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The 4 Spiritual Traps of Bipolar Disorder

I want to start by saying that this list of spiritual traps accompanying bipolar disorder is no scientific article. Rather, it is a list of my own experiences and those of my clients searching for ways to integrate spiritual wisdom gleaned during times of madness while also honoring the painful reality of bipolar symptoms. Just as creativity has been openly linked to bipolar disorder, there is a spiritual component to the illness that gets much less attention due to various degrees of stigma and taboo.

Because of so much obscurity and ambiguity around spiritual awakening and symptoms of mania, many feel lost trying to integrate their experiences. I believe the confusion has a lot to do with spiritual revelation being dismissed during co-occurring mania. This list of spiritual traps common with bipolar disorder attempts to address this false dichotomy. An antidote for each trap is included — a way out that might ease the psychic tension and allow for honest and open evaluation of one’s condition.

1. Grandiosity. When one first awakens to spiritual truths, there is an automatic invitation to feel special. How could we not feel this way? We suddenly realize that there is more to life than what we had previously thought. Because newly gained spiritual insight appears foreign to others, we think we’ve been chosen, are more valuable or alone carry the burden of truth.

Antidote: Humility. Perhaps you have stumbled upon the perennial wisdom of unity, oneness and transcendence, but surely you are not the only one; not throughout history and not now, either. Many people are privy to the same insight through spiritual practice and contemplation. You are not alone. Know these insights are inherent to the human condition, if only yet to be realized.

2. Isolation. Grandiosity might be considered a type of psychological isolation, where one feels differentiated from others to the point of feeling singularly magnificent. But physical and emotional isolation may ensue as well as one gravitates to spiritual ideas. Spiritual insight plants a seed that can grow into obsessive behavior, shutting out loved ones and former connections in the pursuit of enlightenment or other types of spiritual attainment.

Antidote: Community. Spiritual pursuit may be a personal endeavor, but community is a huge part of all wisdom traditions. Whether it’s the tribe, the Sangha or the congregation, we need others to discuss, support and validate our experiences. Community can help normalize one’s insight so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

3. Urgency. The idea that you or anyone else needs to awaken to spiritual truth on any particular timeframe is aggressive and can breed paranoia, even violence. The mind becomes speedy, racing toward some final, seemingly inevitable destination. Urgency can stem from a sincere desire to share wisdom but can also result from fear of missing out or losing touch with one’s current state. It feels like the window of opportunity might shut at any moment.

Antidote: Trust. Billions of years. Billions! That’s how long it took for us to get here. And that’s just present knowledge. Who’s to know how many eons have passed prior to the universe as we know it or where the seed of life originated. Must everyone now awaken on our time? Be patient. Understand the limits of one person. Trust the process that brought you into being, and trust the path laid before us all as both individuals and as one human collective.

4. Perfectionism. Rooted in the striving for a perfect spiritual life is the poison of dichotomous thinking: the all-or-nothing, black-and-white approach to understanding. People are either good or evil, ideas are either wrong or right and we ourselves are either enlightened or crazy. This creates tremendous rigidity and pressure, making it difficult to relax and find serenity.

Antidote: Compassion. Be gentle with yourself and those around you. Listen closely and try to understand others and what they’re feeling and needing. Forgive misunderstanding or miscommunication. We are all doing the best we can with the tools we have. There is goodness in all of us, no matter how obscured by pain and confusion. Love is always the answer.

I hope this article might validate the spiritual insights of so many while bringing more awareness to this crucial area of bipolar disorder. This list is merely a few notable insights from my own experience, validated in anecdotal evidence by those I’ve worked with and met throughout my time as a life coach for people in recovery. Spirituality and psychiatry are not mutually exclusive, but can be integrated into a comprehensive treatment that validates one’s experiences while honoring the need to manage symptoms.

Chris Cole is the author of The Body of Chris: A Memoir of Obsession, Addiction, and Madness, and he’s a life coach for people in recovery.

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Comments

Hi Chris - Thank you once more for sharing your experience and insight. I am approaching three years since my first manic psychotic break and have struggled with finding the right balance between integrating the gifts of spiritual awakenings that I gained while in that altered state and also recognizing that the up and down cycles which followed were unhealthy, exhausting, and decidedly not spiritual. Instead, they were confusing, destructive and rapidly deteriorating thereby making it nearly impossible for me to continue to live up to my responsibilities as a wife, mother, and generally productive member of society, much less to integrate the influx of insights that made meaning of my life for the first time ever.

Although I spent many months resistant to any bipolar diagnosis or supportive medical intervention, eventually I was forced to concede that the path I was on was irresponsible and simply not working. I felt at the time though that by accepting the treatment, I was also accepting the diagnosis, and that felt like giving up on the hope that my manic awakenings had actually been meaningful or even real. I felt that instead of opening up to this amazing new awareness of reality, I was falling into disorder and mental illness.

What I have learned over the last three years is that the spiritual insights have not faded away and that my life remains forever changed by my experience, in a very good way. And I am continuing to come to terms with acceptance of both the spiritual and the bipolar aspects and the realization that managing the piece that is disorderly is the most responsible and supportive thing I can do. Not only that, staying stable allows me to enjoy this new lease on life and to be able to appreciate the ups and downs within a normal range, and it also allows me to embody the spiritual gifts I received so that I can live a more meaningful and fulfilling life with more depth and richness than I ever could have imagined.

Thank you for your continued support to the community. You are really making a difference!

Laura

Thank you, Laura! It means so much to me to hear from others integrating these same experiences.

I experienced all of these...the antidote was my wife...she loved me enough to stay with me through the bad years and get me help...she's amazing..

Thank you, James. I too don't know where I'd be without my wife. There is something incredibly grounding about open and honest partnership.

Magicial thinking during a manic break isn't the same as me enjoying my faith and church.I got a whole wall of books on God, Jesus, and faith.

This is an interesting statement, Marc. I'm curious if you could say more about where magical thinking ends and your religious views begin.

Marc, my guess is that mania can alter the brain a little like LSD; I've heard anecdotes regarding spiritual awakening due to drugs. Aldous Huxley, "The Doors of Perception," for example. I myself partake in seated meditation and place more weight on insights from that, than from my mania. But that's a personal choice.

So happy to have found a discussion on spirituality and bipolar. I have always been drawn to spirituality. Most of my youth was spent surrounded by depression in my family. With all my heart I longed for happiness for myself and others.When I had my 1st manic episode, over 35 yrs ago, ( I'm 70yrs. old now) I felt so good that I was pretty sure I was enlightened. My behavior was normal..no swinging from the chandelier. ..no regrets later. The following depression landed me in the hospital for the 1st time. I felt like I had fallen from grace.It became a bewildered greiving process for all that I had lost.After the acute depression subsided I was left with confusion..the down I could think of as a BP pathology but the high which evoked spiritual expressions I could not. I still struggle and ruminate about this. I do not have dramatic mood swings these days. For the last 6 yrs I have been a practicing Buddhist. I have come to think that spirituality and bipolar are a tricky combo. Just like everything else concerning bipolar balance is crucial. Had a dip in mood recently and even though I've thought it through many times and I know it intellectually I still reacted with resistance to the polarity of bipolar. Good-bad, saint-sinner, enlightened-unenlightened....ah..for the middle ground

Nice approach to this dynamic topic.

Thank you, Chris. I was diagnosed two years ago, and I'm not on meds because I feel like I can get over this (manage this) without any help. I'm still very much in denial and embarrassment from the diagnosis. Although, i'm doing relatively ok, I have two parents who have it and unfortunately, they're journeys with battling the Bipolar disorder don't give me any hope for myself. I watched a documentary, DMT: The Spirit Molecule and it blew me away in a very good way. But the woes of being bipolar waver my moods and it seems like I can never remain constant in my good place in keeping up good energy through meditation, eating right, etc. Some of your tips held a resonance with me when I remember the ups and downs I went through, trying to make sense of negative things that I was feeling. Thank you very much.

I had my first episode around June 2014, I had a spiritual enlightenment and thought god finally answered my prayers. I felt so alive and had all these visions and stories I've never heard or seen before. I thought I was Jesus then I thought I was lucifer the fallen angel. Everytime I'm manic or enlightened I feel like the spirits are talking to me through my head and through the tv I feel so amazing the first episode I was a lil scared and didn't know what to do. I flew to Texas to see a tech n9ne concert rented a car in El Paso, then drove to Lubbock Texas I had a certainty that I needed tech to to help complete my visions and I thought he needed me. It's hard to explain now, anyway I flew from Lubbock to I think Austin or Houston and then was telling all these strangers that I was Jesus and I am here to save you and All this other interesting information I've never knew before. I got scared and was crying in the middle of a field telling everyone I was Jesus and they called the police, they took me to the hospital for evaluation, meds didn't do anything there so they took me to a pscychward in Texas and kept me there on heavy medication for 2 weeks, meds didn't do nothing and I still knew all these things and still felt i was Jesus.

About a month ago my daughter started displaying manic moods. We went to the ER cause I had no idea what was going on. She is not suicidal so that was no help. Her episodes got worse, mor frequent and we did not understand what was going on. A week later she admitted herself into inpatient. WORST 10 days of her life and mine!!! After being released and now on meds for 3 weeks I see no difference. Drs say that it takes 4-6 weeks and that we may need to change meds until we find the right one, which I can't just stand! We are giving multiple vitamins as well.
All of her "symptoms" or what we have thought parinoid thoughts and irrational thinking and talking is everything explained in this article along with a few others.
I literally don't know what direction to go!! Take meds, don't take meds. Seek only spiritual others and work they that. Or take meds and spiritual others.
I'm so lost and confused as what to do!! I know she is trying to awaken!!! This all can't be coincidence...

Hi Kim, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. I cannot tell you what to do. I can only tell you briefly my story and maybe you will find comfort in that. Two years ago I ended up in the emergency room after a long manic-psychotic episode. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I had completely lost touch with reality. I saw connection between everything and everyone. My mind tried to makes sense of it all and created numerous versions of the reality, such as I was moving between parallel universes, computers were controlling us, I was having memories of previous lives, I was traveling in time, etc. Now I understand all of them were my mind constructs of something, whatever we call it, awareness, a spiritual dimension, etc, that we can't really explain. They gave me a lot of anti-psychotic medication at the hospital (I tried to run away three times), I spent three days in the behavioral health unit, and one month in outpatient therapy. The medication helped calmed me down. I went off of zyprexa after a month and I remain on lithium and on therapy two years later. I don't know what your daughter is experiencing, but it took me months to get my thoughts back in order, and it took me about a year to trust myself again, and probably now two to be confident and talk about it more openly. I was lucky to have my family and close friends to support me. I think the best think they did was just listen to me and be there for me. When I was at the hospital I could sometimes recognize my husband, and sometimes I could feel calm. But other times, I felt everyone was an impostor. From what I read later, the best thing you can do for someone in a manic-psychotic state is to be there with them in the present moment without judgement. I think that is very true. When people were not there with me, it felt as an aggression, it hurt. Be present in the moment with her. I learned to pay attention that if something was making me stronger I was in the right track, if it was making it weaker (like zyprexa) it was time to change. Your daughter will find that out for herself with your support.

I totally agree with you

Kim, I sure can relate to your situation and state of desperation last april. I sure hope your daughter has landed safely back in this realm now, and is recovering without to much depression/ anxiety. The manic episodes/spiritual journey is tough in itself, but the recovery and suffering of coming down and getting balanced seem more brutal for the sufferer. As a mom, its been very hard to not only try to comprehend what's happening to your child (grown or not) but to get help, support especially if your child is an adult. The first manic episode of our grown son was a terror filled roller coaster ride that lasted 24/7 for 3 full months! We did EVERYTHING wrong, even though we thought we were helping. We were reacting in complete fear vs. Responding and truly hearing what he was telling us, nothing was cohesive or made any sense. We made it worse, caused more trauma and harm than any good. But we learned ALOT during the recovery period. We were more aware of the signs leading up to this last episode/journey and were so much better prepared to support and respond this time around. Less trauma for all and recovery while still up and down, is progressing much smoother this time. Thankfully. The acceptance of the meds was huge for us as parents, especially due to our lack of trust in them and our beliefs that of course reflect on our son and he refused to take and instead self medicate. To no avail. Now we all understand how important the meds are for balancing his mind and emotions. Its making a huge difference now, and were grateful! Would love to hear how you're all doing now

Thank you Chris for this post. I think it is the first time I read about the integration of bipolar and spirituality in a way that acknowledges the link rationally. I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a manic psychotic episode two years ago. I am under treatment with lithium and therapy. I've gained a lot of understanding, but I still struggle between accepting my manic episode for the spiritual insight that I feel it was, and rationally dismissing it as mere craziness of the mind, as a resort to avoid its traps. Your blog helped see how I can honor the experience while simultaneously manage it. It is also encouraging to know others share a similar perception of bipolar as I have.

Finding your article brought tears to my eyes because i had not known anyone who had experienced these things you are talking about. i have rapid cycling bi polar, and experience mixed episodes. After i finally got on medication( after three years of serious suffering) I told myself that all my buying book after book on christian mysticism, and every religion i could get my hands on was just mania. I wanted to be saved honestly from my racing mind and restless body. I thought i could be cured by enlightenment. I would meditate for hours. I thought at one point i was a decedent of jesus or an ancient chinese master. I even found an alien race that i thought was visiting me often. I would see their outlines next to me and even thought i was one. Sadly i found out when i was on medication that these religions and aliens werent real and made all my mania much worse. Everything you talked about in this article touched me on some level. The grandiosity and perfectionism. Recently i started doing some meditation for this new diet i found to help balance out my chakras and cure my illness with food. I could feel the mania coming back, and the aliens. Which sent me into a week from hell. And just reading this article made my whole month. Helped me understand that Im not alone, and at those moments of mania and depression there are others there for me, holding my hand, and telling me everything is going to be okay. thank you so much! hope all is well

For years I've been studying psychology, philosophy, religion, occult.. Etc etc.. Trying to figure out everything.. Trying to find a cure to work through the depression and utilize my mania for moments of creation... I felt I have came up with a lot of good stuff.. But at the same time.. The toll of the spiritual awakenings are brutal... And they are starting to hinder my ability to be productive in modern society... So I'm gonna have to take meds until I can get to a place to go back into my "madness" and work through it some more... I get addicted to the high of the manias along with the great feeling you get when you dig yourself out of your depressions... And I have went to all these "levels" also.. Of perfectionism, feeling judged, feeling like I'm better than others, feeling like I can save the world, feeling like I can come up with something to enlighten all of humanity... And I have helped a lot of people in this battle.. But I have had to go to hell each time to get these insights... And each time I come back more broken more jaded... And it's harder and harder to find the light again... So for now I'm gonna try meds and see what happens... I'm just afraid that link to the spiritual will be cut off...

Nicely written article Chris. Moderation and balance seems to be the key. Learning how to identify whats throwing you off centre, and with yourself and support network, figuring out how to recentre.

A bit of background about me, I was diagnosed with BP 5 years ago, and I'm a doctor myself. An odd situation to be in, I feel anyway. What I have learnt with dealing with my own symptoms, are that the mind in BP is an illness just like the body is in starvation. There is no one solution that works for everyone, but medication has remarkable effects on centring our mind, so does a healthy exercise/meditation routine and good support networks.

When our thoughts arise, especially in the early phases of our extremes, we need to really be careful not to feed these too much, and find out whether they are leading us back to centre..The only way we could help change the world, doing our part in the community, is to be alive and functional through it.

Reading these messages has impacted me more than you will ever know. Right now. In this moment. I am going through this. They just put me on an anti depressant. Something was telling me that it was not what I need. It's only day 2 on the Celexa. I talked to a therapist. She noticed my manic state and told me to consider a second opinion. Mood stabilizers if anything but not anti depression. I wrote everything down. I just had too much happen too fast with my awakening. I'll tell my story one day for sure but right now, I'm grateful to know I am not alone.

Why is this illness affecting me?

Spirtual awakening it is called because from birth we r told lie Our elder and when we go to manic state. We think we r unlightened .
Just the mind starts to work fast and we see thing and hear things no other can see.

The dichotomous thinking is seemingly vague to a random guy but very important in this discussion..More like finding the balance

4 times I've been hospitalized. The first time I saw something that nobody else did. I predicted accurately the immediate future. I drove a demon from a kid named Immanuel. I have witnesses and this isn't a skewed account of events. May I also add I didn't think about these things they just came out or I did them as if I wasn't even in control. There was alot of things I was so sure of that never happened. That's what left me so confused. I was doing advanced numerology and didn't even know what it was at the time. I just cannot believe my mind created all that. I felt like there were gates laying over my mind that opened up and I was receiving this type of divine knowledge. My ex wife though I was possessed. If I was it wasn't a demon. At times during all this I felt as if I was in some kind of trance. I only struggle with understanding what it is. Some of these events were supernatural and didn't just feel like it. We know of many prophets not in the bible who have predicted the future. There are many unexplained things medicine attempts to explain and I just can't buy it. I cannot predict the future or anything like that. But I did so I know it wasn't me but whatever was affecting me. So I feel some spiritual being has interrupted my life in a big way. As crazy as it sounds I welcome it. In reality I am an accomplished person and none consider me crazy ever until I talk about my experiences. You know the 'manic' ones. So it has forced me to keep alot of this to myself. Dr's don't even know my story rather they just care about symptoms and pills. The evangelical community says these thing are real but when a real person goes to them about it you find out real fast they don't believe it. Just wanted to share my experience maybe in hopes there is someone who has experienced a similar thing that could help me understand what I'm dealing with.

Dear Justin I agree with you that a spiritual manic state is a trance which is controlled by some entity outside our normal reality perception. And in this trance we become able of things which are otherwise ascribed to Gods, angels or demons.

I went on intensive 10 days vipassana meditation retreat in a Thai buddhist monastery in Nov 2016. During the retreat at nights I started to "hear voices and sounds", something that never happened to me before. On the tenth day, like at a prescription, I had an awakening experience with the release of kundalini energy and opening of the head chakra. this was absolutely astounding and ended up in a blissful feeling of unity and peace with the universe, god and creation. Following the retreat, I started to develop intense psychotic symptoms - on some days I was manic, carried by some immense force to experience the world, be overly generous, lost any fear, felt communicating with animals around me. I was shown parallel realities as if I was an avatar in a virtual reality game. I was being struck by impulses of love, compassion, sadness or joy like at the switch of a button from some higher force. On other days I felt watched by the birds and cameras like in a 1984 all surveillance society and became deeply frightened. After a week of travel, I wondered barefoot around Bangkok, entered some Buddhist monastery and was pressed by some higher force to the ground in a crucifix position, it was like an epileptic seizure during which I experienced an epiphany for the first time in my life, whereby the God or some higher level entity by whose appearance I was blinded has beamed his plan on how to save this planet, humans and animals into my (sub)consciousness. After this I was helped to get up by some monks and started talking and shouting that plan in a human language like in a delusion. Then I walked through slums and building sites of bangkok for some 4 hours noticing bad working conditions, pollution of the nature and other injustice which needs to be addressed. Indeed, after such an experience, I felt like I was "chosen" to accomplish that divine plan on Earth, and I had to obey that role. Finally, I collapsed at the Bangkok airport and was placed into intensive care while my family and friends were missing me on my flight back to Europe and only able to locate me through the embassy two days later. I spent 4 days in a hospital on heavy meds and returned back home in a weeks time with a diagnosis of "meditation-induced psychosis". I couldn't anyhow explain rationally what happened to me and tried to avoid those memories. My psychiatrist cancelled all medication, but then two month later in February the first real depression episode started in my life. It was terrifying with existential fears, panic attacks etc. but I was lucky that family and friends stood by me and offered their support. Finally, 6 weeks after taking anti-depressants, depression evolved into apathy and a few weeks later dissolved. Then in September, I started to read about spirituality, and went to awakening Satsang again. After that, like at a push of a button, my one month long manic episode started to evolve. I became very inspired, creative and productive, needed only 4-5 hours sleep every night, however also at times became very impulsive shouting loud at people who "didn't get how things should work properly". I also felt very strong connection with the nature again, in terms of synchronicity. After a few shouting accidents, my parents called my doctor who advised to check into the clinic. When I arrived at the clinic, the first thing I was really angry about was that it didn't have a chapel for prayer, and I shouted in protest to the personnel. Well, they diagnosed me with bipolar and I spent there some 5 weeks and my medication was changed from SSRNI to stabilizers (valproat, quentiapin). Very important thing in the clinic was a reflection that while in a manic phase, I didn't accept the "illness" explanation, which from the societal perspective is quite reasonable. However, I strongly believe that depressive phase was an important spiritual lesson not to turn away from God and from love and into fear. And also now I feel like I can be truly empathetic towards people suffering from depression, which was simply impossible before experiencing the state myself. I don't know what to expect in the future yet, as my diagnosis is young, but thank God I lost fear of it for now. And I am intending for a christening later this year. Love to all of you and thanks so much Chris for posting this blog!

I had some experiences like you.I saw demons but no one believed me.I wonder if there is somebody like us.Sorry for my english.

Chris,

This describes exactly what has been happening to me for years now. I have just come to terms with being bipolar and my spiritual path has included ALL of these factors to a great extent. Its like you wrote this after reading my mind and following my actions.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Blessings,

There was a certain Shaman who when visiting the United States, was appalled with horror at the way mentally ill are drugged and housed in facilities, restrained against will. He stated that as a Shaman, he has seen how other cultures treats their mentally ill, which they regard as "messengers." When I was studying the etymology of "messenger" via Maimonadies, he stipulates that messengers can be coporeal and non-corporeal or both in the same time. Maybe Maimonadies and the Shaman are right in both regards. I just can't comprehend where or why the dualism of the poles of the brain are at war with the messenger, unless the Apostle Paul was absolutely correct in stating that "The (proverbial) battle is in the mind." At any rate, I think we should be listening to these affected people with a careful ear, for "the message" while also discerning the demonic. Maybe the poles are conducers for both light and dark energy transmission. And the goal is to carefully discern the dynamic, and transmute the dark into the Light. God Bless you all as you struggle with your gift and the curse of mental illness. What is meant to be will always find it's way, Amen?

For me, a significant mania was the result of a spiritual insight. When we see that normal life is a kind of psychosis and what we had thought we were was a fiction, thats can be very traumatic and commonly causes loss of sleep.

Some traditions in retreats or meditative practices can use techniques that may induce hypomania, because the emotional system can help "get" the realization that might have been there but was not impactful enough to penetrate the psyche. Free will is an illusion, so what? Mania can get the what.

However as your article cautions, there may also be a tendency to believe delusions. As you say the perrenial truth is always there in front of our face. If the insights or visions go away without mania or arent something stable, people should be very suspicious. BP patients need most of all the buddhist practice of examining the validity of mental stories and the operation the mind.

Dearest Chris - Thank you for offering such a wise and coherent means of navigating the blessings and pitfalls of bipolar mania. I too experienced (many times) the sense of being divinely enlightened, seemingly ordained by God Himself, with a sense of urgency to explain all to everyone, frustrated that friends and family could not understand life the way I did. In mentioning these frustrations to a counselor during a scheduled visit, she kindly reminded me that such a heightened sense of everything did not necessarily mean that I was closer to God, but perhaps further away, for where was - you guessed it - patience, humility, kindness, or a sense of connectedness - sacred serenity, if you will - in the equation? Out the window. That was in 2003, when I was 33. Fast forward to today in 2018 when at age 48 I have a healthier spiritual approach to life and a greater respect for all the havoc an unmanaged bipolar condition can create. While I ultimately saw the truth of those "false positives," I still appreciate the insights these spiritual wellsprings/manic episodes have left in their wake, in terms of both the nature of God and the the severity of mania. Talk about a dichotomy! Thank you for reminding me of this dual nature, and for hitting not only all four components of the experience for me, but the anecdotes, too. Please keep doing what you're doing for the bipolar community and those who try to understand us. Best regards!

P.S. -
Have you ever considered this the other way around? I once was taken to a psychiatric hospital because of a bout of bipolar depression with psychotic features. I saw the world at that time as though hell was just waiting for me to arrive. Not an experience I would ever wish on anyone. The pitfalls of negative thinking in bipolar depression most likely have the same anecdotes of kindness, compassion, mercy, patience, etc. etc. with one's self. I agree friend, that love is always the answer.

I have experienced all of this. I haven’t found an anecdote for myself. I find myself wandering looking for some answer but I don’t know what for. Sounds weird I know. I’ve had this disorder for years and have finally found some calmness but I still feel like somethings missing.

I have recently been diagnosed with BP. Always been a Spiritual person, so every vision or experience has been about the Kingdom of Heaven. At times there are souls in purgatory seeking prayers and at other times messages for others that some how make sense to them.

Reading this article makes me wonder if I am simply imagining all this.

I hope I hear from you.

It is really interesting to hear of others spiritual experiences. I have come to look at my manic episodes as spiritual walkabouts. Not to say they weren’t full of things that this first world considers crazy; i was institutionalized multiple times. My first experience at 15 was like having the world open up and the secrets of the universe shown to me in ways I didn’t have words for. The only way I had to make sense of it was the Catholic tradition I was raised in. But as some one else mentioned here; when I sought out religious people to find guidance, I was met with a, these are only stories, these magical things can’t really happen, I don’t really believe it. And then the doctors making me doubt the experiences I had seen and had as delusions from a brain that was just unbalanced. I have a good friend who is diagnosed schizophrenic and we both have a theory that if we had been born into an eastern tradition we would have been found by the shamans/ gurus who could teach us how to work with the spirit world and live in this world. But in the west it seems to be trial and error with a few guides sprinkled in here and there. In a way it ultimately the life of the shaman, you have to be bitten by the snake and heal yourself before you are able to heal others. Excuse the digression; back to my first spiritual walkabout I felt the need to share these revelations with the world, I didn’t understand that they were being directed solely at me. After subsequent experiences I have learned to keep my mouth shut and try and only pass on knowledge to those that have found me and asked about it. I want to write so much more but I think I should start with this and see how it goes. Anyone else who has had similar experiences, I look forward to reading about your journeys. Also I consider myself a 13; i am not sure if anyones else can relate, its complex and simple at the same time. If people are interested I can explain my understanding; for starters- its a 12 based world, Jesus had 12 disciples. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for such an article, it really opened my mind. Well, here I am, I was hospitalised recently ans was diagnosed with BP, was given anti-depressants but threw them away last month. Actually this is not the reason I am writing...well I have always been spiritual, always been considered TOO spiritual, it is not like I can control it. I see things that no one sees, hear and urgency calls me to places where emergency calls me. Some people I have never met, when I arrived to them they tell me they have seen me or dreamt of me, blah blah. This is getting stronger by day, I cannot even function in the world anymore. Honestly, as much as this is affecting my relationship with many people, I do not want to lose it as many people tell me how much I help or have helped them, odd I know ryt? I need to find a way to balance this but at the same me meaningful to the world. How can Eastern ways help me. I have tried the born again as well as the African part but still, I cannot function well in the world. Anyone?

I was diagnosed with bipolar in October of 2016. I have not accepted it although I take medication because I can’t be “manic” when I have a family to take care of. Like most of you, my experience was highly spiritual. I am not shocked how many people that are bi polar have such experiences.
I have still not been able to accept that these happenings are just the result of a mania .. a chemical imbalance blah blah blah
They cannot prove there is even an imbalance .. instead they give us pills that shut it off..
There are things I’m this world that science cannot explain... man fears what they don’t understand.
In biblical times it was not uncommon to preach the word to the point of death.. you have to be pretty close to God to do that.. however in times of mania I am sure I would have .. why did I need to desperately save people??
Stop and think

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