Mental health comes in many different forms and can be very disruptive to the people living with it.
As one who once suffered from grand mal epilepsy, and is now completely free from this disorder, I found that there are often common factors involved with mental health, that manifest in different ways for different people.
A Stolen Car?
I liken a lot of mental health issues to having your car stolen. When you are in the driver's seat, you have control over the car, the way it is driven and the destination. You may be influenced by a passenger who encourages you to speed, take a diversion, or distract you in some way. This can be likened to a temptation rather than a disorder.
When your car is stolen, there is someone else in the driver's seat and you have no control over the car at all. If you are a passenger in the stolen car you can have varying degrees of influence, which may or may not be successful, but if the car thief overpowers you, you lose all control and/or influence. We need to lose the car thief and get the car back into the hands of the rightful owner. This influence can come in the form of a strong desire or a voice.
The Structure of a Human Being
It's very much like that with the human being. Perhaps a good place to start is to have a look at the structure that makes up a person. I'm looking at this from the point of view of a believer (this site IS all4god.net!). In the beginning, God said "Let us make man in our own image..". For a start, who is us? According to Scripture, us is God (Father), The Word (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. Actually, I prefer the word likeness to image. Image is a bit misleading because we don't all look the same and the word image indicates appearance, whereas likeness depicts a similar structure. So we have seen that God is a three part being and we have been made in His likeness. He has created us also as a three part being.
We are all familiar with the body. It is a temporary housing for the rest of us that may last 100 years give or take. It is subject to death at some stage, at which point we leave that poor old body to start of the next phase of life hopefully.
The soul is who you are, it is your personality, your identity, your thinking, your learning and all those things that accumulate to make you, you. The soul is designed to have fellowship with God and feels empty and void without that fellowship (particularly noticeable when things are quiet and you are alone).
The spirit comes from God and is mostly recognised as your conscience, your sixth sense, intuition etc. It is given to us by God to help us stay on the right track. Ignoring the gentle guidance of the spirit can bring a person to a place of no longer receiving that guidance.
The Spiritual Realm
It is important to know that there are other beings out there that you can't see. These are spirits known as angels or demons if they're on the dark side. Generally speaking, angels are the good guys and can/do watch over us, Psalm 91:11-12.“For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”
The other guys (demons) tend not to be so helpful. They can be likened to the car thief, looking to take advantage of an easy score, except that demons aren't so much interested in cars, they like to pinch people! What does this mean, and how does it work? Basically, demons need a permission slip to enter a person's body. This permission slip can come in many forms, such as some ancestral activity that has been handed down, it can come through dabbling with occult practices such as the ouija board and the like. Fear is a major culprit as far as this is concerned. Fear can easily open the door to demon influence in one's life. This is why so many people suffer from bi-polar, schizophrenia and so many other disorders after a tragedy. These demons are like the car thief who wants to take over.
The reality is, if there's more than one voice in a person, or more than one personality, then there's more than one being in the person's body. The demon spirit will usually try to take control, but may, on the other hand, lie dormant, creating a feeling of insecurity in the person because "somethings not right".
Dealing with the Car Thief
I know that there are all sorts of counseling available for people who suffer from mental health issues, but to me, seeing this as a spiritual problem, I would be more inclined to go to the Creator for help. In Scripture, there are a number of cases where Jesus cast spirits out of people:
A Boy Is Healed (Mark Chapter 9)
14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”
20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.
22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,[a] all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”
26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”
27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
A Demon-Possessed Man Healed (Mark Chapter 5)
1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. 2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
8 For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” 9 Then He asked him, “What is your name?”
And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.
11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” 13 And at once Jesus[c] gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
14 So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. 15 Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 16 And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine.
There are other examples of Jesus casting out unclean spirits in Scripture as well. The good news is, He is still doing this today! I suffered from grand mal epilepsy for six months, and He set me free over night. When I cried out to God for help, what I actually said was "God, if you're real, please help me", He answered me saying "The name of Jesus is used to cast out demons". When I called out the name of Jesus I felt every bad thing inside me leave. What an amazing feeling!! I later learned that in order to keep my freedom, I had to give me life to God. I didn't know what that really meant at the time, but I can now tell you that I wouldn't be without Him for anything. What a wonderful thing it is to live day by day being free from mental health issues and being encompassed by His great love and enjoying His fellowship.
I have also seen a solidly built man picked up by "an invisible force" (a spirit), and thrown backwards from one end of a room to another. I do not tell you this to make you afraid, but rather to give you hope. That man was a very good friend of mine (now with the Lord) and the Lord set him free! He went on to live a life loving God.
Another example is on my page re the spirit of death.
What I have read in Scripture lines up with my own personal experience. I have had people come to me for help, and one lady in particular chose counseling rather than "religion". She has been going to counseling for months now and still struggles with her demons (scuse the pun). Jesus could have set her free and made her complete.
There is no other name in Heaven or on Earth by which man can be saved (and set free). If you appeal to Him as though He is your only hope and your very last resort (because He is), He will hear you and respond.
I pray that you, or the person you are seeking answers for, will have the courage to seek Jesus for your answers. It is written in Scripture that: John 8:36 Therefore if the Son (Jesus) shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. This is also my experience having been set free in 1978!