I’ve always been interested in Schizophrenia. My mother in law suffered from it. She established a second personality, with a different name, to stand in when she couldn’t take responsibility for her own actions. It seems to be a genuine inner conflict that can only be controlled by using the mind as a protection mechanism.
Multiple personality disorder also shows how the mind can come to the defense of an individual at certain times. In the movie “Sybil” we saw a number of personalities come to life as this young woman went through horrific things in her childhood. In order to shield herself from the pain she endured, she became someone else – someone who could fight the evil that she was experiencing.
Of course, sorting through all these different personalities would be frightening and lead to severe mental problems. It reminds me how intricately and wonderfully made the human brain is. God gives us the ability to handle a lot – including inner conflict.
As all of us struggle inwardly with various conflicts, we often wonder where God is in all of it. You may be battling a serious disease and your mind is begging God to release you from it in one way or another. You wonder if you should end it all.
You fall in love with someone, but aren’t ready to make the commitment to marriage. Your inner mind tells you it’s wrong to live together, but your desires say something else. You know the difference between human behavior and what God expects, but you struggle. Sometimes those struggles turn into serious problems.
There’s a constant battle going on within us, between good and evil. It will continue until God takes us to heaven. We can be assured that Jesus took all our sins to the grave and destroyed our guilt, but we will still face temptation every day. Our sinful flesh will only die when we do, but in the meantime we can rest in the hope of eternal life in perfection.
Mental illness is very real. There are treatments and medications for this disease that should not be overlooked. God intervenes through medicine as well. Things have come a long way from the old ways of treating the mentally ill, but we have a long way still to go. I pray that God will comfort those experiencing these struggles and help us to eventually find even better ways.
Jesus is our champion. He’s the one who went to bat for all of us. He’s our hope and rock when we face adversity. He will defend us against the evil one and squelch all our inner battles when we ask for His help. He lives within us through the Holy Spirit and will never leave us. God is always there.