All in Your Head? [Depression]

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Depression is a Mental Disorder, not a Disease

There are plausible arguments for the non-existence of mental illness. But there are still people who declare themselves to have a mental illness. After all, being sick mentally has no physical symptoms; it’s not like a kidney stone or an inflamed appendix. One can only hope it was this simple.

Yet depression is a progressive and debilitating disorder. It is like having a ‘bruised brain’ that refuses to heal. There is an substantial list of psychological disorders. Technically depression is a mood disorder that has a series of symptoms. These symptoms are the evidence that something is definitely wrong.

  • Depressed mood (such as feelings of sadness or emptiness).
  • Reduced interest in activities that used to be enjoyed.
  • Change in appetite or weight increase/decrease.
  • Sleep disturbances (either not being able to sleep well or sleeping too much).
  • Feeling agitated or slowed down.
  • Fatigue or loss of energy.
  • Feeling worthless or excessive guilt.
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or troubles making decisions.
  • Suicidal thoughts or intentions.
http://www.nami.org/

The above list is a summary of something called the DSM-IV which doctors use to diagnose the mental disorder of depression. Having five or six of these may indicate a problem. Spinning off this, you will discover some other disorders, like:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Depersonalization/derealization
  • OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
  • Psychosis and paranoia
  • PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome)
  • Specific Phobias (fears of something)
  • SAD (social anxiety disorder)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia)

Even though mental illness is widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion-about 6 percent, or 1 in 17 Americans-who live with a serious mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one in four adults–approximately 57.7 million Americans–experience a mental health disorder in a given year.

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misunderstanding and stigma for those who have these disorders. I suppose it is akin to having VD (venereal disease) or AIDS. It seems that our culture is pretty quick at labeling people as deviant or undesirable.

I hope this post helps. I can see a 100 holes in it, and alas, it is a meager attempt. But perhaps it will be of some value. Both NAMI.org, Psychcentral.com, and WebMD.com all have excellent info on Mental Illness. aabryscript

An Inconvenient Madness, [A Broken Believer]

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Very simply, bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings that are defined by major shifts between incredible mania and clinical depression. It’s usually intense and quite disabling.

Depression: There are days when I wake up and I don’t like what I see in the mirror. At times a deep and profound sadness seems to grip me like a vise. It’s like a huge heavy grey cloak covers me, and I can’t shake it off. Typically I hide and crawl into bed for weeks at a time. All is hopeless and I despair of life. I am irrevocably lost. This is bipolar depression and I’m slowly learning that I can shake it free.

Mania: When I’m manic it’s as though I have wings! I’m blasted with a special grace which makes me creative and intelligent and superior to mere mortals.  I become energetically impulsive and irritably crass. It’s all about ME! Thankfully these times don’t happen too often. These moods don’t last long but they’re intense. A measure of freedom can also be found.

Medication prescribed by my psychiatrist helps smooth things out. It was hard to adjust to taking them, but now I know I did the right thing. It’s been over 10 years since my diagnosis and I suppose I have the dubious honor of just surviving. I have several scars on my wrists that remind me of a long journey. Those afflicted will understand.

It’s been suggested that bipolar people can become more empathetic and sensitive to the suffering of others. I’d like to believe that this is true. This seems like a biblical idea.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT

 “The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.”

Isaiah 50:4

For the broken believer, I’m confident that the Lord can turn my mental illness into something positive and good. The Holy Spirit empowers the Christian to do the extraordinary. It’s in our weaknesses we can become strong. We are fully enough in Christ. (2 Corinthians 12:9).

I stepped down from my positions as a pastor and a Bible instructor when the bipolar symptoms became clear. This wasn’t easy but I knew it was what God wanted. Today I still speak on occasion at a local Church.

I also minister here at brokenbelievers.com and http://www.lambfollowers.com.. I try to post everyday and I get constant feedback from those who are in need. Just a single post, a list of 24 hour crisis hotlines, averages 175 hits a day by itself! (https://brokenbelievers.com/247-crisis-lines/)

I do covet your prayers for both ministry sites.

This work would never have happened unless I was “detoured” by my bipolar.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Romans 8:28

I want to urge you to look at the big picture of mental illness. Sure it can be remarkably disruptive, but the Lord can transform you. Meds and therapy are vital for me. Prayer and Bible reading even more so. You can find a way through this. It’s not easy. Don’t fight the illness. The Father works close to His “special” children. There is a real and abiding hope for you. I’m convinced you can find it.

bry-signat (1)

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New Crisis Texting Now Available!

There is a new way to get crisis help via text messaging. It is 24/7 and completely anonymous and confidential. You can text from anywhere in the USA for any kind of crisis you might be going through.

Just type, 741-741

This could really help those who need assistance or just someone to “talk” to. It is not a faith-based service but it is an option.

Please let me know if it works for you.

 

ybic, Bryan

flash99603@hotmail.com

BB 1-800 Page: https://brokenbelievers.com/247-help-lines-net/

 

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Understanding the Gospel of Bill (W)

Every once in a while, I’m introduced to something quite wonderful. I usually look, and mostly move on. However I approached this blog and felt I just made an awesome discovery. I asked myself (I talk to myself a lot) if I should or shouldn’t share this with you.

I came to realize that if I didn’t share this that that would be sin. Honestly.

The site is called “The Gospel of Bill (W): What Christians Can Learn from the 12-Step Programs.” It seems to be updated regularly and it could really be a boost to any one who is battling alcoholism or other addictions. Stats say that 50% of bipolar people have a definite problems in this area. Mentally ill people are especially vulnerable and end up trying to “self-medicate” themselves. We think that drinking and drugging will help us deal with our nasty and ugly lives.

Some titles I found interesting: “Thomas Kinkade and the Reality of Addiction” and “Easter Aftermath: Reflections on Death, Recovery and Resurrection”. I was also intrigued by this gem, “Powerlessness Revisited—the Tragedy of Amy Winehouse.” (That post is well on its way to being a classic!)

These posts are relevant and sincere. They just maybe your “cup of tea,” or “up your alley” (or choose your own metaphor, lol.)

May I gently suggest, that even if you don’t have any addiction issues, you undoubtly know someone who does. Share the “Gospel of Bill (W)” with them. You very well could be the light.

http://12stepspirituality.wordpress.com/

ybic, Bryan

24/7 Crisis Lines

List of Hotlines–1-800 Phone Numbers

In general, hotlines have three things in common:

1) they are available to call 24/7
2) they are 100% confidential
3) they are free

Here’s a list of hotlines that may help you in whatever situation you find yourself in:

Christian Counseling Services-General

New Life Clinics 1-800-NEW-LIFE
National Prayer Line 1-800-4-PRAYER
Bethany Lifeline Pregnancy Hotline 1-800-BETHANY
Liberty Godparent Ministry 1-800-368-3336
Grace Help Line 24 Hour Christian service 1-800-982-8032
The 700 Club Hotline 1-800-759-0700
Want to know Jesus? 1-800-NEED-HIM
Biblical help for youth in crisis 1-800-HIT-HOME
Rapha National Network 1-800-383-HOPE
Emerge Ministries 330-867-5603
Meier Clinics 1-888-7-CLINIC or 1-888-725-4642
Association of Christian Counselors 1-800-526-8673
Minirth Clinic 1-888-MINIRTH (646-4784)
National Christian Counselors Association 1-941-388-6868
Pine Rest 1-800-678-5500
Timberline Knolls 1-877-257-9611

Abortion
Post Abortion Counseling 1-800-228-0332
Post Abortion Project Rachel 1-800-5WE-CARE
National Abortion Federation Hotline 1-800-772-9100
National Office of Post Abortion Trauma 1-800-593-2273

Abuse

National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
Stop it Now! 1-888-PREVENT
United States Elder Abuse Hotline 1-866-363-4276
National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453)
Child Abuse Hotline / Dept of Social Services 1-800-342-3720
Child Abuse National Hotline 1-800-25ABUSE
Children in immediate danger 1-800-THE-LOST
Exploitation of Children 1-800-843-5678
Missing Children Help Center 1-800-872-5437

Addiction

Marijuana Anonymous 1-800-766-6779
Alcohol Treatment Referral Hotline (24 hours) 1-800-252-6465
Families Anonymous 1-800-736-9805
Cocaine Hotline (24 hours) 1-800-262-2463
Drug Abuse National Helpline 1-800-662-4357
National Association for Children of Alcoholics 1-888-554-2627
Ecstasy Addiction 1-800-468-6933
Alcoholics for Christ 1-800-441-7877

Cancer

American Cancer Society 1-800-227-2345
National Cancer institute 1-800-422-6237

Caregivers
Elder Care Locator 1-800-677-1116
Well Spouse Foundation 1-800-838-0879

Chronic Illness/Chronic Pain

Rest Ministries 1-888-751-REST (7378)

Crisis Numbers for Teens (Under 18)
Girls and Boys town 1-800-448-3000
Hearing Impaired 1-800-448-1833
Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663
Teen Hope Line 1-800-394-HOPE
Covenant House Nineline 1-800-999-9999

Crisis Numbers for Help (Any age)

United Way Crisis Helpline 1-800-233-HELP
Christian Oriented Hotline 1-877-949-HELP
Social Security Administration 1-800-772-1213

Crisis Pregnancy Helpline
Crisis Pregnancy Hotline Number 1-800-67-BABY-6
Liberty Godparent Ministry 1-800-368-3336

Cult Information
Cult Hotline (Mercy House) 606-748-9961

Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE
National Domestic Violence Hotline Spanish 1-800-942-6908
Battered Women and their Children 1-800=603-HELP
Elder Abuse Hotline 1-800-252-8966
RAINN 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

Eating Disorders
Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention 1-800-931-2237
Eating Disorders Center 1-888-236-1188
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders 1-847-831-3438
Overcomers Outreach, Inc. 1-800-310-3001
Remuda Ranch 1-800-445-1900

Family Violence
Family Violence Prevention Center 1-800-313-1310

Gambling
Compulsive Gambling Hotline 410-332-0402

Grief/Loss
GriefShare 1-800-395-5755

Homeless/Shelters
Homeless 1-800-231-6946
American Family Housing 1-888-600-4357

Homosexual/Lesbian
Recovery: Exodus International 1-888-264-0877
Helpline: 1-800-398-GAYS
Gay and Lesbian National Hotline 1-888-843-4564
Trevor Hotline (Suicide) 1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Parents
Hotline for parents considering abducting their children 1-800-A-WAY-OUT
United States Missing Children Hotline 1-800-235-3535

Poison
Poison Control 1-800-942-5969

Runaways
Boystown National Hotline 1-800-448-3000
Covenant House Nineline 1-800-999-9999
Laurel House 1-714-832-0207
National Runaway Switchboard 1-800-621-4000
Teenline 1-888-747-TEEN
Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663

Salvation
Grace Help Line 24 Hour Christian Service 1-800-982-8032
Want to know Jesus? 1-888-NEED-HIM

Self-Injury, “Cutting”
S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) 1-800-DONT-CUT

Sexual Addiction
Focus on the Family 1-800-A-FAMILY

Suicide
Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-827-7571
Deaf Hotline 1-800-799-4TTY
NineLine 1-800-999-9999
Holy Spirit Teenline  1-800-722-5385
Crisis Intervention 1- 888- 596-4447
Crisis Intervention 1-800-673-2496


Mostly, these are Christian ministries that are there when life gets challenging.  Use these phone numbers wisely, and I would encourage you to pray for the counseling you.  Also, I am not able to check each number.  These numbers are to be used with some precaution as a result.

This list isn’t complete yet.  If you have a contact that isn’t here, please email me that information.  I’m Bryan Lowe at flash99603@hotmail.com.