Tag Archives: Mental Health

2020 a year of having more idols but also more personal problems

The Spring of 2020 brought something new to the world which made everyone and everything coming to a standstill but brought also many to having psychological problems. At first, it seemed incredible to hear certain churches calling for their members to come to church, even when the governments asked people to avoid contact with many. Some pastors dared to go so far as telling people that if they would become infected with Corona that would be because they had not enough faith. Such saying we can only call “criminal”. Several Christian groups, mainly in Holland wanted people to believe that as faithful people would come to the service they would not be harmed because they would do what God expected from them.

Lots of people got in problem with their mind, having become pulled away from their social contacts by the lockdown. Depression, bipolar episodes, and anxiety attacks were hindermost in the running.

Because depression isn’t often discussed in churches, a great deal of misunderstanding has popped up in this year when there were so many more people with a lot of psychological problems, who could not be helped by medical staff.

We want people to believe that the first step is realising what this disorder isn’t:

“It’s not a character defect, a spiritual disorder or an emotional dysfunction. And chief of all, it’s not a choice.”

Also we want Christians to be aware that it is not, like some Trinitarian preachers wanted their flock to believe

a penalty from God.

When you do not feel well in your skin it is not that God would be punishing you because you would have done something wrong or that you would not have enough faith in Him.

We also must be aware that just because someone seems “happy,” that doesn’t mean they’re healthy or that they really would be happy. Look at the very popular Flemish influencer. Social media seemed to take more people in its ban this year. The advertising flow is drying up, so professional users of social media tell more about their concerns and they seemed for many to provide some good information. After the death of that 21 year old boy more than ever, several influencers came to understand their role in the youthgroups and to realise that good mental health is important.

This way NokNok wants to teach young people that it is normal to not always feel perfect. Staff member Eline De Decker:

“Nobody walks on clouds every day. Sometimes you get up and immediately feel that it is going to be a terrible day. Sometimes you doubt yourself or feel insecure. Or are you stressed or disappointed with friends or family. That is normal.
And that’s all okay. ”

NokNok wants to convey that message clearly and shows young people between the ages of 12 and 16 what they can do to gain more self-confidence, have less stress and go through life as positivo.

Instagram has been around for ten years, and what the app has perhaps achieved best during that period is creating the illusion that users can “work independently” via the platform. Certainly influencers, people who live off sponsored photos on their Instagram profile, are an example of this bogus self-employment.
They live off Instagram, but much more for Instagram – they tweak their entire lives to create the best photos and videos. And once their Instagram goes down, they have nothing to fall back on.

With the rise of social media, the phenomenon of fanship has changed drastically. About ten or twenty years ago, an idol was someone you idolized by hanging posters on the wall, playing CDs, maybe watching movies or TV shows. The relationship fan-
Idol was pretty one-sided: the fan was occasionally thrown a treat – a new song, a TV appearance, a message about a wedding in a gossip magazine – and he or she had to settle for that.

But with digitization, the relationship between fans and idols has turned inside out,
British sociology professor Ellis Cashmore writes in his book Kardashian Kulture, in which he examines how celebrity culture has changed in the 21st century. No longer are fans from outside looking at the world in which their idol lives – they are right in the thick of it.

Certain churches used those idols also in church and wanted to attire people to their meetings by using a lot of music and disco settings. In 2020 we saw a continuation of the pulpits shrinking and even disappearing while bands and lighting have grown. But faith does not come from music, dynamic experiences, or supposed encounters with God. Faith is birthed through the proclamation of God’s Word (Rom 10:17).

Our assurance is threatened.
Whilst certain churches kept calling their flock to the church building, others tried to bring entertaining video presentations. All that attention or focussing on those idols and entertainement made many youngsters feeling even more alone, when there was no such church meeting any more. If we associate God’s presence with a particular experience or emotion, you can ask what happens when we no longer feel it.

We search for churches whose praise band, orchestra, or pipe organ produce in us the feelings we are chasing. But the reality of God in our lives depends on the mediation of Christ not on subjective experiences.

Musicians are given priestly status.
When music is seen as a means to encounter God, worship leaders and musicians are vested with a priestly role. They become the ones who bring us into the presence of God rather than Jesus Christ who alone has already fulfilled that role. Understandably, when a worship leader or band doesn’t help me experience God they have failed and must be replaced. On the other hand, when we believe that they have successfully moved us into God’s presence they will attain in our minds a status that is far too high for their own good.

Division is increased.
If we identify a feeling as an encounter with God, and only a particular kind of music produces that feeling, then we will insist that same music be played regularly in our church or gatherings. As long as everyone else shares our taste then there is no problem. But if others depend upon a different kind of music to produce the feeling that is important to them then division is cultivated. And because we routinely classify particular feelings as encounters with God our demands for what produce those feelings become very rigid. This is why so many churches succumb to offering multiple styles of worship services. By doing so, they unwittingly sanction division and self-centeredness among the people of God.

Scripture is full of exhortations to God’s people to sing and make music to Him. Our God has been gracious to give us this means to worship Him. But it is important to understand that music in our worship is for two specific purposes: to honour God and to edify our fellow believers. Unfortunately, many Christians tend to grant music a sacramental power which Scripture never bestows upon it.

Intense relationship
Those churches who by the years focused more on the show element of their services brought their members now in a situation where the lockdown is felt more as a restriction and limitation. Some even came to find that they could not serve God any more or did not give Him the full worship they had to offer Him. The fact they felt they could not serve their God any more made them feeling very bad. Instead of making them to understand they also could worship God in their own house in their own small bubble, some churches gave them even more a feeling of guilt by keeping to tell them they should not stop coming to the church building.

Against the lonely feeling they said what’s needed was the gathering and coming to feast again for God. But what is really needed is a loving community where people are encouraged to speak up and get help. And that speaking can be done by internet meetings and help can be giving by phone calls as well as by sending material by land mail.

People should know that when fear comes into their heart, they themselves can call to God. They not only should trust on the entertaining sessions of their church.

God Loves You

The fundamental message of the Gospel is that God loves you.
Do you understand?
God loves you. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, God will always love you. Dr. Kenneth Hutcherson describes it like this,

No matter what kind of situation you may find yourself facing, don’t be afraid, because God will always be with you and have your best interests in mind since He loves you.  Whenever feelings of fear creep into your life, turn to God for the help you need to overcome them and successfully navigate your circumstances.  Whenever you sense God calling you to do something that requires taking a risk, move forward without fear because God will empower you to do whatever He calls you to do.

It’s Alright to Feel Sad

No one likes to feel sad. We frequently try to avoid feelings of pain, or bury them under the weight of our daily routines. But sorrow cannot and should not be ignored. Accepting our sorrow doesn’t mean we’re weak, or a failure, it means we’re human. Just look what Ethan McCarthy of Christianity Today had to say,

Our faith is predicated on sadness. As we grow in Christ’s service, we begin to recognize ourselves in Christ’s sad gaze in the icons. The sadness of Jesus exemplifies the sadness of Christians everywhere, and through it the whole world is redeemed. For the sadness of Jesus is not an ultimate sadness: the Bible also promises the end of sadness, and the wiping away of all tears: ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted’ (Matt. 5:4).

After bad times better times

2020 may not have been an ideal year, but we should know there have been lots more worse years in the past. When looking at those horrible years of illnesses, pains, horrible situations and wars, we should see that we did not have it as bad as some want us to believe.

Hope is a frail thing, but it’s hard to kill. If you’ve found yourself struggling in the valleys of life, please don’t give up. Surround yourself with friends who will comfort you and mourn with you. If you’re suffering from depression, have courage and make an appointment with a doctor. Above all, remember that God loves you, and that will never change.

2020 has been a year where a lot more people had psychological difficulties. The helplines got a lot more calls. Lots of people were struggling with depression.  More than 1 in 5 youngsters this year had difficulties with the isolation brought unto them. Christians should see signs and then should come to help.

Every suicide is a tragic end to a life that’s precious to God. If you’re willing, God can empower you to help save the lives of people he loves from ending their lives before they’ve completed the lifetimes he intends for them. Here’s how you can help prevent suicide by reaching out to struggling people you know:

Recognize warning signs.

The American Association of Suicidology says that people who are at risk of committing suicide often display warning signs such as: communicating a desire to kill themselves, looking for ways to kill themselves (like seeking access to guns or medications), expressing a lack of purpose or hope in life, demonstrating dramatic mood changes, behaving in significantly anxious or angry ways, sleeping too much or not sleeping enough, feeling trapped in a challenging situation, taking reckless risks, abusing alcohol or drugs, and withdrawing from relationships with family and friends.

Listen well and offer unconditional love, like God does.

Pay attention to the troubling thoughts and feelings that people share with you. Listen carefully to what they express, and ask them questions to clarify and seek more information. If suicidal people know that you’re genuinely interested in them and that they can trust you not to judge them, gossip about them, or avoid them when they tell you something disturbing, they’ll likely open up to you. Ask God to help you love suicidal people unconditionally – like He does – and that will give them hope they desperately need while struggling with embarrassment and shame.

Pray specifically.

Let people know that they can count on you to pray for them about every specific issue they’ve shared with you. Ask God to bring them the help and healing they need, and pray in Jesus’ name against any form of evil that may be attacking them spiritually.

Give people a fresh perspective on themselves and their problems.

Suicidal people often become so preoccupied with their own failures and the problems in their lives that they blow them out of proportion. When that happens, they feel overwhelmed and can’t see how they can ever find solutions to their problems or find relief from their suffering. Mistakenly thinking that there’s no hope for them to experience better lives, they then may choose to simply end their lives. If someone tells you that she hates herself or feels like a burden on others, you can encourage her by pointing out specific ways she has enriched your life. When someone you know is distraught about a problem that seems insurmountable, you can gently and respectfully point out other aspects of her life that are positive to help her gain a better perspective. Refrain from giving unsolicited advice, which can seem judgmental to someone who is struggling. But remind your friend that there’s plenty of good in her, and in her life, despite the bad aspects that trouble her. You can also point out that every problem – no matter how severe – is temporary, but suicide is permanent. Encourage suicidal people to give themselves time to see how their problems can resolve in unexpected ways, rather than prematurely ending their lives.

Strong churches don’t “fix” depression.

Even large churches may not have the framework currently in place to deal with mental disorders. So, what’s needed?

“Healing comes from a prayerful, loving community that seeks to truly understand major depressive disorder and related conditions, and one that develops a positive response.”

Depression can feel like a huge weight that keeps pulling a Christian down again and again. Breaking free from the clutches of this disorder may seem impossible, but Margaret Ashmore (of the Association of Biblical Counselors) says that one of the most important things a sufferer can do is “the next thing”:

“So ‘doing the next thing’ might mean getting right with someone you’ve wronged, making restitution on outstanding payments, putting away once for all that website or magazine which feeds a monstrous, lustful appetite, taking back a purchase of self indulgence whose only outcome was more debt – you will have your own list. I certainly have mine. But be assured, this principle alone can take you from a shrugging Atlas with the weight of the world on your shoulders to that of renewed vigor and reviving refreshment….”

“The choices we make to obey despite our feelings or to give in to the downward pull of a fallen world filled with fallen people – mean everything.”

If you suffer from anxiety of depression, you’re not alone.

The one true source of freedom: Jesus.

People who kill themselves are trying to break free from their pain. But suicide just makes people dead, not free, and it actually causes more pain by spreading grief around to deceased people’s loved ones. Tell struggling people you know that while suicide can’t make them free, Jesus Christ can. Jesus is the way to God. He is the mediator between God and man, and having been here on earth as a man of flesh and blood, he very well knows the pains man can have to face.

No matter how difficult, certain things may look for us, when we pray to God we may find solutions to get over those difficult situations.

 

(With parts of articles by a.o. Todd Pruitt, John UpChurch, Ryan Duncan, Whitney Hopler of Crosswalk.com)

 

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What can each individual do to lessen the burden in times of pandemic

Ms. Sarah Ibershimi, a third year medical students, studying at ‘Universiteti i Mjekësisë Tiranë (UMT)’, in Albania. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting, for which she wrote an article about mental health in times of pandemic and what each individual can  do to lessen the burden.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has spread rapidly between and within countries and it has sickened more than 2.5 million people all over the world. Pandemics are not only health emergencies in which human life is threatened but they are also human dramas that cause psychological disturbances. Due to the emergency caused by the novel coronavirus, the governments put their countries on a lockdown, in order to break the chain of transmission. But, what are the consequences of social isolation on mental health and what can be done to mitigate these effects?

The coronavirus outbreak is clearly shaping our lives. Coping with unemployment, mobility restrictions, social distance and excessive fear in such a short time, is not easy at all. In terms of mental health, this emergency exceeds the capacity of the population to handle on the situation. Moreover, the psychological effects are more marked in vulnerable groups such as elderly people, children or even those who have a lack of resources and access to social and health services. Regarding this, there are a lot of effective initiatives that we can undertake to lessen the burden.

> Continue reading: Mental Health in times of pandemic: What can each individual do to lessen the burden?

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Find also to read:

  1. Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past
  2. The unseen enemy
  3. Under-reporting the total number of coronavirus cases
  4. From the Old Box: Coughs and sneezes spread diseases
  5. Remembering what happened in the previous influenza pandemic
  6. Staying at home saves lives
  7. A new start when the lockdown comes to an end
  8. Time to add value

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Educational affairs, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~

When living in Lockdown places, even in cities when still able to go some kilometres away from home, even if it has now become more limited in several places, those not limited by (1-1-1 or 1 person 1 meter from home at a time) may be happy to count themselves to the lucky ones who may still move around and should be enjoying to see all those things for which they previously had not taken enough time to notice them.

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To remember:

  • shrieking headlines > increasing anxiety, worry, sleep disruption, feelings of helplessness, panic, and/or depression.
  • some ideas that can help:
    • a customized anxiety toolbox to pick and choose
    • looking at positive images = objective + powerful anxiety reducer.
    • Self Talk Reframing (Cognitive Therapy)
    • Guided Imagination/Visualization
    • Exposure Management
    • Progressive Relaxation
    • Distraction in Action
    • Self Soothing
    • Spiritual Meditation/Prayer
    • Second Voice
    • Exercise, Diet & Good Health Practices
    • stay well informed + safe >> constant media onslaught = psychologically overwhelming + add to an unhealthy level of anxiety => reduce exposure to news.
    • Look for positive imagery +  Write blogs + stories.

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Continue reading: Hope on the Horizon: Pandemic Anxiety Management II~

Preceding

CoViD-19 warnings

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Please find also to read:

  1. Using fears of the deadly coronavirus
  2. Europe in Chaos for a Pandemic
  3. Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past
  4. The unseen enemy

Many of us are experiencing emotional distress from the pandemic which can affect each of us in different ways, but often presents as increasing anxiety, worry, sleep disruption, feelings of helplessness, panic, and/or depression.

The shrieking headlines don’t help do they? So what can we do to manage these feelings and feel stronger emotionally and psychologically as we prepare ourselves to face the difficult days ahead?

As a psychotherapist who has practiced for many decades, I have some ideas that can help. So if you are interested, read on.

We are going to make a customized anxiety toolbox. One approach doesn’t work for everyone, pick and choose what feels right for you. Of course I’m including relaxing photos intermixed in this post because looking at positive images is an objective and powerful anxiety reducer. What you perceive influences how you think and feel.

ANXIETY TOOLBOX:

Self Talk Reframing (Cognitive Therapy)

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The meaning of life – Finding purpose

To remember

  • When little feeling unless I was there to perceive it, the world did not exist => ended & was created anew every time
  • thought myself to be creator + center of the universe
  • when child > feeling so much more important than a rational thought.
  • India > Landing in multicultural & multicolored chaos = landed on a different planet =>. India must surely seize to exist when I am not there.
  • consecutive conclusion that every single human being must feel the same way > each & every one of us = universe all on our own, made up of silently verbalized thoughts, feelings, mental images, and subconscious impulses.
  • Charles Dickens = master of tapping into all these different universes > each human being that lives, has lived and will live, is a story, a uniquely fantastic story with a unique plot and characters.
  • all made up of the same stardust => one = beautiful human paradox > both sameness, oneness, unity, + absolute + irrevocably unique.
  •  all of us relevant to history of life of human kind
  • When there is not two of the same in a circumstance =>each part important + unconditionally valuable => all have unique creativity, thoughts, imagination, insights +  talents, => important to human kind + its history => gives meaning
  • individualism = selfishness + self-centeredness = opposite of cooperation, generosity +  compassion.
  •  Abraham Maslow psychologist who gave us famous pyramid of human needs > bottom solid foundation of life > cannot live without (food, water + shelter) > top > self-actualization.
  • learned to pin-point our strengths + weaknesses, explore our talents + analyze our personality traits + learned to use this self-insight to expand our empathy =>mental health determined by outer circumstances = key to why individualism is not just a big ego-trip <= believe in oneself & value of one’s life in the world 1°learn to trust  something valuable to bring = self-actualization.

=> the more uniqueness = the more difference to make in the world.

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Reflection Texts, Social affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Where to Begin and What to say Next about OCD

Today’s guestwriter is working on overcoming the mental disorder where people feel the need to check things repeatedly, perform certain routines repeatedly (called “rituals”), or have certain thoughts repeatedly (called “obsessions”), Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) disorder (also called obsessivecompulsive neurosis) by all means possible.
She decided to learn new ways to deal with her OCD and it has brought great satisfaction to her finding out through this trial the comfort and satisfaction it gives her to express herself in writing to reach out to others and let them know… they are Not Alone.

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To remember

Writing has proven to be therapeutic > not liking to take NO for an answer => keeps trying

much work to do in educating people about OCD and what is really is

> rising through the humiliation is a large dose of humility {The Big 3 (OCD, Anxiety, Panic) Bully}

Find also: Answers, Help, and a Sense of Belonging

Logically Illogical with OCD

It has been so great to learn how much I enjoy writing!  It is great to get some stuff out of my mind and on to the page.  But as with everything my OCD and perfectionism has to come along for the ride.  So I am stuck inside my mind trying to decide what to blog about.  I have so many things I want to say and share, yet the question I continually have is Where to Begin and What to say Next about OCD. 

I just came back from the OCD conference in Chicago.  It was fantastic!  Any my mind is telling me that I shouldn’t write about anything else until I have properly written about the conference and shared all the wonderful information that I received.  However, while I want to share all of the information…it just isn’t what I feel like sharing now.  While my OCD tells…

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Lessons I have learned

Panic-attack

Panic-attack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The lady who had had her first ever proper panic attack a year ago, when she couldn’t breathe, and rapidly became hysterical in her bathroom away from her kids, knows how she can be challenged being a single mum to four kids, that being a pretty time consuming.

The challenges have been huge and diverse in the last year.

For this Cornish woman her husband is the unsung hero in her tale. He helps her get dressed and use the bathroom, wash, cooks, cleans, does most of the childcare, and pretty much has an elderly person for a wife in return for his efforts, a lot of the time.

Have you any idea what it’s like to have to get your husband to help you with toiletting? Or how awful it is to have to get your eight year old to put your socks on. To have to call your son to watch you get up the stairs in case you fall? Or to have to call your teenage daughter up to your room as you can’t open the curtains? Or to train your two year old to pass everything at floor level up to you, as you can’t bend down? How guilty you feel that you aren’t like the other mums, instead your children also help care for you? {Crossing the line.}

Let us look how she now fulfils all the needs and requirements when she as a seriously ill woman is doing the job of 2/3 people.

What can a person do when she is in severe pain everyday to varying degrees and when the  kidneys are not working properly, the immune system at about 40%, her pericarditis playing up (swollen third chamber of my heart) each day she spends half hour getting her back, knees, hips and knees moving before she can focus properly.

Like many chronic pain patients she has become highly skilled at hiding her pain over the last 24 years, and very few people will see or experience the vulnerable and broken person, that exists through the cracks.

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To remember:

it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks

We are all in charge of our own destiny and happiness, + must own our decisions, as they are ours alone to make. Whether that’s, medication, lifestyle, parenting, a job, relationships, moving across the country for a shot at happiness. Own it. 

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Preceding articles:

What would you do if…?

What would you do if…? Continued trial

What Are You Seeking?

Though disabled in the eyes of society able to do great things

I will not be defined

Fibromyalgia & ME/CFS Awareness Day

See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

The Goal

Cosmina Craciunescu looks on Positivism

A quadruped amputee not stopped from wanting to achieve her dreams

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You've gotta have Gumption....

I’ve been debating for a while where I’m going with this. The cold, hard truth of the matter is that I’ve had very little time for anything other than being mum, and trying to keep my body working as best it can. I can’t remember the last time I was able to read a paper, or watch a full film.

Turns out being a single mum to four kids is pretty time consuming, who knew!?

The challenges have been huge and diverse in the last year. How do I fulfill all their needs and requirements of me when I am one, seriously ill woman doing the job of 2/3 people? The logistics alone have been a nightmare, getting everyone where they need to be and collecting them, making sure they have all the kit they need for the various activities they do, homework, food, washing, teacher appointments, councilling, sports, friends…

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It’s a New Year!

Now and then human being have to be reminded that material is just dust. Often it is with less pleasant experiences that we are pushed with our face in the reality of life.

It is good that at such moments of truth people dare to tell others how they feel and what they experience. Such moments of calamity should make us to think about more important things. It should remind us of our Maker and about our reason being here and how we should relate to each other and our environment.

Institute of Mental Health 10, Nov 06

Institute of Mental Health 10, Nov 06 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of the experiences we get in a year may be all too much. They can deliver us more worries and stress than our stress bucket can handle. That is the moment that this also will overflow – at which point we can start to experience symptoms of mental ill health. We can use coping strategies to help tap the bucket, and allow stress to flow away in a healthy and manageable way.

However, no matter how hard we try, no matter how good our coping strategies – exercise, medicines, meditation – no matter how much we avoid the things we know are bad for us – sometimes life throws in a brick and makes it impossible to avoid the inevitable splash. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

Living in this world, even with all the luxury around us certain things also for us can get too much, and our usual coping mechanisms then shall cease to be a match for our concerns, that this can lead us to develop emotional / mental health issues. Some might want to use their employees as machines, bu we are human beings not without inner feelings, and life throws things at us that we don’t always know how to deal with very well.

Sadly a lot of people may well be experiencing that overspill in the coming months –  widespread flooding across the North of the United Kingdom (and in Missouri, red.) has devastated lives, homes, businesses. People are still cleaning up, throwing out years worth of possessions and irreplaceable mementoes, wondering where on earth the money will come from to replace even the more mundane things like microwaves and kettles. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

When bad things happen in a certain region that is often also the time people are coming to know each other in an other, and hopefully in a better way.

The good news is that we have seen the most amazing evidence of the goodness of humanity – people helping eachother to clean up, everyone banding together. Volunteers travelling from near and far, donations pouring in – individuals and organisations and companies are doing a lot to ensure that things are put right as quickly as possible. I have a lot of hope that some minds have been changed, and eyes opened by the sheer generosity and kindness which has been shown by diverse communities from across the country in this little valley. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

Hopefully, that evidence of love and kinship will help people in more than just the practical ways. But in the weeks and months to come, people will start to be impacted by the trauma they have experienced. The exhaustion of the effort they have had to put in to get their homes dry, stay fed, keep themselved and their families safe – it will creep up on people and affect them in ways they may not expect. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

Some may think that such things will soon be forgotten, but they are not. Life has to go on and people will find a way to cope with it, but is shall leave its scars. It is perfectly understandable, and natural, that this will creep up on people and affect them in ways they may not expect.

Human beings have so much ignored nature around them that now nature is giving back an answer which is not so pleasant at times. 2015 may have been the warmest year since the measuring but it had its moments of heavy winds and pouring waters.

Storms have mercilessly battered Britain, one after the other over this festive period, bringing with them severe and unrelenting floods. The scale of damage and devastation was unprecedented, but it was not unpredictable. We’ve seen these storms growing with intensity every year. And, whilst a few might naively blame El Niño for this recent bout, we know that climate change is the driving factor. {UK flooding: the new normal in a changed climate}

Throughout the years we have shown our unrespectfulness and neglectfulness to mother nature that now time has come to have it respond to us on not such a friendly way either.

The harsh truth is that even if we cut all emissions today, we can’t undo what damage we’ve already done. The carbon we’ve pumped into the atmosphere will remain there for generations to come and so too will the weather it brings with it. The climate has changed, it continues to change and there’s no going back. These violent winter storms, and the floods they bring with them, are here to stay. {UK flooding: the new normal in a changed climate}

And that each rainfall will bring unease (indeed we know there is always a risk of the waters rising again – our last disaster brought two floods in one month). So it is vital that people recognise that their emotions, their mental health deserve as much care as their physical health, and that they seek help if they are struggling – in the same way they would seek help if they start to vomit / get toilet trouble that may come as a result of being in contact with the polluted flood waters. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

I think it would be particularly useful for those of us in the community who wish to support our friends and families – who perhaps know people they think might struggle to accept mental health difficulties in themselves and so not seek help when they need it. {Bricks in the stress bucket}

When the rivers retreat from historic and deadly winter flooding, leaving amid the silt a massive cleanup and recovery effort likely to take weeks if not months, people have to find a new way to continue their life.

The level of global change we’re experiencing now presents many interconnected, multi-faceted challenges that have affected and will affect different countries in different ways. It is hard to tell as a layperson what this means, but the experts have long since warned that the most severe effects in the UK would be powerful storms and increased flooding. There has been very little to suggest that the government has taken these warnings seriously, as they still seem to operate on the principle that it’s better to be sorry than safe. But they can’t keep living in denial, we are living in a different world. The Earth has warmed by one degree and it’s time we started acting like it. {UK flooding: the new normal in a changed climate}

Going into a new year lets think about all those people who are experiencing the worst things people can endure, war, floods …. and let us hope more people shall be willing to stand ready for them in need and help them to find the good things in life again.

May the good things in your life also be more lightening than your bad experiences of the year and let 2016 be a year of good health and a progression in the good direction.

God bless.

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Further readings

  1. When life spills over the edge – can you help?
  2. Emergency responders manage risks as river rises above flood stage
  3. A Slightly Different View Of Aberdeen Beach Today…
  4. St. Louis area faces big cleanup effort after flooding
  5. Deluge
  6. Storms and Floods
  7. 2016 Start
  8. Deadly floods choke operations from oil to wheat in U.S. Midwest
  9. UK flooding: the new normal in a changed climate
  10. The EU Water Framework Directive & The Role Played By Green NGO’s
  11. The Perks of Escaping Your Mind Through Nature
  12. …And, she’s back!!
  13. Tired
  14. 1/3-stress on stress
  15. Self-Care Sunday: What’s Worked For Me
  16. Happy New Year
  17. Taking Stock
  18. God’s Words of Comfort in Times of Fear – January 3, 2016
  19. Not a bad start
  20. Shit I’m Gonna Try to Accomplish This Year
  21. Worry Stress: Make a Decision Now
  22. Growing Young
  23. Calm down.

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O’ Captain! My Captain!

Being known, being active, bringing people to laugh, it does not mean that person cannot be struggling with inner difficulties and with a blackening visions, not showing a way out of the misery or negative thoughts.
Let us hope people shall be able to find easier somebody who wants to listen and somebody who can help to get the dark curtain opened to let the sun shine in.

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To remember

  • Depression robs you of perspective- blocking out the joys of the past and the promise of tomorrow.
  • You believe that it is not worth living in a world without light.
  • But depression can lift.
  • If given the opportunity, if you can hold on through that darkest hour, the light does return.
  • Depression is stigmatized and people avoid having contact with that person they consider having a mental illness and addiction.
  • Fighting depression requires Herculean levels of strength.
  • There is help for those who have depression; therapy, medication, and even meditation.
  • It is important to keep fighting.

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  • Blackness ever blackening: My lifetime of depression (psypost.org)
    I don’t remember ever being called a happy-go-lucky or sunny-natured child, or feeling like one, although I certainly experienced varieties of happiness sometimes. I have a clear memory of somersaulting out of bed one morning when I was six or seven for the pleasure of getting up and going to school. Yet I’m suspicious of that moment as having more to do with me trying to manipulate the family mood than a genuine expression of joie de vivre. It looks, in retrospect, too theatrical. It’s the only really energetic recollection I have of myself, but I’m sure there were others.
  • I am the Face of Depression and This is My Story. (dmmcginnis.wordpress.com)
    We are told that, tragically, Mr. Williams took his own life after suffering from major depression. I think this is ultimately why it has hit us so hard.  Society as a whole stigmatizes depression, they sweep it under the rug and make it even harder for those that are suffering. People as a whole do not understand truly what depression is. I think Mr. Sean McGuire would agree with me that you can not truly understand depression unless you have experienced it. To suggest otherwise is insulting and asinine.
  • Depression-seeking help (exegete77.wordpress.com)
    Over the last four years since I began writing about depression and the Christian life, several people have contacted me about depression. They had been battling it for months or years.

    For some the fear is that a Christian should not have a problem with depression. Some view it as a sign of weakness or lack of faith. Others see a continuing rerun of the same thing. For some depression seems to establish a life of its own that seems to never end, rearing its ugly head time after time.

  • Depression – let’s tell the real stories (kateonthinice.com)
    I did not go to my GP because I felt silly about doing so and like it was typical of terrible me to be making a fuss unnecessarily and wasting everyone’s time. I slept because I was exhausted. I did not exercise but then I had not done so previously. I bought self-help books and trawled the Internet looking for answers but I did not get better.
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    Personally, I find it very simplistic to say that there are only two types of responses that people have to depression. Every individual has their own story to tell and their contribution to make to raising awareness of the realities of depression. Whether they feel strong enough to have that voice or whether the stigma of mental health issues gets in the way is another matter.
  • Depression in cancer ‘overlooked’ (bbc.co.uk)

    People often wrongly assume that major depression is part of a natural reaction to cancer – but this is much more than transient sadness, the Edinburgh and Oxford university researchers say.

    Their report suggests a new nurse-led treatment could help thousands of people.

    In a series of studies they analysed data on 21,000 cancer patients living in Scotland.

    They found 6% to 13% of people had clinical depression, compared with just 2% of the general population at any time.

    Cancer survivor Sonia Wilson said cancer made her feel “like a burden to society”

    Sufferers of major depression feel persistently low, may find it difficult to sleep and have poor appetites.

    But researchers found 75% of people reporting these symptoms were not receiving treatment, partly because they did not consider seeking help and professionals did not pick up on their illness.

  • When the sun shouldn’t shine. (failingathaiku.wordpress.com)
    Is it just me, or on a day when someone you loved dies, isn’t it weird if the weather is nice? We don’t think that way if it is a celebrity, but if it is a loved one we kind of expect it to rain, or for the sky to grow dark early, or something.
  • How to have the best day Ever! (annasuvorova68.wordpress.com)
    When we take responsibility for one day, just today, we create a Life we want to live.
    Here are a few little guide lines for those who need a gentle reminder.
    One step at a time.
    One breath at a time.
  • Fly high. Soar and Be Free. (lovelifeandlemonade.com)
    We’ve never talked. And yet I’m so sad he is no longer in this world. Is it crazy? Crazy that I’m essentially mourning the death of Robin Williams?
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    Society has such a negative (and nasty) outlook on mental health related issues.  The whole “just snap out of it” thing, by the way – doesn’t work. Don’t you think those that are feeling this enormous amount of anxiety, pain and sadness would snap their fingers and make it go away if they had that ability?
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    Zelda Williams, daughter of late Robin Williams, has been flooded with horrific messages about her father. So much so that she has stepped away from social media to grieve in private. Ridiculous. What has this world come to? We don’t understand something in it’s entirety so we belittle, bash and demean it? Demean people?
  • Surviving Cancer & Depression: 4 Steps to Success (Part 2) (breastcanceryogablog.com)
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental illness is very common. One in five Americans aged 16-85 experience some form of mental illness in any year. Suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for all ages. According to (WHO), every year over 800,000 people die from suicide. That is an alarming statistic.

    The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use disorder. These three types of mental illnesses often occur in combination. For example, a person with an anxiety disorder could also develop depression, or a person with depression might misuse alcohol or other drugs, in an effort to self-medicate. A third combination would be incompatible pharmaceuticals that exacerbate mental illness during treatment for a physical illness.

  • The Dark Cloud Of Depression (anempoweredspirit.com)
    It felt as if I was imprisoned in my own body, unable to be the person I once was. I couldn’t get dressed, I couldn’t eat, and I had no interest in anything but the dark cloud. I began losing weight, and sat in a chair all day and stared out the window.

Connect. Evolve. Thrive.

Robin WilliamsRIP Robin Williams.

Robin Williams was an amazingly gifted man. His joys and his sorrows were palpable to the audience- whether he was performing stand-up or acting. He made all of us feel: laughter, elation, sadness and pain.

His manic style and twinkling eyes were a part of my childhood- and when I heard of his suicide- I cried. I was surprised by how hard it hit me, but I believe it is also a testament to his gifts as an entertainer that I felt so connected to a man I never met.

I also cried because it always devastates me when I hear that someone who has battled depression has lost their fight. The joy and laughter that Robin Williams gave to so many was not available to him when he needed it on Monday. And the world is surely a less joyous place as a result.

Robin Williams…

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National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

National minority Mental-health-awareness-month JulyJuly is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and health officials are using it to call attention to some surprising figures.

In many economical thriving countries a lot of problems occur by people who would like to be different or would love to have their dreams become reality.

Issues in Mental Health Nursing

Issues in Mental Health Nursing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of people think the United States of America is the best place to be happy and successful. But that country, like the West-European countries is not the place where many people seem to feel they have a healthy mind.

One in five American adults will battle some sort of mental health issue in their lifetime, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. While that may seem high, the data is even more staggering when it comes to minorities.

Hispanic high school girls are 70 percent more likely than their white counterparts to attempt suicide.

Whites are more than 50 percent more likely than Blacks to receive prescriptions to treat depression and other issues.

Asian women are the leading victims of suicide among senior citizens.

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon

Mental Health Awareness Ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The challenge for mental health professionals trying to curb those statics is overcoming long-held stigmas that have kept certain groups from seeking the help they need.

There are still a lot of stigma’s around mental health. Stigmas, limited access to care, and social and economic stresses are among the factors that keep some minorities from treating or even acknowledging mental illness.

There are multiple things we need to do to bring greater awareness to minority mental health:

  1. Build awareness
  2. Remember services are difficult to locate
  3. Remind clinicians and mental health professionals to be culturally competent
  4. Understand that:
    • Many cultures lack knowledge about mental illness or see it as taboo
    • Lack support from their own culture to seek services
    • Do not trust opposite cultures helping them
    • Struggle with gender bias

Read more here or check into this great research article published on the topic.

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How do Other People Feel About Mental Health?

We all have the choice either to make something in our life or to let life break us.

We better choose to do something and let not fear prohibit us to take further steps. By falling and standing up we get much further than by lying down and hoping we shall get somewhere.

People who feel sorry with us are perhaps not the right people to stay in contact with or to have a nice liaison with.

People are to fast to say a person has a psychological disorder.It is not because you are not the same as the majority that you would be insane or not normal. It also does not say you have a mental illness, and when a person has a mental ilness it does not mean he or she should not have a place in our society and would not be able to do good in our society.

When a person is facing depression and anxiety this may be at a certain point in his or her life, a moment of mental disease, which can pass and should pass when the person can find the strength in making the right contacts and in starting to believe in him or herself.

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Find also to read:

  1. Fear, struggles, sadness, bad feelings and depression
  2. Anxiety’s Hold
  3. Anxiety is the gap between the now and the later
  4. When discouraged facing opposition
  5. It continues to be a never ending, exhausting battle for survival.
  6. What If you’re only driven by stress?
  7. Depression, Anxiety, Pressure and megachurches
  8. Thanksgiving wisdom: Why gratitude is good for your health
  9. Aligned
  10. Some one or something to fear #2 Attitude and Reactions
  11. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  12. Some one or something to fear #4 Families and Competition
  13. Fearing the right person
  14. Searching for fulfilment and meaning through own efforts, facing unsatisfaction and depression
  15. Come ye yourselves apart … and rest awhile (Mark 6:31)

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  • Breaking Taboo….. (nocrybabies.net)
    Of all the taboo topics in the world I think mental illness wins first place for the longest running taboo subject of all time.  We have evolved and come around in matters of sex, gender identity and homosexuality but mental illness……that’s still something most people would rather keep locked up in the dark taboo closet because it is just too uncomfortable to get in to.Mental illness is not just the crazy killer type depicted in Hollywood movies or the crazy guy on the corner yelling at the air.  Many times it something more miniscule like anxiety or depression.  Just like back in the 80’s when people thought AIDS was spread by air or touch, mental illness suffers this same ignorance, this same mis-education of sorts.

    Look around the room you are in, look around your neighborhood, look at your co-workers…..chances are at least one of the people you just scanned over has a mental illness.  Surprised?  Many sufferers are high functioning members of society but they are battling internal forces in the way their mind thinks, perceives and feels.  This does not make them scary, this does not make them unpredictable, this does not make them less of a human being, it just makes them people who have struggles the rest of us do not understand.

  • Ideology and Insanity: What is Mental Illness? (rationaloptimist.wordpress.com)
    the whole enterprise of modern American mind doctoring aims at making us a more collectivist society. That’s the import of his saying “mental illness” labeling is a guise for enforcing social conformism. Szasz maintains that for most people in mental institutions, being “treated” for “their own good” is basically a fiction for what is really imprisonment. Moreover, since Szasz wrote in 1970, there’s been a huge shift from putting mentally ill people in asylums to literally jailing them. (See this recent article in The Economist.)
  • Mentally ill people need to be helped, not hounded | Polly Toynbee (theguardian.com)
    mental health would get “parity of esteem” with physical health, but so far there is little sign of it. Instead the government has just cut the tariff paid for mental healthcare by more than it cut the tariff for physical treatments. Norman Lamb spoke at the launch of the Layard and Clark campaign in the Commons, protesting that mental health “was first to be cut and isn’t getting a fair share of attention”. Had he forgotten that he is himself a health minister who could say no?
  • “Time to change the language we use about mental health” – Gary Nunn for The Guardian (thebigmadexperience.wordpress.com)
    We’ve all had a mental, mad or manic day at work. Frustration has driven us nuts or crazy. Affectionately, we may have referred to an eccentric friend as “bonkers” or “as mad as a box of frogs”. Some people might call a day of very changeable weather “schizophrenic”. The Black Eyed Peas invited us to “get retarded”. Mental health is so ingrained in our everyday vernacular, it’s interesting to me how we now unshackle meaning, intent and potential offence caused by reinforcing negative stereotypes. I spoke to Time to Change, England’s most ambitious campaign into ending discrimination surrounding mental health, for guidance.
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    What of media outlets that have misused language about mental health?
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    If you want to be thoughtful in everyday conversation, what does Time to Change recommend? Nightingale says: “The meaning of words can change over time. ‘Manic’ and ‘mad’ are frequently used in informal conversations and, while we accept they have various meanings, they can also cause offence. Using words like ‘psycho’, ‘nutter’, ‘schizo’ or ‘loony’ to describe someone with mental health problem is certainly offensive and unacceptable. ‘Schizophrenic’ is often misused to mean a split personality, or something that’s very changeable, and usage in everyday speech contributes to the misunderstanding and stigma that there is around this mental health problem in particular, so we would advise against that.”
  • Depression in business leaders (bbc.co.uk)
    Clinical depression is an illness. Unhappiness, whether because of something that has gone wrong at work or because someone has died or divorced is quite different.”When I have clinical depression I get no pleasure out of any of the things I [normally] get pleasure out of. I lose all self-confidence and I never believe I can get out of it.”He says it is “presumptive” to think there must be an external factor – such as work – that causes an episode of depression.

    “The big question is what does cause [these episodes],” he says. “The truth is we don’t really know.” He puts it down to a combination of biological and environmental factors.

    But the mental health charity Mind says work can be the root of mental health problems. Recent research from the charity found it was the biggest cause of stress in people’s lives with one in three people describing it as very, or quite, stressful.

  • Talking About Mental Health: A Teacher’s Perspective (blogs.vancouversun.com)
    It is so meaningful for kids to meet a person who struggles with a mental illness who is doing well in life and is very much a full-functioning member of society. I think it does a lot to dispel some of the stereotypes that we have in our society about people who have a mental illness.
  • The Myths that Society Holds About Mental Illness (drdeborahserani.blogspot.com)
    It is an undisputed fact that individuals who experience mental health issues are often faced with discrimination that results from misconceptions of their illness As a result, many people who would benefit from mental health services often don’t seek treatment for fear that they will be viewed in a negative way.  The World Health Organization agrees and says that in the 400 million people worldwide who are affected by mental illness, about twenty percent reach out for treatment.
  • Anxiety – it may catch you unaware but you won’t let it defeat you! Part 2 (naomihanger.wordpress.com)
    Anxiety is not just something you get over, it takes work, time and energy and many times of falling over and having to get back up and try again. Anxiety is something that may remain a part of your life in some shape or form, but I do believe that it doesn’t have to consume your life. Anxiety may flare up from time to time depending on the situations you are faced with and there may be times when it is a daily battle but for those suffering from anxiety now with intensity and regularity I want to assure that there is hope, living a life without the constant suffocating, all consuming, debilitating monster that anxiety is possible!
  • Mental Illness Across Cultures: An Interview with Gayathri Ramprasad (thereseborchardblog.com)
    As much stigma as there lives in American homes regarding mental illness, it’s much worse in other countries. Gayathri Ramprasad grew up in Bangalore, India, where traditional Hindu culture has no concept of depression. There was no doctor to diagnose her anxiety disorder as an adolescent girl nor medicine to treat the condition.
  • Coming Out Of The Bipolar Closet (godisms.wordpress.com)
    Wonderful article from Danielle of BLC. Her strength and courage in stepping out of the darkness and into the light on BP and depression is so inspiring.
    > Coming Out Of The Bipolar Closet
    I have been open in the past about many of my mental health challenges, and yet, I had never publicly discussed the fact that I have bipolar disorder. I was helping so many other people though my advocacy and Broken Light, and yet I was still hiding. I was still afraid of stigma. A few weeks ago, I decided that I was done hiding. I published the following piece on the Huffington Post. A piece it took me over a year to gain the courage to publish. In the time since it was written, I have come to recognize that bipolar is just one piece of my complex mental puzzle, but in that moment, it felt like everything. I know many of our Collective family can empathize with parts, if not all of this piece, so I would like to share it here as well. Keep in mind that this piece represents my experience, and not necessarily everyone’s experience with mental illness. We are all individuals on our own twisting journeys to mental health and wellness.

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