Thursday, November 16, 2017

Are you familiar with the depressive spectrum?

The Depressive Spectrum

  • low mood      
  • low self-esteem      
  • pessimism      
  • fatigue, reduced energy      
  • disturbances of sleep (insomnia or hypersomnia)      
  • disturbances of appetite (anorexia or hyperphagia)      
  • agitation or retardation      
  • guilt      
  • sense of worthlessness      
  • hopelessness      
  • helplessness      
  • poor motivation      
  • poor concentration      
  • indecision      
  • loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities      
  • low libido      
  • recurrent thoughts of death
Steve and Robyn  Bloem conduct seminars throughout the United States and Canada. One of the most popular ones is Whispers in the Foyer, An Honest Look at the Christian and Mental Illness. 

Whispers in the Foyer is a much needed fresh voice to a controversial dialogue 
Steve and Robyn Bloem have literally “written the book” on how to survive and thrive in the midst of the chaos of mental illness. Their honesty, candor, authenticity, and thoroughness of thought offer us a unique perspective at a critical time for the church in the U.S. Rather than hiding or running from their own struggles with Steve’s mental illness; they have faced them head on with incredible courage and a profound faith. Their book Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It and now this resulting workshop seem to flow from a deep resolve to help shift the old paradigms that so many of us in evangelical circles are still working from when it comes to the issue of mental illness.  

An Honest Approach to Understanding Mental Illness 

With rare candid honesty Steve and Robyn presented a detailed description of mental illness itself, a Biblical lens through which to engage it, and an inspirational story of struggle and triumph. Woven through Steve’s presentation on several types of mental illness and a solid Biblical discussion on its validity and implications, Robyn shared a story of intense struggle as they battled Steve’s depression early on in their marriage, the loss of their daughter and unborn grandchild to a tragic car accident, and ongoing journey as they continue to navigate the chaos and uncertainty defining mental illness. 
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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Andy Sandness

Robyn Bloem says, "This is the story of a suicide and a suicide attempt that resulted in something quite unbelievable. Not only is the story about a face transplant, it should serve as a warning to people who could survive a suicide attempt and end up disfigured, besides the depression that led to the attempt in the first place."

We knew a man who attempted suicide and wound up blind and looking like this man did before the surgery. Please get help and direct those you love to seek treatment for depression. It doesn't have to be this way !

Monday, November 6, 2017

Starting a Coverstion about mental health, part 2

 Managing Stress

  • Create to-do lists and tackle items one by one
  •   Exercise 
  •  Get enough sleep 
  •  Explore time-management strategies 
  • Ask friends how they manage stress 
  •  Listen to relaxing music 
  •  Set aside time for self-care 
  •  Practice mindful meditation or prayer 
  •  Eat healthy foods 
  •  Avoid alcohol, drugs, smoking and caffeine 
  •  Seek support from family, friends or peers 
  •  Talk with your resident advisor, a trusted adult
  •  or the campus counseling or guidance center

Common Signs of a Mental Health Condition

  Mental health conditions have 10 common warning signs that should be taken seriously. If you or someone you know experiences one or more of these signs, you should talk with  trusted family, peers or mentors and seek assistance.

  •   Feeling very sad or withdrawn for more than two week                                               
  •   Severe, out-of-control risk-taking behaviors                                                               
  •  Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason                                                                    
  •   Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to lose weight                                               
  •   Seeing, hearing or believing things that are not real                                                       
  •  Repeatedly and excessively using drugs or alcohol                                                       
  •   Drastic changes in mood, behavior, personality or sleeping habits                                  
  •  Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still                                                          
  •  Intense worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities                                       
  • . Trying to harm oneself or planning to do so.

It can be difficult to know whether what you are experiencing is an early sign of an emerging mental health condition or part of adjusting to college. You don’t have to know the answer to this question. Listen to your mind and body. If you are not feeling right and are having trouble shaking that feeling, then talk with someone who can help you sort things out and help you decide what kind of support or care you need. For a fuller treatment of this please go to the link below.

Rev. Steve Bloem B.A. M/M/ has the ability to counsel world wide. He is an expert when it comes to helping those who suffer from mental illness and the caregivers of those who are suffering from a mental illness.  He can get you help, no matter what problem you are facing. He also does marriage counseling.  Please see our counseling page. We use many forms of digital communication. It is just like you were there. For the origin of this article

Have you heard of our book Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing I?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health, Part I

Image result for college students

Did you know that 75% of all mental health conditions begin by age 24? That’s why the college years are so critical for understanding and talking about mental health. 
College life is full of opportunities for personal growth, greater independence and exploration of new social and academic experiences. New experiences make college an exciting time, but one that may also be stressful. Stress may come from keeping up with academic demands, forging new relationships and managing greater independence. Changes in stress levels, along with new sleep patterns and eating habits, can have a big impact on your health. 
Stressors that may affect mental health in College Students
Relationship breakups
 Academic pressures -Poor grades
Financial stress Social status pressures -  Feeling alone or homesick
Feeling marginalized, misunderstood or like you don’t fit in
 Concern or worry about your family members at home
 Loss of day-to-day family or community support
 Drug and alcohol use
 Inadequate sleep
Feeling overwhelmed
Gender and sexuality questioning
Friendship challenges
Sports team losses
Unmet expectations
The importance of Building Connections 
 Connections with others, including involvement with campus and community activities, can help you protect your mental health.Explore opportunities through your campus student activities center and get involved in one or more of the following:Campus events Campus clubs Campus interest groups Sports  Student organizations Volunteer activities.NAMI and the Jed foundation

Editor, I Would Add To This, Find A Local Church Which Has A College And Career Class.SB

Please go to the following website to purchase a book which gives a spiriutal, technical and personal account of someone with a mental illness.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A short guide to side effects of antedepressant drugs and how to handle them.. Harvard Special Health Letter.

Antidepressant medications can be a godsend for people struggling with the dark mantle of depression. Yet like all drugs, they can cause side effects, which is why it's important to be aware of any changes in your body when you begin any new medication.
If you have any uncomfortable or worrisome antidepressant side effects, tell your doctor immediately. But for many of the mildly distressing side effects, a few simple steps may help. Here are some suggestions for managing side effects of antidepressants.
Dry mouth. Drink a lot of water, chew sugarless gum, and brush your teeth frequently.
Constipation. Eat whole grains, bran cereal, prunes, and hearty servings of fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water.
Trouble urinating. If you have difficulty starting urination, your doctor may be able to adjust your medication to relieve this problem.
Dizziness. Sudden changes in position can lead to a sharp drop in blood pressure that causes dizziness. To counter this effect, move slowly when you rise from a chair or get out of bed. Also, drink plenty of fluids.
Daytime drowsiness. This problem usually occurs at the beginning of treatment and may not last long. In some cases, it may help to take medication at bedtime, but ask your doctor about this first. If you feel drowsy, don't drive or use heavy or dangerous equipment.
Trouble sleeping. Sleep often improves after a few weeks, but sometimes a mild sleep aid or a switch to another medication is necessary.
Nausea. Often, nausea disappears within a few weeks. It may help to take the drug shortly after a substantial meal.
Agitation. You might feel uncomfortably nervous or restless after you start taking a drug. Jittery feelings may pass wit

Sexual difficulties. Sometimes sexual problems are transient or not related to the drug. Talk with your doctor about sexual problems that persist for more than a few weeks.
If any antidepressant side effects continue to bother you, your doctor may change your dose, shift the time of day that you take the medication, or split the daily dose into smaller amounts to be taken over the course of the day. Or he or she may recommend combining the drug with another one, switching to a different drug, or replacing drugs with therapy or other forms of treatment. Take all medications as directed, and don't stop taking them abruptly without talking to your doctor first. You can read more about depression and its treatment in the Harvard Special Health Report,

This is published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan- To purchase a brand new signed copy of Broken Minds, please go to  Heartfelt Counseling Ministries website.
 For a personal look at side effects of antidepressants,  see Robyn and Steve Bloem's book,Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It.

Friday, October 20, 2017

To live by the day is the way to be cheerful.!

“I believe that contentment depends very much upon taking right views of things. There is what is called the short view. To live by the day is the way to be cheerful.  If you try to live by the month you will bring home a month's troubles to eat up a day's meat.  God has not constructed His people to live by the month: their souls, like their bodies, are fashioned to live by the day.  His supplies, His promises, the very prayers He puts into our mouths, all deals with days: “Give us this day our daily bread." “As your days so shall your strength be.” 

 “Live by the day, then, and you will be content “Spurgeon’s Expository Encyclopedia, (1984) Volume 5, from the sermon A Vile Weed and a Fair Flower, pp 345,346.

Do you need counseling?
We are a non-profit organization who seeks to help those who want and need help. .  We also operate on a sliding scale. In regards to counseling Christians who have a mental illness, Steve uses his clinical training, Biblical wisdom and own experiences, when he counsel others. Steve counsels by phone, by Skype, and in person. Steve will help you get a good psychiatrist if you need one. Steve Bloem has been there, he has suffered from mental illness for over thirty years. Please see