Jacqueline (not her real name) was diagnosed with bipolar disorder by three psychiatrists. She experienced a major depressive disorder in Grade 11, followed by another one at the end of Grade 12. When panic attacks started, she visited a mental health centre where the psychiatrist diagnosed her with panic disorder and major depressive disorder. Her first drug was Paxil, 10 mg, which was eventually increased to 40 mg. But the pain intensified and she became a cutter, ending up in Emergency. Another psychiatrist diagnosed her with bipolar disorder and put her on Topimax, then Lithium up to 1500 mg, and later Celexa, Zyprexa, Lorazepam, Zopiclone, Risperidol, Lamictal, Prozac and other drugs.
Her psychiatrists all stated that she that certainly had a mental illness. She was at times on ten drugs daily. The side effects were awful – nightmares, hypomania, insomnia, anorexia, weight gain and more. When she challenged the psychiatrists with the fact that there was no test for bipolar disorder, like other “real diseases”, they said that the symptoms confirmed it and she needed to take the drugs just like a diabetic needs insulin. She states in her video testimony that she was a “textbook case of bipolar”, so much so that even her doctors were discouraged with her situation and suffering.
She felt hopeless – how could she live like this? She wanted healing, not symptom management. She sought prayer, and many people prayed with her, but no progress or healing resulted. She believed that God could heal her, but nothing was happening. Eventually, many of her Christian friends avoided her, many not knowing what to do. Hopelessness became deeper and more pervasive.
She was taking psychiatric nursing at the university at the time. Her professor one day stated that there is a debate about the validity of mental illnesses. In particular, while the symptoms and emotional pain people experience are real, it is still an open question whether chemical imbalances are actually the cause. This made her angry, since she felt that she had been lied to by the mental health system. The whole point of taking all those psychiatric drugs is to correct some biological “problem” in her brain.
Her mother had recently been healed of her depression and was soon off antidepressants. She encouraged Jacqueline to ask for a healing prayer session. But Jacqueline was reluctant – so many attempts at prayer in the past had failed. What if God still did not heal her this time? Where would that leave her? The hopelessness would just intensify.
Eventually she came for some concentrated prayer sessions. With a team member, I had the great privilege of taking her through healing and transforming prayer relying fully on Christ’s presence to lead and direct the sessions. Each session lasted about an hour. We relied on the Holy Spirit to reveal the exact causes of her deep emotional pain, and Jesus to bring healing unique to her personal history and understanding. As she shares in the video, we uncovered the sources of her panic attacks and especially the cutting – along with all the symptoms of her supposed mental illness. But just knowing the root causes is not enough in itself – she also needed deep healing which she did experience from Jesus.
The symptoms disappeared and she soon became her “normal self”, so much so that her friends commented on the difference. She was soon off all drugs. Clearly, her symptoms and very real emotional pain and suffering had nothing to do with any chemical imbalance or some neurotransmitter malfunction, but everything to do with life experiences and relationships.
Please watch the video for her complete, personal and quite riveting testimonial given three years after her healing. This video testimonial was recorded during a healing prayer training seminar some years ago in Winnipeg. Note that my book “The Great Reduction: From Healing Souls to Fixing Brains”, which she refers to, was subsequently revised and re-published as “Pills for the Soul? How Medication Falls Short of Christ’s Healing of the Emotions”.