Monday, November 27, 2017

Are you at the end of your rope because of depression, panic disorder, bipolar, etc.? I have been there!

Copyright 2017, Steve Bloem

Depression and mental illness are "brain storms." The name came from J.Styron in his book, Darkness Visible, a Memoir of Madness.

As I look back on my life (I am sixty-two years old), I am amazed that I am still alive! In my early days, (when I was just twenty-nine), the intensity of my depression was horrible. You may say, "Oh,depression does not seem to be so bad." This tells me you have never experienced it. I am not talking about a disappointment you may have had or even spiritual depression.

If you consented to an injection which would make you depressed, you would know some of the horror and debilitating effects of this mental torture. The pain is beyond description, the black hole has no bottom. Proverbs 18:14 says, "The spirit of a man can sustain his sickness but a wounded  spirit who can bear?"

The detachment from everyone that I met when I was in a depressive episode was real. The bone-crushing anxiety and surging waves of sorrow that break over the depressed person's head are not a sign of failure but rather a harbinger of usefulness. While in a depressive episode, suicide was just a step away. But God rescued me and He can rescue you from the jaws of death. Whether or not you realize this, having a mental illness is not time wasted. As a child of God,  He will use it to make you be conformed to the image of Christ  and a better woman or man.  The order of the day is persevere in tribulation.This does not mean will you not seek  medical interventions. God has enabled men and women the knowledge and training to discover remedies for many diseases; mental illnesses are among those.

 One Scripture that really was a help to me;
"You made men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, yet You brought us out into a place of abundance"  (Psalm 66:12, NASB).

Image result for old ship in trouble on the sea

Here are words of a believer in Christ, who suffered greatly. His admonition was very helpful for me as I determined by God's grace to "fight the good fight of faith!"

"In fierce storms," said an old seaman, "we must do one thing; there is only one way, we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there." Christian, this is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way. Reason cannot help you, past experiences give you no light, even prayer seems to fetch no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there. You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may--winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers--no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness, His covenant engagement, and His everlasting love in Christ Jesus. --Richard Fuller


End of the Year Donation

Greetings!   It is time for an end-of-the-year donor reminder. In the past we have received about fifty percent of our yearly donations in the months of November and December.  
Thanks to our supporters, we provided over 260 hours of free counseling last year plus discounted rates for 75% of our clients.  If you suffer from bipolar disorder, panic disorder, obsessive/compulsive disorder, schizophrenia or depression, you are not alone.  These worldwide afflictions are a result of the fall of man.

 Mental Illness in the United States affects one in every four people. Treating mental illness is expensive.  Many counselors charge from one hundred to one hundred fifty dollars an hour for counseling. Most of our clients, pay about zero to  thirty dollars an hour for Biblical and clinical counseling.  We counsel people from all over the world.  Because of your gifts, counseling scholarships have been set up and lives have been saved..

 We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit- agency registered as a religious charity with the IRS. If you give to Heartfelt and are part of the U.S.A. or U.S. territories  your donations are tax deductible.  In our twelve years of existence, we have never turned anyone away because of there inability to pay for our services. This is true, whether it is counseling, seminars or  the hosting of support groups.
Robyn and I serve a loving, compassionate Father and share His love for the poor and those who are in need.

Heartfelt Counseling Ministries serves as an international  agency.
If you live in other countries, you are usually able to support us, buy books from us or pay  for counseling on our website.  This is because we use PayPal for financial purposes.

I hope you can give a gift of any kind this year..  You can donate by check or go online; either way, if you go to our website, you will find our mailing address or the donate now button. We thank you in advance as you help us help others!

Thanks and Merry Christmas! 
Steve and Robyn

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. 
Please visit us and see our contacts by going to:

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.