I believe these viewers were genuinely concerned and truly believed that what they were seeing was a possessed child. Their belief that the boy only had these issues at home was proof enough that their house was filled with evil spirits. I also think that it didn’t help that Oprah focused so much on the boy’s holistic therapy of lightness and darkness, I believe it may have reinforced the idea that the “negative energy” was evil spirits.
But as a mother reading these posts, I was offended. It once again reinforced the stereotype that my son, who himself has a mental illness, must be possessed. Personally, we’ve had a friend tell us that we should get an exorcism, because what my son had was surely brought on by the devil himself. Another parent I know was told that her personal sin was the source of her daughter’s illness.
It’s comments like these that make me realize how misinformed society is about childhood mental illness. It makes me feel like we’re living in the dark ages. On the flip side, I myself didn’t know much about it until my son became ill, so I don’t really blame people, but feel frustrated and helpless on how to change these stereotypes about mental illness. As long as people have these beliefs, our son’s illness won’t be taken seriously and he’ll be forced to live a life hiding his struggles so that others won’t be afraid and as his parents, we’ll be judged for treating him with medication.
Just for the record, we’re a Christian family who are actively involved in our church. Christ is the center of our home and marriage. Our children have been baptized. I pray over my son every night for healing and strength and we read God’s word together as a family... AND our son has a mental illness.
I do not believe for one second that a child that has mental illness is being used by satan, is channeling evil spirits or communicating with the dead.
These kids have an illness in their brain that causes their brain to function incorrectly. It’s something they most likely inherited, just like their eye color and smile. These kids didn’t become ill because they don’t have Jesus. As a Christian we believe that Jesus wants you to come to him by choice, thus the basis of free will.
I find it so odd that society can easily grasp the idea that if someone has a heart problem, they’ll experience problems with their heart or if they have eye problems they’ll experience problems with their vision, but in the case of someone having a brain problem, it’s hard for them to believe that the brain would not function properly, causing visions of monsters or triggering violent rages. The brain is the source of our moods, so why is it such a stretch that a brain illness can cause such outrageous responses in individuals who suffer with a mood disorder?
These viewers are quick to believe that there are real ghosts haunting a boys house, yet the acceptance of mental illness as being a real thing is a preposterous idea? I don’t understand.
So why does this annoy me so much? Because, if you believe that my son is having these problems because he’s possessed, you’ll hold judgement against my family for allowing my son to be treated by medication. You’ll judge us as being irresponsible parents and may even judge my son as being a bad seed. Because you’ll judge our family for not being under the wing of God and instead assume we’re living with evil.
That’s why I get offended.