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  #1  
Old Jan 6, '12, 2:53 pm
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Default Sacred Scripture Topic

The Sacred Scriptures hold that there were more than a few men, and possibly women, possessed by unclean spirits. Over the centuries there has been among many the belief that some forms of mental illness may be the result of unclean spirits. Yet today, as I can attest to from personal experience, psychiatry can in many instances help people with their mental problems by using scientific means such as pharmaceutical agents.

The Church has advised me in the past that I can take the medicine's prescribed without it being against my Catholic faith.

I am not asking how a medicine can drive out an unclean spirit, yet. My question has a complexity to it in this: does the answer the Church gave me - and it is one that seems obvious and reasonable - mean that we have nullified our belief in the existence of unclean spirits, such as Legion, the one mentioned in the gospels? If unclean spirits cause some forms of mental illness, then what are the implications of: 1) not all those treated with medicine show improvement 2) psychiatry, the supposed means of driving out the spirits, yet themselves are increasingly maintaining that a belief in such 'possessions' is itself a sign of mental illness 2a) Jesus talks about this topic of unclean spirits in a very well known passage about 'a house divided against itself' which cannot stand.

Thus, purely from a reasoned standpoint, it appears to me that if psychiatry is left to the business of driving out unclean spirits (that is, if that is what they are actually doing, unbeknownst to them or not), they seem to be prescribing that we throw away these certain passages of the gospel, or at the very least, ignore and make them esoteric.

Furthermore, there exist many advocates for the mentally ill - primarily those who have recovered from severe cases and who have been abused, or claim to have been abused, by the institutions that treated them - that themselves call psychiatry an evil system of human oppression. I wonder if their reasoning does not derive from the observed fact that psychiatry is increasingly against the gospels. Jesus asked "By whose power do they drive them out?" It would seem that those who suggest we relegate the gospels to the back shelves of state libraries are followers of (?).
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Old Jan 6, '12, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: Sacred Scripture Topic

I'm not sure this is exactly a sacred scripture topic, more of a philosophy one. However, I would like to point out that medicine does not cure one from illness. Medicine helps control an illness. When we talk about a schizophrenic for instance, we don't give them a few pills and watch them immediately regenerate their mind. We put them on a pill they have to take for the rest of their life, then we work with them to help them control the problem.

Are all mental illnesses demons? I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. I do think that the difference is clear that Jesus Christ touched people who behaved in ways that appear psychologically disturbed, and they were cured. The symptoms weren't masked. They didn't need help to learn to control their urges, they didn't spend years in recovery. They were done.

I think some mental illness is likely not from demons. I think others very well could be directly from demons. We've done a lot of damage to our people. We've poisoned their bodies, their minds, their food and their water. We've genetically modified plants and animals. Then we've fed them to them. We have done a great deal that can be blamed for many of our problems today, in fact most health problems are directly related to animal consumption. Mental illness likely falls into that same category in many cases. In other cases, we have to admit that there are those who are not just a little disturbed or strange but seem possessed.

There is a reason the Vatican has exorcists. It doesn't have to be either or. We don't have to put faith in God and then forget science and philosophy. We can have 100% faith in God while using the knowledge he has revealed to us to also help.
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Old Jan 7, '12, 5:24 am
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Default Re: Sacred Scripture Topic

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Originally Posted by Michael19682 View Post
The Church has advised me in the past that I can take the medicine's prescribed without it being against my Catholic faith.
This is correct.

Taking psychotropic medications addresses the biochemical component of mental illness.

Counseling addresses the social/emotional element of mental illness.

And the Church addresses the spiritual component of mental illness.
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Old Jan 7, '12, 10:50 am
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Default Re: Sacred Scripture Topic

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This is correct.

Taking psychotropic medications addresses the biochemical component of mental illness.

Counseling addresses the social/emotional element of mental illness.

And the Church addresses the spiritual component of mental illness.
Very interesting reply PRmerger. But I would amend it just slightly in light of what you have written. Since it is the Church, via her members that addresses the spiritual component; it is likewise at least potentially the Church that both prescribes (doctor) and takes (me) the medicine; as well as is the Church that addresses 'the social/emotional element' via a Catholic Counselor. Or did you mean to imply that the first two component/elements you mentioned (medicine and counseling) are for me best met by those from outside the Catholic Church?

Also, thank you for putting credence in my memory: I promise you that it was a Roman Catholic priest who said that I can take the medicines!
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Old Jan 7, '12, 5:00 pm
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Very interesting reply PRmerger. But I would amend it just slightly in light of what you have written. Since it is the Church, via her members that addresses the spiritual component; it is likewise at least potentially the Church that both prescribes (doctor) and takes (me) the medicine; as well as is the Church that addresses 'the social/emotional element' via a Catholic Counselor. Or did you mean to imply that the first two component/elements you mentioned (medicine and counseling) are for me best met by those from outside the Catholic Church?
I think you are confusing "the Church" with "Catholic doctors" and "Catholic counselors". That a physician happens to be Catholic ought not be confused with him/her representing "the Church."

In general, one should:
See a Catholic priest to get spiritual advice regarding mental illness.
See a counselor to get emotional counseling regarding mental illness.
Take medication for the bio-chemical aspects of mental illness.

Quote:
Also, thank you for putting credence in my memory: I promise you that it was a Roman Catholic priest who said that I can take the medicines!
Yes. Of course it is part of Catholic teaching that one should take therapeutic agents prescribed by providers in order to assist in one's health.
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Old Jan 7, '12, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: Sacred Scripture Topic

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Originally Posted by PRmerger View Post
I think you are confusing "the Church" with "Catholic doctors" and "Catholic counselors". That a physician happens to be Catholic ought not be confused with him/her representing "the Church."

In general, one should:
See a Catholic priest to get spiritual advice regarding mental illness.
See a counselor to get emotional counseling regarding mental illness.
Take medication for the bio-chemical aspects of mental illness.



Yes. Of course it is part of Catholic teaching that one should take therapeutic agents prescribed by providers in order to assist in one's health.
PRmerger, thank you for your generous outpouring of information and concern. Take care and have a great remainder of the day or evening.

Thank you. Your initial reply did not say "the representatives" of the Church and so I must have missed that subtlety. You should be made aware PRmerger, that many of these licensed professionals do in fact believe they represent the Church. I've worked with a great many. They are in dubious battle with the American public, which places restrictions on how the mentally ill can or should regard their benefits. In treatment settings, the logic is: our docs sign off on your disability papers, ergo you work for us, here and now. What's worse is that that logic is basically the essential treatment. ((If you are Catholic and being treated at a hospital that is not Catholic, you are asked to sell your soul. You are asked again and again until you satisfy those who "assess" grace in your assent. I.e. usually a woman or man of American or Jewish heritage who is some kind of feminist and imagines she can "tell" who is healthy.))

In general, Catholic helpers of the kind you mentioned are the best. Sadly, because some of them experience persecution in their effort to obtain licensure, they remain relatively more difficult to find and demand a price that is often prohibitive of the state insurance reimbursements.
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Old Jan 7, '12, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Sacred Scripture Topic

this subject has aspects that are philosophical which are not independent of the scriptural aspects.

What science has found is that there are many diseases which have physical and/or chemical components, which lend themselves to treatment with the methods of science. Science is devoted to treating mental illness with physical and chemical methods, and so does not concern itself with the spiritual aspects of mental illness, to a great extent.

Many problems which they see they ascribe to "ideational" abnormalities. may have strong spiritual components.

From a Catholic standpoint, from the standpoint of faith, we would be disingenuous to not allow for possession or at least disaffection by a spiritual component. Failing that, we're outside the realm of faith, and we are either forced to conclude that there is no sin at all, but merely a lot of society - driven guilt trips, e.g. cultural taboos and value judgments. The latter is the strategy of apologists for the homosexual agenda, for example. You just define everything as normal.

Try that in he instance of a murder. The murderer isn't sick, sinful, or even guilty. He's just inside another realm of normality that we don't yet understand.
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Old Jan 7, '12, 8:27 pm
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You should be made aware PRmerger, that many of these licensed professionals do in fact believe they represent the Church.
Could you give an example of something that this licensed professional has said that would indicate that he/she thinks he/she "represents the Church"?
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Old Jan 8, '12, 12:00 am
MorningSong51 MorningSong51 is offline
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Default Re: Sacred Scripture Topic

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Originally Posted by Crumpy View Post
this subject has aspects that are philosophical which are not independent of the scriptural aspects.

What science has found is that there are many diseases which have physical and/or chemical components, which lend themselves to treatment with the methods of science. Science is devoted to treating mental illness with physical and chemical methods, and so does not concern itself with the spiritual aspects of mental illness, to a great extent.

Many problems which they see they ascribe to "ideational" abnormalities. may have strong spiritual components.

From a Catholic standpoint, from the standpoint of faith, we would be disingenuous to not allow for possession or at least disaffection by a spiritual component. Failing that, we're outside the realm of faith, and we are either forced to conclude that there is no sin at all, but merely a lot of society - driven guilt trips, e.g. cultural taboos and value judgments. The latter is the strategy of apologists for the homosexual agenda, for example. You just define everything as normal.

Try that in he instance of a murder. The murderer isn't sick, sinful, or even guilty. He's just inside another realm of normality that we don't yet understand.

Hi Crumpy;

I don't understand some of the information that you posted, could you clarify some of it? Awhile back, I had taken some classes involving the Health and Nutrition division- some mental illness could be about poverty, as well. A story that one of my teacher's talked about in our class, which I won't post, would appear to be about mental illness, perhaps at the start, but could end up being a signal for poor health, as well. There are some really shocking stories about poor health and what people will do, unknowingly. As sad as this may sound, some individuals, in order to divert their cravings/hunger, will find any means necessary - to feel that fullness of something in their stomach. The medical profession, I would imagine sees "a lot" of suffering individuals. Poor iron - triggers much, or even an over amount can trigger another type of illness, that may seem like mental illness.

Hi Michael19682;

You've been given some very good advice and I very glad you brought up this subject. I hope you don't mind me stepping into the conversation. You know, and just from what I read, Jesus cured many people of various diseases, leprosy for example was one of them. A very good dermatologist, and one that everyone in our family use to go to, use to take what they call a sabbatical, to Asia. This physician - traveled many times and was given a grant (several) for his research and also taught at the local university about the symptoms/diagnosis for this disease, amazing what he discovered. When I use to visit him at his office, he would talk for hours about it - a very well gifted doctor, and Catholic.
When you think about it and from what we read in scripture, it took this physician years and even taught students the causes and what it will take to find a cure. Same thing applies to mental health, they say the mind is a whole different area on what cause certain things to happen.

Many years ago, and again a puzzle, I was in a car accident - very bad one. However, the accident triggered many other physical problems as well as emotional ones. You can't slip away from one without the other, as I learned. When one area of your physical self starts to go in another direction, there is a emotional play that goes with it. I had what they call endometriosis - and also there was 'like" an unbalance in my system, which also gave me a nice edge on my emotions. Well, this problem had "what they called - soldered/infused many muscles/organs together" - by the time the physician took a hold of me - and with correct treatment, I'm doing a lot better than I was - in more of less terms, you could have thought I was - and a nice term, a very unkind person. There had been a total of (and up to present date) 10 physician, maybe more, who I had seek treatment before I found the diagnosis and cure. St Paul Institute, and I'm sure every nurse is aware of the physician - a very caring Catholic physician - who actually took the time to run the blood work, surgery and help treat me. I've been through many physician who used laser treatment but there was more to this than I was anticipating -

Something that are left untreated, is what I want to say, become behavior - once it becomes a part of a norm in your personality, it very difficult to shake it. That's why the physical part of individual/people who have an illness should not let it go untreated, it can stem into the emotion part of us - so then you have two areas to work on. Hope this make some sense. Jesus, I believe, when he cured someone of being mentally ill - or cast an unclean spirit out of someone, I often thought about how someone that was thought of being ill (and those around the person) could perceive what "normal" was, and I hope that isn't to sharp to say? when the behavior - physiologically and spiritually speaking become embedded. I don't want to say this is my favorite verse - because of the problem, but it is a eye opener with my thought to Jesus:

21Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 22“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Like any good physician, healer - the first question that Jesus asked "How long has he been like this?" So the concern that Jesus had for the boy was amazing.

Last edited by MorningSong51; Jan 8, '12 at 12:18 am.
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Old Jan 8, '12, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: Sacred Scripture Topic

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HI MorningSong51:

I don't mind at all your jumping in on the discussion, most welcome

I guess the whole subject of unclean spirits and their "cure" worries me because of this passage from the gospels (I chose Luke's version here): Luke 11:24-26.

24 "When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, 'I shall return to my home from which I came.'

25 But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.

26 Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.

The current opinion that many counselors and pharmacologists give is that every time a person dips into psychosis, say, by going off their medicine, they "lose" a part of themself that they never get back. Frankly, its a lot of nonsense. Yet it appears an opinion supported by this saying ascribed to Jesus. If that is so - then "they" hold that the medicine does drive out demons. How is it possible? If a demon is merely a corruption of brain chemistry, then all illness which corrupts the "genetic plan" of the creator is caused by demons; including leprosy, etc. The brain is part of the body, is it not? I know about Teilhard deChardin, etc. But part of the problem is that this way of thinking leads to atheism, a body with no soul - a predicament called "hollow organism" by anti-behaviorists.


Incidentally, I was surprised that you brought up dermatology and leprosy. I used to suffer greatly from psoriasis, another potentially severe dermatological condition.
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Old Jan 8, '12, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: Sacred Scripture Topic

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael19682 View Post

Quote:
Incidentally, I was surprised that you brought up dermatology and leprosy. I used to suffer greatly from psoriasis, another potentially severe dermatological condition
Hi Michael;

My son suffers from psoriasis as well, not with the entire body but with his scalp. The dermatologist, that we use to see, was a wonderful doctor and friend of the family. However, I want to let you know that when my mother walked into his office, as she had some swelling and a rash near both her eyes, the doctor took one look and knew exactly the problem. Maybe this being a small problem, the recognition - off the bat, was a signal that the doctor could spot the problem and give out the recommendation.

As any physical illness which seem to have more difficult problems, or more puzzling issues, that usually can't be detected so easily, or off the bat, further tests and research will need to be evaluated - as this even helps the physician in his studies - or observations. In the same thought, the same thing happens with mental illness. There is another physician that I like and have talked with from the same university but unfortunately, the doctor has many offices to track him down and is almost impossible to locate, as he teaches but also sees people on the side but when he's available, he's all ears.

I think someone mentioned, on this thread, how many doctors they went through before they found that one physician for them. There are a couple of problems with finding someone that you feel is the right one... finding one that knows you and is aware of your faith. There are many good/very good physicians out in various health divisions but may not be sensitive to religious observances. To explain that remark, is that I could see a OB/GYN to cure the symptoms of endometriosis, but this physician may choose options that may not be appropriate according to my faith - for instance, birth control pills is one of the cures. There are many recommendations - but these cures may not be an option that I would choose - St Paul Institute, was a office that holds to Catholic values, and will educate me about the disorder. Make sense?
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Old Jan 8, '12, 8:23 pm
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Quote:
I don't mind at all your jumping in on the discussion, most welcome
Thank - you.

Quote:
I guess the whole subject of unclean spirits and their "cure" worries me because of this passage from the gospels (I chose Luke's version here): Luke 11:24-26.

24 "When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, 'I shall return to my home from which I came.'

25 But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.

26 Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.
I'm going to reply back with another verse that Jesus said, "Go now and sin no more". The absolute possibility of sinning anymore is impossible because we're imperfect as Christ is perfect. So how can I sin no more? There is always that possibility that I will error - sin.

There is avoidance of sin, not to create a situation that I will sin (directly) to make a spot on the soul. There is a big difference between conscious and unconsciousness state of awareness when one sins, there are many types of sins - those that are harmful and those less but nevertheless, even the little sins will eventually turn to become big ones. With the verse you listed, let's say I decided to clean my life of a sinful state and make the effort on my own accord to live, a good life. There is a saying, perhaps I won't get this right the first time -- but I'll try to remember it, we hear the call (mind and soul) for the day of our redemption/salvation, everyone is called to God's word - but few are chosen to hear it and accept it. Man can't be his own savior, if that be true - why the need for a savior, why did Christ need to come to man? Man is imperfect as Christ is made perfect.

There's a verse that touches on this:

Deuteronomy 29: Your eyes have seen all that the LORD did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. 3 With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. 4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. 5 Yet the LORD says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. 6 You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the LORD your God.”

If I was a diabetic, and I show symptoms that are beyond my control - I would need the medicines to cure the symptoms, in order for rest of my body to function because the part that produces it, isn't functioning - I will need to stay on this medicine (insulin) to help the body not to stress and cause further problems. The chemicals that our brain needs - a part of the body isn't producing it as this will cause stress - which if it triggers more stress - and the part that isn't producing it - will trigger something else.
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Old Jan 8, '12, 8:26 pm
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but this physician may choose options that may not be appropriate according to my faith - for instance, birth control pills is one of the cures. There are many recommendations - but these cures may not be an option that I would choose - St Paul Institute, was a office that holds to Catholic values, and will educate me about the disorder. Make sense?
Hi, MorningSong,

I want to commend you for your desire to follow Church teaching on artificial contraception, but I wanted to make it clear that, for medical reasons (not contraceptive reasons), birth control pills would be permissible. That is, if a health care provider prescribed "the Pill" in order to help relieve symptoms of endometriosis, it would be licit to use. There is nothing immoral about taking chemotherapeutic agents--even hormones--in order to treat a disease or relieve symptoms.

However, one could not morally take artificial contraceptives with the intent of preventing pregnancy.

Quote:
From Humanae Vitae: On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever.
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Old Jan 8, '12, 8:51 pm
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Hi, MorningSong,

I want to commend you for your desire to follow Church teaching on artificial contraception, but I wanted to make it clear that, for medical reasons (not contraceptive reasons), birth control pills would be permissible. That is, if a health care provider prescribed "the Pill" in order to help relieve symptoms of endometriosis, it would be licit to use. There is nothing immoral about taking chemotherapeutic agents--even hormones--in order to treat a disease or relieve symptoms.

However, one could not morally take artificial contraceptives with the intent of preventing pregnancy.
Yes, I understood this and that was pointed out to me however, the birth control pill had the higher chance (and if reading the side effects) for cancer and since there was a background of cancer in my family - I ran the higher risk and at the time, since I was younger I would run (also) the risk of birth defects, at the time. When I saw the physician at St Paul Institute, he used a natural method, which I preferred. Pope Paul VI Institute: http://www.popepaulvi.com/ncfwh.htm

Sorry, I kept thinking it was St Paul Institute and the name is Pope Paul
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Old Jan 8, '12, 9:57 pm
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I think that some illnesses (bodily or mental) are due to natural causes, but some are due to the work of the devil (or the demon).

It is incorrect to think that all bodily illnesses have only physical causes; some physical illnesses are psychic in origin. Likewise, some mental disorders have a physical or bodily origin, but there are some that result from psychic and spiritual causes (e.g., grief, guilt, sin).

It is incorrect to think that all mental illnesses are due to the devil; but it is also incorrect to think that all mental illnesses result from natural causes.

Diabolical possession is not necessarily a bodily or mental sickness, but a behavioral aberration controlled by the devil. The only cure to this is by exorcism and prayer.

Those illnesses that are due solely to natural causes may be treated by doctors, but those that are due to the devil must be treated by a joint effort of the doctors and a spiritual person (priest/exorcist).

Some illnesses (bodily or mental) can be healed or helped by faith in prayer. However, if the patient is not healed by prayer, it does NOT necessarily mean that the person who prayed was lacking in faith.

When a psychological illness is apparent, one should not neglect the possibility that the problem might be rooted in the soul, and that the best method of treatment might not be medicines and psychiatry, but religion and the confessional.

My Disclosure: I am neither a doctor, a priest, a faith healer, or an expert in the soul. So, all the above are just my humble opinions.
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