Is Depression the result of Sin?

Depression  Man with hands on his headThis is the third article I am writing in response to 5 misconceptions that Christians have towards those with mental illness, and, again, my desire is to correct these ‘lies’ as that article refers to them, and to help you learn how to better interact with that person who has a mental illness and who has come into your church.  Here is the next statement:

Lie #3: Depression is a sin, a curse, or demon possession.

In my study, I found this one article that, I think, addresses the roots of depression well.

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A Barrier for the Church when Reaching Out to People with Mental Illness

TPerson appearing discouragedhis is a continuation of an article that I recently read regarding the perceptions of (some) people in churches towards the mentally ill.

Lie #2: Daily prayer and bible reading alone cures mental illness.

According to this survey, some people actually believe like this.   There are two things that need to be debunked here to help people see the truth.  The first is stubbornly clinging to only two avenues of grace, viz, prayer and Bible reading.  The second is the word  ‘Cures’

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3 Reasons for Brittany Maynard to Reconsider her Death

eb7d26940621ceef2aa1a64aeda10272Terminal Brain Cancer

Brittany Maynard, has postponed suicide.

This young lady with terminal brain cancer, who seeks to end her life when the pain becomes intolerable, has decided -because of feeling better, to postpone suicide.  In the meantime, she has raised a flurry of controversy on both sides of the euthanasia fence, while she continues to advocate for a person’s right to die.

But, why am I writing about her in a disability blog, you may ask?  For two reasons:  first, because she has given up hope that a life with a chronic and acute disease like hers could possibly have any meaning for herself, and her perspective of the cancer, which is disABLING her big time, needs to be addressed.

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Mental Illness and the Church

The other day I landed on an article that challenged me  (You can read it by clicking on the link in the tweet below)…

Posted in Mental Health in the News, My Own Journey | 2 Comments

Walk and Roll

wheel chairJust wanted to give a heads up today to an event that I will be taking part of this coming Saturday…and that you can too!

I am referring to Joni and Friends Walk and Roll, a time to reunite with campers and their families, while raising monies, awareness, and ambulatory devices for people in need. It also raises HOPE.

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Divine Healing and Disabilities

True Healing comes from Accepting who we areMy wife and I have ‘normal’ siblings and  relatives (I put that word ‘normal’ in single quotes to draw out the reality that ‘normal’ is only  AVERAGES of a lot of individual uniqueness).  YET, when we began planning for children many years ago,  I was struck with the reality that there was NO GUARANTEE that our children would be ‘normal’, and I wanted to get some assurance from God that my kids would be healed of whatever…

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Created to Serve Others

smiley faceThis past weekend I had the opportunity to meet with people who are passionately serving Christ by way of serving families and their loved ones with disabilities through Joni and Friends

As I write this post I think of Ephesians 2:10 because it highlights the fundamental perspective of our passion, namely that God crafted it for us long ago:

 

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10 NASB

And in the words of our retreat leader, Liz:  ‘we GET to do this’.  What a great perspective!

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1 up on Stigma

stop stigmaI hate the Stigma towards those with mental illness!  While it is bad enough that others do it, when I find the mentally ill doing it to each other AND living under that shadow…well, I get upset.  It is akin to shooting yourself in the foot and hoping that somebody would stop pulling the trigger.

Let’s stop this madness because until we do, people like Robin Williams will continue to opt out of life.  Really! The pressures of putting on a happy face and insulating our true thoughts and feeling from whosover will continue, and continue to be UNBEARABLE.

Posted in Living Life Fully, My Own Journey, Scriptural Reflections and Disabilities | 4 Comments

How to find the Perfection in Disability

A sign that reads upside down:  "look at things differently"The words ‘disability’ and ‘perfection’ on the surface might seem like strange bedfellows, but consider this… 

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Reflections on 911, Reflections on Heros

911 picOur nation commemorated 911 this past week, and in respect for those who lost their lives and the many  heros of that day, I want to dedicate this post.

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Fish Don’t Play Basketball

fish…neither do they swing lasso’s, mow lawns, or will they babysit your children.  In fact, they would even be fairly poor runners.  Absurb?

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An Effective Way to Combat Stigma

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage - pleasantly, smilingly, non apologetically - to say 'no' to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside. - Stephen CoveyI find it very ironic how some people voice their opinions.  Consider this:  Joe (not his real name) gave George (not his real name, either) a verbal thrashing that cut deep into who he was, because he was making fun of his friend who had disabilities.  (Wouldn’t it seem  that Joe’s respect for others is conditional?)  And, yet, this is what happens all too often. And the problem WILL NOT go away.  The only thing that will change are the people.  The disrespect -couched in conditional respect- will continue.

Posted in Developmental Disabilities in the News, My Own Journey | 3 Comments

Caring and Suicide Prevention

Sign:  Suicide doesn't take away the pain.  It gives it to someone elseMy dear reader, I am still thinking about Robin Williams, and still can not believe he is gone from our lives.  Not forgotten.  But gone.

This pic on the left might not be able to be fully comprehended by someone in the throws of suicidal thought, but for my readers who are thinking clearly, who have hope even in the midst of frustrations…this post is for you.

Posted in Broken People/Whole Lives, Mental Health in the News | 2 Comments

Hope in the Midst of Tragedy

Robin WilliamsSuicide has claimed another life, this time it is one of our most beloved comedians, Robin Williams. And, while I am saddened by his death, I am more saddened that he found no more hope for which to live.

At one point in his life, some say he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior but that he was still looking for more.   And his “looking for more” is what I want to address in this post.

Posted in Developmental Disabilities in the News, My Own Journey | 4 Comments

The Problem that Fear Creates

Fear Kills more Dreams than Failure ever will

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

1 John 4:18

As I continue my journey working and volunteering with those who have disabilities, I am continually noting that the biggest problem these folks face is acceptance for who they are.

Among the many disability statistics there are, in one poll only 25% of people with mental illness believed that others readily supported them, while 57% of all people echoed similar sentiments.

That is too low, and from my experience I think that, at least, part of the reason is FEAR.

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It Takes a Village

David and Church LeaderTalk about exploding STIGMA of disabilities  out of the water!

This young man, David -and I get to call him my friend! (how cool is that)- is about to enter college this Fall.

As you can gather, David has disabilities.

But, let me tell you what else David has.

  1. Wonderfully supportive parents
  2. A community that has supported him AND HIS FAMILY throughout the years.
  3. Joni and Friends of New England who is bursting with pride for all that David has done
  4. a Lord and Savior who loves him incredibly much.

 

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Crimes against the Disabled

gash on the neck of son with autismToday, I want/need to highlight  an article stating, yet another, crime against one who is disabled.    The mother continues to look for her son’s attackers!

I have many friends who are disabled, and if this happened to anyone of them, I would be undone if not for the grace of God.

Stories like this stir us to action, and I am hoping/praying that sound judgment will accompany any action towards justice.   While not knowing ‘why’ this happened, we may surmise it to be a hate crime, and the irony of hate crimes is that they can easily breed more hate towards the perpetrators of the crime.

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Thriving in the fast-paced world of Mental Health

DNAFlat affect…Unengaged mood…Monotone speech…Socially dysfunctional…Tangential comments.

Defining People or Listing Symptoms

If you read through such manuals as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders you will find phrases like this to describe how an individual might be presenting himself before a mental health professional.

Yet… to one too many people, that individual is lost.  That individual’s personality, that individual’s dreams, that individual’s hurts, and his desires can so e a s i l y become lost in our rat race of doing our jobs.

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Lessons from One who has Schizophrenia

…feed by lambs.

Jesus (John 21:15 New Century Version)

 

schizophreniaAbout 5 years ago, in the midst of a very busy Christmas Season, I decided to veer off my schedule for the afternoon and talk with Georgette.  She had a Bible in her hands, which intrigued me.

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Quitting can be rewarding

stop signsSome days I want to quit.

The lessons I daily teach, at times, seem to be so quickly dismissed.

And, I leave the group while wondering if what I taught was in anyway understood.

Like the lesson on the social skill of developing empathy:  “Why”, I asked myself, “don’t they treat their peers more kindly?”

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