How do I make good choices when I am bipolar?

Question:

Hi,

I do try to be a Christian, but I slip up a lot. My fellow brothers and sisters know I've been battling alcohol for a while and battling bipolar too. I don't want to sin, but I slip up drinking, thinking it would help me with my bipolar. I get tired of my bipolar. My question is: How can I make good choices with my bipolar?

Thanks for your website.


Answer:

What too many people do is make decisions based on their emotional response at the moment. This is dangerous at any time because your emotions change. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). This is especially true when a person has bipolar. Your emotions are too unstable to use for decision-making.

Instead, decisions has be done based on truth (God's Word). "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil" (Proverbs 3:5-7). That will be difficult at times because what you know is the right thing to do will be totally different from what you feel you ought to do. This is where your faith (trust) in God comes into play.

So let's look at what you've been doing. There are many verses that state that drunkenness is a sin (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Christians are required to be sober. "You are all children of light, and children of the day. We don't belong to the night, nor to darkness, so then let's not sleep, as the rest do, but let's watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep in the night, and those who are drunk are drunk in the night. But let us, since we belong to the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and, for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God didn't appoint us to wrath, but to the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:5-9). Alcohol is not a medication for bipolar. It is a way people use to escape from their feelings and thoughts. It doesn't solve the problems, it only temporarily numbs you. When you return to reality the problems are still there are often worse because you were drunk.

There are medications that help bipolar symptoms. Instead of self-medicating, you should be seeing a doctor about finding a medication that works for you.

I agree with you. Thank you taking the time for me. Nobody else did.

Jeff, you do good work. I do appreciate you and God will love you for that. I'm not perfect. I wish I was normal and did not have the problems I have, so I can't be like you and other brothers and sisters in Christ. It's harder for me to fight the devil and temptation than other people.

I agree that you face extra struggles that many Christians do not face, but it doesn't mean you aren't a brother in Christ just like everyone else. While temptations can be hard, the promise remains that God doesn't allow temptations beyond what you are able to handle. "No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (I Corinthians 10:13). There are many faithful Christians who have bipolar, and I know a few personally.

Thanks, Jeffrey, for taking the time to explain things to me and keep me in your prayers, I need it a lot. Keep up the good work.