Misconception: Its Shameful To Discuss Mental Illness Openly
Reality: Church community should be a safe environment for people to discuss mental health without judgment.
Sadly, some Christians can be very judgmental about mental illness, but that is not a biblical response. Mental illness is not something you should be made to feel ashamed of or fear sharing with your church community.
Depression and mental illness should receive as kind and gentle a response from Christians, as they do from Jesus.
Jesus made it clear He was not pleased with people who put on a show of being very religious and moral and who judged others.
A group of religious leaders called the Pharisees were the epitome of religious people who act like they have it all together and judge others who do not. Jesus often called the Pharisees out for their hypocrisy. In contrast, Jesus was gentle and kind with people who were struggling and even sinning but who were open to God changing their lives.
The Christian community should never be a place where people feel they need to hide and cover up what they are really going through. In a genuine Christian community, people can share all of their struggles and ask for prayer without fear of shame or judgment. They can testify about how God is working through whatever is happening in their lives.
Depression and mental illness should receive as kind and gentle a response from Christians, as they do from Jesus.
The Dark Lenses Of Depression
Being depressed is like wearing a pair of apocalyptic glasses. Everything seems bleak, futile, and pointless. The promises of God, which normally bring life and hope and sunshine, seem hollow. God himself feels distant and uncaring, like a distracted, removed father who cares more about other things or other people.
The reason I couldnt work out what to do was because I couldnt help but see the negative in everything. Nothing was appealing because life itself had become impossible to enjoy. When I thought about being a doctor, all I could think of was the oppressive training involved. When I thought about being a pilot, I could only see the financial costs. And when I thought about carpentry, the toll on my body was too much to imagine.
This is a reality that, unfortunately, many Christians who havent experienced depression themselves struggle to understand. After all, if the scriptures are true, the solution to depression is simply to believe the promises of God, right? Think rightly and good feelings will follow. Dispel negativity with the positive words of the Bible.
Except thats not how it works. Mental illness is just as much biological as spiritual. The brain just doesnt work properly, regularly vomiting large volumes of the wrong chemicals into the neurons and synapses. The body responds to these chemicals, sometimes shutting down, other times hurling the body into full-on panic attacks.
Chris puts it this way:
Something more robust is needed.
Sharing Your Faith With Grace And Purpose
You can confidently and lovingly share your faithyou just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the Columbo tactic of asking questions, the self-defeating argument tactic to find holes in your opponents arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.
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The Hidden Smile Of God: The Fruit Of Affliction In The Lives Of John Bunyan William Cowper And David Brainerd
John Bunyan suffered long-term imprisonment and was moved to rely on God even more. Despite month after month of debilitating depression, William Cowpers poetry reflected the sustaining character of God and led him to worship more deeply. David Brainerd so desired to honor God that through the loneliness of wilderness ministry and the agony of tuberculosis, he pressed on, transforming world missions forever.Their stories and witness in this book will inspire in you a similar passion for the supremacy of God in your life, even in dark and depressing times.
Truth: We All Have The Ability To Improve Our Mental Health
Our bodies and minds are not perfect. They can become injured or ill.
But we also have the gift of free will and conscious thought, and with that comes a battle of the mind.
We all as humans are waging a war to keep our thoughts healthy and our bodies well, Christian or not. There is freedom in shifting our perspective from being ashamed of our mental health struggles to seeing them as a normal part of being alive. Im not ‘messed up,’ or at least not more than anyone else.
That also doesnt mean we need to stay mentally unwell. Just as we all have the potential to be mentally unwell , we all have the ability to improve our mental health.
One of the most effective forms of mental health therapy for depression and anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapyor CBT. (Cognitive refers to thoughts and behavioral looks at actions, so this is just a fancy way of saying changing your thoughts and actions.
CBT operates with one very important premise: thoughts come before feelings. In other words, what we think determines how we feel. Even the quickest responses, like a split-second realization that we are in danger, begin as thoughts before the feeling of panic sets in.
No, not in the least. This is so hard to do.
When we are in a period of depression or anxiety, it feels awful, torturous even. There is a way out or back out, but notwithout what can be a minute-by-minute effort to keep going sometimes.
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Understanding The Root Of Your Child’s Misbehavior
Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their childs behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your childs temperament based on his birth order.
Navigating A Toxic Culture With Your Daughter
As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social mediaand many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism
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What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
Also visit the online treatment locator.
Reconciling Faith And Science In A Medical Crisis
Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. Hell share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of lifes toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven
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Its Ok To Seek Professional Help
Seeking help for depression does not mean you do not have enough faith or that you are a bad Christian. In the Bible, we see Jesus heal many people from physical illnesses, but Christians who understand the Bible well would not use that as proof that people with physical illness lack the faith to be healed or are being punished. When Christians are physically unwell, they visit their doctor. The same wisdom holds true for your mental health.
If you want someone to address your depression in the context of your faith, some large churches have counselors on staff, and there are many Christian counselors available to help.
Christians can still benefit from secular counseling. Often, insurance will not cover faith-based counseling services, so secular counseling may be more financially viable for you. Some Christian counselors have the option of a sliding scale for payment based on income.
You Are Not Cut Off From God
The ultimate friend we find in our pain is Jesus Himself. He wept for us. And on the cross, He experienced separation from God in its fullness. Our Savior knows what it means to suffer darkness.
But when you are experiencing a mental health crisis and feeling isolated, its very easy to forget that God is literally within you. The Holy Spirit is the presence of God Himself, living and active in the life of everyone who trusts in Jesus.
When Jesus was about to be arrested and crucified, He sensed the distress among His closest followers. He knew the crisis they were about to go through. His solution was to reveal to them that their very reality as individual humans was about to be transformed in an unprecedented way.
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you.
Jesus promised His followers the gift of the Holy Spirit God within them as His way of providing peace and guidance to them every day of their lives.
If you have placed your trust in Jesus, that same Spirit lives within you. God literally could not be closer to you in whatever you are experiencing.
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What Does Christian Hedonism Offer The Depressed
Dont wait till the depression passes to seek God. He is eager to walk with you in the midst of it.
In four minutes, Pastor John reads from and explains Psalm 139 to try and offer comfort and hope for those in the midst of depression. David writes, If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night, even the darkness is not dark to you the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you . He ends with a powerful example from his pastoral ministry.
God Doesnt Lose Patience With My Pain
He isnt uncomfortable when I share dark thoughts, telling me to snap out of it. Nothing I can do, nowhere I can go will ever push Him to abandon me. Instead, God welcomes honesty. He runs toward my pain and questions.
In a messy, old Taurus, my tearful voice shook in hopeful response. Okay. If you promise to never leave, I can walk through anything with you.
Sometimes God doesnt heal, and its not anyones fault. Sometimes sickness is just the ugly reality of living in a broken world. My hope cant rest solely on the actions of God, on the miraculous or a mystery I cant comprehend. I dont have to be healed to trust Him. My hope rests on His character, who Hes proven Himself to be time and again.
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Am I Depressed A Christian Counselor Offers Answers
Have you ever wondered, Am I depressed? If so, this article will highlight some common signs, types, and causes of depression in order to help you assess whether or not you may be experiencing symptoms of depression. Also, some next steps will be given to provide you with options on what you can do to seek help for depression.
Depression can take a toll on you mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, and spiritually. Dealing with depression can make it difficult to handle every day activities or responsibilities. Some people may think that depression is just feeling blue and sad, but there is more to it.
There Is Still Hope Because Your Low Thoughts And Emotions Are Not The Truth
One of the hardest things about depression is that it takes away your ability to feel hopeful.
I remember, during one of my lowest times, having an overwhelming feeling that nothing would ever be good again. Rationally, I knew that probably was not true, but my emotions and anxious thoughts were screaming that there was no hope.
Depression plays tricks with your thoughts and emotions. Many Christians are used to having an emotional experience of their faith, such as feeling a spiritual high on a retreat or feeling close to God during a powerful time of worship. When youre depressed, you are probably not going to have those emotional experiences.
The good news is that your relationship with God depends upon His unchanging faithfulness and not on your changeable emotions. Counter the lies running through your head with the truth in the Bible.
God has said, I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from Gods love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow not even the powers of hell can separate us from Gods love.
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Praying Scripture Over Your Childs Life
Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. Shes been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.
Misconception: Depression Is A Sin
Variation: Being depressed means you are failing to trust God. Being depressed means you are failing to be joyful in all things or to give thanks to God.
Reality: Depression is an illness, not a sin.
If you get a cold or suffer from back pain or any physical illness, does anyone ever tell you that youre being sinful or failing to trust God because you are in pain? It sounds unreasonable because it is. Its just as unreasonable to say suffering from depression or any other mental illness is a sin.
God created a perfect world, but when evil entered, perfection was shattered and the world was never the same. We all suffer in some ways from the results of evil breaking into Gods perfect creation. Illness, whether it be physical or mental, is one of the many ways we see how broken our world truly is.
Yes, mental illness is often triggered by stressors or negative environmental factors, but that does not mean it is not real. Physical illness is also frequently triggered by stressors and negative environmental factors. Stress can cause ulcers and increase the risk of a heart attack, very serious illnesses that, like depression, need treatment, not condemnation.
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Moms Raising Sons To Be Men
Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a womans life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.
If God Is With Me Why Do I Feel Depressed
Depression is a mental illness that l live with every day. l was officially diagnosed with depression three years ago after l became burnout from my work as a teacher.
Heres how I would describe my depressive episodes: My mind feels like its been overtaken by negative emotions and thoughts, such as sadness and futility. The onslaught either comes in sudden waves or l sink slowly into a miry pit of despair and helplessness that can last for weeks at a time.
When the depression is at its worst, l become either emotionally numb or undergo intense psychological anguish. I find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time and become easily overwhelmed. Seeing others around me living and enjoying life gives me heartache because l feel like a spectator standing alone on the sidelines.
To combat depression, lve chosen not to take antidepressants instead, l prefer to eat healthily and exercise. I try to avoid stress and seek professional help on a regular basis.
Though I believe that I will receive complete healing when Jesus returns again, l also believe that God can heal me today and wants me to enjoy life to the full while Im here on earth. Thus, l thank God for His goodness and present my prayers and petitions to Him . Every day, l wait with hopeful expectation for deliverance .
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Your Friends And Family Can Help You
When I was at one of my really low points of depression, I remember a friend telling me that she and another friend were going to come over and clean my apartment. I was hesitant but reluctantly agreed. She knew that I should not be isolating myself and that the chaos around me was not helping my mental health.
Even after they left, the clean, organized space was a reminder that there were people who loved me and cared for me. When my depression tried to tell me I was alone and unloved, there was a physical reminder that that was not true.
If friends send you cards or pictures, hang them in places you can see them so they can be physical reminders of the people who love you.
People often feel at a loss to know how they can support loved ones with depression. One thing anyone can do is pray. Ask friends and family members to pray for God to give you hope and wisdom as you seek treatment and healing. While prayer alone usually is not enough to end someones depression, prayer is still powerful and important. God hears and cares.