Q. How do we discern the difference between true mental illness and demonic oppression? Mental illness and prescription drug abuse seem very prevalent in our society.
We have several people in our small church who are on social security disability for bi-polar disease and schizophrenia. These people profess to be Christians and yet are emotionally defeated. They do not exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit and on occasion have caused much turmoil within the church. If they lie or do something hurtful they fall back on their disease as an excuse.
How do we discern between true followers of Christ who are mentally ill and the mentally ill who are using the church as a crutch? or are they possibly demon oppressed?
A. There are people with legitimate mental disorders and no doubt some of those are of demonic origin. But a growing number of medical and other scientific personnel are becoming convinced that the majority of what are diagnosed as mental illnesses are in fact symptoms of nutritional deficiencies. Some have gone so far as to assert that for all practical purposes, the asylums could be emptied with therapeutic doses of Vitamin B complex. We may never know because as you say, the overuse of prescription drugs has reached epidemic proportions and the pharmaceutical industry has a powerful motivation to keep things that way.
What I’m saying is that there’s probably no good way to tell what’s really wrong, since many drugs just mask symptoms, and don’t cure anyone. I guess only the Lord can see behind the mask and make that call.