I must stress at the outset that in every case I have encountered Bipolar Disorder has behaved very much like a biological condition. It responds in most cases very well to medications, but it does not seem to respond well to any other methods of treatment unless medication is also used. If you suspect you have Bipolar Disorder go to visit your doctor. If you still have symptoms despite taking treatment ask your doctor if you need a higher dose of medication or an additional or alternate treatment. If you are now well on treatment do not stop this suddenly.
Having said that, this post and the next few will explain some biblical concepts that may help people with Bipolar Disorder while their medication is taking effect, and indeed may assist you in coping with residual symptoms, or even perhaps provide some protection from the effects of the illness if you allow yourself to be shaped by these verses while well. These verses obviously also have general application so keep reading even if you do not have Bipolar Disorder!
It is very common for Christians with Bipolar Disorder to erroneously believe they have suddenly been healed by God. I do believe that God can heal today. But it is important to realize that in between mood episodes it is very normal for people with this condition to feel entirely normal, and even to feel better than normal at the beginning of a manic episode. Be very careful not to take it on yourself to suddenly stop your medication. Speak to your doctor before making any changes, and do consider that God may be using medication to keep you well.
People with Bipolar disorder can sometimes spend much of their lives depressed, and so the verses I have already shared about depression can be of help. Some also experience suicidal thoughts so may find that post helpful also. At the end of the day the Bible speaks to all of us whether we have an illness or not.
Bipolar disorder in many ways is a lot to do with instability. Therefore, the following words in addition to their original meaning are surely a very poetic description of how Bipolar Disorder can feel to those suffering from it, and to those around them:
Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the great waters;
they saw the deeds of the LORD,
his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their evil plight;
they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For someone in the middle of such a storm I can think of no better prayer than the following two:
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:5).
May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace! (Psalm 29:11).
Bipolar Disorder comes with a lot of chaos and disruption. At times like this we may need to be reminded of the words found in the next collection of verses. Repeating some of these highlighted phrases over and over to get them into our hearts is a wise move:
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. (Psalm 62:6).
The path of the righteous is level; you make level the way of the righteous. (Isaiah 26:7).
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. (Psalm 3:3).
And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. (Isaiah 32:17).
A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
I will close this post with perhaps the best verse for the person with Bipolar Disorder, and in the next posts share some more verses that counter specific aspects of the things people with this condition experience:
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.