The Spiritual Dimensions of Mental Health: Is It Demonic Invasions?

An Imam recites verses from the Koran through a megaphone in an effort to 'heal' patients with mental health problems in Mogadishu, Somalia Photo by Robin Hammond/Panos

Share this article


The rise of mental issues is surging unabated. Mental issues are mental illnesses, also called mental health disorders, and refer to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behaviour. Examples of mental issues include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviours.

Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective skills to make decisions, build relationships and shape our world. Mental health is a fundamental human right. And it is crucial to personal, community and socio-economic development.

Mental health is more than the absence of mental disorders. It exists on a complex continuum, experienced differently from one person to the next, with varying degrees of difficulty and distress and potentially very different social and clinical outcomes.

Mental health conditions include mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities as well as other mental states associated with significant distress, impairment in functioning, or risk of self-harm. People with mental health conditions are more likely to experience lower levels of mental well-being, but this is not always or necessarily the case.

Mental issues change the behaviour of the affected, and medical prescriptions do not resolve the ailment and, in most cases, worsen the predicament. The victims tend to develop suicidal thoughts, and they find life too overwhelming to endure. Most modern suicides can be traced to the diagnosis of mental issues.

READ RELATED: Mental Health Matters: Empowering Tanzania’s Well-Being Revolution.

If the source of mental issues is spiritual, then it may help to understand why counselling, mental illness prescriptions and witchcraft do not heal the person. We shall review scriptural positions that may anchor the role that mental issues may require spiritual intervention to cast out demonic possession.

In the Book of Genesis, God asked Caine why his countenance had fallen, implying that Caine was unhappy. God went on to forewarn Caine that if he did well, he would not be accepted, but if he did not do good, sin lay at the door, and it desired to rule his life. In Biblical terms, sin represents demonic forces or the kingdom of darkness. Caine did not do good when he offered a sacrifice that was not pleasant to God, and a demonic entity entered him.

As sin controlled him, he killed his younger brother, Abel. After that, Caine became a vagabond, always running away and restless as his conscience tormented him. Fear, shame and guilt consumed him all days of his life. As the scripture prophesies, there shall be no peace for the guilty and the guilty sins against God’s commandments.

When Christ Jesus was condemning Israel of sin, he reminded them that their father was Satan, for he was a father of lies from the beginning of the creation. We know Satan beguiled Eve out of jealousy that she ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. With her husband having severed their relationship with God through disobedience, they were stricken by fear, shame and guilt.

When they heard God’s footsteps in Eden’s pristine garden, they ran away from His presence, fearing His wrath. When God asked Adam where he was, he conceded to hiding from His sight because of the sin he had committed.

In the first Book of Samuel, we see the first king of Israel, Saul, the son of Kish of the tribe of Benjamin, sinning against God in the aftermath of the Alamakites war and before the battle with the Philistines. In the Alamakite’s case, the commandment of God was to destroy everything that they owned lest the Israelites would be corrupted by their strange gods and forsake their true God, who rescued them from Egyptian bondage.

King Saul loved the praise of his soldiers more than the praise of God. As a result, he transgressed the commandment of God when he allowed his soldiers to apportion to themselves the livestock and other good things of the Amalekites. When the man of God, Samuel, came and heard the bleating of the sheep, he asked King Saul why he disobeyed the commandment of God. King Saul defended himself by saying that he feared his soldiers and the livestock were like gifts to them.

In the second sin of the Philistines, King Saul was instructed to wait for the man of God, Samuel’s arrival, who would sacrifice for the Lord. Samuel was late for three days, and the Philistines were getting closer. King Saul felt in danger, took the matter into his own hands, and sacrificed the immolates to God.

No sooner than he had sacrificed, Samuel appeared and asked him the same question he had asked about violating God’s commandments. King Saul answered him similarly: I feared my enemies, the Philistines, and Samuel had tried to sacrifice, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Fear, guilt and shame are signatures of the torn relationship with God. It is God who casts out fear, shame, and guilt if we realign ourselves with His will, and sin separates us from the love of God.

Samuel informed King Saul that God had terminated his kingdom, and Saul again refused to obey the commandment of God and spent the rest of his days trying to hang on to power. God struck him with a distressing spirit. A distressing spirit is a demonic spirit, and King Saul developed mental issues all the days of his miserable life until he committed suicide, ending his torturous life.

Before his self-inflicted injuries from falling on a sword that killed him, a day earlier, he had visited a sorcerer that had prophesied his death after he was accosted by a demonic entity that entered him. So, consultations with the underworld may open doors to the possession of demonic entities, resulting in mental issues.

The Apostle Judas Iscariot before he betrayed Christ Jesus, the scripture says when he left the presence of Christ Jesus, Satan entered him. He not only betrayed his Master but was afflicted with mental issues; he committed suicide, falling headlong and his entrails coming out of his bowels.

Also Read: Ash Wednesday is Here; Broaching the Subject of Fasting, Faith, and Health.

Today, there have been many misdiagnoses of mental issues. Many people who suffer from them tend to have one denominator: an enmity with God. The proportion of the LGBTQ+ community, for instance, who develop mental issues is on the rise. The real reason why they succumb to the spirit of suicide is that their relationship with God is severed. Therefore, they have nothing to hang on to and live.

While exorcism may not be the answer, repairing the relationship with God is the first step to recovery. Knowing that sin is behind the spiritual turmoil, the flesh cannot prosper. In one of John’s letters, the Apostle prayed that may we prosper as our souls prosper. This prayer made it abundantly clear that carnal success depends on spiritual success. And we know spiritual success depends on the relationship with God being sound.

As the relationship with God is toxic, the sinners turn to escapology to soothe their pain. Drug addiction, fatal overdose, alcoholism, and lusting vices of sorts allow persons with mental issues to seek temporary relief. But since those reliefs are fleeting, their situations worsen, and they sink deeper into depression, and a vicious cycle of self-abuse ensues.

There is power in prayer, which defies human understanding. As science lacks solutions, the victims must ask themselves when their situations worsen. Most likely, committing sins is behind mental issues.

In the Book of Deuteronomy chapter 28, God promises good behaviour will be rewarded with blessings and lousy conduct will be punished with curses. One of the damning curses was mental issues. And, because it goes to the root of the matter, there is a need to quote it. Deuteronomy 28:34 states as follows;-

” You shall be driven mad because of the sight your eyes shall see.:

All these things besiege those who have refused to obey the voice of God.

A spiritual understanding of the primary sources of mental issues is essential if the victim is put in a position to take remedial steps and get the healing he badly needs. The first step is to urge oneself with the ministry of reconciliation. Through repentance and afflicting your soul, we are meant to fumigate against the cobwebs of sin that torment our weak souls.

The author is a Development Administration specialist in Tanzania with over 30 years of practical experience, and has been penning down a number of articles in local printing and digital newspapers for some time now.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leave a comment
scroll to top