Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Bipolar and religion/spirituality


Recommended Posts

I hope that this makes sense...

This is a topic that I've obsessed over and would like to get other's opinions. I would like to preface this by saying that I respect all religions and belief systems.

So my question: how do you differentiate between mania/psychosis and religious/spiritual experiences? Do you believe that anyone who has experienced something religious/spiritual/metaphysical is mentally ill and only experiencing psychosis or mania?

I ask this because this is often something that I struggle with. Religious/spiritual/metaphysical experiences have occurred to and around me since I was very young BUT I can also tell you that my mania is often marked by these same type of experiences. It's really hard for me to say that there is nothing to these experiences and that it's just my mental illness...but it's hard for me to accept these experiences since I do have a mental illness.

Anyone else struggle with this or have any opinions on it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you believe or not.

I can't wrap myself around any religion and I pretty much rule out all my so called metaphysical personal experiences by 'Critique of Pure Reason'.

I exchanged my philosophical schools from stoicism, metaphysics to cartesian thinking post Descartes when spirit and body would be united not divided.

Would go to skepticism, studying phenomenology, anthropology and eventually becoming what I meant to be.

Agnostic most likely to be non theist inclined by human condition to go to nihilism.

Edited by uncomfortable thoughts
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really struggle with this too.

I've had a supernatural experience in my life that I am convinced was true. This was before I was diagnosed bipolar, so I don't know if I was manic at the time.

My most recent manic episode included religious delusions. I thought God was making contact with me via signs in my environment, and I would interpret these signs as indications that I should fast or do other tasks. Then I would experiences waves of euphoria that would tell me I was on the right path. During this episode I also got signs from angels, who were tricksters... neither good nor bad. They would menace me and play tricks on me, although once the angel Gabriel came to protect me from the lesser angels. As the psychosis was fading while I was in hospital, I still felt the ceiling lights were channeling God's message to return to him. I would hear whispers from the angels and even see some angels-as-people tracking me. 

I'm pretty sure most of this was psychosis, but even afterwards I wanted to contact a priest. I never did. I'm still not 100% convinced what I experienced was all false. I don't think I'm a prophet anymore... duh... but I wonder if maybe I was tapping into some supernatural presence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, uncomfortable thoughts said:

I think you believe or not.

I can't wrap myself around any religion and I pretty much rule out all my so called metaphysical personal experiences by 'Critique of Pure Reason'.

I exchanged my philosophical schools from stoicism, metaphysics to cartesian thinking post Descartes when spirit and body would be united not divided.

Would go to skepticism, studying phenomenology, anthropology and eventually becoming what I meant to be.

Agnostic most likely to be non theist inclined by human condition to go to nihilism.

Thank you. I appreciate your thoughts on this. I would say, these days, I'm far more skeptical than in my earlier, more carefree days. I am constantly worried about whether it's a true phenomenon or psychosis. It makes me sad actually. I miss the days when I could believe freely, to "dwell in possibilities" so to speak. The world feels a little less exciting when viewed through a purely reasonable lens. Though, I think there is merit in thinking/believing that way, as you are not looking for the unknown and are accepting of "what is". I just don't know if I'm wired that way.

Anyway, thanks again. You have given me some food for thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I am psychotic I think there are demons out to get me. When I take my meds they are gone. I have pretty much decided that spiritual stuff exists only in my head. I still want to believe in God, but when I am rational I can't find convincing evidence. What I used to think were spiritual feelings from God I now suspect were just from my mind. If there is a God that wants us to follow Him/Her/It then that God is very ineffectual. Why not show Him/Her/Itself to everyone in a concrete way and declare whatever religion It wants in a clear way so that everybody understands? The only answer that makes sense to me is that it is all in my mind. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, aura said:

I really struggle with this too.

I've had a supernatural experience in my life that I am convinced was true. This was before I was diagnosed bipolar, so I don't know if I was manic at the time.

My most recent manic episode included religious delusions. I thought God was making contact with me via signs in my environment, and I would interpret these signs as indications that I should fast or do other tasks. Then I would experiences waves of euphoria that would tell me I was on the right path. During this episode I also got signs from angels, who were tricksters... neither good nor bad. They would menace me and play tricks on me, although once the angel Gabriel came to protect me from the lesser angels. As the psychosis was fading while I was in hospital, I still felt the ceiling lights were channeling God's message to return to him. I would hear whispers from the angels and even see some angels-as-people tracking me. 

I'm pretty sure most of this was psychosis, but even afterwards I wanted to contact a priest. I never did. I'm still not 100% convinced what I experienced was all false. I don't think I'm a prophet anymore... duh... but I wonder if maybe I was tapping into some supernatural presence.

Yes! Exactly! I've studied mystics of most major religions, largely of the Catholic variety and what you described is something that a mystic would describe...so where is the line? So confusing.

I've seen demons. I've seen angels. I've had visions during meditations. I have heard angelic music. I've had angel Michael come near me. Etc. Etc. These are things that hundreds of thousands of people have stated they have experienced. Are they all mentally ill? Frustrating.

I have contacted a priest on the issue and he advised me to test everything against scripture and doctrine...and in his opinion to error on the side of caution. He felt that if God wanted to get me a message that He would understand more than anyone my challenges with my mental illness and would find another, less confusing way to communicate with me. I can see that. I just don't know though....it's a tough topic.

Thank you for your reply!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, wadjet said:

When I am psychotic I think there are demons out to get me. When I take my meds they are gone. I have pretty much decided that spiritual stuff exists only in my head. I still want to believe in God, but when I am rational I can't find convincing evidence. What I used to think were spiritual feelings from God I now suspect were just from my mind. If there is a God that wants us to follow Him/Her/It then that God is very ineffectual. Why not show Him/Her/Itself to everyone in a concrete way and declare whatever religion It wants in a clear way so that everybody understands? The only answer that makes sense to me is that it is all in my mind. 

I definitely understand this. I waffle so much on this issue that I can easily see all sides of it. And yes, why doesn't God show up in a clear way?! And since He/She doesn't, does that mean He/She doesn't exist? Rational thought would say yes. But then there is always that part of me that says a mystery is a mystery and it's not for us to understand. So exhausting.

Thank you for your thoughts on this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, PippaLove said:

Thank you. I appreciate your thoughts on this. I would say, these days, I'm far more skeptical than in my earlier, more carefree days. I am constantly worried about whether it's a true phenomenon or psychosis. It makes me sad actually. I miss the days when I could believe freely, to "dwell in possibilities" so to speak. The world feels a little less exciting when viewed through a purely reasonable lens. Though, I think there is merit in thinking/believing that way, as you are not looking for the unknown and are accepting of "what is". I just don't know if I'm wired that way.

Anyway, thanks again. You have given me some food for thought.

Psychosis is a phenomenon which in this case, some groups inserted in the same sort of cultural and religion would experience the same kind of delusions which can be categorized as psychoses or.... you mean that your phenomena is a truly 'spiritual' meaningful act?

If so, you believe or not.

I'm not saying that's nothing besides in life that I can prove to be.

I'm saying that I don't need to prove any kind of thing that I think it's not up to me to know about, it goes beyond any human capacity to know what this is all up to, the subject is too obscure to know.

If God or any entity had those kind of humans characteristics represented in some religions, tales, myths I would think they would show up for everyone.

Would you come up with those kind of creatures if you never heard of it from someone else? Even so, why would your or my experience make rules for our existence especially when it comes to moral ground?

Well.

I will quote myself:

Maybe a Life with a purpose would be the purpose of life?

Probably worshiping god isn't the right answer anyway, so I think this questions applies to Theists too.

What's the point?

If God is perfect how could you bargain with prays and sacrifices?

How could someone goes against God's will?

In order of God's existence, God would have to be infinite and everything would be contained in God so It essentially would be the same source of what we perceive as Evil.

Why would God keep accountability of what we do if God is responsible for it's creation and has no barriers of extension or time so the concept of free will isn't sustainable.

 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, uncomfortable thoughts said:

Psychosis is a phenomenon which in this case, some groups inserted in the same sort of cultural and religion would experience the same kind of delusions which can be categorized as psychoses or.... you mean that your phenomena is a truly 'spiritual' meaningful act?

If so, you believe or not.

I'm not saying that's nothing besides in life that I can prove to be.

I'm saying that I don't need to prove any kind of thing that I think it's not up to me to know about, it goes beyond any human capacity to know what this is all up to, the subject is too obscure to know.

If God or any entity had those kind of humans characteristics represented in some religions, tales, myths I would think they would show up for everyone.

Would you come up with those kind of creatures if you never heard of it from someone else? Even so, why would your or my experience make rules for our existence especially when it comes to moral ground?

Well.

I will quote myself:

Maybe a Life with a purpose would be the purpose of life?

Probably worshiping god isn't the right answer anyway, so I think this questions applies to Theists too.

What's the point?

If God is perfect how could you bargain with prays and sacrifices?

How could someone goes against God's will?

In order of God's existence, God would have to be infinite and everything would be contained in God so It essentially would be the same source of what we perceive as Evil.

Why would God keep accountability of what we do if God is responsible for it's creation and has no barriers of extension or time so the concept of free will isn't sustainable.

 

It does become more complex than "you either believe or not" when you are dealing with mental illness. I would say without mental illness, I would believe...because for me "why not?" I've always believed in pretty much everything as it's way more interesting and fun for me to think there ARE fairies out there, or there are angels watching us. But add in the MI and I have to question every experience.

I do have answers to your follow up questions but those are just MY beliefs. I've never been so arrogant as to think I've got it all figured out (unless I'm manic of course, then I'm pretty sure I have EVERYTHING figured out hahaha). So if I'm getting what you are saying, and I could be wrong, you believe that anyone who has a religious/spiritual experience is having psychosis or some other manifestation of MI?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should add that this isn't just a religious thing. I've met many mediums and psychics who speak of experiences they have had and they were not associated nor a follower of any religion. Are they all mentally ill?

I just don't know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, PippaLove said:
1 minute ago, PippaLove said:

I should add that this isn't just a religious thing. I've met many mediums and psychics who speak of experiences they have had and they were not associated nor a follower of any religion. Are they all mentally ill?

I just don't know.

So if I'm getting what you are saying, and I could be wrong, you believe that anyone who has a religious/spiritual experience is having psychosis or some other manifestation of MI?

 

Define a religious/spiritual experience and define mental illness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, uncomfortable thoughts said:

Define a religious/spiritual experience and define mental illness.

Technical definition of mental illness: Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors

Psychosis: a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality

My definition of religious/spiritual experience: communication with the Divine (whatever form that takes for the beholder). Witnessing a phenomenon within the realm of spirituality (seeing angels, demons, speaking with God, seeing spirits, gaining insight into other worlds/levels of existence, etc). This could be within a structure belief system, such as a religion or less structured as in occult experience, or anything in between.

23 minutes ago, wadjet said:

I think they are all mentally ill. For over a hundred years people have tried to prove psychics were real and never have. If they are real then they are not very reliable.

Thank you for your thoughts! And I agree they either aren't real or very very unreliable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From wiki, because it's late and I'm up and I don't want to be up.

"A mental disorder is one aspect of mental health. Cultural and religious beliefs as well as social norms should be taken into account when making a diagnosis."

I would say that, beliefs are part of human condition.

Just because you see angeles and demons that do not make it exist for anyone else besides you.

Have you ever heard about other religions?

Some do not have God or Demons and Nature is God.

I can see nature.

If there is another world it logically would co-exist with this one or it will all be part as one system of multiverses.

All those things you're relating, I experienced and many here experienced and we are all exposed to the same tales and figures.

Some tribes eat it others body after they die because they believe they'll gain wisdom by doing it.

Will I engage on those acts?

Why would I repeat myself over and over to God understand what am I trying to say?

What I'm trying to say is.

We as species create those things naturally, as you said, you feel good imagine something looking over for you.

Unfortunately a lot of bad things happen that only a sadistic would like to watch.

If you can explain me how could two God's coexist I would be grateful and how can someone goes against something designed by some 'force'.

All the so called holly books that I got my hands on, they all got influence by those around at that particular time at that particular culture, why would God left a book?

Anyways.

You believe in fairy and stuff, so yes.

It's simple.

You believe or not.

You can be conflicting your ideas but you always believed in something.

I take comfort in my life from other fountains.

I can conformably live without engaging in superstitious acts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, uncomfortable thoughts said:

From wiki, because it's late and I'm up and I don't want to be up.

"A mental disorder is one aspect of mental health. Cultural and religious beliefs as well as social norms should be taken into account when making a diagnosis."

I would say that, beliefs are part of human condition.

Just because you see angeles and demons that do not make it exist for anyone else besides you.

Have you ever heard about other religions?

Some do not have God or Demons and Nature is God.

I can see nature.

If there is another world it logically would co-exist with this one or it will all be part as one system of multiverses.

All those things you're relating, I experienced and many here experienced and we are all exposed to the same tales and figures.

Some tribes eat it others body after they die because they believe they'll gain wisdom by doing it.

Will I engage on those acts?

Why would I repeat myself over and over to God understand what am I trying to say?

What I'm trying to say is.

We as species create those things naturally, as you said, you feel good imagine something looking over for you.

Unfortunately a lot of bad things happen that only a sadistic would like to watch.

If you can explain me how could two God's coexist I would be grateful and how can someone goes against something designed by some 'force'.

All the so called holly books that I got my hands on, they all got influence by those around at that particular time at that particular culture, why would God left a book?

Anyways.

You believe in fairy and stuff, so yes.

It's simple.

You believe or not.

You can be conflicting your ideas but you always believed in something.

I take comfort in my life from other fountains.

I can conformably live without engaging in superstitious acts.

Good Lord. ;)

I'm not sure why you are taking such an argumentative tone here.

And yes, I've heard of other religions. *giant fucking eye roll* I'm not here to debate the validity of people's belief systems...as I stated in MY FIRST post. I respect all religions/belief systems. So to conform my question to your example...say someone believes in nature based belief systems, if they saw a hawk and believed it was communication from The Divine and they had a mental illness, do you feel that is a religious experience or psychosis? How would they know?

Again, I'm not here to evangelize. I don't do it in my "real life" and I'm certainly not going to do it here. If you want those questions answered, then buy a book. I asked a specific question and value the opinions I have been given. So if you want a debate, look somewhere else.

Edited by PippaLove
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know where you draw the line. Many religious beliefs would be considered delusions if it was just one person who believed and not more widely accepted culturally.

i had an experience, while delusional, where a reddish light of pure love shined through my head. I guess it was a delusion. Sure seemed real. I don't know.

i know a man who thought he was a religious figure from the past while manic. I guess something like that you know isn't real.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had trouble with this when I was not medicated.  I was told I was the most powerful person on earth by some higher power, and that stuck with me for a very long time.  That thought didn't leave me until I finally got my cocktail figured out 10-12 years later.  I still think of it even now though, but only as a memory; not as something real. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, PippaLove said:

. So to conform my question to your example...say someone believes in nature based belief systems, if they saw a hawk and believed it was communication from The Divine and they had a mental illness, do you feel that is a religious experience or psychosis? How would they know?

Simple, 

They would know by believing or not.

A religious belief do not distinguish from a delusion, both aren't based upon facts and more merely acts of faith.

As religion or most of it are just cultural accepted as in, 'if you have delusion with religious theme', depending on how it will affect you and the ones around you, meaning, if it's social or cultural accepted, you're basically as sane as it gets, ah don't forget to pay your taxes.

I don't want a debate with someone who 'roll eyes' as argumentative tactic.

My questions aren't on any books that I'm aware of and even if they were,

it's up to me, to believe or not.

Peace out.

Edited by uncomfortable thoughts
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, confused said:

I don't know where you draw the line. Many religious beliefs would be considered delusions if it was just one person who believed and not more widely accepted culturally.

i had an experience, while delusional, where a reddish light of pure love shined through my head. I guess it was a delusion. Sure seemed real. I don't know.

i know a man who thought he was a religious figure from the past while manic. I guess something like that you know isn't real.

This is a great example! I just don't know either. It seems like it should be dismissed as you were delusional but still, it's hard to dismiss it when it felt so real to you.

As far as the man, I guess something like that is easier to dismiss but who know?! It's all so confusing.

Thank you for your thoughts.

6 hours ago, melissaw72 said:

I had trouble with this when I was not medicated.  I was told I was the most powerful person on earth by some higher power, and that stuck with me for a very long time.  That thought didn't leave me until I finally got my cocktail figured out 10-12 years later.  I still think of it even now though, but only as a memory; not as something real. 

Interesting. It does seem to be a reoccurring theme for a lot of people with bipolar. I wonder why our minds go here when manic/psychotic?

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...