that the fear of open and closed spaces is similar to the space of Heaven and Hell. Yes, I include Heaven. Why? Because Heaven and Hell are both places you will be stationed inside for ETERNITY. If we remain as the humans as we are, if we were to experience that, then it will make us feel confined and scared then wish for merciful escape. Over time we will go insane and be cripplingly obedient. No matter how good it supposedly is, it can and does become frightening.

 

No matter how insular we are, travel is a real human need, whether it be from New Zealand to Finland or that unknown corner of the town you live in. To deny travel to your faithful and your naughty children is not to be loving. Yes, it is psychologically abusive. No wonder why so many people in Christianity are afraid.

I find this to be a very interesting point you have made Onyx!! Confined space - that would be scary for eternity........that's abuse too!!Wendytwitch.gif

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Yeah, in this context, I feel that Leibniz's dictum, "Best of all possible worlds" applies here because we can build cars, bicycles or even rockets to anywhere we want to go and there's nobody stopping us. It's at moments like this that I'm extremely grateful that we all live in this universe not some Plotemic nightmare where the limits is strictly enforced by God. I would rather we go to distant Planet Vulcan and so ad infinitum than being stopped by the Primus Mobile limit. (In the medieval cosmology, that's taken to mean "First mover" who is of course, God. To put it in perspective, outside the solar system, there's only God - in way, that's depressing because after God, what's left to explore?)

 

You know, while people sees skepticism and nonbelief as gloomy and existential, it's mostly not the case. It's very liberating because we are free to take the universe, the earth and ourselves as we are then go around making it a better place. No more sunk in a false sense of happiness, we make our happiness (eudaimonia; gaudus) and pleasure (voluptas). We make our knowledge (scientia). We do what we can (facile possunt). We will see evil and we will try to stop it to the best of our ability, sometimes after much infighting. (nos cessat malum.) And we live. (Vivamus...)

 

Our lives are not some deity's wishful thinking that we should bow down to him. We will stand as human beings that we are.

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Since I deconverted all these obsessive and fearful thoughts and pressures to practice certain rituals are gone! So I can directly link my whole problem to Christianity! It was caused by Christianity!

I assume you're being tongue in cheek. I know people with fairly severe OCD or anxiety who have not been at all burdened by Christianity. Like a lot of things, it is a genetic predisposition looking for a trigger. Christianity serves as an excellent trigger, to be sure, but so does toxic parenting or simple stress. Many people, I'm sure, would have it almost regardless of environment.

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Since I deconverted all these obsessive and fearful thoughts and pressures to practice certain rituals are gone! So I can directly link my whole problem to Christianity! It was caused by Christianity!

I assume you're being tongue in cheek. I know people with fairly severe OCD or anxiety who have not been at all burdened by Christianity. Like a lot of things, it is a genetic predisposition looking for a trigger. Christianity serves as an excellent trigger, to be sure, but so does toxic parenting or simple stress. Many people, I'm sure, would have it almost regardless of environment.

 

 

No, it wasn't tongue in the cheek at all. Christianity made me have obsessive thoughts, repetitive behavior, basically the symptoms those, as I have later discovered, are usually associated with OCD. Now, I don't know if I really had OCD or not, but I had those symptoms and they were surely caused by Christianity, just as I described above. Since I stopped worrying about Hell and doing or not doing something that would make God angry, I also stopped having these obsessive thoughts and repetitive behavior and all the things associated with OCD.

 

You say stress can bring it out. Now, to me Christianity meant an awful lot of stress. My thoughts were always at having to please God, not making one wrong step or else he will strike me down and so on. It was hell. There were times when this stress caused me physical pain. Together with the obsessive behavior. That's how bad it was. Basically the reason I stopped going to church about 10 years ago, was that I realized if I keep going I will go crazy. After I stopped going to church and I consciously decided to ease up the pressure on myself a little bit by letting myself get involved in other things as "God's things", my condition become better. But I still wasn't 100% healthy. I still had obsessive thoughts, fears of pissing off God with something because I still believed for another 10 years. It was about a year ago when I suddenly saw the light and realized Christianity is a big lie.

And after I deconverted ALL these things I described were totally gone. The obsessive thoughts, repetitive behavior, OCD-like symptoms were caused by this CONSTANT fear and guilt. And fear and guilt were caused by Christianity.

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No, it wasn't tongue in the cheek at all. Christianity made me have obsessive thoughts, repetitive behavior, basically the symptoms those, as I have later discovered, are usually associated with OCD.

In no way am I attempting to invalidate your experience -- I'm sure it was caused by Christianity and cured by coming out of Christianity. The only thing is that I think it's a bad idea to say "Christianity causes OCD" -- more like, "Christianity can be, and arguably often is, a primary cause of OCD". That allows for the fact that many Christians are not obsessive or anxious (although I think many are more so than they care to admit) and for the fact that many non-Christians ARE obsessive or anxious.

 

--Bob

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I didn't mean Christianity causes these problems for everybody and I don't think I said or suggested that. I'm well aware there are people perfectly happy being Christians. And there are many who aren't as happy as they pretend to be.

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  • 4 months later...

Margee, you're going to start thinking that I'm a cry-baby, but this post brought me on the verge of bursting into tears, I had to stop reading to contain myself because my kids were nearby.

 

I had never thought of God as a psychological abuser, in fact I had never read about the characteristics of one, so your description brought back all the unbearable memories of when I was in a relationship with him. I wish all the Christians who are unsatisfied with their personal relationship with God could read this, it would certainly bring some insight into their world.

 

It reminds me, I used to say to my ex-wife that she was psychologically abusing me and she would laugh. So in retrospect, she was a real Christian Child of God after all, just like her heavenly Father.

 

Thank you for posting this, I know there is a lot of research behind it, you didn't just write from the top of your head. I'm benefitting from your work and I am grateful that you are a member here. Your contribution is great and I haven't even read half of what you have posted yet. My recovery will come about faster because of you. Thanks again.

 

I love that "Get Them While They're Young" video BTW.

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I wonder how many of us are screwed up here at ex-C. I've had the thought before. We ought to have an inhouse shrink. :)

 

It makes me sad to think that we may have many intelligent people here who are damaged.

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It makes me sad to think that we may have many intelligent people here who are damaged.

 

Wah, wah, woof-woof, duh, watt mmmmm muh makes you think agn-agn-any ova of us igz damaged? Wendybanghead.gif

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It makes me sad to think that we may have many intelligent people here who are damaged.

 

Wah, wah, woof-woof, duh, watt mmmmm muh makes you think agn-agn-any ova of us igz damaged? Wendybanghead.gif

 

 

I'd laugh if it wasn't so serious Denyoz. It makes me sad.

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Margee, you're going to start thinking that I'm a cry-baby, but this post brought me on the verge of bursting into tears, I had to stop reading to contain myself because my kids were nearby.

 

I had never thought of God as a psychological abuser, in fact I had never read about the characteristics of one, so your description brought back all the unbearable memories of when I was in a relationship with him. I wish all the Christians who are unsatisfied with their personal relationship with God could read this, it would certainly bring some insight into their world.

 

It reminds me, I used to say to my ex-wife that she was psychologically abusing me and she would laugh. So in retrospect, she was a real Christian Child of God after all, just like her heavenly Father.

 

Thank you for posting this, I know there is a lot of research behind it, you didn't just write from the top of your head. I'm benefitting from your work and I am grateful that you are a member here. Your contribution is great and I haven't even read half of what you have posted yet. My recovery will come about faster because of you. Thanks again.

 

I love that "Get Them While They're Young" video BTW.

i just can't wait to hear you in a year!!! You cry all you want and get that poison out!! You have been abused by the christian god himself and that takes time to heal my friend!!

 

go have a look at this and have a little laugh for yourself tonight!!

http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/50292-the-fall-very-serious/page__fromsearch__1

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Denyoz, I don't remember welcoming you to ex-C before.

 

If I haven't then please know that you are welcome here.

 

And if I have, then please overlook me repeating myself. I lose track sometimes.

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Denyoz, I don't remember welcoming you to ex-C before.

 

If I haven't then please know that you are welcome here.

 

And if I have, then please overlook me repeating myself. I lose track sometimes.

 

Legion, you are not repeating yourself. I gladly welcome your welcome. Thank you man.

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Hello to the members of the ex-christian.net forum, I've only recently discovered this place, lurked very briefly, signed up an account, lurked a little bit more, and finally saw this topic.

 

The part about mental disorders is the key thing for me, coupled with consideration of spirituality, religion, God, and where I stand. I don't know yet what I've decided about Christianity, specifically when it comes to the whole "believe in Jesus and be saved" and the only residual consideration I give to this notion is the feeble Pascal's Wager. My spirit of defiance feels stronger than this suggestion to sell out.

 

I have some pretty strong feelings about God, specifically the one described in the Bible (specifically the Old Testament) and Christianity, and I really don't like Him, with homicidal enthusiasm. The mental disabilities exacerbates this.

 

A few months ago I had a brain scan done on me, and I received a clinical diagnosis which says I've got four of the conditions described in the OP's list of disorders. I don't think religion did me any favors, but they were definitely there before the coming and going of Christianity in my life. The problems they cause me in life (and the fact that I and anyone else has these difficulties in the first place) helped move me away from the psychological horror of religion.

 

Hope everyone's doing okay. :)

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•Depression

•Panic Disorder

•Social anxiety disorder

•Generalized anxiety disorder

•Agoraphobia

•Bipolar disorder

•Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

•Post-traumatic stress disorder.

•ADHD

•Schizophrenia

•Anorexia nervosa

•Antisocial Personality Disorder

•Borderline Personality Disorder

•Schizophrenia

•Bulimia nervosa

 

I think when we talk about christianity and certain disorders, we need to make a definition between the ones that are biological in origin and the ones that are reactive in origin. Some disoders can fit into both categories, such as depression. I believe that it is entirely possible for reactive depression to be a result of christianity, or any other circumstance in life that affects one negatively. However, biological depression occurs as a result of a chemical imbalance, and my dad himself has struggled with biological depression since the age of 12.

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder really speaks for itself. It can arise out of any traumatic experience, even a minor car accident. So I agree that it is entirely possible that it could have been caused by bad religious experiences for some people.

 

Generally, bipolar disorder must have a genetic component. There is a pre-disposition to it, and then it requires a trauma trigger to emerge. The trauma trigger could be religious, or it could be something like someone losing their job; it just has to be traumatic to the person personally. One thing I have noticed about families in which bipolar disorder is evident, is also the evidence of epilepsy, and I am not the only one to notice it- the researchers are starting to question the epilepsy-bipolar link, too (I only know so because I have a friend working on a research project into schizophrenia at a research university, and I raised it with her, because I was seemingly the first bipolar case in my family, though we have epilepsy. My teenage cousin is now showing early signs, so it is beginning to look like we have bipolar in there somewhere. And for some reason, it's only the women who are getting affected with either.).

 

As far as schizophrenia goes, well, as far as I am aware there is a genetic component, and also a reaction to drugs component, particularly marijuana. One girl I spent time with in a psych ward once told me that she should be the poster child for anti-marijuana campaigners. I asked her what she meant by that, and she told me that she had had a great life, she was mentally well, fully-functioning... and then had one cone of pot, and BAM! She was fucked, mentally, taking the highest dose of anti-psychotics that they could give her every day, and still suffering enough symptoms to require regular hospitalisation. She was really unwell. Drugs can and do fuck people up mentally. I've seen it enough. The mother of three of my sisters and two of my brothers is so fucked, she doesn't even know what reality is.

 

As far as the anxiety disorders, yeah, religion could cause those in some people, though I dare say others will have a genetic component, and others will be caused by drugs, again. My fiancee had a really bad trip on LSD over a decade ago, and is still slowly recovering from the anxiety that it brought into his life. Same deal with agorophobia. He is now at the stage, though, where he enjoys going out and is a lot more out-going, but he still has his bad times.

 

OCD? I don't know enough about it to really say for sure. I have my own obsessive-compulsive traits, but they didn't come from religion. For instance, I can't handle smells, body-odour in particular. You don't want to know the lengths I go to to eradicate every possible form of it from myself. But I know where that came from- in high-school, there was still girl who smelled terrible- she obviously had some issue that she needed to see a gyno for. Ever since, I have feared smelling.

 

I can't comment on ADHD or ADD- I don't know anything much about them.

 

The eating disorders could be caused in some people by religion- I know the whole concept of fasting certainly messed me around enough. Not to mention the obsession with beauty, thinness, and success that you see in enough pentecostal churches- I always felt that they put a disproportionate amount of pressure on women to be "perfect", tying up their self-worth with their looks.

 

Anti-Social Personality Disorder is something that people are born with. I'm dead-set convinced about that. These people are not the abused, they are the abusers.

 

Borderline Personality Disorder generally comes about from experiencing severe, prolonged, childhood trauma. I did a lot of research into this one, because it was one of my misdiagnoses. Sure, I had a shitload of trauma as a kid, but that doesn't mean that every child who has shitloads of trauma as a kid will get it. One of the reasons why I got the diagnosis is because of some scars on my arm- cutting is a common symptom of Borderline PD. Thing is, I'm not a cutter- they just never believed me when I told them the reason for the scars. A few years ago, I was driving along with my cat in the car. He loved driving, and was a good traveller, so I never restrained him. I didn't realise that he was on the top of my seat with his head out the window (this particular cat was very dog-like; he even played fetch!), and I have electric windows in my car, and I wound up the window and accidentally caught his head in it. He, of course, freaked out, and nearly five years later I still have the scars on my arm. Took 3 years before they'd believe me; I had to point out that I'm right-handed, and the scars are on the top of my right arm. And offer to show them the scratches that remain in the vinyl upholstery. Fortunately my psych nurse has a cat.

 

So, that's what I think. Too many possible causes to put all of the disorders in the world down to religion alone, though I know that in my case, religion certainly did not help me in dealing with my bipolarity, but made it worse. I've left religion, but bipolar remains. It is definitely easier to deal with it, though, and I reckon that the same would be true for many other disorders, whatever the cause of them.

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Hello to the members of the ex-christian.net forum, I've only recently discovered this place, lurked very briefly, signed up an account, lurked a little bit more, and finally saw this topic.

 

The part about mental disorders is the key thing for me, coupled with consideration of spirituality, religion, God, and where I stand. I don't know yet what I've decided about Christianity, specifically when it comes to the whole "believe in Jesus and be saved" and the only residual consideration I give to this notion is the feeble Pascal's Wager. My spirit of defiance feels stronger than this suggestion to sell out.

 

I have some pretty strong feelings about God, specifically the one described in the Bible (specifically the Old Testament) and Christianity, and I really don't like Him, with homicidal enthusiasm. The mental disabilities exacerbates this.

 

A few months ago I had a brain scan done on me, and I received a clinical diagnosis which says I've got four of the conditions described in the OP's list of disorders. I don't think religion did me any favors, but they were definitely there before the coming and going of Christianity in my life. The problems they cause me in life (and the fact that I and anyone else has these difficulties in the first place) helped move me away from the psychological horror of religion.

 

Hope everyone's doing okay. smile.png

 

Welcome to Ex-C, Tristan! It's good to see you here- hope you'll stick around a bit and get to know us :)

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Psychological abuse can make the person feel "less of a person". It diminishes the person's sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth. Abused people often find that psychological or emotional abuse is the most hurtful form of abuse.

Psychological abuse may make a person fearful or cause the person mental anguish. This may be done in several ways, including by:

  • making the people uncertain about themselves and their abilities (lowering their self esteem), You're a wicked sinner!
  • threatening some form of violence, or If you don't repent, you will burn in hell forever!!!
  • threatening to abandon or neglect the person. Same thing as above. If we don't do what God says, he'll cut us off from him and thus by default, we end up in hell.

 

There are other ways this parellels with abuse.

 

-Making us feel completely dependant on God. Christians are good at making you feel like there is no meaning apart from God. They argue that atheists and non believers have no meaning or no hope because they don't have God in their life. Also, as I said above, they argue that there can be no happiness apart from God. Therefore, since God provides ours lives and happiness, he can threaten to cut that off if he's not pleased with us.

 

-Treating us like property: This is mostly Calvinism, but there's that horrible verse about the potter (God) having right over the pots (clay). Meaning we don't have any control over our lives.

 

-If you love me you'll: Christians are very good at this. They say the number 1 command is to love god (which is messed up on it's own, you can't demand love), but that if we love God, we'll follow his strict set of rules 100% no compromise. Which leads to

 

-Threatening us if we leave: If we leave God, we're horrible people who will be punished even more harshly since we knew the "truth". In fact, some Christians argue that if we don't love God we hate him. There's no healthy medium, we either follow that narrow path by loving God or we're his enemies, choosing Satan instead of God. When the "truth" is presented like this, hating god becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

 

-Extremely controlling. http://www.saintaquinas.com/mortal_sin.html That's a list of mortal sins. Many of which are controlling your thoughts and emotions. Quite a few of these forbid even questioning things (such as salvation or God's existance).

 

-Blaming us for everything that goes wrong. God didn't answer your prayers? Must be your fault! Going to hell? You're fault! You "choose" hell when you reject God. Can't pass God's "tests"? You're too weak! You're giving into sin! Even though according to the same theology, god is all powerful and can easily fix things, it's all somehow our fault.

 

Worst of all

 

-ETERNAL HELLFIRE, one of the most horrific concepts known to man. Not only threatening us with it, but telling us we deserve it. Some churches force you to actually believe that you deserve that fate as a requirement for salvation. (as scared as I was of hell, I could not honestly believe I or anyone else deserved it). If you honestly believe you and everyone else deserves something as horrible as hell, you can justify anything. Any kind of suffering can be considered the grace of God for sparing us from hell. It's amazing how cold hearted and insane you can be if you honestly believe that everyone deserves such a horrific fate. While the other teachings are bad, they wouldn't have nearly as much weight if it weren't for the doctrine of eternal torment.

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