It was reported today that 40 inpatients escaped from Mathari Mental Hospital in Kenya after 70 of them overpowered the guards stationed there, 9 of whom have been retrieved. How should the professor of Christianity respond to this?
The practice of psychiatry and the worldview underlying it is rightly regarded as unbiblical and dangerous. That is not to say that there are not at least some cases in which behavioral problems can be associated or linked with certain organic dysfunctions. This, however, ought to be regarded as the exception and not the rule. Most behavioral problems observed today can be easily explained as the result of the individual’s personal sin.
Take the case of Lindsay Lohan, for example. She is recently reported to have requested to leave the rehab center she is currently attending because her request for Adderall was refused. Biblically, an addiction such as this is never explained merely as the result of organic dysfunction. It is understood as the manifestation of sinful idolatry.
Idolatry refers simply to the substitution of devotion to, worship and enjoyment of God with something else. In this case, Lindsay Lohan has replaced God with the god of Adderall. For those who are unfamiliar with Adderall, it is an addictive stimulant prescribed for ADHD. It is oftentimes abused by college students for the purpose of cramming for an exam, and oftentimes become “victims of this addiction.”
Of course, once again, addiction, from a biblical perspective, is never an instance of an innocent person passively becoming afflicted with a disease. It is a deliberate choice the individual makes to actively give into a temptation to substitute worship and enjoyment of God with something other than God.
Whether or not Lindsay Lohan (or anyone else, for that matter) can be justifiably diagnosed as having ADHD is another matter. Suffice it to say that the theology of addiction by which most of our society has been brainwashed is the result of the materialistic worldview that informed the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud, and the field of modern psychiatry which later supplanted it, while growing from the same rotten root.
According to this worldview, “matter” is the only substance that can be said to exist, and everything that occurs is reducible to an antecedent, material cause. In other words, the universe is simply a bunch of billiard balls hitting one another in time and space. Freudian psychoanalytic theory, and the modern psychiatry that eventually replaced it(of which modern psychiatry to some degree a synthesis) is the natural result of such a worldview.
In the case of this inconvenience at the Mathari Mental Hospital in Kenya, the professor of Christianity would do well to applaud their escape, but also to pray for their salvation and acceptance of Christ, and the legitimate healing that flows from this. The approach best taken to mental illness by the professor of Christianity, is best described as a form of “nouthetic counseling.” The term was coined by Dr. Jay Adams, a Christian author and counselor. The word “nouthetic” comes from the Greek word often used by Paul in encouraging his congregation to “admonish”(Greek: noutheo) one another. The process involves gently, lovingly and compassionately confronting someone with their sin, and pointing them to a biblical solution, all the while acknowledging themselves that they are no less susceptible to the exact same sin and temptation as the person they are counseling, but that the Bible clearly states that God has provided the solution to these struggles with sin in His word(1 Cor. 10:13-14).
Contrary to the worldly philosophy of contemporary humanistic philosophers and psychiatrists, most of our problems come from inordinately high self-esteem, not from low self-esteem. Nobody ever attempts suicide because they think too little of themselves. People typically attempt suicide because they think far too highly of themselves.
Their problem is that they think so highly of themselves and yet cannot seem to convince others to agree with them concerning how awesome they are(of course, even if they were to hypothetically do this successfully, they would be no less miserable), and so they decide to punish others for their refusal to worship them by killing themselves and hurting the ones who love them(yet whom the suicide-attemper thereby proves he does not love at all; indeed, he is too busy loving himself to love anyone else). Loving oneself is not a prerequisite to loving other people, as the psychiatrists teach.
Loving God is a prerequisite to loving others, because one becomes humbled by how depraved and unworthy one is, and is able thereby to sufficiently get over himself so that he or she is able to stop obsessing about his own self-worth and the image that he presents to others, and to love God and other people instead.
It ought to be prayed that those inhabitants of Kenya who escaped the Mathari Mental Hospital will also be brought to Christ, and to escape the guilt of their sin as well as its bondage and corruption, and come to see that God’s Word, whose power is wrought in the individual through the Holy Spirit, is both necessary and sufficient for whatever personal problem they face, and to jettison the heresy of psychiatry, as well as being able to wean off of whatever psychotropic medications to which they are currently enslaved.
It ought to be mentioned, moreover, that May is Borderline Personality Disorder month!:
According to the American Psychiatric Association, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is not a rare disorder, affecting approximately two percent of the population of the United States. In mental health clinics, however, the statistics for rate of occurrence are much higher, where about 10 percent of outpatients have Borderline Personality Disorder, and about 20 percent of inpatients in hospitals and institutions also have it.
Borderline personality disorder, as it is called, is a “disorder” in which those afflicted tend to have extremely unstable self-image, horrible abandonment anxiety, tend to be histrionic, obsessed with being the center of attention, impulsivity, marked suicidal tendencies, as well as other symptoms:
According to the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness that centers on the inability to manage emotions effectively. The disorder occurs in the context of relationships: sometimes all relationships are affected, sometimes only one or several.
The symptoms include: fear of abandonment, impulsivity, anger, bodily self-harm, suicide, feelings of emptiness and chaotic relationships. While some persons with BPD are high functioning in certain settings, their private lives may be in turmoil. Others are unable to work and require financial support.
Officially recognized in 1980 by the psychiatric community, BPD is more than two decades behind in research, treatment options and family psycho-education compared to other major psychiatric disorders. BPD has historically met with widespread misunderstanding and blatant stigma. However, evidenced-based treatments have emerged over the past two decades bringing hope to those diagnosed with the disorder and their loved ones.
Those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder now have their own month to celebrate! They have finally convinced society that they are victims to be pitied, whose symptoms are to be treated, rather than evil victimizers to be confronted with the word of God, whose sinful behavior is to be condemned without qualification by the word of God, and whose behavior must be corrected by submission to the word of God on pain of eternal condemnation.
There may be truth in some secular psychological circles. Joyce Brothers is a good example of this. She notes that some of the best happiness is family happiness. Joyce Brothers also expresses some other admirable sentiments, such as the importance of allowing oneself to be vulnerable. Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of this vulnerability. Nevertheless, the humanistic psychology of a Dr. Joyce Brothers can never replace the Christocentric psychology of Christianity, according to which whatever we do is only ever done rightly unto the glory of God(1 Cor. 10:31).
Unfortunately, our generation is unusually predisposed to the sort of entitlement mentality that produces pathological narcissism:
The most recent Time cover story calls the generation of young adults known as millennials “lazy, entitled narcissists.” Writer Joel Stein points out, “The incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older, according to the National Institutes of Health; 58 percent more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982.” How do you measure narcissism?
By getting people to talk about themselves. In the 2008 NIH study that Stein cites, researchers did face-to-face interviews with more than 30,000 participants to test them for symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. The paper described the disorder as a “pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, interpersonal exploitiveness, and lack of empathy.” To be diagnosed as clinically narcissistic, a respondent had to admit to at least one symptom that “caused social or occupational dysfunction.” Among its findings, the study diagnosed 9.4 percent of respondents ages 20 to 29 with NPD, compared with 3.2 percent in respondents ages 65 and older.