It is no surprise mental illness and spirituality are often mistaken or blurred together. In many cultures signs of mental illness are considered a calling to shamanism, by God, etc. It is also not uncommon for many of us dealing with mental illness to awaken, usually even faster or easier tha most others without such conditions. I also notice many people confusing these two things and after awakening dismiss others with such conditions or themselves as not being Ill and merely being spiritual in nature.
While the two share traits they are NOT the same. As someone who has dealt with bipolar 1 disorder for all his life I'll point out some key things after awakening to help those dealing with this. Many of us with mental conditions experience depression, psychosis, delusions, hypo/mania, hallucinations, etc. In fact in the spiritual communities in this order we see the parallels respectively in order being the equivalent of: the dark night of the soul, hearing / seeing things of another dimension, beliefs of incarnations / past lives, (initial) bliss and unconditional love, etc.
However as one who has known both I will tell you that they are separate and if you are dealing with this you must not make the mistake of confusing the two and stopping treatment or considering yourself healed. Mental illness stems from a mental cause and has been proven to be due to the structure of the brain itself being different. No realization, awakening, kundalini, etc will change this and it is dangerous and foolish to act as such soon after your experience.
Yet spirituality is very different from these symptoms and conditions. Spirituality comes from a deeper "knowing" if you will within oneself or being. It is a calm, inner intuition / "feeling." You may experience psychosis during kundalini, delusions, etc also during awakening and even a bliss state when first connecting with the all or God. But the latter is on a deep calm pure love sort of way.
Mental illness can give similar experiences however they are on a physical and mental energetic way. It will be frantic, irrational, fearful, angry, or euphoric substance than spiritual. It is easy to confuse one with the other if one is not aware of how these are different or experienced the difference, be careful, many who claim to be experiencing awakening may actually just be experiencing an emerging mental illness or symptoms of one!
With this being a bad part for us with such conditions and those unaware of them, we must also realize that those of us which such problems also have a great opportunity. We are better able to awaken and do so faster because our own mind switching between states of depression, depersonalization/derealization (called enlightenements evil twin) mood changes, or perceptual, allows us to realize that while everything in our own mind shifts one underlying truth of our self never does. We can see this sooner. The issues we once dealt with of self loathing, low self esteem, self judgement, etc become something beneficialial because we recognize our flaws and are able to fearlessly face them without aversion. Knowing the suffering of such conditions and the power of the kind and how it traps you allows you more desire to be free from it and also empathy for others. Our curse of depression and endless questions of "why me?" "Why am I alive?" And deep dark depression makes the light of awakening much much brighter.
The dark night of the soul is easier for us having experienced similar countless times over. There is no fear or hesitation is death of the self because we already held on to nothing anyway, our ability to detach becomes a blessing.
So remember that there is good within bad, but also to be careful, do not assume or belittle such conditions and least of all if you are in treatment for them decide after these experiences to stop treatment or medications without talking and planning with your doctor first! It is risky and also needless. Spirituality is a tool to handle such issues better and live life more fully but it cannot and will not replace proper treatments. Also be careful of spiritual bypassing, that is using spirituality to numb or avoid your mental, physical, or emotional needs or issues.
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