Seeing Things from Both Sides

“The Great Depression” Sandstorm

There was a time when I was in the midst of major depression that I believed that surviving that deep darkness was the hardest thing I would ever do. And it was a great struggle. It was especially difficult to comprehend when people would say things like, “If you didn’t want to be depressed you wouldn’t be.” Or they would say, “Just snap out of it and be happy.” As if being depressed was a conscious choice when I knew that it was not.

In retrospect I can see that to some extent my depression was the result of conscious choices, but I had no idea those choices would lead me to the pit of darkness and despair. Once there, I still could not see that it had been my choices that brought me there and I was not able without the help of God to see my way out.

Yes, I once thought the pit of depression was the worst place I could ever be. But I have recently come to realize that there is another place that is, if not worse, at least as bad as being depressed. That place is standing beside a family member or loved one who is caught in the stranglehold of this terrible condition of the mind and soul, and not being able to help.

There is more than one person in my life right now who is struggling as I once did to be free of the darkness of depression. I long to simply reach in and pull them out, but I can’t. Having seen things from the other side, I do at least know what NOT to say, but I don’t always know what to say or do. I understand their pain and their struggle, and it hurts to see them in that place of despair and hopelessness that I once traveled.

Why do I share this observation? Because I want you who are suffering from depression to understand that your loved ones mean well and want what is best for you. Seeing you in pain and hopelessness is difficult for them, too.

The problem is they simply do not know what to do. We who are on the outside can pray and offer encouragement, but only God can truly rescue you from the pit and pull you from the depths of despair. Only our Savior Jesus offers the hope of Light eternal that will shine into the darkness and show you the way out.

I can tell you about how He shone His Light into my darkness and revealed the choices that led me there, but my experience and my choices may not be the same as yours. Only God sees into the heart of a person to know what healing they require. It is only the hope that Jesus brings that makes seeing the pain of a loved one struggling with depression bearable.

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.

Isaiah 9:2 (NIV).

Pain and Prayer in Poetry

This poem is an acrostic of sorts. When I originally wrote it I titled it Prayer, but the acrostic letters that begin each stanza spell PAIN. It was written at a time I was in a lot of physical and emotional pain, and found that prayer was the best way to find relief, if not physically at least mentally and emotionally.

Prayer

Prayer finds me
seeking You for
comfort and healing
here on my knees

As I come to You
my mind is turned
to others who need
what I seek for me

Immanuel, You
are with me now
as I focus on You
instead of my pain

Never to forsake me
You have promised
I find it is true
when You I seek

Be the Lord of My Past

“Lord of the Past,” Lyrics by Bob Bennett

To listen, please check out our Broken Believers Music Index at: https://brokenbelievers.com/classic-christian-music-index/

Every harsh word spoken
Every promise ever broken to me
Total recall of data in the memory
Every tear that has washed my face
Every moment of disgrace that I have known
Every time I’ve ever felt alone

Lord of the here and now
Lord of the come what may
I want to believe somehow
That you can heal these wounds of yesterday
(You can redeem these things so far away)
So now I’m asking you
To do what you want to do
Be the Lord of the Past
(Be the Lord of my Past)
Oh how I want you to
Be the Lord of the Past

All the chances I let slip by
All the dreams that I let die in vain
Afraid of failure and afraid of pain
Every tear that has washed my face
Every moment of disgrace that I have known
Every time I’ve ever felt alone

Well I picked up all these pieces
And I built a strong deception
And I locked myself inside of it
For my own protection
And I sit alone inside myself
And curse my company
For this thing that has kept me alive for so long
Is now killing me.
And as sure as the sin rose this morning,
The man in the moon hides his face tonight.
And I lay myself down on my bed
And I pray this prayer inside my head

Lord of the here and now
Lord of the come what may
I want to believe somehow
That you can heal these wounds of yesterday
So now I’m asking you
To do what you want to do
Be the Lord of my Past
You can do anything
Be the Lord of the Past
I know that you can find a way
To heal every yesterday of my life
Be the Lord of the Past

Tourette Syndrome: Know The Basics

“Dropping F Bombs”

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Tourette’s disorder, or Tourette syndrome

(TS) as it is frequently called, is a neurologic syndrome. The essential feature of Tourette’s are multiple tics that are sudden, rapid, recurrent, non-rhythmic, stereotypical, purposeless movements or vocalizations.

 
 What are the symptoms of Tourette syndrome?
 
  • Both multiple motor and one or more vocal tics are present at some time during the illness, although not necessarily simultaneously
  • Occurrence many times a day nearly every day or intermittently throughout a span of more than one year
  • Significant impairment or marked distress in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • Onset before the age of 18.

 Symptoms can disappear for weeks or months at a time and severity waxes and wanes.

  

What are the first tics that may be characteristic of Tourette’s syndrome?

Usually, the facial tic, such as rapid blinking of the eyes or twitches of the mouth, may be the first indication a parent has that their child may have Tourette’s syndrome. Involuntary sounds, such as throat clearing and sniffing, or tics of the limbs may be an initial sign in other children.

  

Are any other symptoms associated with Tourette’s syndrome?

Approximately 50 percent of patients meet criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and this may be the more impairing problem. Approximately one-third of patients meet criteria for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or have other forms of anxiety. Learning disabilities are common as well as developmental stuttering. Social discomfort, self-consciousness and depressed mood frequently occur, especially as children reach adolescence.

 

Yelling and irrational

What causes these symptoms?

Although the cause has not been definitely established, there is considerable evidence that Tourette’s syndrome arises from abnormal metabolism of dopamine, a neurotransmitter. Other neurotransmitters may be involved.

 

Can Tourette’s syndrome be inherited?

Genetic studies indicate that Tourette’s syndrome is inherited as an autosomal dominant gene but different family members may have dissimilar symptoms. A parent has a 50 percent chance of passing the gene to one of his or her children. The range of symptomatology varies from multiple severe tics to very minor tics with varying degrees of attention deficit-disorder and OCD.

  

Are boys or girls more likely to have Tourette’s syndrome?

The sex of the child can influence the expression of the Tourette’s syndrome gene. Girls with the gene have a 70 percent chance of displaying symptoms, boys with the gene have a 99 percent chance of displaying symptoms. Ratios of boys with Tourette’s syndrome to girls with Tourette’s syndrome are 3:1. 

  

How is Tourette’s syndrome diagnosed?

No blood analysis, x-ray or other medical test exists to identify Tourette’s syndrome. Diagnosis is made by observing the signs or symptoms as described above. A doctor may wish to use a CAT scan, EEG, or other tests to rule out other ailments that could be confused with TS. Some medications cause tics, so it is important to inform the professional doing the assessment of any prescribed, over-the-counter, or street drugs to which the patient may have been exposed.

  

What are the benefits of seeking early treatment of Tourette syndrome symptoms?

When a child’s behavior is viewed as disruptive, frightening, or bizarre by peers, family, teachers, or friends, it provokes ridicule and rejection. Teachers and other children can feel threatened and exclude the child from activities or interpersonal relationships. A child’s socialization difficulties will increase as he reaches adolescence. Therefore, it is very important for the child’s self-esteem and emotional well-being that treatment be sought as early as possible.

  

What treatments are available for Tourette syndrome?

Not everyone is disabled by his or her symptoms, so medication may not be necessary. When symptoms interfere with functioning, medication can effectively improve attention span, decrease impulsivity, hyperactivity, tics, and obsessive-compulsive symptomatology. Relaxation techniques and behavior therapy may also be useful for tics, ADD symptoms, and OCD symptoms. 

  

How does Tourette syndrome affect the education of a child or adolescent with Tourette syndrome?

Tourette syndrome alone does not affect the IQ of a child. Many children who have Tourette syndrome, however, also have learning disabilities or attention deficits. Frequently, therefore, special education may be needed for a child with Tourette syndrome. Teachers should be given factual information about the disorder and, if learning difficulties appear, the child should be referred to the school system for assessment of other learning problems.

  

What is the course of Tourette syndrome?

Some people with Tourette syndrome show a marked improvement in their late teens or early twenties. However, tics as well as ADD and OCD behavior, may wax and wane over the course of the life span.   

  

Reviewed by Charles T. Gordon, III, M.D., 2003

 

For more help go to: http://www.nami.org/   and  http://www.tsa-usa.org/

 

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