Demons and spiritual warfare are real, says master's-level practitioner and health educator Tracy Daniels. But, he adds, many in the church are too hasty to put those labels on individuals who are dealing with mental health issues.
"In church, we kind of read it as, when somebody's struggling, it must be a demon," Daniels told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of "Greenelines" on the Charisma Podcast Network. "Don't get me wrong. I believe in oppression, depression and possession. But I also know that when people are struggling with mental health, it doesn't mean it's a demon.
"It goes back to the way our bodies are made. When we look at our dopamine and serotonin levels that are in our brain, that affects the way we think. It's the stigma that's associated with mental illness—people being known as crazy or psycho or nuts, or something like that. What I tell people is this. I work out of seven psychiatric hospitals, and I don't believe anyone is crazy, nuts or psycho. Every one of us has life issues. It doesn't make us crazy; it makes us human.
"So, I want to educate the church on what mental illness is all about. There's a human factor that we all experience. So, my advice to those in the church is don't be too quick to stick a demon thought on it. There can be much more to it."
A military veteran of 37 years, Daniels has also ministered to survivors of shootings at the Pulse night club and Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
For more of Daniels' expertise about mental health, listen to the podcast below.
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