Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I prefer death to an episode of depression,

 I can honestly say that I would prefer death to an episode of severe depression. The anxiety, the deep sadness, the whole body fatigue and the inability to sleep are truly horrible. Depression makes a person feel detached from the happy world around him. The affective disorders, especially, bipolar and major depression, are episodic. An individual may be minding his own business and he  has either cycled into severe depression or mania.

This begs the question: is the awareness and delivery of services equal to the pain and suffering it warrants? Many people who have suffered cancer and depression or heart disease and depression, say depression is far worse. It seems to me if those who are involved treating the mentally ill could experience the awfulness of it for a little while; they would reach out with great compassion and a sense of urgency to give timely, skilled treatment to them.

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I have seen a psychiatrist have her severely depressed patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital for electro/convulsive therapy and then go on vacation, without designating another psychiatrist to take her place. I have had outpatient psychiatric office personnel stop a process which was initiated by me for a depressed client and deny approval for free medications from a drug company, simply by saying to the provider something to the effect of, “we don’t really handle that aspect of his care,” and not saying anything about it until I inquired about it.
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Why do you think that peer support in the management of mental illness has been so popular and effective in our times? I would sum it up with one word, empathy. I think every person who applies for any job which involves being a part of the therapeutic milieu of the mentally ill should during the interview, be grilled on their empathy toward the mentally ill. This includes pharmaceutical, office staff and the like. To be sure, it must be a skilled, guided empathy but the treatment should be done with great compassion.
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 In regards to pastors, I have seen them laugh at the mentally ill who were suffering from severe depressive, manic symptoms. I have heard so much of their unfeeling advice to those with depression, that I could have  scarcely believed it.  Many pastors have a censorious attitude toward the mentally ill and it is fueled by their ignorance of biblical theology and science. Let us pray for compassion and for those with diseases of mind and mood.


 If you would like a signed copy of our book, please go to our web site and see how you can order it from us. If you order from us rather than a store it helps our ministry.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Is depression a neurodegenerative disease?

Why don't you help people with depression?

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Since treatment by medication is the most effective treatment for depression and mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc) and since not taking  these medications, (antidepressants, anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers)  or stopping them often results in altering the chemistry of the brain, then the question is: Why would you object to a person taking medication?  And another question is:  Why would you not encourage people to get help by taking these medications since they are  not addicting or harmful to the brain but rather beneficial?
Please see below.

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Depression is a neuron-degenerative disease . A leading expert in biological psychiatry research says, "So it's not as benign an illness as we used to suppose. It tends to be recurrent, it tends to run down hill; and so one should, in the face of several episodes, consider long-term preventative treatment to avoid all horrible consequences." This suggests that depression, even if it is occasioned by external tragedy, ultimately changes the structure, as well as the biochemistry of the brain. The Noonday Demon, An Atlas of Depression, pp 56,57. See also note 56, 57 end notes p.448.

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Don't keep going on and off your medications!
Frequently patients who are on medication and responding to medication  cease to be responsive if they keep cycling on and off the medications. There is an increased 10 percent risk that the depression will become chronic and inescapable.  "It is sort of like  a primary cancer that's very drug-responsive, but once it metastasizes, it doesn't respond at all."
Post explains, "If you have too many episodes, it changes your biochemistry for the bad, possibly permanently.  At that point many therapists are still looking in the wrong directions.  If the episode now occurs on automatic, what good is it to worry about the stressor that kicked off the original process?  It's just too late for that.  That which is mended can never be whole again." Solomon, Andrew. The Noonday Demon, An Atlas of Depression,  See where the author Solomon has carried on detailed conversations with Robert Post, M.D, long time researcher with NIMH and John Greden, Faculty of University of Michigan. notes  56,57, end notes, pp 448, 449.

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 Depression damaging the brain
John Greden-- If you have too much stress and too high a level of cortisol for too long, you start destroying the very neurons that should regulate the feed back loop and turn down the cortisol level after stress is resolved.  Ultimately, this results in lesions to the hippo campus and the amygdla, a loss of neuronal networking tissue.  The longer you remain in a depressed state, the more likely you are to have significant lesions, which can lead to peripheral neuropathy; your vision starts to fade and all kinds of other things can go wrong." ( Ibid, p. 60 and end note 60, pp.448,449). See Sapolsky, Robert, Hippocampal damage associated with prolonged glucocorticoid exposure in primates," Journal of Neuroscience, 10,  (1990)

 Dr. John Greden is Executive Director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, the Rachel Upjohn Profesor of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences in the Department of Psychiatry, and Research Professor in the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute. He joined the faculty at the Medical School in 1974 and served as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry from 1985 to 2007.

 "This reflects the obvious fact that we need not only to treat depression when it appears, but also to prevent it from recurring.  Our public health approach at the moment is just wrong.  People with recurrent depression must stay on medication permanently, not cycle on and off it, because beyond the unpleasantness of having to survive multiple painful depressive episodes, such people are actually ravaging their own neuronal tissue."John Greden Professor, University of Michigan.

This research is the reason we oppose our Christian brothers who counsel their clients to stop taking their medications. It is looked upon as a weakness to remain on psychotropic drugs and the result is painful mental illness, permanent brain damage and guilt for having to take medications in the first place. At Heartfelt Counseling Ministries we do biblical counseling, link clients to good psychiatric care, support them through their episodes and teach them about their illnesses.

Our book, Broken Minds, (Kregel 2005) chronicles our own story of mental illness, teaches what the bible says and gives the physical aspects of a disease that is crippling Christians who are being erroneously taught that their illnesses are a result of sin. If you want to be validated in your depression or other mental health disorder and spiritually encouraged, I would strongly suggest you order a copy of Broken Minds on our website. We don't blame you for being sick!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

If your hated by unbelievers, you are blessed..


If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
(18) If the world hate you.—He has spoken of their close union with Himself, and of their love to each other. He proceeds in the remainder of the chapter to speak of their relation to the world. There is a striking contrast between the “love” in the last verse, and the “hatred” in this. There was the more need for them to be close bound to each other, and to their Lord, on account of the hatred which awaited them in the world.Ye know that it hated me before it hated you.—It is better to take the first word as an imperative, “Know that it hated . . .” The very hatred, then, is a bond of union with their Master, and this thought should supply strength to meet it, and joy even when suffering from it (John 15:11), (Comp. 1Peter 4:12-13), (Ellicott's Commentary).

Jan. 08, 2016 | India

Pray for Christians Targeted by Radical Hindus

A Christian woman attacked in India was hospitalized for serious injuries.An evangelist was killed and another Christian couple hospitalized with life-threatening injuries recently in two separate attacks by radical Hindus. The evangelist, who suffered extensive injuries, died one day after being released from the hospital. He leaves behind a wife and 6-month-old child.  The Christian couple was attacked a few days after his death.

Jan. 15, 2016 | Bangladesh
Pray for Lohit, Attacked for His Faith

Pastor “Lohit” and a group of Christian leaders were attacked and robbed while managing a VOM project that involved building homes for persecuted believers. Attackers entered the home where the men were staying, beat them and stole money, food and household items. Police took the Christians to the hospital for treatment but were unable to make any arrests in the attack. The stolen money had been intended for local persecuted believers. After recovering from the attack, the men returned to the area to continue their work.

Jan. 08, 2016 | Senegal
Pray for Christians Threatened by Islamic Militants

Senegalese people meet together to discuss the Bible

Christians in Senegal face increasing threats from Islamic militant groups. In the past year, Islamist activities have led to the arrests of three imams and two female Boko Haram members, who were discovered transporting explosives under their veils. As a security measure, the Senegalese government now prohibits Muslim women from wearing veils in public. Muslim leaders have since incited violence against believers, claiming Christians are to blame for the new restrictions. In some villages, Muslims have destroyed Christians’ homes and fields, stolen their property and beaten them. Christians remain strong in their faith despite the threat from militants, and many people have come to Christ in recent months.

If you would like to learn more about our book-  http://heartfeltmin.org/resources.html

Friday, January 8, 2016

Do You Feel Short-changed in life? You Are Not Alone!

Psalm 73

Part 1

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Since the death of our daughter, Lindsay and our grand child, Emily Hope, I have been relentlessly besieged by nightmares with Lindsay in every one.  She presents in these dreams as a girl who looks like Lindsay but her affect is very flat, without range of emotion.  In fact she never really speaks.  But in my dreams it is obvious that she has another family taking care of her and she has little time for me.

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  As you may or may not know, nightmares can affect you after you wake up. Do you remember the message that Pilot's wife sent him about Jesus? The gospel of Matthew says. "While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message saying, 'Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.' " The Greek word for  suffering in this case is severe "anguish." I will not diverge into dream theology which is a Scriptural study of its own. But God is greater than our dreams.  This morning and feeling somewhat overwhelmed as I faced the day, a piece of Scripture came to my mind

  "Surely God is good to Israel, To those who are pure in heart! But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, My steps had almost slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pains in their death, and their body is fat.They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like mankind therefore pride is their necklace; the garment of violence covers them, (Psalm 73:1-6),

Psalm 73: 16 says, "When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight."  Asaph by Divine encouragement  began to ponder his situation in the light of eternity. He tells us what changed his perspective.

Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end.Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction....(Psalm 73:16-18).
When He came into God's temple, where the Lord dwelt, he saw things about the destruction of the wicked and the preservation of the righteous. 
Today we need to do the same.  We need to meditate on Scripture and "ponder" it. We need to look at eternity though God's eyes. We should not neglect the means of grace, which are the word of God and public worship. In this case he came to the 
temple where God dwelt in Israel.  

Today  we have more illumination about eternal truths because of the the cross. We need to read, study and meditate on God's word. The Spirit of the Lord will help us understand the Scripture.  When we  feel like God is cheating us, we must go back to the cross.  We must as Paul said, in 2 Timothy 1:8: "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant
                                    of David, according to my gospel,"

     One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Romans 8:37-39;

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

If you are viewing your life through present circumstances or past failures, or if you feel cheated by God, then you need to come into His presence with thanksgiving and understand that the unsaved, though they are doing well now, will one day be forever cast into Hell. We do not glory in their end but we glorify God through the Lord Jesus Christ who conquered the grave and Hell. He is our Savior and our Lord. As the writer of the song, For All the Saints said,

            Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
            Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
            And win with them the victor's crown of gold.
            Alleluia! Alleluia!

             O blest communion, fellowship divine,
            We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
            Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
            Alleluia! Alleluia!

For  all the lyrics of the above hymn, please go to:


I don't know if you are aware of our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. It was written to have staying power. Please go to our blog page and click on "Buy Broken Minds." On that page you will find a description of what others who have read Broken Minds and what it has meant to certain people. Please click on  http://heartfeltmin.org/author-page.html. From there you can go to Purchase Broken Minds.

Please watch for Part 2 of this blog God our Savior Counselor and Friend

Monday, January 4, 2016

Do you feel like you've reached your optimal stress level?


Join the Club

You are not alone. When I had my first episode of clinical depression, I felt like my mind was put through a meat grinder. My nerves were shot. I got into a car accident by using poor judgement; I cut myself with my razor and believed that I needed to go to the hospital. I had never been totally overwhelmed.  My mind was playing tricks on me.

Seeds of Depression
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I was twenty nine years old and I could not understand why I could not cope.
Everyone including two doctors told me it was because I was under too much stress. They were partly right. I had stress and loads of it, but I also had a defective gene which meant when put under extreme stress my brain would in a sense be broken. Robyn and I discuss this in our book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It, chapter 2, Stress and the Gathering Storm) Kregel Publications,c 2005. If you would like to get a copy of this book, please go to the link below for a special offer.

Are you standing at Wits End Corner

Here is a poem that greatly helped me, when even my brain was failing.
It is from the classic, Streams in the Desert,entry, May 23

.. they were at their wits' end.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses (Psalm 107:27b,28, NIV).

Are you standing at Wits' End Corner,
Christian with troubled brow?
Are you thinking of what is before you,
And all you are bearing now?
Does all the world seem against you,
And you in the battle alone?
Remember------ At Wit's End Corner
Is just where God's power is shown.

Are you standing at Wits' End Corner?
Blinded with wearying pain,
Feeling you cannot endure it,
You cannot bear the strain.
Bruised through the constant suffering,
Dizzy and dazed and numb?

Are you standing at Wits' End Corner?
You work before you spread,
All lying begun,unfinished,
And pressing on heart and head,
Longing for strength to do it,
Stretching out trembling hands?
Remember ------- at Wit's End Corner
The Burden Bearer stands

Are you standing at Wits' End Corner?
Then you're just in the very spot
To learn the wondrous resources
Of Him who fails you not;
No doubt to a brighter pathway
Your footsteps will soon be moved,
But only at Wits' End Corner
Is the God who is able proved.

- Antoinette Wilson