The Mind

People suffer from what we call "mental illness" as a result of several factors. First, God permitted sickness and death to affect His creation as a consequence for Adam and Eve's original sin. Our minds are not immune to that judgment. As a result, mental illness has a genetic component. Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia often run in families and affect those in later generations.

A second cause, however, is the result of personal sin. Very few people talk about this in psychiatry, but that does not make the point invalid. Whether it was someone who sinned against you, or whether it is your own, sin affects our minds as well. It makes some anxious, others depressed. Just look at King David and the effects his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband had on him (Psalm 32). Not until he confessed and repented of his sin did God's peace return to him (Psalm 51).

However, sin is not the only cause for mental illness. There certainly are those who are depressed and anxious for other reasons. Perhaps it is a loss of one's job, the death of a spouse, or a seasonal depression in the wintertime. Some get depressed for no apparent reason. But when sin is a factor, medications by themselves are insufficiently effective, because they cannot clear up the conscience. It behooves us therefore to explore this topic. 

Another cause for depression or anxiety is a lack of forgiveness. Having an unforgiving spirit can hold us in bondage to an abuser or one's own past failures. Perhaps we need to forgive someone else or ourselves. God graciously offers His forgiveness and peace to those who release their oppressors and past failures to Him. 

At Veritas my approach to patients has been two tiered. After identifying the root cause, we come up with a treatment plan to address each component. If the cause is biological, we can use medications to alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life. The goal is to make you MORE functional while you work on root causes in therapy or Biblical counseling. Once the underlying issues have been resolved, we can taper the medications and hopefully stop them, if appropriate.

The second tier is the Biblical counseling itself. God's Word is still practical for us today. It is our map to victorious living. If we cooperate with His plan, He can bless, protect and use us. If we choose not to cooperate, the opposite will be true as well. Countless patients have benefitted from my practical approach to life by applying principles and commands from God's Word. I pray the same will become true for you as well, as we work together for your mental health.