RachelSkates

Mental Illness

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I am going to confess that Xianity drove me crazy. I was frail before, but now I am actually mentally ill. 

 


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Haha, how concise. And relatable, tbh.

I was raised into Christianity, and accepting that it's all fantasy was painful and still persists to be painful as fuck. At times of weakness anyway.

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Having watched several friends battle mental illness, and several were in various denominations, I'd have to agree that church often makes it worse. By convincing people that their troubles are based on invisible creatures tempting them into displeasing another invisible creature that will be pissed and burn them alive, I can see how that would contribute to someone becoming desperate. I've seen pastors get enthralled with "spiritual discernment" and became self-assured that their discernments were coming from god instead of their own whims and emotions (and in many congregations, the pastor is protected by fanatic followers who will misquote "touch not the Lord's annointed!!!!" anytime the pastor is criticized).

 

Other friends drove themselves into manic states due to the immense emotional pressure that the church put on them to be "Warriors for Christ". One did a marathon prayer session, intent on receiving the Spirit (key point), and flipped into a manic state where he claimed to experience angels talking to him, didn't need to sleep for days (key symptom of a manic state), claimed to have insights into who was and wasn't a believer just by looking at them, claimed visions from god about various things. Since I'd watched another friend go through something similar while being involved with Maranatha (a pentecostal campus group), I knew he would reach a crash point, and he did. The problem with the crash (where the body just can't take it any more) is that the person interprets it as having offended god and now the spirit left him/her, so the depression cycle starts or hopefully just a realization that something very odd happened and now reality has returned.

 

One friend opted to join the Catholic church because the rituals and relative quiet soothed him and gave him an expected routine. He toyed with becoming a monk, but they are pretty adept at picking out those who "should" be monks, and not using it as an escape.

 

Outside of actual chemical balance issues, the church certainly fosters beliefs in imaginary beings (good and bad), imaginary magic powers for people (discernment, prophesies, speaking in tongues, spiritual warfare and weaponry), and a feeling of being part of something special, holy, and eternal that will be lost if one leaves. It is all poop and completely imaginary. If the other people weren't there claiming it is all true and real, most of its power over people would be lost. It is other people that create the staying power.

 

Here's to finding your own way and strength, and real friends who can help you ride your roller-coaster to safety.

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Great post @Fuego, I agree. What else does the church foster, or more specifically, the church community? I can speak a bit to what the fundamentalist community fosters. Due to the extremism present in my ex-community, it was completely impossible to live up to the all the different rules and regulations. As a result, you are left with a feeling of complete inadequacy and sinfulness. You go through this vicious cycle where you get them forgiven, and as soon as that happens, you are inevitably sinning again, because it's unavoidable (even thoughts are sinful, anyone care to tell me how you can control your thoughts to this degree?)

 

When you add mental illness to these beliefs, it can be disastrous. Mental illness is challenging enough on its own. Someone with depression doesn't need fundamentalism telling them that they're rotten and sinful at their very core. I have seen attempted suicide as a result of these toxic beliefs mixed with mental illness. I really cant overstate how Christianity messes with one's self esteem and self concept. The worst of it is that believers love to talk about how Christianity is about love and forgiveness and grace. And they're incapable of holding up and examining their god in light of these standards. Those who do, often end up here.

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Those are harrowing stories and I can so relate. The other trouble is that life is short and by pinning your long term hopes on a fantasy, you cut of opportunity. We have to start building a life around age 20. You can't have it all on hold till 50 and think God will now swoop in and give you all the things you missed because you were in a cult.

 

So half of it is that it cuts you off from rational choices and you live on "Faith".

 

I was in a cult which honoured poverty and trust and all that. Well now, I am alone, poor, ill and m y life is actually the greatest testimony of hte bullshit of God as I have ever seen.  I tried to witness once and a friend cut me off and said, "Rachel, whatever God YOU worship is a God I want NOTHING to do with!!!"

 

I was trying to show I was holding in there because of God's Grace and all and to them, my life was a scary and painful nightmare.

 

They said in one sentence what I never saw. I was in my own head, grappling with God, thinking I was being strong in his love. But to an outsider?  What a pathetic life!!!!!

 

I only stick around because I have fmaily who loves me. Believe it or not, I really do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The bible almost seems designed to cause mental illness. It's a bunch of crazy stories with bad morality. But then the Christian community claims it is the highest authority on morality. It's like psychological poison.

 

7 hours ago, RachelSkates said:

So half of it is that it cuts you off from rational choices and you live on "Faith".

 

I was in a cult which honoured poverty and trust and all that. Well now, I am alone, poor, ill and m y life is actually the greatest testimony of hte bullshit of God as I have ever seen.  I tried to witness once and a friend cut me off and said, "Rachel, whatever God YOU worship is a God I want NOTHING to do with!!!"

 

 

It sounds like you were in a version of Christianity that loved poverty and hated wealth. You live this whole life poor so that you can get a mansion in the sky after you die. But if you weren't supposed to be pining after riches, then why is the reward for your godly lifestyle to receive the wealthy life you were taught to dislike? It is nonsense that messes with your mind.

 

You can still rearrange your mental framework to live a better life. It is never too late to change your own internal narrative. Christianity encourages gloomy apocalyptic thinking, constant self-doubt and worry about sin, and sees mental episodes as affirmations that angels and demons are real. It is undoubtedly the catalyst for many mental illnesses.

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On 20/03/2018 at 1:24 AM, RachelSkates said:

I am going to confess that Xianity drove me crazy. I was frail before, but now I am actually mentally ill. 

 


""

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the same for me, but until I did something about my mental illness I was at the mercy of a spooky father figure.

 

I found my own road to recovery, and let my conscience guide me. However it's not all sunshine and rainbows, but I must tell you how awesome it is to be free from superstitious believing.

 

When you look at it there is only us, and when we lose sight of us and focus on "I am" beings, then shit gets messed up. 

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On 3/21/2018 at 5:38 PM, theanticrash said:

This was the same for me, but until I did something about my mental illness I was at the mercy of a spooky father figure.

 

I found my own road to recovery, and let my conscience guide me. However it's not all sunshine and rainbows, but I must tell you how awesome it is to be free from superstitious believing.

 

When you look at it there is only us, and when we lose sight of us and focus on "I am" beings, then shit gets messed up. 

How did you do it? I have no mental health insurance. I have had pro bono for a few sessions in crisis times, but nothing much. I have self helped my self into a state of confusion. I bought the BDT handbook and read the text, too. It was OK and helped for a while, but then it all went to hell again. I also read a book on ACT and learned CBT on vids. But whatever is in my head laughs at it. So far, no dice. 

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3 hours ago, RachelSkates said:

How did you do it? I have no mental health insurance. I have had pro bono for a few sessions in crisis times, but nothing much. I have self helped my self into a state of confusion. I bought the BDT handbook and read the text, too. It was OK and helped for a while, but then it all went to hell again. I also read a book on ACT and learned CBT on vids. But whatever is in my head laughs at it. So far, no dice. 

The first thing I did was learn to accept my mental illness, and deal with the fear of going psychotic.

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9 hours ago, theanticrash said:

The first thing I did was learn to accept my mental illness, and deal with the fear of going psychotic.

 

That is not what the trouble is. The trouble is I live in places where I expereince high levels of stress, like a mining operation for one. Can't move. not money, so no sleep etc and makes me sick. Two is that the religious part won't leave and I fear it ........three, no support, no money, no job, no income, no friends, no partner.......family that cannot help, though I love them. Physical illness (neuro and genetic) and truly, I have hung on more than anyone I know would. I have been through it on top of being born diasabled. Abuse by clergy and hten partner abuse and then more and more....................it never stops. I believe in god only because all these things would not have happened without one to hate me. My therapist, when I had that pro bonon one, just laughed, "It never stops with you, does it" My last partner spent a lot of time laughing about my life being a cabaret. And funny, it can get even worse. I am about a week from being homeless. Then I will die. 

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10 minutes ago, RachelSkates said:

 

That is not what the trouble is. The trouble is I live in places where I expereince high levels of stress, like a mining operation for one. Can't move. not money, so no sleep etc and makes me sick. Two is that the religious part won't leave and I fear it ........three, no support, no money, no job, no income, no friends, no partner.......family that cannot help, though I love them. Physical illness (neuro and genetic) and truly, I have hung on more than anyone I know would. I have been through it on top of being born diasabled. Abuse by clergy and hten partner abuse and then more and more....................it never stops. I believe in god only because all these things would not have happened without one to hate me. My therapist, when I had that pro bonon one, just laughed, "It never stops with you, does it" My last partner spent a lot of time laughing about my life being a cabaret. And funny, it can get even worse. I am about a week from being homeless. Then I will die. 

I'm sorry you are having a hard time, but you have to do something to make thing's better for you. Don't lump everything on your illness, because with or without the illness you are more capable than you know.  

 

Everyone has issues, recently I sold all my possessions left my whole family and moved to a new state. I turned up in Brisbane, Australia with only 800 dollars and nowhere to go. I didn't think I could find a place to sleep (But with a little leg work I did) I didn't think I could work  (But 6 months later I did) You see it all comes down to you, if you let your past rule you, you will feel crippled.

 

Mind over matter.

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So, why are you going to die and why could you not at least find shelter even if you'll be homeless?

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14 minutes ago, ToHellWithMe said:

So, why are you going to die and why could you not at least find shelter even if you'll be homeless?

 

Because I was born with a disability and even though shelters say they are dis friendly, they are not. And those that are treat you like shit. Like a nursing home and even worse becase they are not getting paid. 

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20 hours ago, theanticrash said:

I'm sorry you are having a hard time, but you have to do something to make thing's better for you. Don't lump everything on your illness, because with or without the illness you are more capable than you know.  

 

Everyone has issues, recently I sold all my possessions left my whole family and moved to a new state. I turned up in Brisbane, Australia with only 800 dollars and nowhere to go. I didn't think I could find a place to sleep (But with a little leg work I did) I didn't think I could work  (But 6 months later I did) You see it all comes down to you, if you let your past rule you, you will feel crippled.

 

Mind over matter.

 

 

In my experiences this has always been my observation too. I’ve given Christianity many tries and I always come out the other end more convinced that YOU have to do things for yourself and pull yourself up by your bootstraps (somehow, whether it feels good or not) ..... I’ve watched so many Christians just flail and fail through life, believing that they are on some path of glory when in reality they are just fucking idiots and creepy.

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11 minutes ago, RachelSkates said:

Because I was born with a disability and even though shelters say they are dis friendly, they are not. And those that are treat you like shit. Like a nursing home and even worse becase they are not getting paid. 

 

I've heard shelters can indeed be humiliating in USA if that's where you're from. I'm from Europe and cannot really offer any advice. All I've seen on the topic is a youtube video by a former homeless guy in Kansas.

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1 hour ago, RachelSkates said:

 

Because I was born with a disability and even though shelters say they are dis friendly, they are not. And those that are treat you like shit. Like a nursing home and even worse becase they are not getting paid. 

You know what I did a few times?  When I was on the verge of being on the streets, I went to the hospital and used the mentally ill card that I was given. I threw myself into ICU and stayed there for a month, and you know once you're in there they can't release a mentally ill person on the streets.

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49 minutes ago, theanticrash said:

You know what I did a few times?  When I was on the verge of being on the streets, I went to the hospital and used the mentally ill card that I was given. I threw myself into ICU and stayed there for a month, and you know once you're in there they can't release a mentally ill person on the streets.

 

49 minutes ago, theanticrash said:

You know what I did a few times?  When I was on the verge of being on the streets, I went to the hospital and used the mentally ill card that I was given. I threw myself into ICU and stayed there for a month, and you know once you're in there they can't release a mentally ill person on the streets.

 

Hmmm. That is actually an option. Don't know what to do after a month. The trouble with that is that my disabilty is very hard to manage and doing anything to fuck it up is so risky becuase once it's off, it can take months to fix. But I may do that. 

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1 hour ago, ToHellWithMe said:

 

I've heard shelters can indeed be humiliating in USA if that's where you're from. I'm from Europe and cannot really offer any advice. All I've seen on the topic is a youtube video by a former homeless guy in Kansas.

They are horrendous. Bedbugs, stabbings, threats, you risk your life going in there. And they are rude. Unless you are the class clown and love htem when they treat you like shit. 

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1 hour ago, RachelSkates said:

 

 

Hmmm. That is actually an option. Don't know what to do after a month. The trouble with that is that my disabilty is very hard to manage and doing anything to fuck it up is so risky becuase once it's off, it can take months to fix. But I may do that. 

If you did get in there for a time you could come up with a new battle plan.

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On 3/19/2018 at 3:24 PM, RachelSkates said:

I am going to confess that Xianity drove me crazy. I was frail before, but now I am actually mentally ill. 

 

Yes, I'm right with you on this. It doesn't matter how much logic I shine onto the belief of Christianity (I don't believe a word of it)  it still has its hooks in me. Several weeks ago I went through a complete nervous breakdown, my religious views or lack thereof and all the constant second-guessing, questioning, over-thinking and sheer terror finally took their toll and broke me. I am currently very mentally ill however I believe I have been just mentally ill for many years now and religion has been the main cause. I can't see a way out of this at all.

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41 minutes ago, TooManyDoubts said:

 

Yes, I'm right with you on this. It doesn't matter how much logic I shine onto the belief of Christianity (I don't believe a word of it)  it still has its hooks in me. Several weeks ago I went through a complete nervous breakdown, my religious views or lack thereof and all the constant second-guessing, questioning, over-thinking and sheer terror finally took their toll and broke me. I am currently very mentally ill however I believe I have been just mentally ill for many years now and religion has been the main cause. I can't see a way out of this at all.

We all have to get to a point where we know Christianity is hogwash, and just stop believing it is.

 

 

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9 hours ago, theanticrash said:

We all have to get to a point where we know Christianity is hogwash, and just stop believing it is.

 

Hi there. I know Christianity is hogwash logically, however, the fear I feel deep within isn't logical and I am not able to simply let that go. If I could so readily then I would. I wouldn't have had another breakdown a few weeks ago if it were that easy, for me at least.

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19 hours ago, theanticrash said:

We all have to get to a point where we know Christianity is hogwash, and just stop believing it is.

 

 

It's not easy to just convince your mind you don't believe it. I think the only thing that can really combat this is as much education, or reading, as is required to reprogram how you think about christianity. It also really helps to read about how christianity gets its hooks into you, psychologically, so you can combat this, or be aware of how it operates, giving it less power. The book that helped me analyze this part of it was Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell. I would also recommend therapy if at all possible with a secular therapist.

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