Friday, February 16, 2018

Panic Attacks?







I believe that as it with many things, you cannot understand panic attacks, unless you have experienced them. When I was first depressed I had panic attacks and feelings of derealization.
   I thought and felt like I was losing my mind. Panic disorder is very treatable. I am on two       SSRIS (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibiters),Sertraline (Zoloft) and Fluvoxamine (Luvox).  My panic attacks are kept in check by these medications.  Panic attacks can lead to agoraphobia. People who are afraid of having a panic attack in public, sometime do not leave the relative comfort of their home. Agora -Phobia usually requires cognitive behavioral therapy. Steve Bloem

From John Hopkins

Anxiety is a common, normal and often useful response to life's challenges and dangers. But in people who suffer from an anxiety disorder, anxiety levels spin out of control, causing psychological and physical symptoms that interfere with normal functioning, appear even in the absence of obvious external stressors or are clearly excessive in the face of the stressors.

Researchers believe that anxiety disorders result from hyperactivity in certain areas of the brain, perhaps related to low levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is responsible for keeping activity levels of nerve cells in check.

Panic disorder. One of the five major forms of anxiety disorder is panic disorder -- sudden but short-lived attacks of terror and a fear of losing control.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 6 million adults (about 3 percent of adult Americans) suffer from panic disorder each year. It is twice as common in women as in men. One study estimated that only one in four people with panic attacks receive appropriate care.

Image result for someone who can't catch their breath

Panic attacks begin without warning during non-threatening activities. Affected individuals often go to the emergency room or consult a cardiologist because the physical symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack. Panic attacks generally peak within 10 minutes and dissipate within 20 to 30 minutes. They are characterized by some combination of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
  • Heart palpitations or a racing pulse
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Dizziness, lightheartedness or feeling faint
  • Choking, nausea or stomach pain
  • Sweating
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Trembling or shaking
  • A feeling of detachment from one's surroundings or a sense of unreality
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Fear of dying or losing one's mind
John Hopkins Hospital.

The book tthat keeps sellling! For more information, click on

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Change North Korea One Heart at a Time

4371 Northlake Blvd.Suite 256
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

From the Voice of Martyrs 

Man kneeling on ground with Bible

North Korea is a land of spiritual darkness. For 70 years, it has been ruled by the oppressive Kim regime, a lineage of tyranny that has starved its people physically and spiritually while rattling sabers at the rest of the world.

North Koreans will not ultimately be changed by domestic politics, international negotiations or bombs. They will be changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. We invite you to help us shine the light of truth into North Korea by supporting VOM’s ministry work there. Your gift will help advance the gospel in four ways:

  1. GOSPEL BALLOONS VOM workers distribute New Testaments in North Korea by attaching them to helium-filled balloons launched from just outside its borders. GPS technology enables us to track the balloons and determine exactly where the Bibles land. We also distribute tracts that share the gospel in a simple, understandable format.
  1. BIBLES VOM distributes Bibles in a variety of other ways inside North Korea, and we also distribute Bibles to North Koreans living outside the country.
  2. FRONT-LINE WORKERS We cannot share details about the efforts of courageous front-line workers, but VOM provides tools and training to help increase the reach of their work inside North Korea.
  3. COVERT OPS North Korea is the most restricted country in the world, and for security reasons we cannot share details of much of our work. As one of our staff recently shared on VOM Radio (, we may be able to talk about these projects in three to five years, but that will probably mean some of our bold brothers and sisters have been arrested and the projects shutdown, .

Friday, February 9, 2018

Grief, stoning of Steve . devout men made loud lamentation over him (NASB)

Copy rights, reserved, Steve Bloem 
Feb. 9, 2018

Image result for stoning of stephen activity
Picture by Villia

Acts  8:1-2 And Paul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him
 (NASB). The word lamentation  was an expression of deep, noisy sorrow over a godly man who was taken before his time.Some think that being strong' for the LORD in grief is to show little emotion in grief It is true that we must be trusting God in the dark valley. However the Scripture says that it  was godly men (devout) who men made loud lamentation over him. Loud here (megan) means great.  The word devout (eulabeis) denotes showing a  reverence for God and cautious about doing his will"         ( TNDT, volume 2:751). These godly men gave full vent  to their grief. 

The stoning of Stephen resulted in no quiet acquiescence to God's will. . I am speaking about the human response of grief and not the divine mystery of providence, which the Lord works His will out in the lives of His people.


 I remember, when I had just witnessed the death of our daughter in a head-on collision, a well meaning police officer upon seeing me crying said, "Come on now, you have to be strong' for your family."  I told him, "You be the cop and I will be the father." Being strong is not bottling up your emotions.  Lamentation in the above text.  The Greek  (kopetos) carries the idea of  wailing and beating on the breast (See Vines Expository Dictionary, p. 124, under bewail).

  The apostle Paul stated. but we do not want you to be uninformedbrethrenabout those who are asleepso  that you will  who have no hopeFor we do not sorrow as some do without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:15, NASB).
This Scripture does not say we as believers in Christ do not have sorrow. It says, "we don't have a "hopeless sorrow.  And so it was with John the Baptist and his godly disciples who are now in endless glory, peace and joy. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Why do very few people talk about Electro-Convulsive as a treatment for Depression?

Image result for ECT
Yes, these people have been helped!

Why did I ask for ECT?  It was because I was extremely depressed; I had to force food because I had no appetite. I also could not sleep at all.  I was very suicidal. Both times ECT  brought me  out of  severe depression. The first improvement came after two sessions and then gradually I had no depressive symptoms.

Image result for man resisting treatment

What I don't understand is  why is everyone so upset, nervous and opposed to a treatment that is safer than or as safe as antidepressants? You can shock the heart so that it beats again. You can use a Cesarean  Section to bring a child safely from the womb to the world.  But when it comes to treating the brain, stigma and fear abound.

ECT is a biological approach to a biological medical problem. It is in no way a lobotomy. Why is it that the church continues to resist the science of mental illness, when the treatment outcomes are better than ever?  For  further discussion of ECT go to chapter twelve of Broken Minds For Kindle go to

Please read  the John Hopkins Hospital brief article below. The only thing I would add is there are two methods of the placement of electrodes on the brain, both bi-lateral and unilateral ECT. Unilateral ECT usually has the least memory loss. Some say bilateral is stronger in its effect on depression.You can also read about ECT in our book  Broken Minds.  It is available by paper back, Kindle and other applications.

Why use Electro-Convulsive Therapy?
 Many people think Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is a thing of the past, but it is still being used today, given its effectiveness in treating major depression. In recent years, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and the U.S. Surgeon General have all concluded that electro-convulsive therapy is a valuable tool in the treatment of certain mental disorders, particularly depression.

A Stop Gap for Agony
Before beginning Electro-convulsive therapy, an individual with depression typically first receives psychotherapy, antidepressant medication or a combination of the two. While these treatments are often effective, they take time to work. This delay can be dangerous for people whose depression is accompanied by intense suicidal thoughts and/or delusions. For these individuals, who are at immediate risk for ... suicide, Electro-convulsive therapy can work much more quickly than antidepressants and is therefore a good option.
Image result for ECT

What happens during Electro-Convulsive therapy? 

It can be performed in an inpatient or outpatient setting. After the patient is given general anesthesia and a muscle relaxant, electrodes are placed on two areas of the scalp. A short, controlled set of electrical pulses is then administered for about a minute. The electrical pulses must produce generalized seizures to be effective. (Because patients are under anesthesia and have taken muscle relaxants, they do not openly convulse or feel the current),

Patients awaken about five to 10 minutes after the end of the treatment. Most are oriented and alert within 30 minutes. Typically, Electro-Convulsive therapy is given two to three times a week for a total of six to 12 sessions. These sessions typically improve depression in 60 to 70 percent of patients -- a response rate similar to that of antidepressant drugs -- and in 80 to 90 percent of people using it as first-line therapy.

ECT'S Shortcoming

A major limitation of Electro-Convulsive therapy treatment is that the benefits may be short-lived. Within a year, 50 to 60 percent of people experience a relapse, and they may have to take antidepressant medication or continue receiving Electro-convulsive therapy periodically to prevent a  relapse.

Image result for quizzical look

How does it work?

No one is sure how Electro-convulsive therapy helps certain mental disorders. It may flood the brain with neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which are known to play a role in conditions such as depression and schizophrenia. Electro-convulsive therapy may also help regulate hormones that play a role in these disorders.

This is a re-post.

Monday, January 29, 2018

It is that time of year again for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Have you ever heard of, "seasonal depression?"  It is known by the popular acronym, (SAD), Seasonal Affective Disorder. The farther you live from the equator the more likely you will have it.  I know that we have over a hundred countries that read this blog. These include, Russia, Canada, China, Ukraine, the United States (including Alaska); all of these countries and more struggle with SAD
Visuel panoramique Menton
Today[s Menton, France
I once asked my psychiatrist about the possibility of being a missionary to England and he said that it would be alright, as long as I sought out good psychiatric treatment. It was the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, who suffered from SAD.and his son Thomas also had a form of it. The reason is that London,  England often has cloudy skies that hide the sun. Charles found comfort in the sunny skies of Menton France.  Just about any biography about Spurgeon ( and I have read many) informs the reader that the loving congregation in London England, "allowed", him to go  every year after the age of forty to Menton, France.W  His son Thomas resorted to ministry in sunny Australia !Even today London, England  has many people who have SAD. . However modern science means you get help right in you home. It is not just as fun as the two places mentioned above. It is a light that is 10,has 10,000 Lux or more. You can easily find one online.(Ed) I am in no way connected to any company that sells lights for SAD.

When I asked my psychiatrist (medical doctor) about the possibility of  going to Alaska, a state that is not in the Continental United States, he almost shouted at me, "no!"  And I don't even have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I have lived in the state of Florida and no matter how much sunshine, I experience (and there is much sunshine in Florida) it did not help with my clinical  depression..
So those of you who suspect that you or a loved one has a seasonal disorder should go to a Medicine Net, website to learn about SAD and other types of depression.  You can also take a depression quiz.
Here is the link: /

Broken Minds: Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It by [Bloem, Steve]

For an evangelical treatment of mental illness, please read a book that my wife and I wrote, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. The book retails at $16.00 but  I will give you a brand new one for $9.00 + $3.50 for shipping, Please go to Heartfelt Counseling Ministries website; You can use this link and click on the donation button and put in the amount. you owe. Shipping outside of the U.S. can be done,  but send me an email at and we can find out what is the shipping price.and you can put the book amount plus the shipping in the space after you click on the donation button.You can also pay by check.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Have you ever known the terror of depression but you keep on without getting help?

The Private Terror in “Paradise”

The days progressed as we clung to our perch in south Florida. Steve was leading an evangelism team, leading an adult Bible fellowship in our home church, and planning his next preaching opportunity in central Florida. Every night and early morning we faced our private terror.
Terror is exactly what it was becoming. Steve looked so full of fear and in such agony. I could hardly bear to look at him. In fact, the phrase that kept coming to my mind was from Luke 16:23: “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.” That’s exactly how Steve looked. I remember standing over him while he sat in one of our kitchen chairs. He looked up at me with that “beyond pain” expression. I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “I could whip you right now, couldn’t I?” He nodded, knowing he was weaker than I. This time we both cried.
More of the classic symptoms cropped up. Of course we didn’t know they were the classic symptoms. Steve began to walk and walk, around and around the neighborhood. He paced, wringing his hands and rubbing his head. This is called psychomotor agitation.
Mornings were always worse, an effect called diurnal mood variation. He cycled up a bit at around two in the afternoon and could almost function for a few hours. He used these precious hours to plan his next ministry opportunity. He was mostly using old material now because his concentration was gone. How could he expect to prepare new sermons and new presentations when he could hardly make a decision?

Years later I came across an interesting side note in a sermon by Charles Spurgeon. He was preaching on a Sunday night in 1869 and was horribly depressed. He states,

"My brethren, I am quite out of order for addressing you tonight. I feel extremely unwell, excessively heavy and exceedingly depressed, and yet I could not deny myself the pleasure of trying to say a few words to you. I have taken a text upon which I think I could preach in my sleep; and I believe that if I were dying, and were graciously led in the old track, I could with my last expiring breath, pour out a heart full of utterance upon the delightful verse I have selected. It happens to be the passage from which I first essayed to speak in public when I was but a boy of sixteen years of age; and I am sure it contains the marrow of what I have always taught in the pulpit from that day until now. The words are in the second chapter of  the first Epistle of Peter, and the seventh verse, Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.

He went on to preach a wonderful sermon on the truths of that text. It was comforting to think that even so powerful a preacher as Spurgeon sometimes was so sick that he had to speak on something familiar. One time when Steve was horribly depressed, I hugged him and told him, “I always wanted to marry a man like Spurgeon—I just hadn’t known exactly what that meant.”

Steve preached one of his “familiar text sermons” in central Florida on the way down to West Palm Beach. Such preaching opportunities are called “pulpit supply.” Churches sometimes ask prospective pastors to fill in when they are without a pastor. It is understood that no strings are attached. Then if the congregation feels that God would have them pursue the man further, they ask him to return to candidate. On this Sunday, Steve preached, spoke with many people, and basically hid his depression from the church. I was amazed at how well he handled himself when I knew the full extent of his pain.

When that weekend was over, we proceeded down to West Palm, to a place of safety, tucked away from wondering eyes and questions. This isolation was so hard for me. If Steve had been diagnosed with almost anything else, or if I had even feared that he might have a heart condition or cancer, I would have gone to friends, praying acquaintances, or anyone else who would sympathize. I wanted to physically throw myself on the shoulder of someone who would have cared about us and our children. But I couldn’t. It was all too confusing and scary. Bloem, Robyn and Steve. Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. (Grand Rapids, Kregel Publications (2005) pp38,39 

The above paragraphs were taken directly from Steve and Robyn's book (picture is on the left,} The book is published by Kregel Publications of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  If you would like to order this book; in paper back, a signed copy  by
the authors, please go  You will scroo' down to the donate button and put in $11:00 + 3 dollars shipping, for a total of $14.00.

 If you would like to buy it in kindle, please go to

Friday, January 5, 2018

God does not promise born again Christians that they will be fee of sickness, depression and poverty!

God does not promise His people that they will be free from sickness, problems, poverty and more. People who buy into the health, wealth and prosperity gospel tend to believe that God will deliver everyone from all kinds of problems if only they have enough faith in Him. There are examples throughout Scripture and in church history of people who have had sickness and weakness of mind.

Image result for john the baptist in prison
One example is that of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:1-6). The fiery preacher, who in his near past had great multitudes hanging on his every word, now lay imprisoned in a dark dungeon with its stale air and rodents. Why was this mighty and prophetic voice silenced? It was because he had preached the judgment of God to Herod and his so called wife, Herodias. Why did the Baptist  do so? It was because of their incestuous and adulterous relationship.

John was in a dark dungeon; he no doubt longed for the fellowship of his disciples and even of Christ. Instead, because of his identification with our Lord Jesus he was participating in His sufferings.

John had not seen many of Christ’s greatest miracles. However, he had clearly testified that Jesus was the Son of God (John1:24). Now he was haunted with doubts about whether or not Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. That is why Matthew records for us how John sent his messengers to ask Jesus about His claims to be Messiah. They said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else" (John 11:3 NASB)? Jesus answered John’s disciples, "go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind received sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them, and blessed is he who does not take offense at Me" (Matthew 11:4-6 NASB). The same John who had said, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 NASB) was now disappointed, lonely and out of the mainstream. He would die alone by the sword of the executioner (Mathew 14:8 NASB). But Heaven gave him a glad and abundant welcome.

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An Abundant entrance into Heaven

“Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you” (2 Peter 1:10, 11). Taken from . Bloem, Robyn and Steve CAMI Leader Guide, support group for Christians with mental illness, (copy right 2010) self published.