Home » Blogs » Polishing the Fragments » How My Religion Hurt My Mental Health

How My Religion Hurt My Mental Health

Faith without deeds is death- Don’t tempt the Lord thy God!!

This post is a warning to those who have a deep Christian faith as I do. I don’t want you to make the same mistake that I did, twice! Whether you listen or not is up to you, all I can do is sound the warning.

Let me begin by saying that I have a deep Christian faith. I am both a preacher and teacher of the gospel and I have worked eight years as a voluntary missionary in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey and it’surroundings. I read the Bible and pray every single day. Yet my faith let me down in a big way, or should I say a misconception that I viewed in faith.

So hear we go. I was sick with mental illness. There was no doubt about that. I was committed to a psychiatric hospital and spent sixty days locked up. Because of not receiving any attention by my doctor during my hospital stay, I wasn’t under his care. Also I was away from home as I didn’t want to live with my parents, too many bad memories as far as I was concerned, for the moment. Yet still I was taking my prescribed medicine.

Than it came to me, can ‘t God heal me? Of course, the God who created the universe by speaking could cure me of my mental illness. Why it would be a simplistic, trivial thing for Him. The only catch in the matter was that I had to first demonstrate my faith. How could I accomplish that? By stop taking my medicine. In such an act I was showing my trust in God. Sure enough I stopped taking my Lithium and in a couple of weeks I was committed again. I went down that road twice to be burned in the same exact way.

Let’s break it down in a Biblical and realistic way. I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I believe that Jesus and the apostles among others healed people. However that time of healing has passed. If you read Acts 8  you will see that the spiritual gifts, such as healing, could only be passed on by the laying on hands of an apostle. Succinctly put, the miraculous gifts were given as a show of authority when the Bible was being written.

I know that there are many who believe in divine healing administered by ‘Ministers of the faith’. I met one man who claimed to be an apostle. Not only did he heal but he raised the dead. My friend Jesse than asked him if he could go down to the local hospital and demonstrate his power. “Oh no”, the man said, “It only works when the Holy Spirit allows me.” Well unfortunately that is not how it worked in the book of Acts or the gospels. Both Paul and Peter could use their divine power at will.

There is a story in the gospel of Jesus healing a man with a withered hand. Jesus commands the man to stand in front of everybody and to stretch forth his hand. Miraculously the hand gets restored in front of a large crowd. If these cable television personalities or denominational preachers can heal, why can’t they duplicate that miracle?

I believe that God helped me recover. He helped me through the doctors, the hospitals, my family, my friends, my church, and my medicine.

In the Bible when Jesus is being in being tempted by the devil, the devil asks him to cast himself down from a pinnacle of great height. In fact the devil quotes a Bible passage about divine intervention. What is Jesus’ response? “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

You can read more of my story in my memoirs “More Than The Madness”.

How My Religion Hurt My Mental Health

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2017). How My Religion Hurt My Mental Health. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 16, 2019, from


Last updated: 6 Nov 2017
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.