How Depression May Be Caused By Moral Choices We Make

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Listening to the sermon about spiritual counseling – and by that I mean Christians providing counseling services – the speaker who might be Wayne A. Mack, author of the book, “Introduction to Biblical Counseling“, made me think about what I had done in the past in the area of providing mental health counseling.  I may have the name of the speaker I am listening to wrong, only because the recording does not provide an easy way to know who is doing the speaking.  I wish they’d made that clear.  

I do know that one of the instructors in biblical counseling that I am listening to online is Wayne A. Mack and the link goes to his book found on Amazon.

The segment that I am listening to today talks about depression.  Having the symptoms of depression in the past, I have come to know the devastation one may feel when they are feeling depressed.  I took notes on the segment in which the speaker talks about the moral values and choices people have and that they may be the underlying reason for why a person feels depressed.

As we know, there may be brain issues going on in something like depression but when clients describe enough symptoms that it indicates to a clinician that they fall under clinical depression by the number of boxes they can check off as a description to how they’re feeling, the DSM can indicate a diagnosis of a serious depression going on.  Medication may be prescribed, but a doctor will not know the level of a person’s serotonin.  They just guess, by what the patient describes, whether they should be diagnosed as being clinically depressed and to the point of being prescribed medication to ease their symptoms. 

If the symptoms seems to get better if they don’t take medication, the instructor said that the doctor won’t know if the moral choices that the soul makes is what has changed the person’s level of depression. 

It is sin we are dealing with in much of what we now can perceive as the reason for a person’s depression in counseling.  Why leave treatment to a man who wants nothing to do with our Lord Jesus Christ instead of look at the person’s morality – whether they choose to live in sin or not.  

A random serotonin event may be caused by whether a person’s morals have changed or not.  We can consider whether they have caused their serotonin levels to decrease by making an immoral choice.

We can’t know why the people who tell us they feel badly are feeling sad or depressed, but they may know the reason why they feel so badly.

They may have made a choice that they feel very badly about that causes them to feel sad, depressed, or lonely.  It may point to the fact that when we choose badly, we feel badly, and making the moral choices that are Godly may make someone feel better.

I hope to learn more from the class I have enrolled in to share with readers of this blog.  I am sure it will help someone along the way, which is my hope.  I pray for each one of you who comes to my blog and I hope to be of support you, in some way of which I am not sure of at this point, but in some way in these days to come.

 

Mental Health Treatment That Excludes Jesus Christ

trees1Psychology is not a pure “science” as we know it.  It is based upon man’s perceptions of what is normal behaviors and feelings, upon their social norms and morals, and what is known about science at the time they are seeking treatments, including medications, for their clients.

The field of psychology cannot explain what goes on in a human brain that leads to a person’s behaviors.  It has been explained in a master’s degree level psychology course that “psychology is a type of science, but is also an art”, because mental illness and brain activity which may cause mental illnesses and behaviors are not truly understood. 

Medications are only testing grounds for the doctors who prescribe them.  They may work for a short time to help a person feel better but may cause them to act out violently or feel suicidal, or may not work at all in helping a person feel well.  Doctors frequently change medications and their doses that only serve to mask symptoms at best.  It is thought that some people may have to remain on psychotropic medications for the rest of their lives in order to function, but that they will probably not be cured.  People are left waiting for the next new drug in hopes of being made well.

Labels are used in mental health treatment which are often given a client in therapy based on their feelings.  If enough feeling-related symptoms are cited by a client they become diagnosed according to the criteria cited in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), which is the “bible” of mental health practitioners and doctors.

In the courts, unacceptable behaviors get explained away by a description of some earlier life’s experience, such as being mistreated in some way as a child which often times are offered as justifications for why a person did some criminal behavior, in order to sway a judge to hand down lessor sentences.

Behaviors can be explained away by how a person “feels” at the time.  Anger, depression, sadness, can be described as the basis for why a person behaves badly.  Seeking medication can seem to be the “cure” for feelings being expressed, presumably to inhibit further misbehaviors.

These man-man treatments leave out God – Our Lord Jesus Christ – from all equations in treating mental health.  Unless you go to a Christian therapist or doctor you may not find any words about Jesus and the bible included in your treatment in mental health therapy.  Even then, most mental health practitioners are licensed under state laws.  You must pass the exams of the state licensing behavioral boards of science in order to practice, or be working on a license, or have a licensed supervisor who holds authority over what you are able to do in the field.

As we know, state licensed mental health clinicians of any kind do not have to have any experience in knowing Jesus; they do not study the bible to learn anything about Christ, or how he teaches us to obey God according to Scripture.

As I write this post which seems ragged around the edges because I’m sitting in the public library, it is hard to imagine how anyone can be a healer in mental health and offer treatment without any guidance from God; Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Clinical vs. Biblical: People Left To Die

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Searching for a job on LinkedIn or any other job boards for a role in Christian counseling has me stumped.

So many jobs relating to becoming a Christian counselor in the Seattle area call for becoming licensed in the state of Washington.  Mental health licensing always requires that mental health clinicians have to abide by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  It’s part of the master’s level education and training.  It requires a knowledge of what the DSM says, and that is the required agenda in the field; diagnosing, and that mental health therapists agree with diagnoses based upon the DSM explicitly.

You may find counseling helpful in some cases that do not require medication, for example, stress related to one’s daily job which may be helped if one goes through a training in stress-relief methods, or talking with a superior at work about their work-loads.  This may not be found to be as serious an issue as someone who has serious symptomatologies, such as hearing voices or cutting themselves. 

In a mental health setting such as a psychiatric hospital, prescribed medications are the norm in treating severe mental disorders.  Often there are no mental health workers who listen to a patient; patients are left to sit, staring blankly, or lying in their beds, without anyone’s checking up on their feelings or how they feel they are doing that day.  Little to no interaction takes place if there are no groups provided where these people can speak their minds, relating what happened in their childhoods and what their goals are in life.  They are medicated beyond belief due to the symptoms that they are bothered by. 

Granted, some people may have a lot of anger stored inside of them, and this may mean that they are a danger to society by acting out in anger to harm someone, or themselves, or to do destructive things to a person’s property.  These would warrant that a person be involuntarily hospitalized.  Sometimes it is best for safety issues to keep a person involuntarily detained.

But why have these people been so neglected?  There is a history of leaving these people behind.  They are marginalized, often neglected for being people who are never going to be well, they will never function normally and this is often-held belief’s about these people by the mental health community at-large.

In the Bible Jesus cured many people of their sin by adding them as his Apostles, bringing people back to life after they had died, cast out demons, and turned water into wine.  He performed other miracles, not mentioned in the Bible as much of what he did was not recorded.  But we have enough to know his purpose and why he was given to us; he was God walking in the flesh to teach us about Satan’s lies, the sin of mankind, and that one day – at their Judgment –  all people would find out that he was the Son of Man – God’s chosen Son – Our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Psychiatry and the DSM

Psychiatrists prescribe medications based upon what diagnoses patients are given, based up the diagnostic codes found in the DSM.

An old article from 2013 states concerns about becoming a licensed therapist here near Seattle that I have among others, and one I hadn’t really thought that much about.  As having received an education in Counseling Psychology before I was a believer, this seemed normal to me.  We diagnosed mentally ill people with diagnostic codes found in the DSM.  It wasn’t until much later in my life that I began to read more about prescriptive drugs and the medical community. 

I began to realize that there is a huge industry supported by the medical community, based upon prescribing drugs and performing surgery – yet much has been left out about preventative medicine, herbs, supplements and that some of the drugs prescribed in the past have been found to be dangerous.  Statins comes to mind and that treating heart disease, statins do not help but does harm.  Some doctors realized this and created their own heart formularies sold online with the research to support their products.

Here’s a part of that old article that explains some of the reasoning behind my fear of going back into the secular practice of counseling, mental health and therapy:

“The reason there is so much controversy about DSM-5 is that psychiatric diagnosis has become, if anything, too important — not only in clinical decisions but also in school services, disability and in the courtroom. There’s a tremendous amount at stake,” … USA TODAY

There are too many drug companies concerned with the loss of their profit-and-loss statements so that prescription drugs for the mentally ill are based upon what they are deeming as “normal”.  Let’s admit to the fact: Pharmaceutical drug companies want more diagnoses to be made where their drugs can be sold for profit.  Their profits.

Laws around being disabled, the cost of disability, reaches up to the judges, Congress and whoever these stakeholders are who prescribe our normalicy in society; who are the purveyors of “what is normal” in our world, who write the laws of our country, who vote on these things, who vote our Congress members in.

Sin Is Never Mentioned In the DSM

Never once in my training in Counseling Psychology have I ever read in the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) that sin causes trouble in the lives of the people who are receiving counseling.

There have been no studies of sin and what it does to the human body and mind.  Sin, caused by Adam and Eve in the garden in Genesis caused all of humankind to fall and become sinful.  We are born into having sinful hearts, every one of us.  This is the reason Jesus came; to pay the price of our fallen natures, our sin.  God did not create humankind with sin in the garden of Eden.  They disobeyed God, listened to Satan, and so they “fell”.  We are born into this inheritance of having fallen natures and we cannot help ourselves out of sin.

We need Jesus.

That is why we have evil, Satan and his demons fell from heaven, they disobeyed God and were thrown out of heaven.  Unbelievers don’t have knowledge of this because they do not read the bible themselves.  Unbelievers are taught by unbelievers so why would they have the Truth of the Bible?  Do not rely on the unbelievers of life to tell you what is true and in the Bible, because they do not know.

Sin is not mentioned in the DSM, not one word.  The DSM is written for non-Christians.  This form of counseling is written by the ungodly, for ungodly treatment of sinners.

It is not working, it is no answer.  Someone may feel temporarily good by having a member of the counseling community listen to them, redeem them for their actions, let’s say, coming out as gay or lesbian to their family or friends, and what a courageous move it was, encouraging them to “be themselves”, and other nonsense, excusing their sin.

Sin Is A Huge Problem Of The Earth

How can it be justified and supported, that we Christians have to validate someone’s sin, and call it a man-made diagnosis not of our belief?  Call it anything but sin.  Sin is not recognized by non-believers, biblical sin and the reason for Jesus.  

We call sin, sin.  That’s plain and part of God’s Word, that is explained in the bible as man’s rebelliousness against God.  Sin is the root of all evil, as we know from the bible.  Read about sin as the root of all evil in this article.

Jesus said;

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.  (John 8:44-45)

Human beings either follow Jesus Christ, or they are sons and daughters of the devil.  That is stated in black and white, the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And even though unbelievers who may be reading this blog will most likely not understand, nor want to, I offer these words from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ:

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. (John 15:18-27)

God punished people down through the Old Testament who sinned, and he destroyed the world through a great flood, because people were sinful.  More on sin and his great day of Judgment here.

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left.” (Matthew 25:31-33)  

Maybe there are choices that people have made to cause them mental troubles, such as depression, for example.  There are medical and “organic” reasons people may have mental disorders through having brain tumors, or having biochemical disorders.

Then mental disorders may be explained away as; we don’t have real answers as to what causes these mental disorders so we just guess at what causes them.   So we can’t explain the how’s and why’s of diagnosing someone’s brain when we can’t find medical reasons for their brain disorders.

Maybe sin is at the root of all of this diagnosing of mystery illnesses that science has not really explained the causes of.  

Those who have reprobate minds live corrupt and selfish lives. Sin is justified and acceptable to them. The reprobates are those whom God has rejected and has left to their own devices. Gotquestions.org

Many mental illnesses cannot be explained – mankind’s diagnosis is not adequate.  We have agnostic and atheist minds writing that Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  How can treatment be prescribed when mankind is born into sin, and so have sinful natures, as the bible states?  When we have the bible, we find the answer for the fallen state of mankind.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:8-9)

A great article about sin contains the following quote:

Largely, the world only recognizes the most obvious of sins. Because carnal people live by sight, not faith, and the effects of sin are not always immediately discernible, they do not understand the negative fruit that also results from the less obvious ones. (BibleTools)

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I put my faith in Him, above all else.

We are told in His Word:

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.  (Proverbs 3:7-8)

and that;

There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your indignation; There is no health in my bones because of my sin. (Psalm 38:3)

Do we not consider mental illness as being an illness and disorder of the mental functioning of a person?

Sin is so subtle that a worldly person, examining himself for the cause of his sickness, may never consider sin at all. Not knowing God, he would have no inclination to look for sin as the cause.

Our Savior certainly connects sin with sickness: “Jesus said, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ . . .  BibleTools

One of the issues I cannot rectify is the supporting of “married” couples who are gay, a basic tenant of Christianity being that marriage consists of one man and one woman, as found in biblical text.  A whole article that cites Holy Scripture can be read at creation.com.

But over time, we have found the social rules about society, the norms and acceptability of behaviors changes.

What is now good, and what is evil, is good.  Here are bible verses about this at openbible.info.  Where we once thought that homosexuality was not acceptable, and many who hid their homosexuality were full of shame, I suppose, knowing that it was not normal has changed the tide of “normal acceptable behavior” in the mainstream world today.

An abstract called, “Out of DSM: Depathologizing Homosexuality“, states this:

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed the diagnosis of “homosexuality” from the second edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). This resulted after comparing competing theories, those that pathologized homosexuality and those that viewed it as normal.

So “competing theories” decides whether there is a mental illness or not.  We all can know that these “theories” have changed over time so that what was no normal some decades ago in society are now made “normal”, acceptable and fun to have.

I am friends with people who are homosexual, don’t get me wrong.  As a northern Californian still at heart and raised in an atheist family, we were subjected to abnormal behaviors regularly.

There was rebellion in the land in the years I was raised: in the 1960’s, especially, when drugs, sex and rock-and-roll were the mantra and guiding social forces for young people everywhere.  It infiltrated our lives making a dent across the country.  It passed itself off as “a revolution” but it still causes problems to this day.

Sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol addiction, unruly behaviors is still prominent in society.

But is it holy?  Of course not.  And man wants to impose his diagnoses on we Christians who want to live by the Golden Rule, and “do unto others”… and have our companies and incomes destroyed over something we believe is right and true, according to our faith and belief in God’s Word, which is the Bible.

I propose that we read the Bible more, and let God do the diagnosing.  He has already made clear the fall of humanity and he is the Creator of all life.  His Bible says these very important words about Jesus;

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

and that;

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

We also know from the Bible that we will have our minds regenerated to think more like God, the longer we are Christians and read the Bible, it’s a remedy, really.  Also prayer, and having faith in Jesus Christ.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)   

Returning To The Professional Counseling Field

I have many reservations about continuing in the counseling field and I don’t know why so many Christian counselors exist who have become licensed by secularism.  They are joining with sinners to support the diagnoses of non-believers, and so will counsel their clients according to the secular opinion.  They will support the prescribing of drugs that are being manufactured by unbelievers, who will make profits upon the sin-created sicknesses of the world.

When people in the secular world do not understand their sin and no one talks about sin, the very reason Christ was brought to us here on earth, the secularly licensed Christians will not share their knowledge of being sinners due to state laws.  They will not counsel their clients that sin is the reason for their lives falling apart, they do not have Christ to help them sort out their lives and their challenging manifestations of living sinful lives in a world that Satanic forces live in.  They will have no protection, no guidance, and little chances of being healed, because they are following Satan’s realm, not God’s.  God created Satan, so who do you think has more power to heal? 

These clients are very well under the influence of their sins and of God’s creation, the demons that dwell within and around people.  That is the truth.  

Mankind is living lives of sin; and not only homosexuality as so many feel judged by – but the many other sins that there are such as these listed in the bible:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  (Galatians 5:19-21a)

Sin is explained by Paul, who said:

“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Our God provides us with his Holy Spirit, that guides us to walk away from sin.

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).  

Although Christians are found to be imperfect, we are constantly being talked to, in our hearts and minds, spiritually – being trained to be holy, to walk as the Lord did when he was on earth, as much as man can.

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). 

We will never get there, becoming Holy, because we are still fleshly and imperfect; there is only one God Almighty who is Holy and we will never attain his Holiness.  We will, however, worship him throughout eternity. 

Jesus walked the earth as God’s son.  He was sinless, of course.  We are to follow his example to the best of our ability, and;

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children” (Ephesians 5:1).

Jesus leads, we should follow.

Catagorizing Satan’s Tricks Of The Mind

brain thinking areas

Today I was reading a psychologist’s blog post who categorized what biases we have in thinking, and called them “cognitive biases”.  This psychologist, which will remain unnamed, listed several ways that people make the wrong judgements about things so that they are fooled by one thing or another.

He first begins by saying that with all the thoughts running in our heads that “our judgment would be highly accurate but that’s far from the case.”

It seems to me that this man does not know God and is exactly why I jumped out of psychology wondering how I would pay the student loans back.

Forgive me God, for my sin of thinking man’s accurate opinions of why we act and think as we do is something we can “cure” right off the bat or prescribe meds for.  A few sessions and you’re done and that’s all it takes, is what I thought.  If one wanted to heal and improve themselves, just giving the time of day to a therapist is the cure… admitting one’s mistakes, doing writing assigments or journaling, or some therapy or other and telling the therapist secrets and emotions one is having will help cure a person.

Certainly having friends to talk to in an emotional time can be helpful.  But friends are not what cures.  Only Jesus can. 

Here are some Scripture verses I found quickly doing a google search of bible verses about mental health.  I am sure there are many more than these:

The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delight in him; – Psalm 37:23

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – Psalm 119:105

in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your path straight. – Proverbs 3:6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5

In this article, there are 13 types of bias that cloud the thinking.  As I said, this is written by a man studied in the world of man-made psychology, who studied like I did, wanting to know the inner workings of man’s mind, and try to heal it.

Some examples the psychologist used to describe biases in one’s thinking are:

The decoy effect, where one makes choices by judging an extreme, then taking what’s in the middle, when they know it costs too much, as a rationale for allowing themselves to buy an expensive thing that they normally wouldn’t have.  The example in this case is when a car dealer shows you a much more expensive car than you would be able to buy and rationalizes that the mid-level, but yet still too expensive car that costs less isn’t so bad a buy.  So you buy the mid-range car, instead of buying a less-expensive car that would be more in line with your budget.

The affect heuristic effect, where we base our decisions on our emotions.  He gives an example of a number of people who have died due to a disease as seeming more horrible than given as a percentage, which was not a clear picture of the number of deaths as the number 1,286 was.  The number of dead people aroused much more emotions in people than the percentage did of 24.24%.  People couldn’t picture that percentage as much so didn’t have the higher emotional response.

These are but two examples of the catagories he has given to some biases poeple have.  Of course, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) that people use to diagnose mental illness in people is a catalogue of symptoms people can report over a long period of time. 

The DSM is full of changing diagnostic attributions or symptoms, called “disorders”, making its way through time as social standards and ideas of acceptable behaviors, feelings, emotions, ways of identifying oneself, calling them “traits” which may be deleted with new versions of the DSM or can change in degree of importance and accuracy over time.  Diagnostic “V” codes can be added or subtracted, depending on how many people on deciding boards who edit the DSM into new versions every so often are convinced that a thought process, or some kind of issue a person has, should be categorized as being “not-normal” and relates to mental illness.

The problem as I see it is; unless it is an organic problem, it is a tumor that makes a person act strange, then the mental health diagnostics used are based on man’s ideas or concepts of what mental illnesses are.

They do not have the guidance of God; it is a Godless industry, created by man.

The bible did not have Jesus diagnosing mental illnesses.  He said the person was inhabited by demons or upset tummies were treated by drinking a little wine to settle the stomach.  There were not categories of how sick a person was, no variety of types of mental issues.  There was sin and there were the demons and everything else would have been a medical condition causing a person difficulty; people have sores, the lame, the blind and the like.

Everything was healed by God; Jesus healed many but not all, but he showed that he was God.  He performed healing miracles and brought people from the dead to life with people witnessing these things.  He proved he walked as one with the Father who created mankind and universe.  See my Basic Gospel No One Told Me When I Was A Non-Believer.

I have come to know Jesus and have followed the path of belief and trust in His wisdom, and it seems He is appealing to me that the field I got into and practiced as a mental health clinician was sadly wrong, and not the right path for the mind.  A favorite passage I refer to is;

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

Everything else is man’s concept of the reality of life and is not the way of God, and the field of psychology cannot know the wisdom and reality of God’s wisdom, power and healing strength.  It just falls short and may have been invaded by Satan’s lies.  In fact, I’m a believer that it is the realm of the devil now and has no basis in the reality of what may be happening to a person’s mind – and health.

Mental health has been a real interest of mine, but as I have said before, when I entered the field I had no concept of the Lord Jesus Christ, really.  I may have wanted to help poeple heal and I had a sympathetic heart, but I needed God to show me the reality of a person’s soul.  They are not saved and so will fall into eternal judgment and God’s punishment.  They need to know God; the Lord Jesus Christ, who really heals and promises a sound mind through His Holy Spirit who resides within us; true believers of Jesus Christ.

Prayers are needed that more will come to the reality of God and the Son who walked the earth for us, to save us from our sin and from being bought, led, and taken over by Satan.