depression

Why don’t bad people get depressed?

Have you ever noticed that as a rule, mean, self-centered, egotistical, self-righteous people never seem to get depressed?

Haven’t you ever wondered why?

The other day I thought, after watching a news report about yet another terrorist attack, that’s it!

“What’s that, you ask”?

That’s how you stop terrorism and all the hateful acts we hear about every day.

You inject a whopping big dose of depression into these people. That would take care of it.

Really, it would.

If you’ve ever suffered a true clinical depression, the kind where you can’t get out of bed, or if you can you feel like you’re sleepwalking through your life, you would know exactly what I mean.

That’s how bad real depression can be. I will repeat myself for the umpteenth one,

Depression is not just being down in the dumps. It’s not a few bad days because your boss yelled at you. It’s not that you’re sad about a critical remake someone made about you. It’s not the fight you had with your husband.

Depression is all-consuming. You don’t talk yourself out of it. You don’t take a few vacation days and get over it. A good talk with a friend doesn’t cure it. These are all good strategies for the recovery phase but they won’t make depression go away.

Depression affects many parts of the body. It’s almost always impossible to know what prompts an attack. That’s why depression is sometimes so difficult to get a handle on. It can be brought on by grief and other losses, ill-health, divorce, crisis, etc. I’ve been watching my own moods since my mother died (just over three months ago). I know I am very vulnerable now, so I’m taking good care of my emotions. The Bible calls it “guarding one’s heart.” I’m gentle with myself but making sure I’m productive every day.

One fact we do know about depression for sure is that women suffer from it far more than men. That’s a no brainer to me and to a lot of other people, including medical and mental health professionals. When it comes to women, hormones play a big role especially during the peri-menopausal and menopausal years. Many a woman who never suffered depression her entire life, finds herself depressed during these years. It doesn’t mean we are weaker or more emotional. It just means we are subject to hormonal swings and men aren’t.

Not all will need medication. Why I don’t know but neither do you, and neither does anyone else.

There is so much we don’t know about the brain, it’s kind of unbelievable considering medical advances in so many other areas. Oh, we know what parts of the brain direct certain parts of the body, but even then people surprise us all the time.

There was a time that if someone were in a coma, we gave up thinking they would recover. Now more and more people come out of comas and go on to lead a normal life. In fact, now doctors put people in comas for all kinds of reasons.

There was a time, certain injuries were considered life-altering and yet we see people regain use of their limbs, their minds, etc.

We’ve come so far in so many medical areas and yet the brain continues to perplex us.

Think of Alzheimer’s, so many theories but so far from a cure. Maybe that’s because in our society we don’t think anyone that has Alzheimer’s disease is important enough to find a cure for because generally, they are much older. Except that now we know Alzheimer’s can impact a much younger person which is why Alzheimer’s research is so important.

All of this is just to emphasize and quiet the critics who think they’ve got it all figured out. Somehow these armchair experts think they know more about the brain and the body more than medical professionals and scientists.

Really?

So ignore the naysayers. You have a “say” about what you need to do for your own health. Remember, while you can tailor-make your own recovery as far as where you concentrate your efforts, there are some common symptoms included in all almost all depression that needs addressing.

Also, I find it interesting that Jesus never once condemns any kind of mental illness. In fact, you know all those statements Jesus makes about anxiety? We’re going to look at them a little closer in future posts. I think sometimes Christians think everything in the Bible happens immediately. I mean like you ask for anxiety to be relieved and whammo, it is. Not so.

Negative thinking, poor health habits, lack of discipline, destructive behavior, they didn’t happen overnight. They probably won’t get “cured overnight, either.

When you think about the disciples, how long did it take them to mature spiritually? What about the Apostle Paul?

Don’t condemn yourself today. If you’re really trying, if you’re asking God to help you battle through your depression, you will get better.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

depression

Why it’s not always right to”tough it out”.

I often write about depression.

I say things like, “Look within yourself. Somehow you are contributing to your own depression.”

  • I suggest exercise, eating healthy, trusting God.
  • I suggest meditation and prayer.
  • I suggest talking to a counselor or trusted friend.
  • I suggest a lot of things.I still do.

I still believe every one of those aforementioned ideas can help prevent an episode or at least “quiet” one down.

I still believe antidepressants are often over prescribed.

BUT…………………….

What if it’s too late? What if we really have worked hard and yet the big IT is attaching us ferociously? If you are from the age of 40-60, this post is probably for you. Or if you’re female and your hormones are raging at another period in your life.

Let me tell you from personal experience that when I started peri-menopause, I was doing all those things. In fact, I had a busy public speaking schedule as well. My faith was strong. But still, depression and anxiety had a grip on me. I wish someone had even told me I was peri-menopausal.

I didn’t have a clue.

I know some younger women who are beating themselves up because they think they have failed to handle things without medication. This philosophy had to originate with a man and let’s be honest, most of them would never be able to handle the hormone fluctuations we women do. Many are truly understanding though. My husband always was but he still could ‘t totally understand it. How could he?

Then there are Christians of both sexes who totally disapprove of medication for emotional and/or psychological issues. I have found some of these Christians would do their families a favor if they would take something! There are all kinds of ways that people use to deal with their issues that are far more to be criticized than taking pills,

How about that more Christians than ever drink alcohol these days to handle their problems. That’s not what they admit, of course. But if you’re having to have a drink or two every night, it’s more than likely it’s more than just liking the taste. Alcohol consumption is the method many people use to deal with their stress.
I am not making a statement about whether drinking is right or wrong. I have friends that drink and those that don’t. They are all wonderful people. I’m addressing this in the context of those who are critical of Christians who take medication for depression but then resort to drinking alcohol for the same reason.

Other habits we use to calm ourselves down?….overeating, smoking, excessive devotion to sports, over-exercising, drugs, watching too much tv, the list goes on.

There are lots of ways people use to avoid facing their issues. Many of these people do, in fact, suffer from depression but they just refuse to admit it. Instead,   they are short-tempered, grouchy, touchy, and overall just plain difficult to live with

So hopefully you are encouraged that you are not to be condemned if you are taking antidepressants. It may be exactly what you need for now.

More tomorrow.

God bless and have a good day.

garage sale coffee table

My garage sale and thrift store finds from the weekend

(Before I show you my great garage sale finds, today is going to be quite a day, huh? I couldn’t find any eclipse glasses so I’m going to have to make a box. I think the day, for those few minutes, is going to be kind of fun. But do you know the first thing I thought of when I thought about what is going to happen? I thought, what a great example of the power of God. Who but God can put the moon in front of the sun? Yea, yea, I know all about astronomy but who do you think put it all in motion in the first place? So this morning I thanked God for such a display of his glory.)

I was at our cabin this past week. As you know, it’s had a baby and the baby is almost grown-up. She’s getting dressed now. Drywall, painting, flooring, etc. I went to a Salvation Army thrift store and found this great little vintage coffee table. I’m going to be painting it white, of course, and because it has a “lip” I may fill in the top with something. Or I could get a piece of glass cut and put something under that. I’m sure it will “evolve”.

It was $13.00. I thought $10.00 would have been better but I’ve been looking for a piece this size for ages so I gave in.garage sale coffee table

garage sale coffee table

Then the next day my hubby and I found some garage sales and I found these wonderful decanters. I’ve never seen them this cheap, 50 cents each. I snatched them up. Of course, I will paint them with chalk paint. I’m always a little “torn” about buying wine decanters but they are beautiful pieces of glass and that’s why I buy them.

 

glass decanters

And later I found these glass storage containers. I have been trying to replace all my plastic with glass. But these are not cheap. However, I scored these for 2.00 apiece. Plus, we have dark colored coffee mugs at the cabin and do you know how hard it is to know when your near the top of your mug when pouring dark coffee into a dark mug?

garage sale finds

garage sale finds

wisdom

When we doubt past decisions

I’ve often written about making good decisions.

But what about those times we find ourselves doubting past decisions? And don’t we all at some time or another?

If you’re one of those rare people who doesn’t, then I envy you. I’m not one of those. I do doubt past decisions. That means I must doubt whether or not I’ve always heard God clearly. And to that I say, yes, I think there have been times I’ve not heard God clearly. Probably, only because I haven’t asked.

I’ve never doubted that God has had my best interest at heart always, but I do wonder at times if I’ve confused his voice with mine. Please someone out there, tell me you’ve been there, too.

Haven’t you all looked back and asked yourself whether you really heard God or not? I hope so because I firmly believe it’s only through some self-examination that we grow in our life and in our faith. I believe Romans 12:2:

 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

I would contend that we renew our mind only by examining our mind first and for me, that means examining past decisions because our decisions say a lot about us. In fact, one could say it’s our decisions, our choices, that say the most about us.

Sometimes we jump ahead of God and make our decisions never giving God a thought.  Then there are those that can’t make the simplest decision because they worry they will be stepping outside of God’s will. That’s as dangerous.

It’s a conundrum.

That’s why I love Proverbs. It’s chocked full of helpful and practical advice. For example, over and over again there is the imperative that if you want to reap a harvest, whether it’s veggies and fruits, or ideas and decisions, you have to put in the work first. It’s why every day I ask for wisdom for the things that come my way. For the most part, I would say I’ve always felt I’ve received the wisdom I needed.

Every day I ask for wisdom for the things that come my way. For the most part, I would say I’ve always felt I’ve received the wisdom I needed. Even when I’ve had to make on-the-spot decisions. I’ve learned to accept that no matter what decision is looming ahead of me, I will receive the wisdom I need when I need it. Guaranteed.

With my mom’s illness, I was surprised (I shouldn’t have been) how I always had the resources I needed, whether a magazine article, something someone said, a news report, that would be the answer to what I was questioning. In fact, when I look back over these past few years, I feel truly blessed that God made my road clear every step of the way.

Even the day of her death.

Somehow “wisdom” stepped in and made it clear that I should not leave her house, that death was imminent. Nothing had changed in her condition. But God instilled in my heart the knowledge ahead of time. I just “knew”.  And I think that’s because I’ve learned that the wisdom I seek can always be trusted to be there.

The day she died, I had gone out on her deck for just a few minutes. I was only there a very short while when once again there was that “prompt” to go back inside. The minute I walked into her room, again, I knew, as only God can make a person know anything, that she was within minutes of leaving this world. I called my brother in immediately. I called my husband who had just left to run some errands. Within ten minutes she was gone with the people that knew her the longest holding her as she slipped from this world to the next, me, my brother, my husband, and my brother’s ex-wife.

That’s what wisdom does if we trust God to reveal it to us. 

If this is an area that has been lacking in your prayer life, asking for daily wisdom for whatever decisions you may have to make that day,  you might want to consider adding that request.

God bless and have a good day.

Jesus on the big screen

Why Jesus shouldn’t be on the big screen

(I wrote this post a few years ago when the movie “Son of God” was playing. I was scroslling through some old posts and after I read it, I still felt the same way. I like what I wrote so I decided to post it again.)

Majesty

Majesty

Long post warning!

OK, here’s where I get into trouble. A lot of you are not going to like what I say.  But I promised to be honest. This is about as honest as it gets. It is not my intent to discourage anyone from seeing the movie, the Son of God,  but just to get people to think before they jump on board. If you’ve seen the movie, then please read no further. I don’t want to rain on your parade.  Continue reading “Why Jesus shouldn’t be on the big screen”

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