depression

MOVING ON FROM A BAD RELATIONSHIP

(July 28, 2021) Bonnie-Jane shares an encouraging word from her heart…

That 10 Year Challenge Photo/Image Meme phase was popular a while back, and had people reflecting on their past.

As I reminiscence myself, I feel to share some things from my heart and trust they will help someone else who has gone through similar hurtful and damaging experiences in the past as I did. So here goes…

Suffering from a broken heart
Just over some 10 years ago I met someone who at first seemed to be interested in me and a relationship began. But as the months went by he proved to be most insincere and the relationship became an abusive one.

It was a hard and grim time for me. Always considered a gentle-spirited person, easy-going, thoughtful and kind, able to deal with situations, my heart was being broken and even my very personality was changing.

I praise God for his strength to make a most important decision… with his help I decided that enough was enough and broke that relationship!

From depression to renewed confidence
That decision was so important… but now I was feeling that I would never find anyone who genuinely cared and whom I could trust.

(more…)

THAT BLACK DOG

(March 22, 2021) Trevor Pugh shares his testimony…

Thank you, Connecting with You contributors Pastor Charles Schwab, Dr Jim McClure, Geraldine Brandt, and Dr Robert and Maureen McQuillan for your articles this month (Links below*).

I appreciate you all sharing this journey, especially Pastor Charles’ very open candidness.

That constant companion
DepressionThe Black Dog – has been a constant companion, biting away at me since l was young – unloved, uncared for, and hurting so much inside.

It was while being ‘bitten yet again’ at age 40 that I thought I had the final solution to such ‘bites’… suicide!

That dark night l held a rifle under my chin and was pressing on the trigger, when l suddenly stopped and decided to go outside and call into the night sky.

‘Why?’ I wondered as I stood there outside, making a lot of noise and shouting inanely.

My shouting woke my wife, Jan, and she rushed out to see what was going on, who or what I was yelling at.  With her help I sensed God speaking to my heart and l quieted down. I ended up going back to bed, although secretly thinking, ‘Anyway, I can suicide tomorrow.’

But praise God in the morning, l felt different! I had called out to God and he had heard me! (more…)

THAT DREADED ‘D’ WORD — DEPRESSION

(March 19, 2021) Charles Schwab shares very openly, very personally from his heart and life experience…

The ‘D’ word – Depression – is extremely relevant to Christians today! Depression is real, and the church needs to face that reality appropriately.

‘Mental illness and Christians’ is in the news fairly regularly.  In 2013 Matthew Warren, the youngest son of high-profile mega-church pastors Rick and Kay Warren (Saddleback Community Church, California), took his own life after a long struggle with unrelenting depressive illness.  Reports are that he had received the best medical, counselling and pastoral support available. And there have been others before and after that.

Later, Matthew’s grieving father tweeted caring supporters, ‘Grieving is hard.  Grieving as public figures, harder. Grieving while haters celebrate your pain, hardest.  Your notes sustained us.’

Failing to understand
The church and Christians have often failed to understand depression and how to deal with it.  Consequently, there are some shocking and demeaning views held by people who ideally should be able to show positive care, understanding and help towards the mentally afflicted.  So often, for various reasons, this has not been the case.

Depressive illness has a special meaning for me, not the least reason being that in 1998, at age 53, I had to leave my pastoral role because of it.  I had been diagnosed by a psychiatrist as suffering from chronic anxiety and depressive illness that rendered me unemployable. Unemployable in any field!

Some years later I asked him again for his professional view about my situation and the future. His reply was in words I could understand, and I received them kindly in the spirit in which they were given.  They were not offensive, but illustrative of the truth as it is medically understood.  My psychiatrist is exceptionally good at his profession, someone I respect and admire who has helped me a lot.

His words were, ‘You can’t unscramble an egg.’  So, medically speaking, I’m stuck with it. (more…)

DARK NIGHTS OF THE SOUL

(March 10, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan touch on something not many are open about…

The poem Dark Night of the Soul begins with ‘In an obscure night…’ and the third line mentions ‘a hapless plight.’

Written by the 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet St John of the Cross (although he didn’t actually title it himself), it has been regarded by many as some deep spiritual, painful depression.

Depression, as Geraldine Brandt points out (The-Too-Hard-Basket) indicates, among other things that a person is low in their spirit,pressed down.’

In modern terms… hampered by what we term a downer!

Reality
As we’ve ministered to church people at the altar prayer line sometimes someone – wrongly feeling ashamed and not wanting anyone else to hear – would whisper that he (or she) was suffering from depression, experiencing dark nights of the soul.

And, not just what’s badly termed as ‘ordinary Christians’ but as it happens, we’ve had to encourage a number of leaders to look beyond troubling dark nights of the soul experiences that have (are) hindering them in their ministry.

Geraldine Brandt writes about hampered ministers needing our prayers. And theologian Dr Jim McClure points out that Depression – or any aspect of mental illness – is not something of which we should be ashamed. Nor should it be kept hidden’ (Mental-Illness-Realites).

We would add this – If depression were to hit, it’s definitely not something to be quiet about in case someone accuses us of having lost our faith. If they do, that’s their problem, not ours!

The reality is that anyone – church attender or leader – could become afflicted with depression. (more…)

MEANINGFUL KICK-STARTS

(September 17, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share…

Seems that every day TV newscasts share more bad news stories either about the current worldwide pandemic or crime, rebellion against authorities, government opposition groans instead of encouraging support… it’s rare to hear some good news, something to makes you laugh, even smile.

So let’s begin this article with a good news item!

Zimbabwean friend Raviro emailed a very touching story about a 93 year-old Italian being told the hospital bill for ventilator one-day usage was 5,000Euro (approx.. $8100AUD).

As he suddenly began weeping a doctor kindly advised him not to cry over the bill.

To his surprise the old man responded, ‘I don’t cry because I have to pay. I cry because I’ve been breathing God’s air every day for 93 years and never had to pay anything for it.’

He added, ‘But for using a ventilator in your hospital for just one day, I have to pay EU5000! I realise now how much I owe God… I never thanked him before for his free air!’

Now doesn’t that makes you smile – and think?

Powerful kick-start
Genesis 2:7 confirms that God himself gave his creation the ability to breathe and live life – ‘he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live’ (GNB). (more…)

HANDLING THE BLACK DOG OF DEPRESSION (July 31, 2016)

Fred & Betty EvansFred and Betty Evans share good news…

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the western world affecting 40 million adults in the United States alone or 18% of the population.

According to Beyondblue on average, one in four people will experience anxiety at some stage in their life. Over two million Australians experience anxiety.

Recently a good pastor friend of ours, Ian Parker, preached a sermon on this subject which we thought was a succinct prescription of how to deal with this malady.

Here are some of his notes on how to deal with this often private and painful subject:

Depression is the most common form of emotional pain. There are levels of depression. Normal – Clinical – Manic. While some depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, most is caused by unfulfilled expectations. (more…)

CHURCHES MUST REACH OUT TO THOSE SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION, BI-POLAR DISORDER AND SCHIZOPHRENIA

Michael IrelandMichael Ireland, ASSIST Senior Reporter, shares…

Pastor Rick and Kay Warren launched Saddleback Church‘s second Gathering on Mental Health and the Church October 8/9 with a call for faith communities to take the lead in caring for those with mental illnesses.

According to the Christian Examiner in the opening session of the conference, Rick Warren, Saddleback’s founding pastor, argued the church has a biblical, historical and practical responsibility to make a priority of caring for those with mental illnesses. (more…)

GOD’S STRENGTH AND HUMAN ‘WEAKNESSES’

Geraldine Brandt
Geraldine Brandt highlights a great biblical truth…

‘Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God … Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me … Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’

Psalm 42 excerpts – cries from the heart of David, calling on God in the midst of despair. We can picture his state of depression. (more…)

LORD…WHERE ARE YOU?

Geraldine Brandt

 

 

Geraldine Brandt reflects on a so-called weakness and shares encouragingly…

‘Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God … Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me … Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’

Psalm 42 excerpts – cries from the heart of David, calling on God in the midst of despair. We can picture his state of depression. (more…)

MENTAL ILLNESS

Question: I’ve been diagnosed with mental illness and am frightened to tell my very ‘religious’ Christian friends. Please help me.

Jim McClureTheologian Dr Jim McClure responds: ‘Interestingly I actually started to write about mental illness just before the sad news of the death of Robin Williams at the age of 63.’

For nearly 40 years Williams’ unique brand of humour brought much joy to millions of people, but he suffered from depression that led him finally to take his own life. This article therefore is timely and will indeed help you – and others with this illness.

Many people in all walks of life suffer from that same debilitating illness of depression which takes from the sufferer the ability freely to live to his and her potential, and, sadly, many respond to the burden of this mental illness by taking the same route as Robin Williams. (more…)