Sunday, January 13, 2019

Are you thinking of going off your medications?

My subject today is very important to having a life, in which,the symptoms of  mental illness are controlled. Experts have not yet discovered a way to cure mental illness. But, the symptoms can be be in remission, by using  medication. Some one may say,"do you need to be on all those pills for depression?." I asked the same question, during  one of my classes in a pastoral internship.
The class waq about mental illness. Up until the point of my of depression I hesitated to take a Tylenol for r a heartache. The professor patiently explained what a clinical depression was, and how the right pills would provide more serotonin in the brain.

After my graduation, and my ordination for the ministry, I became clinically depressed. I went to a number of medical doctors, who did not prescribe me medications, and instead talked about the stress I was under.  I was afraid of psychiatrists. But finally Iwas so desperate, that I agreed to go on an antidepressant.

It was called Elavil.I could not urinate, so they put me on Surmontil, which did not work. Back in 1985, most doctors would only prescribe you one at a time. By this time, I was horribly depressed.. Please read an excerpt below by my wife Robyn, who coauthored our first book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. It was published by Kregel Publications, im1985. It continues to be in print, because it was written by principles of Scripture and Science.Please read the excerpt from our book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You are Losing It. I have authored another book called, The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness: A Guide for Training and Reference.

The Chemical Response to Mental Illness
So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or stumbling block in a brother’s way.
—Romans 14:12–13

Robyn: I’ve Seen It Work

I did not believe in the medical model of psychiatry. I remained skeptical, even when it became obvious that my husband was better when he took medications for his depression. Now I’m so thankful to God for modern medicine, although I understand why people want to see the proof that it is the medication that works and not some placebo effect.
The clinical reports are too complex for this book, and my husband and I make no claim of expertise as doctors or scientists. My personal conviction is admittedly based upon the experience of observing one person up close on many medications. While this may sound subjective, the medical and scientific evidence does support my subjective experience.

It is generally not the scientific studies that convince many Christians but personal experiences like mine. They have felt the biological fact of depression in themselves or seen the suffering in a loved one. In spite of their own misgivings and criticism from other believers, they have in desperation turned to medical answers, including drugs, hospitalization, and even shock therapy.

The Side Effects
No one suggests that psychotropic drugs are magic bullets or that they can be taken to escape problems. They come with a severe personal cost in side effects. Some effects are minimal, but others can be extreme. Any doctor who prescribes a medication should be frank about what to expect. If the information isn’t clear, the patient should not be shy about asking. Physician’s Desk Reference, or PDR, is a good source of such information.1 So is the information sheet that comes with the prescription.

Medications can react in individual ways that aren’t described in the literature and that sometimes even surprise doctors. One dentist was afraid the tingling in Steve’s mouth might be cancer. The tingling continued as long as he was on a particular drug. One of Steve’s most difficult medication problems was urinary tract pain. He eventually learned to drink lots of water and found medicines that reduced the inflammation.

When Steve was first depressed in 1985, doctors mainly prescribed from the tricyclic family of antidepressants. MAO inhibitors were available, but they could have more serious effects and were used when depression simply would not yield to tricyclics.
The first trycylic antidepressant (T.C.A.), Tofranil (imipramine), was introduced in 1958, followed by Elavil (amitriptyline). The tricyclics are used less often now because of their side effects. Because they have been around so long, their patents have expired, so inexpensive generic forms are available. that can be an important consideration, since the cost for a new drug is always quite high.

Classifications of Side Effects

There are ways to adapt to most effects. Steve always carries a large mug of water to help overcome his dry mouth, difficulties in urinating, and constipation. The same drugs cause blurred vision and increased heart rate.

Another common side effect is light-headedness or dizziness. The person effected must learn not to rise too fast from lying or sitting.

Sedation has always been a problem with tricyclics. This effect can be severe at work, but it can also be a blessing if one takes the medication only at bedtime.
New formulations have been found that decrease side effects, but all psychotropics have them. Some are a bit unusual. Since going on medications, Steve sunburns more quickly and actually maintains a year-round tan. On one medicine, Steve got the dry heaves every morning when he brushed his teeth. This lasted for a long time. The more severe effects may be so unsettling that people prefer facing life without the medication. Usually the effects decrease over time if the medication is taken according to the physician’s instructions.
The dreaded side effect, especially for women, is weight gain. A person has to be much more careful about diet. After changing to one new medication, I was amazed to watch Steve polish off three bowls of breakfast cereal. We both knew that couldn’t be a good thing.
It really bothered me to see him endure all these problems, but the alternative very likely was death because of the severity of his depression.

Talk It Over\
If higher dosages come with severe side effects, there may be give-and-take until the patient reaches a point where more medication is simply intolerable, at least until the side effects subside. The doctor and information sheets that come with medication have information about when to call if certain side effects occur. This may be slurred speech, an unsteady gait, or vomiting. It is helpful to know what side effects can be anticipated and when to worry about them.

Lithium, a very effective drug for bipolar disorder, has to be managed closely, by monitoring blood levels. Lithium toxicity can be fatal, but most who take the drug do fine if their blood level is checked regularly. People on lithium and their relatives should know the signs of lithium toxicity and realize that one can test within safe limits and still have a toxicity problem if the drug becomes stored in the fat.

A couple of times, Steve has said to me, “I may have accidentally taken my medication twice tonight. I can’t remember if I took it earlier. If I start acting sick, be ready.” That’s not what one likes to hear at bedtime, but at least I could be aware of what the source of a problem might be. He did not become ill on those nights, but the precaution was a good one' Please see our website.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Pasotral handbook of Mental Illness, a Look Inside

Question 37. Psychiatrist and Psychologist--What’s the Difference?

A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor with additional specialty in psychiatry. He is able to prescribe medications that treat mental illness.

A Psychologist is a person who has been educated in studying human behavior and specializes in counselingand other facets of mental illness.

Psychiatrists are very important in the treatment of mental illness.  They mostly do not practice therapy anymore. Mostly, this is because insurance companies will accept billing for no more than fifteen to thirty minutes (except for the initial diagnostic work up and crisis intervention).

Another part of this biological revolution which continues to be the standard for mental illness was the book, Mood Swings, the Third Revolution in Psychiatry by Dr. Ronald Fieve.[i]  Dr. Peter D. Kramer, who was a medical doctor (trained as a psychiatrist) tells his readers in his book,  Listening To Prozac, how medications gave way to therapy in his practice.  He was ridiculed by many psychiatric therapists who were still Freudian Therapists and Neo-Freudians which minimizes the biological nature of mental illness. He writes in his book, Listening to Prozac how his patients chided him for not doing less therapeutic interventions and more biological ones. [ii]

The number of psychiatrists is decreasing in the United States. In my practice, I do the assessment and therapy and then go directly to the psychiatrist. This saves horrifying suffering since the primary mental illness needs medications and needs them as quickly as possible.

Please note that we do not minimize the importance of counseling. I have been a counselor/therapist for many years.  My counseling is biblical but I also am a clinically trained pastoral counselor. My Master’s education included multiple classes at a Master of Social Work.

When a person is mentally ill they need counseling that helps them understand their mental illness. The biblical counselor must “rightly divide the word of truth.”Mental illness needs supportive counseling which explains to them that God views the illness as a trial, suffering from a mental illness will open doors for them to help others


Practicing psychologists are also trained to administer and interpret a number of tests, and assessments that can help diagnose a condition or tell more about the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. These tests may evaluate intellectual skills, cognitive strengths and weaknesses, vocational aptitude and preference, personality characteristics and neuropsychological functioning

The Pastoral Handbook of Mental Illness :has been selling across the world,  since June , 2018. I will help pastor's deacons, adult Bible Fellowship teachers, and College/Seminary profressors.
Please visit our Heartfelt Counseling Ministries web  page at

[i]Fieve, Ronald, MD, Mood swing, the Third Revolution in Psychiatry, Mass Market Paperback, 1979
[ii] Kramer, Dr. Peter D, Penguin books, New York, NY 1993

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Job was terroirzed by depression for months.

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If you are a writer, please do not copy this blog,or  call it your own.  There is a survey that shows that many pastors believe that other pastor's sermons do not have to be "cited".,or acknowledged , because it is the Lord's sermon.  People can use the  same argument for stealing anything from someone else. All things are from  God, therefore you can help yourselves to anything that another person owns, SB

I do not know, if you know the horror, and the terrors of depression of mind, and spirit. Many Bible characters  knew it. This passage in Job does not fit with those so called preachers,who, preach the wealth, health, and prosperity gospel.We know that at least ten percent of the world's population, are suffering from a clinical depression, many of tho(about 15%) kill themselves.

Job 7:4--7When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.  Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again.My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering. “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope. 

Here is what James in the New Testament said about Job. in James 5:10-11

 As an example,brethren, of suffering and patiencetake the prophetswho spoke in the name of the Lord We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of theendurance of Job and have seen the outcome of theLord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassionand is merciful.

I   have a  question  Do you think that Job suffered from a physical disease, besides major depression?