Sunday, August 21, 2022

About me

(This post was first posted on 8 February 2008)

About Me
=========

Hello! Thank you for visiting this blog, dear Reader. Let me share with you a little about myself and God's mercies to me.

My name is Nancie. I am a Chinese Christian living in Singapore. I was led to seek and know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord in 1990 through the instrumentality of two of my ex-colleagues Michael Sing and Daniel Hee when I was working at SATS, Changi Airport, Singapore. My life was radically changed when I became a Christian. I went through many challenges just like everyone else, and have been wonderfully upheld by the Lord Jesus Christ through all the ups and downs in the changing scenes of my life.

In December 2001, I had a severe relapse of asthma and was hospitalized. In year 2002, I took 2 months leaves to recuperate at home. It was during that period of recuperation at home that the Lord used many encouraging Christian articles, sermons and books to minister to me. I was greatly uplifted by the reminders of God's love and faithfulness. The result of it was the design of a website to upload some of my favourite articles and sermons to share with others.

Thank God for the excellent medical care for my asthma by Dr Phoa Lee Lan from Tan Tock Seng Hospital in mid 2002. As I am suffering from mild-persistent asthma, I have to be on low dosage of maintenance medication life long. Now my asthma is under good control.

In Dec 2006, I had a severe relapse of clinical depression. At first I was diagnosed as having Major Depression. But because of the extreme mood swings I experienced, I was diagnosed in late March 2007 to be prone to Bipolar Disorder also known as manic-depressive illness, a brain condition that causes extreme mood swings from very happy or high moods (hypomania) together with lots of energy and creativities and then to very low and depressed moods (clinical depression) with very low level of energy, constant tiredness, etc. During the worst times, I experienced feelings of hopeless and worthlessness to the point of having suicidal thoughts at times. Thank God for preserving me.

I think I have experienced these extreme mood swings since around 1990 ie for over 30 years. But I can only remember more clearly of the 10 or so relapses over the 18 years prior to my diagnosis. These are relapses that occurred just before I became a Christian and then the years after. I could remember them more clearly now because my life was changed significantly after I became a Christian. I have very little memory now of my younger days without Christ.

These episodes in the first 18 years usually lasted for a few months. Different from the normal ups and downs we all experience every now and then, Bipolar Disorder's symptoms are very severe. It is a long term medical condition just like diabetes and hypertension that needs to be carefully managed throughout a person's life.

Through this severe relapse in end 2006, I was led to seek medical and counselling help for the first time, besides praying and reading God's Words plus some other helps. I thank God that after so many years of roller coaster rides with extreme mood swings, I have finally understood the reason behind them. To know that I suffer from this brain medical condition and that it has a name for it, is helping me to learn to manage it better with various resources the Lord Jesus Christ has provided so that I can live for the glory of God and be able to serve Him more effectively.

The medication, by God's grace, is helping to stabilise my mood and enable me be more functional, so that I can continue to seek and serve God. I thank God for Dr Pauline Sim of LP Clinic, Dr Tham and  Dr Chan Lai Gwen of Tan Tock Seng Hospital for their valuable helps in treating my condition.

I am very thankful and indebted to my first Doctor at LP Clinic, Mt Elizabeth Hospital ie Dr Pauline Sim Li Ping. She is a very compassionate, kind and encouraging Doctor. She always assure me that I will get well and not to be discouraged.

She taught me how to recognize early symptoms of relapses, what I can do to get better, how to adjust the dosage of medicine and other matters. She said she wants me to be the co-therapist and know what to do instead of panic or run to the hospital during relapses. Under her guidance I am able manage better.



Currently, I am being followed up by Doctor Chan Lai Gwen at Tan Tock Seng. She  is also a very excellent, kind and compassionate doctor. She works patiently with me as I learn to understand how to manage my condition.

She taught how to recognize early symptoms of relapses, what I can do to get better, how to adjust the dosage of medicine and other matters.

In January 2007, I have received professional help from a group of counsellors who are trained to manage brain disorders such as bipolar, clinical depression, OCD, etc etc and my Pastor also counselled me on spiritual matters. The professional counsellors are trained to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is a form of counselling with a focus on understanding how our thoughts affect our behaviours. Bipolar alternates between 2 extreme mood swings ie. mania and depression, and our thoughts and behaviours are shaped by these mania and depression episodes which can at times be very confusing. CBT helps to make sense of some of these confusions, and help to pick up skills to manage these mood swings so that one can be more functional.

I am thankful to God for provided me with a team of very compassionate, kind, understanding and encouraging Christian counsellors at Counselling and Care Centre, Singapore from Jan to Apr 2007. My sessions with my counsellor, Sarah (and her team), were most fruitful and encouraging. Through her counselling sessions, I embarked on a new journey of self-discovery, of knowing God, myself and others better. The benefits I derived from my sessions with Sarah continues to help me as I journey on. I am grateful to Ruth for her counsellings and encouragments between May to June 2007, when she took over from Sarah.

From July to August 2007, I was helped by Dr Spencer Lee and Yvonne Ying of Association of Christian Counsellors of Singapore. Now I am helped by my Pastor's prayers and counsels, and that of some of my elders and brethren in my church, besides doing my own reading and researching on the internet to understand this condition and how best to manage it. I am deeply indebted to the above persons for their valuable prayers, counsels, encouragements and kindness during my most difficult times.

I am now learning to look to God and learning to use a combinations of available means which our Lord has graciously provided to cope with this brain condition. You can read more about these coping means/strategies from the category "My Coping Strategies" on my blog.

With God's help, I am hoping to share my journey of understanding this brain condition and God's mercies to me with you, dear Reader. If you know of anyone suffering the symptoms similar to that of my condition, please do pray for him/her and let him/her know that it is a medical condition that can be treated. Do advise him/her, if possible, to seek professional and medical help, counselling help, some natural remedies and other helps. Do not hesitate to tell him/her about this blog.

Just click on the links in the "Label" box on the right to read my postings.

I thank God for my family Church and some friends - for all their prayers, encouragements, support and kindness. In particular, I am indebted to my dear Pastors ie Pastor JJ Lim, Pastor Linus Chua and my brethren in my church ie Pilgrim Covenant Church  for their unconditional love, prayers, supports, concerns and kind love gifts which enable me to recuperate away from work and also to providentially work on this blog. I realized these are tokens of God's love, mercies and faithfulness to me in this difficult trial. These give me the courage to press on, to look to God daily, and to seek and serve our Lord as He enables me. I am thankful to God for His mercies and lovingkindness to me despite my many sins, failures and weaknesses.

I found it helpful and therapeutic to verbalise my thoughts and feelings and share it with others who can benefit from it. It is my prayers that, God willing, this blog with all its information will be used by our Lord to help others, particularly those who are afflicted in like manner and for their loved ones and friends, just as God has used many information available on the internet for my benefit and comfort as I seek to understand my illness and manage it so that I can live for Him and serve Him.

May the testimonies of God's love and faithfulness, through all the changing scenes of life, will continue to bring glory to Him and some comfort and encouragement to His people.

To God be the glory!

"My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." Psalm 73:26

Warm Regards,
Nancie

(First posted on 8 February 2008)

Comments:
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4 comments:

Sunday, August 17, 2008 1:46:00 PM

I really appreciated reading how God is working in your life.

Please pray for me, as I will for you!

Love,
Kate.

Reply: Sunday, September 28, 2008 5:32:00 PM

Thanks, Kate. I am remembering you in prayers. Praise and thank God for His goodness and mercies. 

Warm regards,
Nancie

Monday, October 13, 2008 10:30:00 AM

My dear friend Nancie, You are a testimony of God's love & faithfulness and YOU ARE MORE THAN ABLE & MORE THAN A CONQUEROR! Indeed, the strength of your heart and your portion is God even when Bpd & your heart might fail you, He will not!
You have shown us the mercies & goodness of Our Lord as you share with us your story of wellness & your struggles to maintain functioning as close to normal. You have shown us all that it entails to have a complete package of balance with a well qualified team of medical & spiritual counselors.
You demonstrate how wonderful it is to have support of many: loved loves, family, friends & church!
Again this echoes of how necessary it is to share this MISSION with others while serving you as therapy
as you express yourself, your thoughts, your feelings so it benefits others who are suffering
like manner! It benefits us all.
I pray you receive continual encouragement from others as you walk through this with God beside
you! Thank you for allowing us to
view your beginnings to the present![I think this was one of your first posts, right?]

Reply: Monday, October 13, 2008 7:45:00 PM

Peggy, thank you for your encouragements! Yes, this is one of my earliest post :)

All praise and glory be to God for His mercies to me and the way He is enabling me to cope and live for Him and serve Him. Take care!

Warm regards,
Nancie


(This post was first posted on 8 February 2008)


Saturday, August 20, 2022

My bipolar disorder blog featured in a newspaper in Singapore

(This post was first posted on 14 April 2015)

My bipolar disorder blog featured in a newspaper in Singapore, The Straits Times (The Sunday Times)

April 14, 2015


 I took this picture at Changi Beach, Singapore



I took this picture at Changi Beach, Singapore


Fear not... When thou passest through the waters, will be with thee. Isaiah 43:1,2

My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9


Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by! Thank God for seeing us through almost a month in this new year.

Several months ago a reporter from a local newspaper here in Singapore, the Straits Times,  approached me for an interview regarding this blog on Bipolar Disorder - More Than Conquerors: (http://www.mylifewithbipolardisorder.com/). She was writing on how blogging help people cope with chronic illnesses and asked if I could share my story so that it can help others.

This interview was published a few days ago in The Sunday Times, 23 January 2011, Lifestyle section, page 9, and thank God for several readers in Singapore who wrote to let me know they appreciate my sharing of my own experiences plus the resources available. They themselves or their loved ones too suffer from bipolar disorder.


Click at the picture to see a larger version


♥  I thank God that I can testified of His goodness and mercies to me through this blog. He is the One Who sustains me daily and enable me to cope and live a useful life for Him. Thank God that He is with us through all the changing scenes in life and He is working all things for His glory and our good. He promised that His grace is sufficient for us. He is my greatest comfort, peace and strength daily.

♥  I thank God for my family, my Church brethren and friends who love and accept me, pray for me and support me in my time of need. I am thankful to God for the joy and privilege of being acquainted with several people who are also suffering from bipolar, depression and other chronic illnesses and to be able to pray, support, encourage and learn from one another. I thank God for everyone of you, my dear blogging friends, and for your prayers and encouragements. They mean a lot to me. You have made a great difference in my life and used by God to encourage me and show me His love by your friendship and encouraging notes. You are in my thoughts and prayers too.

I thank God that I am in a community of people who love God and love me, who accepts me in my illness and weaknesses, and continue to extend their love and friendship to me. To the Lord and to all of you I owe a debt I cannot repay.

Thank you once again for all your prayers as I seek to walk with our Lord and serve Him within these limitations. Through your support, prayers and encouragements, God makes blogging therapeutic to me. It not only allows me to share my thoughts and feelings, and journal them as a form of reminder of God's goodness, it also encourages me through your friendships, prayers and encouragements. I am encouraged whenever I remember that there are people who care and are praying for me, and I am not alone.

♥  I am thankful to God that besides my personal sanctification and leading me to know more of His love, grace and mercies daily, He has opened a door of usefulness for me even through this condition and this blog. Since this blog was started in 2008, several readers from different parts of the world have also written to me to share their experiences and to let me know how the resources shared on my blog have helped them.

♥  May God be glorified through this blog. May He continue to use it to help others and their loved ones who are suffering in these ways and in need. Hope our Lord will lead some to come to find peace and comfort in the Lord too.

To God be the glory. Take care.

In His blessed care,
Nancie
Jan 2011

Blogging a therapeutic tool Thankful Thursday Word-Filled Wednesday

Comments

WendyJanuary 25, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Nancie,
Wow! That is so exciting that you and your blog were featured in the newspaper! Praise the Lord! May the article be used to glorify the Name of the Lord Jesus and to help others with bipolar to see that they, too, can live productive lives, to the glory of God. You are an awesome example to me of faith, consistency (your blog posts reflect a consistent theme of gratefulness, and praise to our Almighty God!), gratefulness, hopefulness, and perseverance. I love you, my sister in the Lord, and am so grateful to God that I have been able to meet you through blogging, and to call you my friend! It is very fun to see a picture of you, for I have often wondered if I would ever "meet" you in person, and what you would look like. I look forward to seeing you someday, whether here on earth or in heaven! I am very happy for you on this event!
Greatest blessings,
Wendy Gunn

REPLY

UnknownJanuary 26, 2011 at 12:21 AM

I spent alot of time talking today about bipolar disorder and the help that is available....when accepted.

Blessings to you,
Happy WFW

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Joan HallJanuary 26, 2011 at 4:21 AM

Nancie:

It certainly is exciting to know of your blog being featured in the newspaper. I thank God for women like you, who are not afraid to share their problems, needs, situations...and through it all you glorify God! I pray that not only many who also face bi-polar will be helped and encouraged, but also that many will come to know the hope we have in Christ.

Blessings to you,

Joan

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DonnaJanuary 26, 2011 at 5:25 AM

First congratulations that your blog was featured in the newspaper! And thank you for sharing your verses and graphics today. I am thankful that we have a God who is always there for us, no matter what and His grace is sufficient. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. I believe it is helping many people who have the same journey as you.

Blessings to you this WFW!

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MaryJanuary 26, 2011 at 5:29 AM

Praise God that you are able to help others Nancie. Thank you for sharing. And am thankful with you that you are an overcomer!! Blessings to you dear girl.

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ozjaneJanuary 26, 2011 at 5:34 AM

Blessings to you.
I am divorced because my ex left me as he spiraled into breakdown.
And I could do nothing but walk through it with God's grace.
He let his intellect guide him as he turned from faith to self help.

Keep looking to Jesus

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SpinJanuary 26, 2011 at 6:54 AM

CONGRATULATIONS!!

Love to you!

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Michelle-ozark crafterJanuary 26, 2011 at 7:43 AM

Hello sweet sister friend! I am glad to see you were featured in the paper. More people need to be aware of what it is like to live as we do. Love and huggles.

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marjaJanuary 26, 2011 at 8:12 AM

So neat, Nancie. This is so exciting, isn't it? I hope lots more people find your blog as a result and that they will be helped.

May God bless you.
Love,
marja

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loriJanuary 26, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Wow Nancie....
Just another testimony to how what the enemy intends to use to destroy God uses for GOOD...and your article will touch lives you are never aware of...what a ministry.

Thank you for sharing this...
peace to you on the journey!
lori

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Heather HartJanuary 26, 2011 at 9:01 AM

How wonderful that your blog was featured! That's awesome!

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Alida SharpJanuary 26, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Congratulations on your blog being featured in the paper!

And I love the photos with the verses... thank you!

Happy WFW!

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PeggyJanuary 26, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Blessings Nancie and congratulations!

WOW! that is exciting and a great way to share on this to many and also a wonderful photo of you! You are an exemplary blogger of faith and trust and this honors God greatly! You are definitely MORE THAN A CONQUEROR! I know that this will bring glory to God! Your beautiful grateful heart and creative work is a blessing to many!

Your beautiful words to me were such a bright light to my day! Just to see you functioning always blesses me and you are clearly doing much better!

Your photos and scripture verses
truly exalt God at work in you and through you as we pass through the waters, we can rely that He is there...or the fire or the storm or the empty moments... whatever! It is because of your grateful heart that you continue to move two steps forward and hopefully no more backward ones. But I'm thankful that His grace is sufficient for you and me!

You have such a personal witness of God in your triumphs and also in your defeats you hold on to His Word and your heart is ever towards Him! I consider this an honor to know you and love you as my little sister! Your thankfulness is always so beautiful and how evident His Holy Spirit lifts you beyond the weight of bipolar. Your words glorify God as He strengthens you and holds you close! You bring great JOY to my heart and life!

Blogging is therapeutic for all of us, not just people with mental health issues. I accept you and your wise words because of who you are in Christ Jesus! I give Him thanks and praise for defeating and giving you strength to battle the highs and the lows. He is our balance! His Word is our daily medicine and there is healing in His wings! You share much wisdom and knowledge here that many can
receive and use! Not enough people visit and take the time to read, but I have and you know that you are such an enrichment and blessing to me! You encourage me in how you press on and persevere! May God continue to reward you! May this be just the beginning! May all surround you and support you as God continues His good work in us both!
May His blessings reign over you and stir you to continue with passion your artistic and ministry for His Namesake!

Indeed to God be the glory!!!

Love you so much and rejoicing with you,
Peggy
*sending a BIG hug and WOO HOO! Filled with love, peace, and JOY!
Great is Our Lord and greatly to be praised now and forever. Bless you for your beautiful message to me!
I treasure every word!

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GeorgiaJanuary 26, 2011 at 6:02 PM

wow! i am so proud of you for making this blog and getting published. you do have so much to be thankful for!

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NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Hi Wendy,

Thank you for sharing the encouraging article on praying. It is a mercy that we can call upon God and offer our praise and thanksgiving to Him for His goodness to us and also to commit our loved ones and all things to Him in prayers. Thank God that our Lord Jesus Christ has opened that way by the sacrifice He made for us upon the cross. And He is our greatest Intercessor and Advocate daily always waiting to present the prayers of those who come to God through Him. This is such an encouragement! Thank and praise our Lord!

Many thanks for your visits, prayers and encouragements. Thanks for your very heart-warming and encouraging comment! It is always so good to hear from you and your comment always make my day :) I thank God that we can "meet" through blogging. You are also a shining example to me of a person who loves the Lord and lives for His glory. I look forward to meet you one day too in person whether here on earth or in heaven! May God continue to shower His love and many blessings upon you. Take care.

Warm regards,
Nancie

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NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Hi Lois,

Thanks for sharing about the transforming work of God in our lives. It is such an encouragement and blessed hope that our Lord Jesus Christ not only transformed us into a new person when we trusted in Him but is continuing to transform us daily to be more and more like Him and there is a future transformation when finally we see Him in Heaven one day. We shall enjoy His love and worship together with all His people without hindrances of sin and remaining corruptions. What a blessed hope!

Thank you for stopping by my blog. May God bless your week!

Warm regards,
Nancie

REPLY

NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Hi Joan,

I am praying for you and your husband. Thank God for giving you peace. Thank God that He is with us and He gives us peace through all the changing scenes in life. Thanks for your visit and kind encouragements! May God continue to keep you close to Him and fill you with His peace and many blessings. Take care.

Warm regards,
Nancie

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NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Hi Donna,

Thank God that we have a God who hears our prayers and answer them in His own time and in His own wonderful ways. Truly our soul can never stop longing for our Lord to fill us with Himself and His love. Our soul is restless until we find our rest in Him. Like you, I too desire a closer walk with the Lord daily. Thank you for sharing with us. Thanks for your visit and encouragements. May God continue to draw you closer to Him and answer your prayers in His wonderful ways. Take care!

Warm regards,
Nancie

REPLY

NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Hi Mary,

Thank our Lord Jesus Christ that we have true freedom in Him! Lovely picture and verse. Thanks for sharing with us. Thanks for your visit and encouragement. It's nice to hear from you. Take care and may God shower His many blessings on you.

Warm regards,
Nancie

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NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Hi Ozjane,

Truly God is faithful. He hears our prayers and knows what is best. He answers them in His timing and according to His wills. Thanks for your visit and sharing. Take care!

Warm regards,
Nancie

REPLY

NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Hi Spin,

I am praying for you. May God continue to heal you and fill you with His love and grace. Don't give up. Hang in there! He is faithful and He promised His grace is sufficient for us. Thanks for your visit and and encouragement. Take care!

Love to you too,
Nancie

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NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Hi Michelle,

Slyvia is so cute! Thanks for sharing this sweet picture. It brings a smile to me :) Keep up your good work on the wolf! Glad you are enjoying it. It takes a lot of patience.

Love and huggles to you too,
Nancie

REPLY

NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Marja,

I thank God that He led me to your blog. The Canadian lady mentioned in the newspaper clip was referring to you :) I am so thankful we met through blogging and I have been so blessed by your sharing. Your love for our Lord and His grace in enabling you to live a useful live for Him, is a constant encouragement to me. Your giving of yourself selflessly in helping others at Living Room gives me the motivation to reach out and help others too.

Thank God that He is the One Who sustains us and gives both of us grace to live for Him. May others too come to know the peace and comfort in Him.

Thanks again for all your prayers and encouragements. May God continue to keep you near to Him, bless your walk with Him and make you a blessing to others.

Love to you too,
Nancie

REPLY

NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Hi Lori,

Thanks for sharing the lovely picture and all the encouraging verses. They are such precious reminders of what we are in Christ. May He enable us to live for His glory by His grace. Thanks for your visit and encouragements. Take care.

Warm regards,
Nancie

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NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Hi Harter,

I am praying for you. Glad you are feeling better. May God continue to restore you. I am so thankful too for the many wonderful people I have met through blogging and all their encouragements. It's such a great blessing that you have the encouragement of the homeschooling mums. Thanks for your visit and encouragement. Take care!

Warm regards,
Nancie

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NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Hi Alida,

Thank God that He is our Teacher and Guide, and we can look to Him and rest in Him daily! Thanks for your visit and encouragement! Take care.

Warm regards,
Nancie

REPLY

NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Hi Peggy,

Thanks for your visit and encouragements! It is always so nice to hear from you :) Thank you for your many kind words of encouragements! Truly Great is Our Lord and greatly to be praised now and forever!

The verses you shared from James are so encouraging. They are such precious reminders when we go through difficult times. It is a comfort that God is with us through all the changing scenes in life and we can rest in Him and rejoice in Him no matter what we go through. He enables us to grow in Him through the trials in our life and He gives us wisdom and grace to go through them. I thank God for His many goodness and mercies to me as I battle with bipolar and other challenges in my life.

I am so thankful to God that through blogging I have "met" you and many wonderful friends. Thank God for all of you. Thank you so much for all your prayers and encouragements. May God continue to make you a blessing to many.

Take care and blessed New Year to you in 2011!

Love to you too,
Nancie

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NancieJanuary 26, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Hi Georgia,

Thank God for protecting your husband. I am too for the other families. May they know His mercies and comfort. We may not understand at times why God allows certain things in our life but if we belong to Him, we can have the firm assurance that He loves us and is in total control. When we leave this world we enter into our eternal rest yo enjoy His love and worship Him without hindrance.

Thank God for blessing you with a husband who isn't afraid to serve and protect his community. May God continue to protect him and use him as a good witness for Him. May God keep your family close to Him and bless your family with many blessings. Thanks for your visit and encouragement. Take care!

with Warm regards and prayers,
Nancie

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PiaJanuary 27, 2011 at 12:26 AM

nancie, this is so wonderful! you are able to help believers and non believers alike and you are bringing glory to our Lord. i'm so sure that you brought a smile to His face. I am so happy for you. continue what you are doing because you are honoring God and surely you will be blessed.

praising God along with you!

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Nana JulJanuary 27, 2011 at 3:58 AM

I think it's amazing that God uses our trials and weaknesses to minister to others! What a great ministry! God bless you HUGE.
Happy TT
Love,
Julie

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KathrynJanuary 27, 2011 at 5:29 AM

Amen!! So glad that you are able to share your journey and your faith via your blog! Praise God!

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becky aka theRAVJanuary 27, 2011 at 10:19 AM

WOW! That is so cool Nancie! Now you are a celb. LOL Loved the picture. I had sort of pictured you like that in my mind's eye. You look like a professional writer. I doubt I could top everyone else comments that I have read here. They have said it all. I am thankful for crossing paths with your blog; for being your blogging friend as you are mine. It was great to "hear" your voice in your post again. I have missed you. I will try to catch up on older posts. Keep up the good work. You are certainly earning your crown in heaven by doing this blog. Thanks for being such an encourager for me and others. Many, many blessings to you.

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Jessica KramaszJanuary 27, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Wow! What a wonderful opportunity - Praise the Lord.

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NancieJanuary 27, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Hi Pia,

Thank God for providing for your needs. I am so thankful that He provides for me too. Truly He is our Shepherd and we will not lack anything. This is such an encouragement.

Thanks for your visit and many kind words of encouragements! It is so good to hear from you. Thank God that He is the One Who enables me to serve Him in little ways.

Take care and God bless you!

Warm regards,
Nancie

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NancieJanuary 27, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Hi Julie,

Thank God for blessing you as you seek to serve Him in your various callings! May God continue to use you as an instruments of blessing to many people.

Thanks for your visit and encouragements! It is always so good to hear from you. All praise and glory be to God. Take care. HUGS.

Happy TT

Love,
Nancie

REPLY

GranthamLynnJanuary 27, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Oh what a great post. I am so thankful for blogging too. Isn't it amazing that your blog made the news. Some people have talked about how all this internet stuff is kind of evil. But I see over and over how God is using this amazing medium for us to meet and connect and share Him. I think I met you a year or so ago. Did you make book marks? I think you sent me some! It is great to find you again. Thanks for sharing have a Great Friday.

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NancieJanuary 27, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Hi Kathryn,

It is so wonderful of God to use little Joshua. He is such a sweetie :) Indeed God works in many wonderful ways for us daily. It is encouraging to read of how He leads you and work things out for you. Praise God! Thanks for your visit and encouragements. To God be the glory!

Warm regards,
Nancie

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NancieJanuary 27, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Hi Becky,

Thank God for helping you through the week and sending friends to encourage you! These are such precious tokens of love from Him.

Thanks for your visit and many kind words of encouragements! It is always a joy to hear from you and you are truly a Super Encourager! I am so thankful to God that I "met" you through blogging. Isn't He so wonderful to connect us through the internet though we may be separated by seas and mountains? It will be so nice if we can meet in person :) whether here on earth or in heaven one day :)

Take care and many thanks again for your friendship and encouragement. God bless!

Warm regards,
Nancie

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NancieJanuary 27, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Hi Redeemed1,

Amen! It's such a great comfort that God is in control and He is unchanging. So thankful to know that He has seen you through a difficult year. He is faithful and His mercies endures forever. Though we may not always understand why He allows us to go through certain difficulties, but we have no doubt at all of His love, sovereignty and that He is working all things for His glory and our good. Yes, it is awesome to serve our Sovereign, Omnipotent, Immutable God!

Thanks for your visit and encouragements. Take care and God bless you and family.

Warm regards,
Nancie

REPLY

NancieJanuary 27, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Hi Sherry (MyJourneyBack),

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yes, I do know you and it is indeed so good to be in touch again. I have not been blogging regularly and have lost touch with quite a number of bloggers. Thanks for your visit and words of encouragements.

I am so glad you are serving God in such a wonderful ministry to needy. Keep up your good work for our Lord! May God continue to bless you and the team that is doing this great work. Take care and have a blessed weekend!

Warm regards,
Nancie

REPLY

iJanuary 27, 2011 at 11:33 PM

Hi Nancie!

PTL and congrats! It's amazing what God can do in our lives, isn't it? :-) You certainly have been such a blessing to all of us. I've always been very encouraged and uplifted by your posts as your faith is just like Peter walking on water.

Happy barks her congrats to you too and extra wags ;-)

Have a blessed weekend!

P/s: Love the picture of you in the papers. It certainly captures the very mood!

REPLY

NancieJanuary 28, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Hi LS and Happy (Serendipity),

Thank you for you encouragements! You are a Super Encourager too! Thank God for His many mercies. He is the One Who gives me grace and strength to live for Him each day, and also peace and joy in simple ways.

You have been a great blessing to me too and I am so thankful to God that we can meet through blogging. Every visit to your blog brings a smile to me. Hugs to you and Happy :)

Blessed weekend to you too!

PS: I am just a very ordinary person. Any average lady is more beautiful than me :)

REPLY

LynnFebruary 2, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Wow Nancie,

I'm just getting over here to read this now and I'm so glad I did. I just see the Lord all over your life and your strong witness to His grace and mercy in your heart.

You are an amazing woman and I long to meet you one day face-to-face. Thank you for your vulnerability and your grace. Hugging you tight. Lynn

REPLY

QingFebruary 7, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Many years back a church friend told me he was suffering from depression but I could not understand what that was. Then it hit me months back and thank God I manage to overcome it quite fast. It seemed to come with a sudden drop in my health.

Then I understood why some depressed people would even seek death to escape from it. I heard that HK celebrity Sammy Cheng suffered fro


Monday, January 24, 2022

Coping Skills for Bipolar Disorder

Dear Friends, Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements. Thank God for sustaining and strengthening me daily. I am still experiencing fatigue and tiredness. Looking to our Lord daily and continuing to learn to pace myself. Been doing exercise regularly and cut down on some activities. I am not able to do active blogging but hope to post some helpful resources that can encourage and help you and my readers. I do missed all of you very much and you are in my thoughts and prayers! Thanks again for your visits and encouragements. I found a helpful article on Coping Skills for Bipolar Disorder and thought it might be useful to you and some of my readers. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But there is good news: bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives. From my personal experiences, I have found that it is important to accept the reality of my condition, to learn to understand the limitations as well as the advantages of it, to learn to manage it and live a productive life, by the grace of God, through all the resources that are available. I am thankful to God that since my diagnosis, He has provided me with many helps and resources to many my condition and my condition is under better control. He is enabling me to live a meaningful and productive life despite various limitations of my condition. I look forward to each day that I can walk with God and serve Him, and His people. The following article is taken from the website of Bipolar Focus:
Coping Skills for Bipolar Disorder

Step-by-Step Coping:

  1. Find a good doctor
  2. Become an expert
  3. Manage your illness
    • mood charting - what it is and why it's helpful
    • managing medications
    • a healthy lifestyle helps recovery
  4. Plan for a crisis
  5. Find a community
    • United States Support Organizations
    • Online Support Groups and Newsgroups
    • International Support Organizations
  6. Practical matters - work, school, and federal aid issues
  7. Other Resources - coping with mania, depression, and life with bipolar disorder

When we give lists of symptoms and medications for people with bipolar disorder, the entire thing can seem disarmingly simple. But anyone who has been there knows that there is nothing simple about accepting and living with a chronic illness, and it's just as important to address the emotional and practical issues of bipolar as it is to know the diagnostic criteria and treatment guidelines. Those with other chronic diseases like diabetes, cystic fibrosis, or multiple sclerosis go through a similar process of grieving, accepting, learning, and adapting - and through this, begin healing and recovery.

A helpful outline to guide a healing and recovery journey is described in the acronym TEAR:

T = to accept the reality of loss. There are things that will be different after a diagnosis of bipolar, and it's important to recognize these things rather than denying or hiding them.

E = experience the pain of the loss. You are allowed to grieve what you feel has been lost with the onset of this disease, both from your own life and the lives of others. You are allowed to mourn previous goals and aspirations that must be altered to this new reality.

A = adjust to the new environment without what was lost. Whatever was lost with your diagnosis doesn't constitute the whole of your person. The core of you is still the same, and knowing about your illness now allows you to re-adapt to this new context of life.

R = reinvest in the new reality. Explore, create, engage, and live as the person you are, managing your own life and your illness as part of that life.

Below are some articles and resources that we hope will help you in your own life.

1) Find a good doctor.

Even if you already have your diagnosis, your doctor will be your ally and partner in treatment and recovery. It's important to have a doctor you can speak openly with, who will listen to you as an equal and acknowledge your expertise on your own body, who will offer helpful suggestions and be invested in your recovery. Below are some resources on what to look for in a good psychiatrist and/or health care provider, and how to find one in your area.

2) Become an Expert.

Putting a name to what used to be a vague collection of debilitating symptoms puts you in control. Knowing your disease as intimately as you can gives you the tools to manage it effectively, rather than it managing you. It can also make your situation seem much less frightening when you can understand and recognize what is happening in your own body. Here are some resources to get you started.

3) Manage your Illness - mood charting and meds.

One of the best coping strategies, suggested by professionals and patients alike, is using a mood chart to track your own episodes and symptoms. A mood chart can be a preventative tool to help identify early warning signs for relapse, a record for physicians and family to help assess the efficacy of different medications and treatments, and a therapeutic tool to organize a person's daily routine and improve awareness of the illness.

The simplest method of mood charting is rating your mood (at the same time each day) on a scale of 1-10, with one being very depressed and ten being absolutely elated. A good place to keep a record is on a wall calendar or in a daily diary. Other methods involve more elaborate charts, and a more detailed rating scale (see the links below). Some people work better with graphs, others with numbers, others with writing lists of words or paragraphs to describe their feelings. The overall goal of the charts is to have a reliable and consistent record of how greatly your moods flucuate over a period of time, so develop the method that is easiest for you to achieve this goal.

  • Mood charting resources:
    • The Mood Diary - gives an explanation of how to use the mood chart, and has a blank and a completed example available for downloading (pdf files).
    • A Mood Chart System - a patient describes how he developed a personal system that worked for him, including examples.
    • Mood Charting for Children - the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation provides examples and resources for charting your child's moods, and eventually helping him/her to track it themselves.

Another excellent coping strategy is learning how to manage your medications effectively. The first thing to do is know about what you are taking - ask your psychiatrist what symptoms your medication is treating, how long it might take to work, how much and how often you should take it, what you should do if you miss a dose, what side effects you might have and what you can do about them, and anything else that is on your mind. Keep track of your own medication information - names, dosages, how it makes you feel, what symptoms it makes better or worse - in a journal or diary. Having this information will help both you and your doctor find the medication regimen that works the best for you, and allow you to adjust it effectively as needed.

It can be an extremely frustrating trial-and-error process to finally find a medication that works for you. Please be patient and give the medications adequate time to do their job. Most people won't feel better right away - it can take four to six weeks for a drug to get into your system and start noticeably helping. In the meantime, you can help yourself by trying some of the suggestions on this page, or finding a support group to help you through difficult times. By all means work with your psychiatrist to switch medications if you are unhappy with your current one; however, try to be realistic about what medications can and can't do, and consider the relative benefits of staying on one versus trying to adjust to a brand-new one.

Simplify your medications as much as possible by putting them in separated daily pill boxes (you can purchase pill organizers with seven separate compartments, one for each day of the week), taking them at the same time each day, or taking them with a daily vitamin pill or something else that you do religiously. If you have a lot of trouble remembering, ask family members/roommates to help, or ask your doctor about the possibility of switching to long-acting injectable medications instead of pills.

Help your medication do their job by keeping healthy habits in your daily life.

4) Plan For a Crisis

Your mood charts (see above) will help you recognize what particular symptoms or behaviors tend to precede a manic or a depressive episode. Having a plan ready for relapse situations will help you get the care you need, and make sure other practical matters are taken care of, even if you are in a place where you can't effectively make decisions. One of the most difficult aspects of bipolar to deal with is the seductiveness of mania - many people don't seek help during a manic episode because they are feeling on top of the world. However, even though they can't recognize it, they still present a danger to themselves or others via reckless acts, excessive spending, uncontrollable behavior, etc.

You can take some precautionary steps while you are stable to help get through a crisis situation as smoothly as possible. Put the following information (along with anything else that might be helpful) into a "crisis plan" folder, and distribute it to your doctor, your family members, and other trusted people who can help you.

  • Make a list of people you trust (close family members, friends in the area, etc) who know about your disease and are willing to help you. Have their names and phone numbers together on a "crisis alert list"
  • List the names and contact info of your psychiatrist, general practitioner, case worker, or any other professional that helps you manage your illness.
  • Write out the particular signs that indicate a manic or a depressive episode, to help others recognize when you need help. (See some of the early warning signs compiled by bipolarsurvivor.com to use as a guide in making your list).
  • Make another list of all your medications, what dose you take, and what side effects you experience. Note any medications you are allergic to or do not want to take under whatever circumstances.
  • Leave directions for the care of your house, your pets, your plants, etc., in case you are hospitalized.
  • Write down your insurance plan information
  • Leave the names and numbers of family members and/or employers that need to be contacted in case of an emergency or an extended hospital stay.
  • Leave any detailed instructions of what kind of care you do and do not want to recieve if you are unable to make your own decisions (the legal document for this is called a psychiatric advanced directive).

5) Find a Community

Having a supportive community is important for anyone, but particularly for someone dealing with a chronic illness. A support group of friends and peers can relate to what you go through like no one else can, offer support or a sympathetic ear, and give practical advice and solutions for difficulties as they come up. For the times when you are not feeling particularly social, an online discussion group or chatroom is a great option to keep yourself connected with others.

National U.S. support groups for people who have mood disorders:

Online Support Community:

International Support Organizations:

6) Practical Matters - work, school, and federal aid issues:

7) Other Resources - coping with mania, depression, and life with bipolar disorder:

Take care and hope you have a great weekend!

   
  My friend took this lovely picture at Saipan. This is one of my favourite verse:

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: Psalm 143:8

Warm Regards,
Nancie
(First posted on 9 March 2009)

My Coping Strategies

Dear Reader,

Thank you for stopping by!

Thank God for providing various resources and ways for me to manage my bipolar disorder. See the list below:



Best Regards,
Nancie
(Posted on 24 Jan 2022)

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Can Christian suffer from depression?

Many people mistakenly think that there is only 1 type of depression which is due to sin ie spiritual depression. But in reality, depression is a complex condition. There is a condition where depression is a medical condition or a clinical condition which need treatments and managements. Can Christian suffer from depression? Dr David P Murray did a series of very informative and helpful videos on Depression and the Christian. You can find useful videos on depression, .mp3 messages on depression and .pdf notes on depression on this series of messages.

(These series 6 messages on "Depression and the Christian" are also available on .pdf, .mp3 and video formats which can be downloaded from the website of Sermon Audio )

DEPRESSION AND THE CHRISTIAN

BY DR. DAVID P MURRAY

(1) THE CRISIS

INTRODUCTION

Perhaps you clicked on the link to this video out of desperation. Perhaps, like many Christians, you are secretly suffering with a mental illness – maybe depression, or maybe panic attacks – and you have tried many remedies but are growing no better, only worse. Or perhaps someone in your family is suffering in this way and you just don’t know how to respond or help. Or, maybe, you are a pastor who feels helpless when confronted with mental illness among the sheep of his flock.

Whatever your reason for clicking, I hope you will find something in this series of addresses which will either help you in your suffering, or which will help you in ministering to the suffering.

In this introductory address we shall consider the question, “Why study depression?” In the second, we will ask “How should we study depression?” Thirdly, we will look at “What is depression?”. And, in subsequent addresses we will begin to look in detail at the different approaches to helping people with depression. We will look at what the sufferer can do, what the carers can do, and what the Church can do.

Before we go on, perhaps you are asking yourself what qualifies me to speak on this subject. That is a valid question, which I will answer in four ways.

Firstly, let me make clear that I am not a medical doctor. I have, however, checked all the contents of these addresses with an experienced medical doctor who has first-hand experience in treating many patients with mental illness.

Secondly, I have been a pastor for 11 years in the North West of Scotland, both in Wester Ross and the Outer Hebrides, areas with some of the highest rates of mental illness in the world. While I do not consider myself to be an expert, I have had multiple contacts with people who suffer from mental illnesses. This also means that my motivation in making these videos, and my methodology in producing them, is not academic but is highly practical. I desperately want to help sufferers and those who minister to them.

Thirdly, I have had close and painful experience of depression, anxiety and panic attacks among friends and some of those I love most in this world.

Fourthly, I believe that God has given me a burden to speak on this subject, a burden which I cannot ignore any longer. And, I trust, with the God-given burden will come the God-given wisdom to speak in such a way that will minister to God’s suffering people.

WHY STUDY DEPRESSION?

Mental illness is a term that covers a large number of complex conditions. So, before we proceed any further, I would like to state what aspects of mental illness I am going to focus on in this series of addresses. The area I am particularly concerned with is the most common mental illness – depression. As anxiety and panic attacks are also very commonly associated with depression (so much so that doctors are increasingly using the term “depression-anxiety” when referring to depression), we will look at these distressing conditions also.

But firstly, why should we study this subject, depression? Here are eight reasons. 1. Because the Bible speaks about it

There are numerous Bible verses which refer to depression and severe anxiety – its causes, its consequences, and its cures. The Bible does not address every cause, every consequence or provide every cure. But, as we shall see in later addresses, it does have an important role to play in the treatment of Christians who are suffering from depression and anxiety.

It must be admitted that the Bible never states that “Bible Character X had mental illness,” or “Bible Character Y was depressed.” However, it does frequently describe men and women who manifested many of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. In some cases, it is not clear whether these symptoms reflect long-term mental illness or simply a temporary dip in the person’s mental health, which everyone goes through from time to time. For example, symptoms of depression/anxiety can be seen in Moses (Num.11:14), Hannah (1 Sam.1:7,16), and Jeremiah (Jer.20:14-18; Lam.3:1-6). In these cases it is difficult to say whether the symptoms reflect a depression or a dip. Martin Lloyd-Jones argues from biblical evidence that Timothy suffered from near-paralysing anxiety.[1] A more persuasive case for depressive illness can be made for Elijah (1 Kings 17:7-24), Job (Job.6:2-3, 14, 7:11), and various Psalmists (Ps.42:1-3, 9a; Ps.88).

“The Psalms treat depression more realistically than many of today's popular books on Christianity and psychology. David and other psalmists often found themselves deeply depressed for various reasons. They did not, however, apologize for what they were feeling, nor did they confess it as sin. It was a legitimate part of their relationship with God. They interacted with Him through the context of their depression.”[2]

Another significant verse is Proverbs 18:14, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” The human spirit can help people through all kinds of sickness. However, when the healing mechanism is what needs healing, then even more serious problems arise.

2. Because it is so common

1 in 5 people experience depression, and 1 in 10 experience a panic attack, at one stage in their lives. An estimated 121 million people suffer from depression. 5.8 % of men and 9.5% of women will experience a depressive episode in any given year. Suicide, often the end result of depression, is the leading cause of violent deaths worldwide, accounting for 49.1% of all violent deaths compared with 18.6% in war and 31.3% by homicide.

It is also common in Christians. Indeed, these days there would appear to be an epidemic of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks among Christians – both young and old. This is at least partly because of the depressing state of the Church and of the Nation. Every few days there is discouraging news about Church splits or problems, and Christians backsliding or falling into temptation. Then there is the secular and anti-Christian direction of the Government as it continues to dismantle the Judeo-Christian laws and standards that our civilisation was built upon, and as it attacks and undermines family life. On top of this, there is the relentless audio-visual misrepresentation and persecution of Christians through the print and broadcast media. To top it all there seems to be an unceasing diet of bad news on the international stage, with wars, terrorism, and “natural” disasters ever before us.

In these conditions, it is therefore little wonder that Christians react adversely, and get depressed and anxious about themselves, their families, their Church, and the world they live in.

3. Because it impacts our spiritual life

We might say that there are three main elements in our make-up that affect our overall well-being: our body, our soul, and our mind (our thoughts). These are not three watertight and disconnected entities. There is considerable overlap and connectivity. When our body breaks down, it affects our spiritual life and our thinking processes. When our spiritual life is in poor condition, our thoughts are affected, and often our bodily health and functions also. It is therefore no surprise that when our mental health is poor, when our thinking processes go awry, that there are detrimental physical and spiritual consequences.

The depressed believer cannot concentrate to read or pray. He doesn’t want to meet people and so may avoid church and fellowships. He often feels God has abandoned him.

Moreover, it is often the case that faith, instead of being a help, can actually cause extra problems in dealing with depression. There is, for instance, the false guilt associated with the false conclusion, “Real Christians don’t get depressed.” There is also the usually mistaken tendency to locate the cause of mental illness in our spiritual life, our relationship with God, which also increases false guilt and feelings of worthlessness.

4. Because it may be prevented or mitigated

Many people have a genetic pre-disposition to depression, perhaps traceable to their parents’ genes, which increases the likelihood of suffering it themselves. However, even in these cases, knowledge of some of the other factors which may be involved in causing depression can sometimes help prevent it, or at least mitigate and shorten it. Others, with no genetic pre-disposition to depression can also fall into it, often as a reaction to traumatic life-events. And, again, having some knowledge of mental health strategies and techniques can be especially useful in preventing or mitigating and shortening the illness.

One great benefit of having some knowledge about depression is that it will prevent the dangerous and damaging misunderstanding which often leads people, especially Christians, to view medication as a rejection of God and His grace, rather than a provision of God and His grace.

5. Because it will open doors of usefulness

Increased understanding of depression will make us more sympathetic and useful to people suffering from it. This is taught by the converse truth in Proverbs 25:20, “As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.” If we saw someone fighting for life in the midst of a freezing blizzard, the last thing we would do is take his coat away. Such an action would be cruel and heartless, and could easily lead to death. But, says the Bible, similar dangerous heartlessness is displayed by the person who tries to help their depressed friend with superficial humor and insensitive exhortations to “Cheer up!”

In later videos we shall look in more detail at what friends and carers should say and do for those suffering with depression and anxiety. However, the general rule is that those who listen most and speak least will be the most useful to sufferers.

6. Because it is so misunderstood

“Being depressed is bad enough in itself, but being a depressed Christian is worse. And being a depressed Christian in a church full of people who do not understand depression is like a little taste of hell.”[3]

As we all know there is a terrible stigma attached to mental illness. This is the result of widespread misunderstanding about its causes, its symptoms, and the “cures” available. Some of the misunderstanding is understandable. Unlike cancer or heart disease or arthritis, there is no scan or test which can visibly demonstrate the existence of depression/anxiety. It is a largely “invisible” disease. We want to be able to point to something and say, “There’s the problem!” When we can’t, we often wrongly conclude, “There is no problem!” Or, if we are Christians, we may, usually wrongly, conclude, “My spiritual life is the problem!”

This misunderstanding is addressed in the excellent book, I’m not supposed to feel like this (a book written by a Christian pastor, a Christian psychiatrist, and a Christian lecturer in psychiatry). Near the beginning of the book, they summarise what they believe and what they do not believe about depression:

“What we believe: We believe that all Christians can experience worry, fear, upset and depression. We also believe that being a Christian does not prevent us or our loved ones from experiencing upsetting and challenging problems such as illness, unemployment, or relationship and other practical difficulties.

What we do not believe; Although at times we all choose to act in ways that are wrong and this can lead to bad consequences for us and for others, we do not see anxiety and depression as always being the result of sin; neither do we

believe that mental health problems are the result of a lack of faith.”[4]

It is absolutely vital for Christians to understand and accept that while mental illness usually has serious consequences for our spiritual life, mental illness is rarely caused by problems in our spiritual life.

7. Because it is a talent to be invested for God

Like all affliction in the lives of Christians, mental illness should be viewed as a “talent” (Matt.25:14ff) which can be invested in such a way that it brings benefit to us and others, as well as glory to God.

Dr James Dobson, the Christian psychologist, observed that “nothing is wasted in God’s economy.” That “nothing” includes mental illness.

Mind over Mood, while not written from a Christian perspective, illustrates the possible “benefits” of depression thus:

“An oyster creates a pearl out of a grain of sand. The grain of sand is an irritant to the oyster. In response to the discomfort, the oyster creates a smooth, protective coating that encases the sand and provides relief. The result is a beautiful pearl. For an oyster, an irritant becomes the seed for something new. Similarly, Mind Over Mood will help you develop something valuable from your current discomfort. The skills taught in this book will help you feel better and will continue to have value in your life long after your original problems are gone.”[5]

It is usually broken people that God uses most. In Passion and Purity, Elisabeth Elliot

quoted Ruth Stull of Peru:

“If my life is broken when given to Jesus it is because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad.”[6]

8. Because we can all improve our mental health

Most Christians try to take preventative (and curative) measures to enjoy good physical health and spiritual life. However, there is less consciousness of the similar effort required to maintain or recover mental health. There is much less awareness of the biblical strategies and sound mental techniques that can be used to achieve good mental health, which obviously has beneficial consequences for our bodies and our souls.

I have never been diagnosed with any kind of mental illness. However, like most people, and especially like most ministers, I have had low points in my life. My thinking processes have gone wrong, causing times of mild depression, and anxiety.

What I now know about improving and maintaining mental health, and what I hope to communicate in later addresses, would have greatly helped me in these low periods. What I have learned is helping me on a daily basis to overcome disappointment and handle stressful situations without my mental health suffering as much as before.

As I look around me, and especially as I look around the Church, I can see many people who have not been diagnosed with depression, and who are not disabled with it, but who are experiencing long-term, low-level depression/anxiety which is having its own knock-on effect on their bodily health and the spiritual lives.

I believe that it would not be too difficult for them to learn some sound strategies and techniques which will improve mental health, and consequently their bodily and spiritual health.

In the next video we will consider the attitude and spirit in which we should study depression.

Dr. David P Murray served as the Pastor of Lochcarron Free Church of Scotland from 1995 to 2000, and then of Stornoway Free Church of Scotland (continuing) from 2000 to 2007. In August 2007 he accepted a call to be the Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

[1] M Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, (London: Pickering & Inglis, 1965), 93ff.

[2] S & R Bloem, Broken Minds (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2005), 204.

[3] J Lockley, A Practical Workbook for the Depressed Christian (Bucks: Authentic Media, 1991), 14.

[4] C Williams, P Richards, I Whitton, I’m not supposed to feel like this, (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2002), 10.

[5] D Greenberger & C Padesky, Mind over Mood, (New York: Guilford, 1995), 1.

[6] E Elliot, Passion and Purity, Power Books (Old Tappan, NJ.: Revell, 1984).

All 6 articles on Depression and the Christian:

  1. The Crisis
  2. The Complexity
  3. The Condition
  4. The Causes
  5. The Cures
  6. The Care
My Coping Strategies:

1. Looking to God

2. Accepting the diagnosis

3. Medical Helps

4. Balance lifestyle

4a. Exercise

4b. Omega-3 fish oil supplements

5. Research and readings

6. Mood tracking and Journalling

7. Learning to cope with stress and challenges

8. Leisure, hobbies and recreations

9. Support Network (family, church, friends, etc)

10. Counselling / Talk Therapy

11. Correcting faulty thoughts patterns