Root 6 — Brain Dysfunction
A root of anger that’s more common than many people realize is brain dysfunction or mental illness.
Brain dysfunction may be the result of a degenerative disease or an accident. Or the brain may function improperly due to a chemical imbalance present from birth that may manifest itself as mental illness. It may even be self-inflicted through alcohol and drug use.
We’re wise to recognize that some people have lost the ability to control their anger as a result of an accident, injury, disease, or addiction. Any one of these things can destroy brain cells or compromise brain function.
For example, many war veterans who’ve been wounded physically or traumatized emotionally have angry outbursts that are far more automatic than intentional. Certain types of dementia can also bring about negative personality changes and increased anger. Dealing with anger as a result of brain dysfunction or mental illness is extremely difficult in marriage, friendship, and work relationships.
Hope in these situations lies in the peace and healing power of God. The person can do very little for himself. Those who care for and love him need tremendous support from family members and friends. At all times, we must remember God is at work and is healing the person in ways that may not be visible to us but are nonetheless real.
While my heart aches for people in these situations, I choose to believe for their healing as long as they’re alive. The truth is, God can heal any disease or condition—and ultimately, He’s in control. He may not heal the person this side of heaven, but healing will come. Of that I’m certain. And until the healing occurs, I choose to continue believing for God’s best, not only in the life of the individual who’s suffered injury or disease but also for those supporting that person.
In many cases, it’s the caregivers of the person—perhaps a spouse or adult child—who experience the great miracle of healing and personal growth. Caregivers may find God resolving certain issues in their lives and bringing important changes in their attitudes and behaviors. We must never underestimate or devalue the Lord’s faithfulness to fulfill His will, plan, and purpose for each person involved in a brain-injury or brain-disease situation.
If the brain dysfunction is the result of something a person did to himself—whether accidentally or intentionally—there may be a need to forgive. This can be very difficult, especially if the person’s actions left him brain-damaged and filled with anger. Whatever the cause, forgiveness is vital. Ask God to help you forgive, to give you a loving heart for the person, and to bless you with the daily strength and patience needed to provide the level of care you can provide.