I believe depression and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) are part genetic – present but may or may not be genetically “switched on (think epigenetics)” unless the sufferer was raised in a certain environment (trigger) and partly a spiritual battle – “powers of darkness” playing on our weaknesses, kicking us when we are down, perpetuating our suffering, hoping to use it to annihilate us altogether.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesian 6:12).
(Sometimes, there are dominant genetic conditions that present themselves of course and cause these issues to manifest, but that’s not my area of expertise).
I believe the abusive environment I grew up in and the abuse I endured at the hand of my ex-husband, changed my brain chemically and affected its wiring. Spending years in fight or flight mode will do that to a child who expects to feel safe in her own home, but instead lived under constant fear and instability. The trauma of it all damaged my health in severe ways and still has a great affect on me.
With God’s help though, I am able to get through it, but it isn’t always easy. Many times over the years, I’ve felt exactly like Elijah – a great prophet whom God used to do many miracles. “He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life” (1 Kings 19:4).
Or I’ve relapsed with some OCD issues, making myself half sick checking and re-checking stuff until I’m completely nauseated and dizzy and have given myself a headache. The trigger usually being around toxic people, family member that I’ve ultimately had to cut off to stay sane.
But all the dark valleys I’ve traveled though has turned me into a warrior. I see that I have made it through. I see that many around me have tried to do me in. I see I’m in a battle. So I have learned to fight. When my only prayers are my tears, God gives me enough strength for another day. When I can only cry out, “Help me!” God shows up.
There’s no shame in struggling. God loves me. Doesn’t fault me as having weak faith. I’m His child. I see my son suffering from OCD issues. Worse than I did. He spent several years of his life, us living with family members, no other choice, even with me working full time. And probably being around my issues didn’t help (as much as I tried to shield him from them). I’m glad I’m aware of his issues because we are battling it together.
It’s hard seeing my son need to become a warrior in this world and at such a young age, but it is so necessary for so many reasons. One has to be blind to not be able to see the encroaching darkness in this world. In order to stay in the Light, in order to survive, we must learn fight. Spiritually. Fight like our lives depend on it. And it does.
I must teach my son to fight. To use the authority God gave him to overcome. To learn to never utter, “I will never get better. I will never get over this OCD thing.” *fallen angels applaud* To never make our issues our identity so we are utterly consumed.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
The greatest lie the devil ever convinced anyone of is that he doesn’t exist.
Today, I feel joy, and I praise God! Today, I haven’t 1000 times checked anything. Today my son is having a much better day in dealing with the OCD stuff – same brand as mind – “checking and repetitive”. His prayer warrior mother will not relent in her prayers for him. We are working through it as a family. He knows he is loved. He will overcome just as I have overcome so much, so many times and with God’s help. He’s not in this battle alone.
Be afraid darkness. Be very afraid.
Many times when I’ve been in a dark place, God has used a song, most often a song not intended to be a Christian one. This is one of my favorite songs. A song dedicated to those who struggle with broken brain chemistry and wiring (depression and OCD, etc. etc.).
You gotta just gotta hear this. Remember who you are and Whose you are. “Sound The Bugle” by Bryan Adams.
A prayer for sufferers of mental disorders:
Lord, I bring these mighty warriors before You. These broken ones of Yours. God You have not given them a “spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Bring peace where there’s a storm. Bring freedom where there’s torment and chains. Loose them from the bondage of the slavery from those strongholds in their minds. Heal them and make them whole. Help them to “surely forget their trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.” Strengthen them for battle. The battle to reclaim the territory stolen in their minds. Forbid the enemy to play on their weaknesses and teach them to make war in them, to pray, and never give up. Remind them who they are and whose they are in Jesus’ all powerful name, amen.
Important weapons – The Armor of God – Ephesians 6:10-17
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.