I was healed of bipolar disorder

Originally appeared online in the teen series Trending -  January 16, 2024.

My freshman year of college, I learned about some major world problems and was really disturbed by them. Feeling that I’d lost all hope, I suffered a mental breakdown and threatened to end my life.

Over the next few months, I transferred among several different hospitals and housing situations. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was prescribed various medications to treat the aggressive symptoms. Though I was sometimes required to take the pills, I resisted, because I didn’t like how they made me feel. 

I grew up attending Christian Science Sunday School, so I also turned to Christian Science for help at various times during this period. I called several different Christian Science practitioners, and they were all very helpful. But I wasn’t always receptive.

After I moved back home, I went back to my local Christian Science Sunday School. My teacher was shocked by the way I was acting—so unlike myself. He knew me well, and he refused to believe that the Andy he remembered could exhibit this disturbing behavior. 

I’m convinced that his commitment to seeing me as I really am—seeing my true, spiritual nature and character—accelerated my progress. By the next Sunday, I was calmer and more receptive to spiritual ideas. This was a turning point for me.

I understand so much better now that sorrow is not more powerful than joy and that nothing can separate me, or anyone, from God’s love. 

One idea that kept coming to thought during this time was something Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “If you wish to be happy, argue with yourself on the side of happiness; take the side you wish to carry, and be careful not to talk on both sides, or to argue stronger for sorrow than for joy” (Christian Healing, p. 10). Sadness seemed so appealing at the time because it allowed me to be a victim and blame the world for my problems. I realized, though, that I did want to be happy. After all, who really wants to be sad? 

I thought about this a lot and about how I needed to actively argue for—spiritually stand up for—my own happiness. To me this meant understanding that I truly am happy because God, who is all good, made me in His image (see Genesis 1:27). Joy isn’t a temporary emotion; it’s a quality that permanently belongs to us as God’s reflection. The more I thought about this, the more light I could see through the darkness.

I also realized that I wanted to go back to school, be with my friends, and finish my degree—and I knew that was possible. The improvement didn’t happen overnight, but by the end of the summer I was completely free from the symptoms and have been ever since—over a decade now. I was admitted back to my college and was even able to graduate with my class.

This passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mrs. Eddy shines light on how I was healed: “It is ignorance and false belief, based on a material sense of things, which hide spiritual beauty and goodness. Understanding this, Paul said: ‘Neither death, nor life, . . . nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.’ This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death” (p. 304).

I understand so much better now that sorrow is not more powerful than joy and that nothing can separate me, or anyone, from God’s love. And if I do find myself feeling sad or overwhelmed by events in the world, I remember that God is permanent and infinite good. So the spiritual reality of things—the goodness of God’s creation—is always present. I can see it by turning to God in prayer and acknowledging what I know to be true. 

I’m so grateful for everyone who supported me during this difficult time. I’m also grateful for Jesus, who demonstrated that healing is always possible and for Mrs. Eddy, who discovered the Science that shows us how to do it.

AARON CRANFORD — STAFF
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Testimony of Healing
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April 1, 2024
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