Riding the Wave ... And the Trough

I am mentally ill, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a vitamin B12 deficiency (a key element in brain development). For over 12 years, I took anywhere from 5-8 psychotropic meds each day, and have been recently giving myself a monthly injection of B12.

In January 2012 I was hospitalized for depression, and management of my currrent med cocktail. Immediately all but two of my meds were discontinued and, after a few weeks of adjustment, and some near hospitalizations, things seem to be going much better.

I have been on permanent disability since January 2010, and am adjusting to life on a very limited income.

My prayer is that in walking with me during the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder, you might find solace, and benefit through my experiences.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Suicide - Is It a Sin?

Is suicide a sin? That is a question that needs to be answered objectively. At first it seems easily answered, but when seriously considered is bound to cause some question in your mind. In gaining a proper understanding of the taking of one’s own life, the only question you need to answer is “Why?”

People find it convenient to call suicide a sin. The bible considers all life precious and, to end it in our own time, by our own hand, would be circumventing God’s plan. People say that taking our own life just isn’t right. Life is a gift from God, and it is our duty to preserve that gift until God decides it’s time. And face it, suicide shows spiritual and emotional weakness, and God should be the only one who decides where, when and how our life ends. Most people will admit that they don’t know why they consider it wrong; they ust isn’t right. These reasons all play into our understanding of suicide. These are all correct, and reasons why we should preserve our life. Our time on earth is God’s time, and the longer we are alive, the more opportunities we have to spread the gospel. When we cut life short, we get into God’s way.

We need to look at this in the proper perspective. When a person has a terminal disease involving an organ, like lung cancer, kidney failure or liver disease, we don’t blame them for dying. We don’t find them responsible for the symptoms and side effects related to that disease. We know that the nausea, weight or hair loss and lack of control are associated with the illness and not the fault of the person. Sometimes organs fail, and that failure comes with various symptoms. These symptoms are not caused by, nor under the control of, the person; the disease is in control.

Yet when the disease has to do with the brain, people’s reactions are quite different. People have been indoctrinated to believe that a problem with the brain causes insanity, killing, irrational behavior, depression and/or manic behavior. When it’s discovered you’re having a problem involving your brain, some will be supportive, but at a distance. Although there are exceptions, they are very rare.

A result, or symptom, of a problem with the brain can result in unusual behavior. These symptoms, short of the use of prescribed medications, cannot be controlled by the person affected, not unlike symptoms of other illnesses. Often these symptoms change reality, resulting in seeing things differently than they really are. The brain’s main function is to control your body and your mind. When it’s “sick”, the result is often a change in reality, which can result in a person doing things that they normally wouldn’t do.

Unfortunately one result of this illness of the brain is suicide. It might appear to others that the taking of one’s life is a result of environmental conditions; life being too hard, failed relationships, financial problems, etc. Although these outside elements might be present, they are seldom the cause of the break from reality. Whether from disease of other relative circumstances, a resulting suicide is again a result of existing symptoms.

As we know, God is consistent in His actions. The only reason people see suicide as a sin is they don’t understand the cause. God would no more convict a person from taking their own life than He would do the same from a person having the symptoms of cancer.

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