| This article is not meant to give diagnoses of the
mental disorder of schizophrenia. Furthermore, descriptions of this
disorder with its various deviations may be found in most any psychology
text book. Moreover, it is not the goal of this article to focus
on the medical model with the treatment of antipsychotic, antidepressant,
and antianxiety medication. In contrast, the goal of this article
is to focus on the spiritual aspects of this mental disorder. We
want examine schizophrenia from a "spiritual model"
to see some spiritual solutions.
Many characteristics of schizophrenia relate to a spiritual area. Fear is not of God (II Timothy 1:7), yet many who suffer from schizophrenia experience extreme fear. Their visions are often gruesome and tormenting. Often the person uses extreme profanity. However, the Word says that we are to avoid profane words (I Timothy 6:20). The individual also may take on the character of an evil person such as a witch which is forbidden by God. The voices that one hears often suggest and promote (1) shameful behavior, (2) self-condemnation, and (3) violent, destructive behavior. In contrast, the Word says that we are to test the spirits (I John 4:1) and to avoid such behavior (Ephesians 4:22-23). Most who have symptoms of schizophrenia have a negative view of life. In contrast, the Word gives us some positive truths upon which we are to focus our attention (Philippians 4:8). Those suffering from schizophrenia tend to seek help from spiritual authorities, often wasting hours of that authorities' precious time. One may feel as if he has committed the unpardonable sin and that God is out to get him. In contrast, the Word says that through Jesus we can have forgiveness and cleansing (I John 1:9 and Isaiah 1:18).
Others exhibit a divided mind or double mind. In fact, the original meaning of the term "schizophrenia" carried the idea of a "divided personality". The Word of God speaks to the issue of being double minded (James 1:8). Confusion is another major characteristic of schizophrenia, but God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33). Since those who have this disorder are poor in logic, there must be a breakdown of constructs. The onset of the disease is common during the late teens. These are the critical years of life. Traumatic experiences and the disease are often associated. Failures in school, work, and social relationships may trigger the disease. When one does not cast their stress upon God (I Peter 5:7-8), one may open the door for the work of the devil (John 10:10).
Statistics indicate that schizophrenia may be passed down from one generation to the next. We may, therefore, conclude that there may be generational curses involved (Exodus 20:5). However, Jesus took the curse upon himself (Galatians 3:13). In some cases, the individual ceases to express his will. In other cases, the individual may be extremely demanding. Still in other cases, the individual may attribute their being to someone else. Usually he will claim that he is a person of worth, such as the President. Yet, the Scripture says that we are not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3). Most people who suffer from schizophrenia believe in a deity, but many also believe that they are that deity. After Nebuchadnezzar declared himself to be a deity, demanded worship, and lifted himself up in pride, he went insane and lived as a wild animal for seven years (Daniel 4:33). Those suffering from this ailment often live in a fantasy world. However, the Scripture says that we are to cast down vain imaginations and to bring every thought captive (II Corinthians 10:5). They live in a world of false ideas. However, the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth (John 16:13).
The following methods should prove themselves as being effective in the treatment of schizophrenia. (1) The counselor should provide intensive treatment, (2) show unconditional love and acceptance to the counselee, (3) lead the person to faith commitment to Jesus as Lord (this is essential), (4) gently confront the lies, fantasies, and deception with the Word and the Spirit, (5) help the person to regain yielded ground (including discerning deliverance), (6) lead the counselee in breaking generational curses, (7) help the counselee come to understand who he is in Christ, (8) minister healing for past hurts, (9) direct the counselee to learn how to build new constructs through Scripture memory, meditation, confession, and application, (10) lead the counselee to learn how to establish proper communication and fellowship with God, (11) help the counselee to learn how to cast down vain imaginations and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and (12) teach the counselee to give thanks unto the Lord, rejoice in the Lord, and regularly praise Him. Please note that this is a simple outline and not meant to minimize the severity of the disorder. Long term follow-up and accountability may be needed. Habitual behavior calls not only for relearning, but also the exercise of new behavior. In some cases the use of drug therapy may be effective to bring temporary relief; however, there is a danger of drugs masking the causes of the problems. Long term use of medications also may hinder the potential healing as well as productivity of the individual.
The Word of God says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2). The Greek word that is translated "transformed" means "metamorphose". It is like the caterpillar that changes into the beautiful butterfly. A person can change by the grace of God. "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21). Through decisions to turn from wrong to right and through the engrafting of the Word the soul may be saved. The soul involves the mind, the will, and the emotions of the individual. The mind can be saved from wrong thoughts, the will from wrong decisions, and the emotions from wrong feelings. The counselor's responsibiltiy is to be led by the Spirit and to instruct the counselee with the Word. It is the counselee's responsibility to recieve by faith and apply the Word (II Timothy 2:25-26). The results are in God's hands.
We also should remember that the Word of God is sufficient to use in all types of counseling. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (II Timothy 3:16-17 ). I believe that those who manifest schizophrenic symptoms are not exceptions to the Word.
Other recommended articles:
Freedom From Anxiety
II Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." RETURN=/\
I Timothy 6:20 "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called." RETURN=/\
I John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." RETURN=/\
Ephesians 4:21-22 "If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts." RETURN=/\
Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." RETURN=/\
I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." RETURN=/\
Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." RETURN=/\
James 1:8 "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." RETURN=/\
I Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." RETURN=/\
I Peter 5:7-8 "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." RETURN=/\
John 10:10 "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." RETURN=/\
Exodus 20:5 "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." RETURN=/\
Galatians 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." RETURN=/\
Romans 12:3 "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." RETURN=/\
Daniel 4:33 "The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws." RETURN=/\
II Corinthians 10:5 " Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." RETURN=/\
John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." RETURN=/\
II Timothy 2:25-26 "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." RETURN=/\