I have visited your website on many occasions and have read alot of the emails people have sent to you. I sense so much pain and sorrow in their words. I feel i can relate. I suffer from Obesessive Compulsive Disorder, Major Depression and a few other things. But these two cause me the most pain and i have been struggling with them for nearly ten years now. In my pain i have often questioned why was i going through so much. And i was always taught it was for a reason. That everything is for a reason and that my suffering is not in vain and that nothing comes to me unless it is permitted by God Himself, even though i am may not understand why.
I think of Paul when he said that now he knew in part but then he would know everything. sorry i cant think of the exact location of this verse. I gave my life to Jesus over five years ago. But what i have noticed is that i seem to feel the same.
What i mean is that i always hear about other Christians experiences and how they always seem to have victory in their circumstances while i struggle constantly. I know that i need God and that i cannot do things without him. but despite my best intentions i am always messing up and cant ever seem to do anything right. I will admit as ashamed as i am now, that i have often wanted to hurt myself and just wanted to die because the torment of my problems was so bad but i believe that suicide is not an option for me because i believe only God has the right to take my life seeing as He created me. So i just struggle on somehow. The thing is i have also gone through strange things, seeing strange things and at times hearing things.
I know i am not ill. And my Christian friends have often told me that it could be satan trying to trick me or scare me. I hope you dont laugh at that but its true, I have often felt things that i cannot explain but that have scarred me so much that i am scared to sleep at night. I then wonder why God would allow things like that to happen to me. I know the Bible is God's love letter to me, but i sometimes find myself questioning His love when frightening things like this happen to me.
I have often felt like i was being oppressed. i dont know how else to put it. Its just that no matter what, things seem the same. When i pray i do not feel God, i do not hear him. I say this Ralph, but as a young girl i never doubted His existence and that He loves me, but i have also sensed something else around me too, something sinister and not very nice and something that terrifies me everytime i think about it. This combined with my psychiatric conditions has made life just about unbearable for me and as i said have made me just wish i wasnt alive anymore. I know there should be more to my walk with Christ, so much more, and i dont know why. i have felt like i have a dark cloud hanging over me. Like i am oppressed by something. i dont know how else to put it.
I have always longed for God and i take the psalmist's words for my own when he said "As the deer pants for the water so my soul pants for Thee o God". I'm sorry email was so long and perhaps disjointed or confusing. If you have any insights that would be really helpful. I also wanted to say i think your website is very good and i sense you have a genuine desire to help others. God bless you, Beth
My response is in Green:
Thank you for writing me. First I would caution you about believing the world's labels. You said you have "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Major Depression." These are both labels put on by the world. Now before you say that I don't know what I am talking about, hear me out. I have done much research on this and would like to recommend a couple of books to you.
Manufacturing Victims Author: Dr. Tana Dineen
Psychology Debunked - Revealing The Overcoming Life Author: Lisa and Ryan Bazler
The Anti-Depressant Fact Book Author: Dr. Peter R. Breggin
You did not tell me you were on any medications, but even if you aren't the last book is a good one to read because he explains a lot about these so called diseases. I know this might be hard for you to accept but these labels do more harm than good, you don't have a disease, you have a struggle. There is a difference. A true disease has a true medical test to diagnosis it, it has a true medical treatment plan and a true medical prognosis. These so called diseases don't. There is not medical test for depression, there is just subjective tests. Let me quote from one of these books:
It is a mistake to view depressed feelings or even severely depressed feelings as a "disease." Depression, remember, is an emotional response to life. (page 16)
Depression is never defined by an objective physical finding, such as a blood test or brain scan. It is defined by the individual's personal suffering and especially by the depressed thoughts and feelings that the person expresses. In other words, if a person has depressed thoughts and feelings, the diagnosis of depression is made. Based on that alone, it makes little sense to view depressed feelings, or the emotional state of depression, as a disease or disorder. (page 18)
In reality, science does not have the ability to measure the levels of any biochemical in the tiny spaces between nerve cells (the synapses) in the brain of a human being. All the talk about biochemical imbalances is sheer speculation aimed at promoting psychiatric drugs. (page 21)
It can become nearly impossible to rise out of depression on one's own-to "pull yourself up by your bootstraps." At times of great despair, people need people. A caring therapist, a loved one, or a devoted community such as an extended family or church can be lifesaving. But when a doctor spends fifteen minutes with his patient and prescribes a drug, the sense of aloneness and isolation is likely to be reinforced. (page 25)
These quotes were all from The Anti-Depressant Fact Book by Dr. Peter R. Breggin.
Psychology's "conspiracy of silence" results from the absence of any established knowledge base in the field. Ten different therapists will diagnose and treat one problem ten different ways. Therapists base your treatment on their view of reality instead of on a proven psychological theory. Theories that are short-lived, conflicting and for the most part ignored add up to bad science. (page 15)
R. Christopher Barden, a psychologist, lawyer and president of the National Association for Consumer Protection in Mental Health Practices, says, "It is indeed shocking that many, if not most forms of psychotherapy currently offered to consumers are not supported by credible scientific evidence... Too many Americans do not realize that much of the mental health industry is little more than a national consumer fraud." (page 16)
These quotes are from Psychology Debunked - Revealing The Overcoming Life by Lisa and Ryan Bazler.
A true disease has a specific, observable etiology (cause) resulting in a patholphysiologic (abnormal) bodily process. This results in physically measurable signs and usually in felt symptoms. For a true disease, the cause, course of illness, and outcome can be predicted. For any specific disease, there will be a specific recommended treatment that can be expected to lead to the disappearance of abnormal signs, the lessening of symptoms and, ideally a cure. (page 289)
Contrary to what the public is allowed to believe, no disease called depression, manic-depression, or schizophrenia has ever been discovered, and no rational treatment for these "disorders" has been devised or proved to be effective. (page 293)
These quotes are from How Christian is Christian Counseling by Dr. Gary Almy.
I am not trying to make light of your struggle, I am only trying to put it in perspective. Man does not have the answers, they don't even have the right questions as these quotes show. Until you understand that you don't have a disease that needs medical attention, you are not likely to come to God for the help you so desperately need. Let me show you a couple things from scripture.
(Jeremiah 17:5-9 NIV)  This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.  "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."  The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Notice that God says that those who lean on man's wisdom will never be free, but those who lean on Him will see freedom.
(Psalms 19:7-11 NIV) The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.  By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Reviving the soul, giving joy to the heart, light to the eyes... This is what you need.
(2 Peter 1:3 NIV) His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is everything we need for life and godliness? You may not if you believe what you have is a disease, but if you realize that your struggles are struggles common to mankind then you can know and trust that Jesus has all the answers.
Now let me address something that is not talked about much anymore but I believe it is what you need.
You may have read my testimony but if not, I will give you the very short version. I grew up in a Christian home, but when I went into the Marine Corps, I walked away from my faith. I did not quit believing, but I quit following. I wanted to live my way. I did live my way for a little over 20 years, and then God got a hold of me and I came back to Him. However, I had sins that I just could not seem to stop committing. I would pray and repent and sure enough I would go back and do the same thing over and over again. I prayed that God would help me overcome these sins, but it just didn't seem to work. One day I was reading my Bible and praying and I just gave up. I told God that He knew I wanted to stop but that I was not able to. I told Him that if He wanted me to live a holy life, then He was going to have to do it for me because I could not do it myself. I told Him that I was willing for Him to take complete control of my life, because I knew I could not control it myself.
Let me give you a passage of scripture which illustrates what I am talking about: (Romans 6:16-18 NIV)  Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Notice that we are never set free to control our own lives. We are either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. That is what most people don't understand. I did not understand it. God will never help you take control of your own life, He wants control and either you give it to Him or you remain a slave to sin. That does not mean you are not saved, it means that your sinful nature is still in control.
This is not talked about much anymore, but it is what the Bible calls sanctification. This is when we are freed from the bondage of sin and God takes control of our lives. I will tell you that I have never felt such freedom as I did when I finally gave up and let God have control of my life.
Here is another passage that deals with this: (Romans 8:1-8 NIV)  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,  in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;  the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
Notice in verse 6 Paul tells us that the mind controlled by the Spirit is life! God will help you, but you have to be willing to give complete control to Him. Admit that you can't do it. There truly is victory in Jesus. Believe me I still struggle with temptation, but it is different now. Before the temptation over took me like a giant wave. I would get caught up in it and swept away. I felt like I had no control, I could not resist. But now, it is like I see the wave coming and I just quickly pray that God will deliver me and He does.
I am sure what I am saying sounds easy and in a way it is, but in a way it is very hard too. It is hard for us as humans to let go and give God everything. I know I thought I had for years, but now I know that I had kept back a little bit of control and that is where my weakness was. I am not capable of controlling my life. I am no longer embarrassed to admit that. I now have freedom in Christ and have never been happier.
I have been through depression, I have been through struggles with suicidal thoughts. I have been to the point where I did not think life was worth living, but I have been freed by Jesus Christ. It took giving Him everything, my victim hood, my pain, my excuses, everything.
If you are on medications, do not just throw them away and quit taking them, that can be dangerous. You need the help of a doctor who is willing to help you get off of them. You also (whether you are on meds or not) need the help, support and comfort found in the body of Christ. You need other believers who will pray for and with you, who will hold you accountable for your moods and your actions and who will be there anytime you need them.
This is a battle. Satan is trying to keep you defeated and down. He has lied to you about this and convinced you that you have a disease, you don't. You need to learn to lean on Christ. Your "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" is wrong, it is lack of trusting in God, instead you are trying to trust in yourself by making sure and then making sure again. You need to let go and lean on God. You need to fight the depression. Read your Bible, praise God, even when you don't feel like it. He is present in our praises. When Satan gets us down, we don't feel like praising God and Satan has already won the battle. Get into the fight and follow your Commander, who is Jesus Christ.
I hope you took all that I said the way I meant it. I care about you and want you to see that God is the answer, but getting there is difficult, but well worth the effort.
E-Mail Ralph (Whose comments are in green)