A Friend Using Religion as a Cry for Help
I was reading another thread about patients with schizophrenia and their delusions about god and Jesus.
I have a friend who suffers periodic bouts of bipolar disorder, commonly referred to as manic-depression. She takes medication on a daily basis to keep her thoughts in check, i.e. rational. They have to be adjusted occasionally to try and ward off the next psychotic break.
On a few occasions when I've gone to visit her in the psyche ward, she had her bible out and had religious items displayed, such as knitted crosses and religious bookmarks. One time she even had an old certificate of batptism taped on the wall by her bed and several old cards from Sunday school classes past. She would have family members bring these things to her for comfort. One time they had to put her in isolation because she kept singing over and over, "Onward Christians Soldiers."
She is not a devoutly religious person otherwise. She grew up going to the local Federated church, but neither she or her family are what you would call devout.
After she got out of the hospital and got back to her old self, I asked her what the deal was with all the religious songs and paraphenalia. She told me it was her way of crying out for help. She said that in her mind, she believed that it would have to be a supernatural power to save her because she wasn't getting any satisfactory answers or guidence here on earth.
So it would seem that people with or without mental illness seek religious experiences and guidence from a supernatural being for the same reason.
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