Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I think that Spurgeon would like my new book, The Pastoral Hand book of Mental Illness; A Guide for Training and Review.

 Image result for pictures of charles spurgeon

As the pastor of a large church, I have to observe a great variety of experiences, and I note that some whom I greatly love and esteem, who are, in my judgment among the very choicest of God’s people, nevertheless, travel most of the way to heaven by night. They do not rejoice in the light of God’s countenance, though they trust in the shadow of His wings. They are on the way to eternal light, and yet they walk in darkness.


man in the dark.jpg

Darkness has a terrible power of causing fear; its mystery is an influence creating dread. It is not what we see that we dread, as much as that which we do not see, and therefore exaggerate. When darkness lowers down upon the believer’s mind it is a great trial to his heart. He cries, “Where am I? And how did I come here? If I am a child of God, why am I thus? Did I really repent and obtain light so as to escape the darkness of sin? If so, why am I conscious of this thick gloom? Did I really joy in Christ and think I had received the atonement? Why, then, has the sun of my joy gone down so hopelessly? Where are now the loving-kindnesses of the Lord?”

The good man begins to question himself as to every point of his profession, for in the dark he cannot even judge his own self. What is worse, he sometimes questions the truth which he has before received, and doubts the very ground on which his feet are resting. Satan will come in with vile insinuations questioning everything, even as he questioned God’s Word when he ruined our race in the garden. It is possible at such times even to question the existence of the God we love, though we still cling to Him with desperate resolve. We undergo a life and death struggle while we hold on to the divine verities. 

We are at times sorely put to it, and scarcely know what to do. Like the mariners with whom Paul sailed, we cast four anchors out of the stern, and look for the day. Oh, that we could be certain that we are the Lord’s! Oh, that we could apprehend the sure promises of the Lord, and our portion in them! For a while the darkness is all around us, and we perceive no candle of the Lord, or spark of experimental light with which to break the gloom. This darkness is very trying to faith, trying to love, trying to hope, trying to patience, trying to every grace of the spiritual man. Blessed is the man who 

can endure this test.


The quote by Spurgeon above is a quote I use in my new book. The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness: A Guide for Training and Review. Why did I use Spurgeon? It is because he suffered from severe depression. He eventually had to leave his huge church six months out of the year which numbered over fifteen thousand people for light therapy on the sunny coast of Menton, France.

 If you would like to be put on the waiting list for The Pastoral Handbook,  email me at revstevebloem@gmail.com. I will give you an alert as soon as I get the copies. The list is going and I will sign it.




 Robyn and I wrote about Spurgeon's Seasonal Affective Disorder in our book, Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. Kregel is the publisher for both books.

 If you would like to get this book, (no one can beat our price), please use the link below to order Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It , go to  http://heartfeltmin.org/resources.html

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sometimes your antidepressant (s) poop out. Don't give up!



 Steve's expertise is dealing with mood and anxiety disorders. He provides answers and knows that a person can be spiritually depressed. He is a certified DBT Therapist. He also is an experienced marriage counselor.  He does in person and phone counseling, including Skype.


Hi to All,
I found this article interesting. I have experienced the 'poop out' effect while on Zoloft, Paxil. and fluvoxamine,  I would cycle into a deep depression. I would have another one of the above prescribed
medications but they did not last.















Antidepressant Medication “Poop Out”

A reader from Roswell, Georgia asks: “I have been taking 20 mg/day of Celexa (citalopram) for about a year and a half for depression. It was the first medication I tried, and it worked great. For the past two months or so, however, I haven't been feeling great. I have been sleeping a lot, crying a lot, and feeling antisocial. Is it possible for Celexa to "poop out" and just stop working over time? Should I talk to my doctor about increasing my dosage or changing medications? Or maybe this bout with depression is just extra bad and I should tough it out?” Here’s our advice.

Antidepressant tachyphylaxis -- known less formally as the "poop out" effect -- was first described in 1984 when researchers observed that some patients experienced relapse of mood symptoms on antidepressants that had previously been effective therapies. There is some suggestion that serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, such as Celexa, are more prone to tachyphylaxis than other antidepressants, such as tricyclic medications like nortriptyline and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) like Effexor.

When antidepressants appear to "poop out," there are four options available to the physician and patient. 

The first is to increase 
the medication dosage in an effort to boost the antidepressant effect, assuming the maximum dose is not already prescribed. For example, the maximum dose of Celexa is 60 mg daily. A common pattern with SSRIs is for there to be an initial response to a lower dose that is not sustained, requiring titration over time to higher doses. Increasing the dosage alone may be sufficient to jumpstart recovery.

The second option is to switch antidepressant medications, either to another medication within the same class or to a different class. This method has the benefit of simplicity, in that it continues to be a single medication regimen.

The third and fourth options involve augmentation of the current antidepressant, either with the addition of a second antidepressant or a non-antidepressant augmentation drug. If a second antidepressant is chosen, it is common to add a medication with a different mechanism of action. For example, if someone is already taking an SSRI, the physician might add a tricyclic antidepressant. Non-antidepressant augmentation strategies include lithium, low-dose atypical neuroleptics such as Zyprexa or Risperdal, thyroid hormone, the blood pressure medication Pindolol, or the anti-anxiety drug Buspar (buspirone).

Bottom line: In most cases like yours, the simplest intervention is to increase the dosage of the antidepressant medication you're already taking, particularly because it has been effective in the past and you're not currently taking the maximum dosage. The key to successful treatment of depression is ongoing communication between you and your physician and not settling for partial recovery resigning oneself to "toughing it out."Johns Hopkins Health Alert

I would like to give one more option.  Iwas on Paxil and Zoloft and Luvox, three SSRIS. They all "pooped out."  My long time psychiatrist said that I maybe suffering from bipolar two disorder. He first  tried Lithium, from which I become toxic, and almost died, and then he decided to try a new drug at the time called Seroquel (Generic Quetiapine). Seroquel acts a mood stabilizer.  It has been about sixteen years and I have never had a severe depressive episode since then. SB








It will soon be in the bookstores and online. If you like, I could give you a signed copy. I am not collecting money now, but I can put you on alert status. I will inform you when it is available.

Please read the following review.

I applaud Steve’s courage and professionalism in coming forward with this much needed book. The church is made up of everyday, real people and mmental illness is a real problem that cannot be swept under the rug. 


As God gave us doctors to help us with heart attacks, back surgeries, and diabetes, he also gave us doctors to help us with mental illness. Of course God can heal somebody
immediately of any disease or illness, but oftentimes he uses doctors, medicine, and other tools to help. In that regard, I believe Steve’s book is a godsend.

It gives pastors the knowledge, information, and tools they need to successfully and confidently address this critical issue with those they oversee.
God bless you Steve for having the courage to come out of the darkness and shine
a light on your own experience so that others may be helped, healed, blessed,
and God glorified throughout it all. 

Steve Bloem delivers the information in a way
that will help pastors and impact the kingdom of God today and in the ages to
come. God has used Steve’s personal journey mightily to help him understand
the tragedy, effects, trauma, solutions, and answers for dealing with mental
illness. This book is a must read for every pastor and I believe should be taught
as a course in every seminary.”
—Jack Alan Levine,
Executive Pastor, Purpose Church,
Orlando, Florida

Monday, June 4, 2018

Do you know what OCD is? Did you think it did not have a biological origin? Think again@

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Largest-Ever Cortical Imaging Study of OCD Patients Offers Clues to Causes
A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry on May 1, 2018 gives researchers new clues into which parts of the brain may be disrupted in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Abnormalities were identified in both pediatric and adult patients.

OCD is a common disorder that causes recurring, uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors. Its causes remain poorly understood. Abnormalities in certain information-processing circuits have been implicated, but these do not seem to explain all of its symptoms.

The new study is the work of the ENIGMA-OCD consortium, a large international team of researchers who share a research interest in OCD, led by 2009 Young Investigator Odile A. van den Heuvel, M.D., Ph.D., a psychiatrist at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. They used MRI scans to compare brain structure in 1,905 people with OCD with that of 1,760 healthy controls. Their study, which used clinical and imaging data from 27 sites worldwide, is the largest analysis to date of the structure of the brain’s cortex in people with OCD. The cortex is the brain’s outermost layer, and the portion that performs its most complex functions, which give rise to memory, attention, perception, cognition, thought, language and emotion.

Dr. van den Heuvel and colleagues used the brain scans to create detailed maps of each study participant’s cortex. Comparing these maps, they found that the surface area and thickness of certain regions of the cortex were smaller in people with OCD. Because the study was so large, the team was able to link subtle structural differences to the disorder, something that hasn’t been possible to corroborate in previous smaller studies.

In particular, they noted that the parietal lobe—a part of the brain thought to be involved in attention, planning, and response inhibition—was thinner in people with the disorder. These brain functions are often impaired in people with OCD, and such abnormalities might contribute to patients’ recurring thoughts and repetitive behaviors, the team says.

The parietal cortex was found to be consistently implicated in both adults and children with OCD. More widespread cortical regions were found to be thinner in medicated adult OCD patients (versus controls), and more pronounced surface area deficits (mainly in frontal regions) were found in medicated pediatric OCD patients (versus controls). Because of the way the study was designed, it’s not possible to determine whether or to what degree medication contributes to changes in patients’ brain structure. That will be the subject of future studies, the team says.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Are you a born again Christian who is contemplating suicide?.
















Many things have happened ,since my wife Robyn and, I wrote the book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. The year  it was published by Kregel Publications, 2005,   Our largest chapter was the fourth one, which, covered the subject of suicide.  We have had some success in stopping suicide, but the numbers are telling, it is a big problem.
My sister Cyndi, who loved Broken Minds, and gave copies to many people, committed suicide in the year 2006. This blog is dedicated to her and to all the loved ones, who have had to suffer the horror of losing a precious one in this way.




What are some of the reason's why I would not commit suicide?


      It is a sin and would bring shame to Christ and His church.
      It would please the Devil and would weaken greatly those who are trying to fight him.
      It would devastate family members and friends, and you may be responsible for them following your example if they come up against intense suffering.
      It may not work, and you could end up severely disabled but still trying to fight depression.
      It is true—our God is a refuge, “and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Ps. 9:10). God, your Father, will deliver you through what you are facing. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:10 that God “delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us.”
      Help is available. If you push hard enough, someone can assist you to find the help you need.
      If you are unsaved, you will go to hell. This is not because of the act of suicide but because all who die apart from knowing Christ personally will face an eternity in a far worse situation than depression.
      If you are a Christian, then Jesus Christ is interceding for you before the Father, that your faith will not fail. He shares your afflictions. Psalm 56:8 says, “Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?”
      God will keep you until you reach a day when your pain will truly be over. Wait for God’s time for that, not your own. According to Revelation7:17, “God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” After going through some awful things, Paul was still able to say, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18). 

You can order Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It  from the authors, Robyn and Steve Bloem. Our sale of brand new, copies from the publisher, beats anyone when it comes to buying, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It,
http://heartfeltmin.org/resources.html




























Steve Bloem's new book will be able to be purchased on June 26,2018
Here is  a Kregel Publications synopsis of Bloem's new book.

Christians dealing with mental illness often first look to their pastors for help. Few pastors, however, are trained to recognize and deal with mental illness, and they can unintentionally give advice that is ineffective or even dangerous.

Counselor Steve Bloem fills this void by equipping pastors and other church leaders to identify the symptoms of common mental disorders, to offer biblical encouragement and comfort to those suffering from them, and to decide when to refer them to mental-health professionals.

Bloem makes a foundational biblical case for the reality and treatment of mental illnesses, and he dispels a number of myths about those who suffer from them. Drawing on extensive counseling and pastoral experience, he provides essential tools and advice for those in ministry to help people battling depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia, and other mental illnesses. Pastors, counselors, and seminary students will find this handbook to be an indispensable guide for these important issues. 

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness, A Guide for Training and Review. please go to our website and use the email, pathema@msn.com to say you want to be alerted of what the price of the author is charging and when it will be available from the author and other bookstores.

Monday, May 28, 2018

May. 24, 2018 | Indonesia Coordinated Attacked by six family members on Three Churches

Security guard Bayu lost his life in the attack, leaving behind his wife and child.
May. 24, 2018 | Indonesia

Coordinated Attack on Three Churches


Three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia, were attacked by suicide bombers from a single family (ED. six family members) on Sunday, May 13, resulting in at least 13 deaths. Two teenage boys from the family rode motorcycles into the Santa Maria Catholic Church and detonated explosives at 7:30 a.m., five minutes before their father drove a car packed with explosives into the Surabaya Center Pentecostal Church. Shortly afterward, the man’s wife and two daughters, ages 9 and 12, approached the Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church and detonated a bomb when they were stopped by a security guard. At least 13 people died, not including the attackers. “We are sad and grieving because of the terrorism act in Surabaya,” Pastor Yosua Nugraha said. “What they expect is that we will suspect each other, hate [each] other and close ourselves so they can easily do more terror. ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.’” Pray that Christians in Indonesia will remain united."






We have both student and copy guides of  
our CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness.) support groups curriculum. If you purchase them for your own reading, (especially the Leader's Guide. or you wish to start a CAMI support group we will help you with the nuts and bolts and provide you with on the  go training. http://heartfeltmin.org/resources.html





Please visit us on our web site:
http://heartfeltmin.org/resources.html
This book has been proven to be a great help to individuals, college students, and whole families. As far as price for a new one we will beat anyone.  Both Robyn and I will sign a copy for you.
We offer this on the above website.

This will come out on June 26, 2018/. It is published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids MI. If you want to be on a book alert, please send an email to me.  pathema@msn.com. 
 We are also working on teaching  classes on line. Please consider becoming a member of my blog.  We have friends all over the world. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Devil wants demoralize you and swallow you up!

Copy right Steve Bloem, 2016. Some of this blog is in the book, The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness, A Guide for Training and Review  and is copyright by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids,. Michigan,2018.

Have you ever felt like giving up the Christian life? I mean, have you gotten so discouraged and so much in despair that you feel swallowed up by doubts, depression and fear? You can be sure that the devil is trying to have you for dinner and that you need the armor of God. Now, obviously, an extensive study of the subject of spiritual 0warfare and the armor of God would take too many blogs.  So I will say a few words about the "devil wanting to eat you for dinner." As you probably guessed, I am using a metaphor to describe the devil's attack on your life. .





 But the Bible uses the same metaphor, and that is where we will find the answer to detecting and defeating the evil one's powerful schemes.When I say he wants you for dinner I mean, Satan wants to overwhelm you with sorrow. This is one of his foremost goals. I am not saying that the devil wants to actually eat you. But since the beginning of time, he has been devouring those who have believed in God and Messiah- Jesus. In order to develop a biblical theology of the devil and his aims and methods we must go to the Bible.




Image result for eve with serpent in the garden

Genesis 3:16 - God's provision for defeating death is spoken of very early in Biblical Revelation. The verse is also known by theologians as the proto-evangelium- ,

 It was on the cross that the seed of woman, the Son of David, the God-man, Jesus Christ by died in our place and for our sins. He destroyed the devil's power over death and because of this mankind can have victory over death. Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14).

Satan and his demons are very active throughout today's world. Ephesians 6:10-12, demonstrates this activity; finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.The Greek word for schemes is methodia. 
He uses methods which involve: cunning arts, deceit, craft,  and trickery. Satan is a highly intelligent being and actually, like a commander, he and his army (demons), formulate many different strategies to cause God's people to sin. And his fighting is up-close and personal. He wants you to be swallowed up by fear and panic so that you will give up on living the Christian life the way it should be lived. You have to put on the full armor of God (Please see image above.. You must read your Bible prayerfully. You must take up the shield of faith. If you are not aware of his schemes then he has already defeated you.

If you would like to view a short description by Kregel  Publications of the new book, which Steve
has done please go to the link belowhttp://www.kregel.com/ministry/the-pastoral-handbook-of-mental-illness/

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Borderline Personality Disorder, What is it?

Rev. Steve Bloem, B.A. M.M. is a certified DBT therapist.  He and his team were trained by Dr. Marsha Linehan at the University of  Washington in the years 1996 and 1997.  Steve and another team member started and administered one of the first DBT programs in the Community Mental Health System. in the U.S.A.He is now in private practice in Palm Beach County, Florida.



Image result for borderline personality disorder




In the past, people thought that someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD) was “on the borderline” between psychosis and neurosis (anxiety/depression). Today, we know much more about BPD, and there is more research on BPD than any other personality disorder.

But there is a lot of stigma around personality disorders. People living with borderline personality disorder may be given hurtful labels. But no one is ever just their diagnosis, whether they’re living with a personality disorder or any other mental illness. There is hope and there is help

Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that affects the way to relate to other people and the way you relate to yourself. If you’re living with borderline personality disorder, you might feel like there’s something fundamentally wrong with who you are or you might feel ‘flawed’ or worthless, or you might not even have a good sense of who you are as a person. Your moods might be extreme and change all the time, and you might have a hard time controlling impulses or urges. You may have a hard time trusting others and you may be very scared of being abandoned or alone.

BPD is made up of five groups of symptoms: unstable behavior, unstable emotions, unstable relationships, unstable sense of identity and awareness problems.

Unstable behavior means that you often act on impulses or urges, even when they hurt you or other people. Some examples of impulse control problems are:
  • Thinking about or attempting suicide
  • Hurting yourself on purpose, such as cutting or burning your skin (self-harm)
  • Risky behaviors like spending a lot of money, binge eating or problematic substance use
Unstable emotions mean that your moods can be extreme and change very quickly. Some examples of unstable emotions are:
  • Extreme depression, anxiety or irritability that might last for only a few hours or days, usually in response to a stressful event
  • Intense anger or difficulty controlling anger
  • Intense boredom
Unstable relationships mean that you have a hard time maintaining relationships with other people. Some example of relationship problems are:
  • Doing anything you can to avoid being abandoned or alone
  • Feeling like you don’t know yourself or having very unstable sense of who you are and how you feel about yourself
  • Intense relationships where you often impulsively shift between seeing the other person as ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’
Unstable sense of identity means that you don’t have a good sense of who you are as a person. Some examples of an unstable sense of identity include:
  • Feeling like you don’t know yourself
  • Having a very unstable sense of who you are and how you feel about yourself
  • Feeling “empty” much of the time
Awareness problems mean that, from time to time only and often in response to a stressful event, you experience sensations or feelings that aren’t based in reality. Some examples of awareness problems are:
  • Feeling like you’re separated from your mind or body (dissociative symptoms) or losing track of time.
There are many different combinations of symptoms, so BPD can look very different among people with the illness. To diagnose BPD, mental health clinicians look for patterns of behavior that last for a long time and have caused distress or problems with relationships or other areas of life, such as work.

From Kregel Publications

Christians dealing with mental illness often first look to their pastors for help. Few pastors, however, are trained to recognize and deal with mental illness, and they can unintentionally give advice that is ineffective or even dangerous.

Counselor Steve Bloem fills this void by equipping pastors and other church leaders to identify the symptoms of common mental disorders, to offer biblical encouragement and comfort to those suffering from them, and to decide when to refer them to mental-health professionals.

Bloem makes a foundational biblical case for the reality and treatment of mental illnesses, and he dispels a number of myths about those who suffer from them. Drawing on extensive counseling and pastoral experience, he provides essential tools and advice for those in ministry to help people battling depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia, and other mental illnesses. Pastors, counselors, and seminary students will find this handbook to be an indispensable guide for these important issues. 
Please contact me by phone or email. You need only to go to:http://heartfeltmin.org/join-us.html