It seems like everybody and their dog has been diagnosed as being Bipolar these days. It's the trendiest of the smörgåsbord of mental illnesses, and according to a recent New York Times article, it is increasingly becoming the diagnosis of choice for children as well. Time will tell if it will surpass ADD/ADHD as the favorite school-counselor armchair diagnosis.
As with ADD/ADHD there is no biological test to confirm or deny the disorder, and no genetic connection has ever been proven. The diagnosis is mainly determined by looking at behavior and emotional symptoms. People who are labeled with Bipolar Disorder often have huge mood swings and pendulum from emotional high to low, with little or no apparent cause.
A couple of years ago, Christian pop singer, Michael O'Brien announced that he and his wife were diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. This week I heard an updated testimony from Michael and his wife Heidi on Billy Graham's website, where they shared about Michael's life-long pornography addiction. I am so thankful that Michael has confessed his sin and is walking on the path to victory. I'm sure this has been a difficult thing for them to discuss in public but I pray that their honesty will help many other hurting couples/families.
I had to think though that living a double life, being in Christian ministry, and hiding a lurid secret sin, would cause you to exhibit some Bipolar tendencies. While medication can help sedate you so you don't think about your problems, and therapy can help you believe that nothing you do is your fault, only the redeeming power of Jesus can deliver you, and me, from our sins.
A great example of the healing power of Jesus is demonstrated in the life of another popular Christian singer, Russ Taff. Listen to Russ' testimony of God's deliverance from many years of emotional bondage in this interview with Bill Gaither.
In Deut. 28:28, mental disorders are promised as a consequence to disobeying God. However, if you read the entire chapter, you will see the vast promises that are given to those who live pure and obedient lives. God has set before us this day life and death, blessings and cursings: Choose Life!