42: A Conversation About Mental Health


What You'll Discover in this Episode:

Dr. Daniel R. Berger II is the founder and director of Alethia International Ministries (AIM), where he continues to write and to speak around the country in various churches, organizations, medical communities, and at various counseling and teacher's conferences. He is also an experienced pastor, counselor, school administrator, and the author of ten books on Biblical counseling, practical theology, education, and the history and philosophy of the current mental health construct.


In this episode with Dr. Daniel Berger and Pastor Jeff we have a the second conversation about mental health. In this conversation they talk about post traumatic stress.


Trauma is a part of life that a lot of people will endure at one point in their life. In the world that we live in when we experience trauma and respond to it adversely. Some are told that they need professional help from those in the psychiatric field. Those in the field of psychiatry will try to find a way to mask the issue without dealing with it directly. The end result of worldly counseling is a feeling of inadequacy and being different than "normal" people. However, faith can help in responding to this trauma. Our worldview needs to be thought through the lens of God's Word. Faith in God will help those who experience trauma respond in a Biblical way. In James 1 we are told that we are to count it as joy when we face trials because God is helping us grow into a deeper relationship with Him. 


There may not be a quick solution to help an individual that is experiencing the effects of trauma. As counselors, you must take the approach of showing the individual that we are all broken in this fallen world. As we explain the broken world we live in we can begin to piece together that the world has been corrupted and the traumatic events they experienced were most likely out of their control. Those who deal with trauma must be understood as individuals reacting to what they have experienced and not as people with an illness. 


As counselors, the fix is changing one's faith in accordance with God's truth which explains the broken world that we live in and help them endure the traumatic experiences they have faced. After experiencing trauma an individual should expect to have their faith tested. If their faith is lacking they will be unable to explain the circumstances they endured, turning to the Word to find comfort and joy will help those who struggle with dealing with the trauma they experienced.


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Highlights

  • Dr. Daniel talks about post traumatic stress
  • Trauma is experienced by millions of people, faith will helps us respond to trauma. 
  • Our worldview needs to shift from worldly to Biblical. 
  • When counseling those who experience trauma, the response should be to help them with the Bible in dealing with their experiences. 
  • Counseling those who have experienced trauma will help them identify that all deal with stress in different ways, pointing them to Christ with guidance.  

Resources:

  • James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds... 
  • Proverbs 18 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment... 
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort... 
  • Job 14:1-2 Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble...

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  • Josiah Arceo says:

    BC501: Brief Comment on 2 minute video

    Dr. Kelly Brogan opens up about her personal observation of her experience with psychiatric practice. According to her, psychiatry does not follow the scientific principles of the rest of the medical world.

    Many of the common diagnoses of psychiatry do not follow suit of how other diagnoses of the medical world are formed.

    She even mentions that the medicines prescribed for such “illnesses” offer very low rates of success. Along with the fact that the medicines harbor negatively impactful side-effects when consumed.

    One of the greatest subtle bandwagon effects of the U.S.A is that since it so excellent and far more advanced than other nations in many departments is that they can be trusted to govern its production of regulated medicines. Many of these medicines are highly beneficial to curing disease while others such as those in used in psychiatry are counterproductive. In the words of Dr. Kelly Brogan, many of these psychiatric medicines have “abysmal efficacy.”

    Episode 42 Comment:

    Traumas are personal and subjective. What one might call traumatic may not be traumatic to someone else. Either way, there are two common ways to respond to trauma – retreat from it or progress from it.

    Case in point: Dr. Berger was not surprised to find out that those who walk into a career of counseling have they themselves gone through traumatic experiences. These counselors desire to be able to walk through with others who may gone through similar difficult experiences.

    It’s the same reason I’m here now! My desire is to walk others through the same pain and grief I have gone through and to comfort others with the comfort God has given me.

    • jeffchristianson says:

      Josiah! Many thanks for commenting on BOTH the Dr. Kelly Brogan Video (in your lesson) and the Dr. Berger podcast!

    • jeffchristianson says:

      You are right. I have sensitivity to certain trauma whereas another my have a higher threshold and not become affect as deeply. It’s very personal. Other events don’t bother me at all and I am able to take a leadership role to help other people. For example, when my family is hurt, I tend to rise to the occasion and stand strong for them. If There is a community emergency, I can stand strong there too.

      • April says:

        That point, among others, was very reassuring to me as well. All to many times I have had people say “just get over it”, or “that would never bother me”. I am here also to help others with the traumas that the Lord is healing me from, 2 Cor 1:4!

    • Autumn D says:

      Hi Josiah! I love your statement in the area of “case in point”. I agree with you whole heatedly that individuals who seek counseling as a profession want to walk through experiences that someone has encountered to help them through it. I am with you in having that same desire as we can comfort, encourage and be a listening ear to someone to needs it. I have been truly blessed by people over the years who have listened, encouraged and been there to remind me of God’s love during some painful moments in my life. I will be praying for you on your journey in your walk with the Lord and in the classes.

    • Anthony Mojica says:

      Good morning Josiah,
      Thanks for reiterating what Dr. Berger said, “There are two common ways to respond to trauma – retreat from it or progress from it.” For some reason seeing it written really drove the point home. Keep putting your delight upon the Lord & he will grant you the desires of your heart.

    • Stacy Wiggins says:

      Josiah,
      Thank you for walking out 2 Corinthians 1:1-3. Our pain today is our ministry tomorrow. The Lord is sovereign over all circumstances of life and allows us to experience things that we can grow from and help others with. When we go through those times of pain and grief, we have the opportunity to strengthen our faith and then help others. Sounds like discipleship!

      • Josiah Arceo says:

        Stacy that is so good! It’s always interesting how when you have read a verse numerous times you can find another way to understand it just by using different words. “Our pain today is our ministry tomorrow.” How can we minister to others without having gone through it?

      • John Eastham says:

        Well put, Stacy.

        I think Berger made an error in referencing an Ecclesiastes verse for Job 14:1 – “Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble.” The mistake is minor. Hakuna matata.

        A similar verse is Job 5:7 which reads, “Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward.”

        But the point is this: we are guaranteed to have difficulty and trauma in life. But God is there to guide us out it and bring us into spiritual/emotional growth.

        Psalm 34:19 reads, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” There are a plethora of Psalm verses similar to this one (e.g., Psalm 20:1, 27:5, 37:39, 41:1).

        From the New Testament, John 16:33 comes to mind. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

    • Athena Williams says:

      I absolutely agree — my own journey through trauma and learning the power of God first-hand is what motivates me to help others. Every human being experiences trauma of some kind, and I have noticed that those who draw near to God through it have a peace that is incomprehensible to those who have pulled away from God because of their trauma. People who react by rejecting God’s comfort often display a hardness and bitterness that they believe protects them from further hurt.

  • Autumn D says:

    Thank you again Pastor Jeff and Dr. Berger for another meaningful podcast. I appreciate all that was shared in this episode. It was very personal for me to hear the wisdom that was shared and very validating. I have been personally been healing from being kidnapped as child over the last 40 years. However, over the past 20 years, it has been just more of seeking the Lord in a difficult moment when there is a flashback or something has triggered an emotional response related to the event. I agree with the statement from Dr. Berger that everyone is differnt in what is considered traumatic for them and how they handle it. I wish this was something that the secular world would understand and that not medicine or treatment will be identical for everyone. I have been fortunate that I experienced Jesus’s comfort during that time, drawn closer to Him over the years along with my family as part of my healing. I have not always liked hearing the verses from James 1:2 about counting it all joy when we go through trials, but it keeps my drawing closer to Lord and my perspective in alignment with the His Word. I will be re-listening to this message over the net few months.

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks for your post Autumn and I agree with you that this Podcast was full of wisdom and feel your childhood event of kidnap, a traumatic event that brings flashbacks that will trigger undesirable emotional response that only God can heal. Glad to know that you have received comfort from our Savior, Jesus Christ (Nahum 1:9 What do you conspire against the Lord? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.).

    • Kathy Yohner says:

      Autumn- It was comforting to hear Dr. Berger state that healing from a traumatic event may take a lot of time and that it is okay if it does. God is so gentle with each and every one of His children. He uniquely designed us so it makes sense that are responses to those traumatic events would affect each of us differently. What a testimony you have as one who chose to run into the arms of Jesus instead of fleeing from Him through what you suffered.

  • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

    2 minutes video clip – Psychiatry is not scientific: A psychiatrist’s critique – Dr. Kelly Brogan stated that the diagnoses used in Psychiatry aren’t diseases, not having a known mechanism and the only way they have been able to assume anything resembling a scientific interpretation of any psychiatric illness is through the doctor of reasoning (applying a medication, observe any facts and work backwards from their understanding of what the medication is doing to infer what could be at the root of the illness.). She reiterated that this isn’t science nor any scientific principle that the rest of medical science upholds, hence the basic tenets of investigation must be done prior to initiating medications that have abysmal efficacy and side effects.

    Podcast 42 – Amazing Podcast (second discussion on mental health) in which Pastor Jeff and Dr. Daniel Berger expounded some Insights About Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). I was particularly blessed in hearing Dr. Daniel share that ‘Trauma is a part of life that some people endure at some point in their lives and that the worldview needs to be thought through the lens of God’s Word. Faith in God will help those who experience trauma respond in a Biblical way as God helps us grow into a deeper relationship with Him (Genesis 3; Proverbs 18:1; Job 14:1-2). The part of this podcast that blessed me the most is that the God of all comfort, comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:3-8).
    I recall how traumatized I was when my mother passed on, but I now use the comfort I received from those painful seasons of my life to encourage people that are in similar situations.

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      Thanks Esther for sharing, the pod cast was very informative on trauma and what it is and that everyone has it at some point. How faith in God will help those who experience trauma respond in a biblical way. I know when I was trying to heal from past trauma it was my faith that got me where i am know because when I tried to rely on doctors to help me seems like all i got was medication that only numbed me. when I finally started seeking God and His word and truth and letting him comfort me I was able to begin healing and get off all the medication I was on.
      That’s is awesome that you are able to help others who are where you were once at and use the comfort you received. I try and do the same but I am also experiencing others who are helping me in this season I’m in trying to deal with my brother taking his life. God has definitely put people in my life who he has comforted to help me as they were comforted and it has helped a lot.

  • Anthony Mojica says:

    Past Traumatic Stress is not a syndrome, nor is it a disorder. It is actually the natural and normal result of one experiencing a trauma that exceeds their personal coping capabilities. As a matter of fact, it is the individual that experiences no stress after a significant personal trauma who would be exhibiting incongruent behavior. The issue is not whether they are the victim of a sexual assault, a seasoned combat veteran or a child experiencing the divorce of their parents. The issue is they are all personally experiencing potentially traumatic events.
    With this understanding it is imperative that the Christian wanting to help have more than just an understanding of applicable scriptures in proper context. To truly be of value as a counselor one must also have personal experiences as to how God and his word were more than enough to help them during and ultimately get them through their own traumatic times.
    To advise or counsel others with nothing more than book knowledge, without any personal experiences of how God and his word are sufficient, is the equivalent of hypocrisy. I am nothing more than shady salesman that doesn’t believe enough in his own “product” to try it, use it and own it himself.

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      Thanks for your post Anthony. It’s a comfort to know that we all have our own trauma and its based upon what we each as individuals can cope with, so what we may think as trauma maybe someone else wont because everyone copes differently. I do agree with you about having a counselor who has personally had to rely on God and his word to get past the trauma. It wasn’t till I had to personally myself walk thru healing from trauma relying only on God and His Word and his truth and getting comfort from him did i really realize what it was to walk in faith and be comforted by his truth.

  • Anne Marie Maguire says:

    Comments on video:

    Very honest video about the problems with psychiatric practice.

    A few years ago I was talking to a man who went to a psychiatrist for help with his problems. But after psychiatrist was finished with the man he was left in a worse state. He was given so many pills that his health deteriorated fast. He put his trust in the psychiatrist and was let down badly.
    But the man soon began to realize the truth and weaned himself off the meds and after joining a support group is back to full health. All he needed was support to help him work through his issues.

    Comments on podcast:

    Was very encouraged by listening to this podcast.

    When I look back now on my own personal trauma I know that it was a difficult journey, the road to acceptance and moving on. But I can see through the eyes of faith that the trauma has been a blessing in the end. I know that God knew all my pain and was sovereign over it all.

    God has enabled me to use my past to help others who have been in similar situations like it says in 2 Corinthians 1:4: “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
    Now I point those in need towards a loving God who indeed is the counselor.
    Prayer really helped me to overcome my past I felt the Holy Spirit guide me as I prayed.

    • Abel says:

      Hello Anne Marie,
      I am so glad to hear that God got you through your hard times and has strengthened you through it! In fact, for me, it was God sustaining me through the biggest trial of my life that brought me to Him for salvation! Now we can, like James, thank God for the trials and have that powerful testimony of His loving care for us when we turn to Him.
      And that verse is so true; after trials, we are equipped to help others to do the same, turn to God and be helped, strengthened, and saved!

  • josh says:

    God will never tempt us. It’s important to remember that it’s not if but when the trials and testings come into our life. we can be confident that we will be tested and that it will be intended to actually grow us and make us better. we can turn these very difficult situations into times of critical learning. God has called us to a life of endurance and perseverance, this requires strength from His Spirit.

    We can’t really see the depth of our character until we react to a given a specific situation. its easier to be “happy” when everything seems to be going well. But how will we react when things are bad and seemingly getting worse at the moment. this isn’t easy, but we must learn to see this as opportunities to grow. we can be confident in GOds promises He has given us. we are never alone, ever.

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Yes Josh it’s true. There is a greater degree of learning in hard times. I think my faith has grown faster in the hard times because I couldn’t rely on anyone else but God.

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks for your encapsulated submission Josh. I agree that God will never tempt us in line with the Scriptures (James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.).

    • Hannah Somerville says:

      Thank you for sharing Josh.
      we do indeed grow most in times of testing and trial. It is a proving of our faith to bring forth what is genuine and to strengthen us in the Lord.

      It does seem like the times where we are most desperate or a situation seems impossible, we sense God all the more intensely. Such a reminder of Psalm 46 “He is an ever present help in time of need.” Trials are no fun! .. but being able to press into the Lord in the midst of them certainly is a growing time and a strengthening for our faith.

      Trials are working in us patience, endurance and maturity. May we let them do the work that God intended. James 1: 2-6 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith.”

    • Athena Williams says:

      I agree, Josh. I think that part of the reason God allows difficult trials in our lives is so that we learn how to depend on Him. When we reach a place where our own strength is insufficient, He is ready to show us His strength. We learn what it really means to walk with Him, and our faith grows so that the next time we face a trial we already know we can turn to Him. However, when people seek other “gods” for strength (such as secular psychology, wisdom of other people, self-fulfillment…) they will never find what they needed.

  • Athena Williams says:

    I appreciate how Dr. Berger leaves the word “Disorder” off when talking about Post Traumatic Stress. What a huge difference that makes! We all experience traumatic events in our lives and labeling the natural emotional response as a disorder sends the message that it’s not okay to struggle. Who doesn’t struggle? Everyone does. Choosing not to call it a disorder opens up the opportunity for each of us to acknowledge our pain or sorrow, and process it in a healthy way — including continuing to take responsibility for our own behavior during that time. It’s a combination of validation and accountability that isn’t found in secular psychology. Most importantly, it keeps us seeking God as we move forward in faith, rather than blaming Him for the trials we face.

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Love your comment Athena!
      I do believe the labeling does stop people from seeking support from friends, family and the church.
      The labels are so strong at the moment especially in the social media that the young people are struggling to cope with life in general, which can often lead to isolation and suicide
      I pray God would help the next generation.

    • Stacy Wiggins says:

      Athena,
      I love your comment, “Choosing not to call it a disorder opens up the opportunity for each of us to acknowledge our pain or sorrow, and process it in a healthy way — including continuing to take responsibility for our own behavior during that time”. All too often, our pain or sorrow is not acknowledged but rather stuffed deeper down and the resulting behavior is not healthy. Everything the Lord allows in our lives is for our good and His glory and when we respond to our traumas and trials in life with a deeper pursuit of Him, both good and glory occur.

    • John Eastham says:

      Yes, I echo that. Berger’s discussion (removing the term “disorder”) shows the spectrum-mature of trauma. The mark of trauma is indelible. It’s more a matter of severity.

      From the DSM-IV, a disorder is “associated with distress, disability, or a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom.” I am fairly certain DMS-V definition was updated, although I don’t have a copy myself. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3101504/

      Either way, post-trauma is a spectrum. The bureaucratic NIHM can redefine definitions and classifications all they want. The DSM gets updated every few years. God’s word is unchanging. Malachi 3:6a “For I am the LORD, I do not change.”

      • April says:

        I too love the aspect of taking the word Disorder out of the term. This stops setting others above those who have struggled. I have been in those positions that have left me feeling like less than a second class citizen and have had professionals make me feel inferior. This of course was mostly in the secular realm, but there have been plenty in the church that have done the same. It is time we all realize we are all under the same fall and can be saved by the same Grace. The enemy has done a pretty good job of wedging humanity, but I know God can enable us to restore the relationships we have seen this in!

    • Sherra Krabbenhoft says:

      That is so well said. It is a totally different perspective when we recognize the commonality of the traumatic experience. It opens up the door to hope when it is viewed not as a disorder, but as a struggle common to man. It allows us to validate the person’s experience of trauma, grieving with them, and also offering hope rather than a diagnosis.

    • April says:

      I agree with how acknowledging they why things are happening based in James is very helpful as well. Please keep in mind, when those especially hard times hit, we need to really be prepared and make sure our relationship with the Lord is first at all times. It’s super easy to talk about this but as we know, when tragedy hits, that is the true test of our faith. Don’t be to hard on ourselves if in those moments we falter, even Peter did, but God used it for good. For me, it has been in those extreme hardships that lasted for years that I grew the most.

  • Stacy Wiggins says:

    I love the perspective that it is post-traumatic stress and not a disorder. How true, that the stresses that follow trauma are a normal and expected response. The point that what is classified as trauma is different for everyone is definitely accurate. God has created each of us uniquely. I like Dr. Berger’s statement: “Trauma shapes who we are – we either turn in and rot or take God’s wisdom and help others”. Being real and vulnerable with people, especially people who are experiencing trials and trauma, is an effective tool in discipleship. 2 Corinthians 1:1-3 reminds us that with the comfort we receive, we comfort others. I’ve heard it said this way, “our pain today is our ministry tomorrow”. Sharing our story and what God has done in our lives is powerful.

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    2 minute video clip: Psychiatry isn’t scientific, it was very interesting to hear how diagnosis used by Psychiatrists aren’t diseases, and how they try to get to the root of the illness by giving medication, observing any facts and work backwards from their understanding of what medication is doing. That helps me understand things better and how when I went to a psychiatrist they just gave medication and watched to see how it made me feel, in reality it had me like a zombie and just coated the symptoms I was having. It never actually got to the bottom of everything, In reality all I needed was something to help me be able to function so I can get to the root of the problems I was having.

    Pod cast 42: very interesting pod cast, thank you Dr. Berger and Pastor Jeff for sharing insight on Post Traumatic Stress and how almost every one has some sort of trauma, not everyone has the same traumatic stuff some handle it and some can not, but trauma is based on the fact that we lack the Faith. In walking thru healing of my own from past traumatic events, I have seen just a regular counselor who made me think I was only one having trauma and never once did she anything pertaining to Faith, or my relationship with God. It wasn’t till I started seeing a biblical counselor did we work thru the root of the issues I had from the trauma, I am still walking thru healing but my faith has grown tremendously and thru all the healing I could feel God walking with me. This is why I decided to become a biblical counselor instead of a counselor because I want to tell people how God is my comforter, and he walks with me thru all my trauma’s, and how I begin healing when I started looking at truth in Gods Word verses just being a counselor and their view which is almost always medication

    • Kathy Yohner says:

      Margaret, your insight on the power of God’s healing over traumatic events, was encouraging. God’s word is the only thing that transforms us and gives us hope. Many people who seek help from secular counselors leave their sessions with medication that only numbs them, or even worse; they become addicted to prescription drugs.
      It essential as believers, we seek those men and women out who will direct us to godly wisdom.
      Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

  • April says:

    This was such a wonderful podcast not only to enable me, but to help me from my own past trauma. I often times got stuck with even Christian counseling over the years, and kept hitting dead ends. Since starting my study of biblical counseling with CCU, God has truly opened my eyes to so many things. Having been in recovery for different things over the years, it was the bringing things to light with others that struggled that really helped me grow. I love using this idea more in the church and boy how we need it! So many takeaways here that I will continue to research, but I so love the idea of equipping before the tragedy (which in this fallen world will happen). My family was so reactive that that was pretty much how I operated most of my life and people need to know it does not need to be that way. Romans 8:28 gives me so much hope because He truly does cause all things tor work together for good to those He loves and are called. We cannot pick and choose, it really means all things and as we allow Him to do His work and surrender to what is happening to us, this verse becomes all so real! That scripture to me really parallels James when (as mentioned in the podcast) to consider it joy when we endure trials. I know God can change our mindsets to instead of “why me” to “why not me”. Jesus went thru the worst kind of trials ever imagined (and we truly can’t grasp even a piece of what He endured). If we truly want to be followers, taking up our crosses means we should expect to encounter hardships. The only part I really do struggle with is all the ways the innocent suffer now. That tears my heart apart.

    • Abel says:

      Hey April
      I am glad that God is growing you in the ministry He has placed you. I can totally sense your heart for others and desire to help them!
      God is so good isn’t He? He lovingly comforts us just the way we need! I pray that He continues to bless you abundantly and continue to grow you through any challenges that come your way. God bless you!

  • Timothy Drumm says:

    Thank you for excellent insights on trauma. Prayer on a daily consistent basis is vital to give your burdens to Jesus – so He can carry your load and help you find His ever beautiful healing Word.

  • Kathy Yohner says:

    This podcast about Post Traumatic Stress was full of incredible wisdom, truth, and hope. What stood out to me the most was God’s abundant love and desire to help us through the trials of life.
    He knew this world would be complicated and that the worldview regarding this subject matter of PTS would only lead us to the false hopes of Humanism. He gave us His confidence and sufficiency through His word and revealed that we are all capable of overcoming the muck and the mire that are lives would encounter. Dr. Berger used the scriptures in James 1 to explain that trials are comparable to traumas that will come our way, the verse, “…you face trials of many kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete lacking nothing.” was a perfect illustration of what to expect with trials and how God has revealed to us the only solution to master them.
    What an incredible God we serve who has given us His love and hope for this broken world.

  • Hannah Somerville says:

    This was a very insightful podcast.Post traumatic stress- is what Dr. Berger identifies it as. Leaving out the term “disorder”, because all who go through severe stressful events should become distressed and struggle, it is normal and expected.
    They do not have a disorder because they are struggling. there is a range and depth of human trial.
    If you go through a severe event and cannot grasp it and you are struggling internally this is trauma. As a christian It is the trying of your faith as James mentions – struggles of various kinds. It was helpful that he listed different types of struggles, since people may have more tolerance in some areas than others. Rumors, going to war, major fights, ministry, pastors, seeing someone be killed, being molested, these are all examples of trauma, that many people experience and think they are alone.
    I found it interesting that the bile mentions being “split- minded” or schizo. The key is faith and asking for wisdom to understand and deal with these things in the Lord.

  • alejandro anchondo says:

    I thought it was very insightful that Dr. Berger explained how sin can traumatize us. His example of Judas being so traumatized by his sin that it lead him to suicide was so interesting.

    As well, it was also really interesting how he explained that trauma is normal and not to be considered a disorder. The returning soldier isn’t abnormal when they struggle. All of them return and struggle. This isn’t a disorder but the normal response of the mind, body, and soul of a human from being in war… just as their are normal responses from those who are victims of other cruel offenses in life. This allows us to minister to people without feeling unqualified or distant. It is the theological and biblical view that will help everyone in all their trauma no matter how it is viewed. Faith and the Spirit’s work overcomes trauma to bring joy and contentment.

  • John Eastham says:

    Berger is correct in stating that knowing we are not alone in our sufferings is a tremendous comfort. A major traumatic event in my life was the death of my infant daughter. My wife and I instantly thought we were alone in this experience. We soon discovered that several other couples we know (including friends) had gone through something very similar. Just having them share their own experience was a huge comfort to us. As Romans 12:15 states, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Friends and others did that with us.

    As Berger also said, some people withdraw (turn to defeat with disassociation) after experiencing trauma. This is also sadly true.

    Berger did not mention directly that the indelible mark that trauma leaves can lead to spiritual/emotional growth. The event we experienced resulted in greater faith in God. We have informally counseled others who experienced infant death. Romans 8:28 is true: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Trauma is the pain that stays. For Christians, God will still use it for something very positive.

    • JoAnn Eagle says:

      John, thank you so much for sharing your story. I have found that, most often, God turns these major trials in our lives into ministry. The work of the enemy seems to always trend toward isolation and feelings of lonliness. He wants us left on a shelf to collect dust rather than engaging in the body of Christ to bless others and in turn, grow ourselves. I often ask people if they have seen Romans 8:28 in their personal trials and suffering. It is always a joy to hear their answers. God is faithful!

  • Abel says:

    I never really questioned how PTSD is categorized in the medical world but this podcast really helped me see that it really has been mis-labeled! The current diagnosis labels the person as abnormal when in reality, must people go through traumatic experiences in their lives. And it totally makes sense that the enemy would try to use this to his advantage and capitalize on the false sense of being different and alone in post-traumatic stress.
    I hope that we can all use this knowledge to help those around us when they are going through hard times, having their faith tested by the harsh world. It’s never pleasurable to go through trials but it really does accomplish God’s will. We end up stronger in our faith in the Lord to give us strength when we need it. Another benefit is being equipped to now help others who might go through the same experience. God “comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:4). This is a prescribed healing straight from God’s Word! Let’s use it for His glory!

    • JoAnn Eagle says:

      Hello Abel! I had also not questioned the categorizing of PTSD. This podcast caused me to see the word disorder in the same way the world deems alcoholics, transgenders, sex addicts, etc. The labeling of these sin areas as a disorder takes the biblical solution out of the equation! Suffering is universal, just as sin is. God’s word helps us know what to do with these things. But disorders? They need medical attention, right? I’m so thankful for these discussions that help us to see that there is nothing new under the sun. God’s word is sufficient to address all of our problems!

      • Abel says:

        Amen to that JoAnn! I believe there is one step to being healed in this life and that is JESUS! Coming to Him is the only way for us to be saved, healed, and whole.

    • Josiah Arceo says:

      I live in a place in Florida that is surrounded by 5 different military bases. When it comes to PTSD, it seems that the term PTSD peppers our speech every other sentence or so. Someone you know in the military is almost always seeming to deal with PTSD.

      I say this so often, but the benefit of trials is that they strip away what is superficial in our lives and make us face reality – currently and its ultimate end.

      Trials show us where we need to change and know where we need to ask for help.

      • Abel says:

        So true Josiah!
        People tend to get caught up in the daily grind, just working the 9-5 or what have you, and trials have a way of getting us to look up. We look for a power greater than our own and greater than any person can provide to get us through. And God is there for those who seek Him with their whole heart!

  • JoAnn Eagle says:

    I have recently experienced counselees stating that they have post traumatic stress disorder. The most recent stated that this was caused by a car accident that she was in, and that now she was fearful of driving and had nightmares. I appreciated Dr. Berger describing trauma as anything that is traumatic to an individual. It doesn’t necessarily have to be defined as narrowly as battlefield trauma. This is very helpful in the biblical counseling arena, because it demystifies the subject at hand. Post traumatic stress is a topic that, I believe, is intimidating to address. It’s a topic that has been deemed left for ‘professionals.’ However, I agree that this approach does not take into account the need for the Holy Spirit’s work, and thereby healing and change that brings God glory and blesses the sufferer with lasting spiritual growth. I am blessed to be learning more and thankful for Dr. Berger’s work!

    • Sherra Krabbenhoft says:

      I agree JoAnn. By removing the term disorder the experience that a person has is not longer a mystical illness, but instead a part of the human experience. It is amazing to me how when we speak of an experience differently we respond to it differently.

  • Jose Garcia says:

    I love the fact that Dr. Berger exclaimed that going through struggles is normal to all people. The Scripture confirms this, when Jesus says, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” We can turn to Christ, who conquered death,hell, and the grave, and was tempted in all things, yet He did not sin. That’s why Scripture reveals, “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” Amen.

  • Sherra Krabbenhoft says:

    There were several things in the discussion of Post-Traumatic Stress with Dr. Berger that stuck out to me. One was the reminder that each conversation we have with people we are to either be evangelising or discipling. What a refreshing simplifying statement. Sometimes people get so caught up in the details that the overriding goal of counseling can be lost. The second thing that stuck out to me was the way Dr. Berger discussed the experience of trauma being individual. I have been amazed in my own counseling when I have asked people what was the hardest part of an event that often the thing I would have assumed to be the most traumatic had little effect on them and often they have struggled the most with things that I would have hardly registered as possibly traumatic.
    Two minute video – This was a good explanation of why psychology is not to be considered scientific. The diagnosis is driven often by the treatment rather that vice versa.

    • Hannah Somerville says:

      Sherra, I liked that comment as well. That ” every needs to either be disciples or evangelized.”

      This gives such purpose to every interaction and we can know what God calls us to just by knowing if someone is a believer or not. If they are then we can seek to ask the Lord what they can grow in or be encouraged in. If they are not a believer then we can ask the lord to open their hearts to receive him and pray for an opportunity to tell them about the forgiveness Christ has won for them.

  • hannah somerville says:

    Comment about 2 minute video:
    Diagnoses’s in psychiatry are not classified as actual diseases. For a psychiatrist to diagnose Mental illness it may not be based on scientific fact but rather deductive reasoning. It is shocking that someone with a gluten intolerance or spiritual issue can be issued anti psychotics or labeled as bipolar or schizophrenic. Many proper assessments must be made before issuing medications.

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