TODAY’S GUEST: Dr. Ragy Girgis, MD, an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Columbia University department of psychiatry. His book is called, “On Satan, Demons, and Psychiatry: Exploring Mental Illness.”

Dr. Girgis hopes to help change misconceptions that have historically pervaded Christianity by educating both laity and clergy about serious mental illness. It will accomplish this goal via an in-depth, exegetic examination of biblical accounts of what may have been untreated serious mental illness from the perspective of a psychiatrist and Christian.

Check out the book! On Satan, Demons, and Psychiatry: Exploring Mental Illness in the Bible

The goal of this book is to help change misconceptions that have historically pervaded Christianity by educating both laity and clergy about serious mental illness. It will accomplish this goal via an in-depth, exegetic examination of biblical accounts of what may have been untreated serious mental illness from the perspective of a psychiatrist and Christian.

1) serious mental illness was likely present and relatively common in biblical times, and similar in phenomenology to how it manifests today, and 2) some instances of demon-possession and exorcisms as described in the Bible could, in a post-Enlightenment narrative, be better explained by occurring in the context of untreated mental illness, and that this could reveal a great deal of information about the biblical view of mental illness.

Some of these accounts are from the Old Testament and some from the New Testament. Each essay will provide an in-depth examination of the biblical account from the perspective of a board-certified psychiatrist who is an expert in the field of serious mental illness and who is also a practicing Christian.

WE DISCUSS:

misconceptions that Christians have about mental illness, depression and medication, Christians in the science and medical fields, mental illness in the pages of Scripture, King Saul’s psychotic depression and paranoia, David’s extremes of elation and deep depression, Jonah’s narcissism, Nebuchadnezzar’s breakdown, and the miraculous healings performed by Jesus.