Bipolar Disorder Is NOT God’s Punishment or Demon Possession

I’m fired up over a hateful social media comment about bipolar disorder and Christianity
Illustration of troll at a computer
Watch out for trolls online. | Image made by author with Canva AI.

When I started writing online 5 years ago, I was terrified of the backlash I would get writing about mental illness. I knew I would one day have to write about bipolar disorder and Christianity and other hot-button issues.

I was aware of how much stigma surrounded bipolar disorder, and I was sure that people would attack me for telling my story.

Like most things in life, my fears were mostly unnecessary.

In the last 5 years, I’ve had maybe 10 terrible experiences. That may sound bad, but those 10 experiences disappear behind hundreds of positive ones.

Many readers have reached out to tell me how I’ve helped them understand bipolar disorder and their loved ones coping with it. Others have told me that my positive content helps give them the strength to fight for each day.

This post isn’t about patting myself on the back. Instead, it’s about a horrible reply I received a few days ago.

Hate flourishes online

The comment was long, at least five paragraphs, but I knew to stop reading after the first two lines. I then deleted the comment and blocked the sender.

In those two lines, the troll told me I was a horrible person, that bipolar disorder wasn’t an illness, but rather demon possession.

The third sentence started with how God was punishing me for being a sinner, and that’s where I deleted it.

It’s that kind of stupidity that makes stigma so much worse. It is also a harsh depiction of Christianity, because true Christians never act like that.

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When I saw the hateful comment on social media about bipolar disorder and Christianity, I knew I had to speak up! 

Dive into this eye-opening read that will change the conversation and help us all learn to live in peace and understanding.

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I’m a Christian

I rarely write about my faith or bipolar disorder and Christianity, but my relationship with God is the most important thing in my life.

I read my Bible every day, and I strive to live my life the way Jesus lived while on earth.

For me, maintaining my faith is an essential key to my stability.

Many people don’t share my view, and religion has traumatized too many. With that knowledge, I choose not to cram my faith down your throat.

It’s not why you’re here, and I love that you’re here.

Speaking up

For those of you who know me in person, you know my faith is one of my favorite subjects to talk about. But here, and all over Speaking Bipolar, I show up to talk about bipolar disorder.

While I believe faith can help mental health, I only bring it up when asked because bipolar is traumatic enough. You don’t need any unnecessary pain from me.

This time I have to speak up about bipolar disorder and Christianity.

My point in writing today is to tell you what the Bible says. Short story, there’s nothing in there that says God causes mental illness or punishes people with it.

I’ve read the book cover to cover several times. If such a harsh message were in those pages, I never would have missed it.

So if these beliefs are lies, where do they come from?

False teachers

One of the biggest problems comes from false teachers. Preachers who claim to know the Bible well have told lies for centuries about mental illness being either punishment from God or demon possession.

It has never been true and never will be.

Most mental illnesses are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain or past trauma. It’s ludicrous to think it could be anything else.

Unfortunately, many of those false teachers have huge followings. Their flocks trust them to teach the truth from the Bible. If they fail to test the words heard, they’ll believe any garbage flung at them.

The lies about mental illness are no different from the lies saying all Christians are hateful. I don’t hate anyone for their life choices. We all have to walk our own path, and you should be happy with your decisions.

God has not made me judge, so I have no right to comment on your life. News alert: God hasn’t made any other human judge either. But too many people feel they are smarter than God, so the lies go on.

Sadly, the poison spewed from pulpits tainted the sheep. Those followers then spread their lies throughout society.

I’m going to say this again, so you don’t miss it. They are telling you lies about bipolar disorder and Christianity.

Don’t believe it.

Illustration of man walking with a child
I love kids, but some people thought I was a monster. | Image made by author with Canva AI.

Coping with stigma

I’m no stranger to this type of stigma. After I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there were a few people in my congregation who hid their children for me.

These false friends believed bipolar made me dangerous. Some even thought my mental illness was contagious and would infect their children. Those hateful acts crushed me, and I nearly gave up my faith and my life as a result.

The people who turned on me were ones I thought cared about me, but it turned out their love was never true. They also weren’t acting like Christians.

Learning my lesson

Those false beliefs taught me a valuable lesson: Not every person in your life is good for you. It’s okay to walk away from toxic people. Often, it’s necessary.

It’s hard enough living with a mental illness. None of us need strangers or false friends adding to our load. We already feel bad enough about what goes on in our minds.

I seldom write about my faith, but I hope you can see why I had to today.

Don’t let the haters bring you down. If someone is telling you that your mental illness is because of weak faith or God’s punishment, block those people from your life.

You don’t need them. They’re only bringing you down and lying to you.

God loves you, and God loves me. That’s the only thing you need to remember about bipolar disorder and Christianity.

I’m stepping down from my soapbox now.

Until next time, keep fighting.

Pinterest Pin:
When I saw the hateful comment on social media about bipolar disorder and Christianity, I knew I had to speak up! 

Dive into this eye-opening read that will change the conversation and help us all learn to live in peace and understanding.

Ready to join the discussion? 

Click to Read Now!

#SpeakingBipolar #mentalhealth #mentalillness #bipolardisorder #mentalillnessawareness
Please share on Pinterest. | Graphic created with Canva AI.

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3 Comments

  1. I have bipolar disorder too and am a Tibetan Buddhist. I applied to be a volunteer in the temple and was dumb enough to fill in on the application form that I had had a burnout. Despite numerous mails and help from somebody who already was a volunteer I never got a reply. I now know I can’t live in the community around the temple, though. My mood has higher highs and lower lows when I am in retreat there.

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