Mental Disorder, or Evil Spirits---or BOTH?
On a case by case basis, noteworthy psychiatrists have consulted with Catholic priests from a mental health diagnostic prospective, advising this segment of the professing Christian community relative to demonic possession. However, as a “two in one” professional counselor and a minister for almost 4 decades, I am not committed to an “either/or point of view. ” For my unique experience and perspective continues to be that a person can be both mentally ill and demonized simultaneously. I find that both conditions are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Each case must be individually examined based on the prevailing evidence.
The prevailing distinction between mental illness and demonic oppression is whether or not the symptoms are either organic or if they are supernatural. The Lord Jesus plainly used the phrase, that which is flesh is flesh. That which is spirit is spirit. What is of the flesh is visible and common to man. What is spiritual is supernatural or , common to a different species of life which include angels, evil spirits and demons.
The first place to start is “is to ask “Is this behavior common to man or not?” in other words, where is the human element? Is this behavior or symbol compatible with the mind, emotions and the will of this person? Who is in control? Very simply put, the flesh or the material is usually where symptoms applicably coincide with the elements of a particular diagnosis in conjunction with a significant percentage of the population whose symptoms are practically the same. In colloquial terms, if it barks like a dog, if it chases a cat, if it is man’s best friend, then its a dog.
Where the spirit or the supernatural is concerned, there are only 2 sides: God or the devil. The questions to ask are “where is this particular delusion or hallucination coming from? Is it God or is it the devil? What is its motive or goal? Is it to confuse, weaken, kill, steal and destroy? If the answer is YES to even ONE of the above,, then this is the work of the devil.
Here is a very simple example. You are hearing voices telling you to kill yourself. Is this a part of your mental disorder or is it the voice of an evil spirit? How do you discern? First, I uncover through counseling all the details to see if this suicidal thought is coming from the person’s soul. Is this symptom a part of the person’s persona or diagnosis? Perhaps. But what if this person has always been a survivor and has NEVER considered suicide before, as its alien to his or her belief system? That is easy. ITS THE DEVIL’S WORK!
Although this process may seem simple to discern, it isn’t. Why? Because knowledge of God, Satan and his strategies, and the intricate nature of the person at hand are the most important variables of this dilemma and briefly put, “it takes time.”
One thing is for sure. You can be mentally ill and demonized simultaneously. How this plays out is that you have an organic dysfunction, either physical, mental or emotional that evil spirits take advantage of. First they use your life’s circumstances including your DNA weakness to cause you to become mentally ill, and then they turn around and use your mental illness to demonize, possess or destroy you.