Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Enough with the Gratitude!

posted by Beyond Blue

Even as I’m not very good at it, I know that gratitude is important and can help a person beat depression. Based on her research findings, University of California psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky believes that keeping a gratitude journal–taking the time to consciously count your blessings–is one of the most effective happiness boosters. According to psychologist Robert Emmons at the University of California at Davis, gratitude exercises improves physical health, as well–including raising energy levels and relieving pain.
Dan Baker writes in “What Happy People Know“:

[Appreciation] is the first and most fundamental happiness tool. . . . Research now shows that it is physiologically impossible to be in a state of appreciation and a state of fear at the same time. Thus, appreciation is the antidote to fear.

I guess my major beef with all those who preach gratitude, gratitude, gratitude as a way out of depression is that they expect a depressive to be cured of her brain disease by counting her blessings, but they would never expect a person diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer to treat herself effectively by keeping a gratitude journal.


Yes, by all means, remembering our blessings can go a far way in recovery. But it’s not going to reverse the brain damage that neurobiologists are finding happens with severe depression, and it’s not enough to pull a suicidal person out of her harrowing thoughts.
Probably the worst thing you can tell a depressive is “Count your blessings!” I can’t count the number of times friends and family, trying to help, told me to practice a little more gratitude. And each time it made me feel so much worse, like I was some greedy spoiled kid sitting on all the goodies, but pouting and moaning because my favorite tv show wasn’t on.
For me, being depressed had nothing to do with not appreciating all my gifts: a supportive husband, two wonderful kids, a stimulating career. I know that I’m blessed, but that doesn’t correct the bad wiring in my brain.
I need to say this because hopefully my honesty will assure readers like Teddie that he need not feel guilty for not rejoicing about the good stuff in his life when he’s in a depression. On the message board of my relapse post (which, by the way, has over 120 really wonderful and loving notes on it … for anyone who is presently in the Black Hole), Teddie wrote this:

I have lots of be happy and joyous about. My only son got married July 6th of this year. I am happy he found a darling girl. There is a calming peace about her for him. Their baby is due November 26 this year. I should be ecstatic. So why has this not put me there? I keep falling and trying to stay up is hard. I am struggling and want my blankie, bear, and to go into my closet.



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Daniel Moore

posted August 8, 2007 at 12:16 pm


I have been reading the articles and comments for about a week now. I want to first commend Mrs. Borchard on the courage that it takes to be transparent with very personal issues, in an effort to help people. My comment is concerning this current article as well as others (the most popular posts in particular). I understand that there is a tendency in human personality to be unempathetic in things that we may not have ever experienced and therefore don’t understand, and that when we are talking about issues in which there is a fragile human psyche involved this lack of understanding can be devastating. However I want to encourage you and others that your ‘healing’ will come from a multi faceted ‘source’. Don’t let the influence from any particular community close the door to your recieving a piece of your healing from whatever it is they represent. It is extremely unfortunate that we don’t take the time to exercise understanding in our day to day living. I am constantly saying that the key to any type of relationship is being willing to see things from the other person’s perspective. It may not change your bottom line stance but it will always change your attitude towards the person. Sometimes that’s what we need from those around us. Even if we don’t fully understand, we give the person the grace and the space to be who they are; to go on their personal journey through life and respect what that is! In that grace and space is the soothing balm of empathy and love that we all need in one way or another. After we’ve been accepted as we are, that gives us a platform for success in dealing with whatever we have to deal with. So take the faith of the religious community, take the medical breakthroughs of modern day science, take the positive energy of new age and the positive thinking of the motivational speaking industry. As you continue on your path doors will be open and the elements of your success will be made available to you. This is your journey and your story so start writing it like you want to see it. God Bless



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Blanche

posted August 8, 2007 at 1:46 pm


1974: daughter born, fiancee cheated, left him. (depressed w/ situation)
1984: raised daugh 10 yrs alone, did well although challenging & against “society” at the time, met wonderful man whom daughter & he accepted each other. (not so depressed)
2001: mother ill. (depressed)started drinking
2002: mother passed away (depression deepened drunk at funeral/started taking care of aging father)
2003: daughter married (happy for her but depressed but didn’t drink so as to not embarass her)
2005: grandson born (extremely happy but still depressed & back to drinking so didn’t want to be around him )
2006: Inpatient Psych Hosp twice (depressed alcholic who got educated on the diseases, but no follow through)
2007: Still overwhelmed, back to inpatient once, day hosp, and this time, psychiatrist, RX, & AA. Still depressed, but working on it. We have a right to be whiny; we didn’t ask for this, and while we are or can be grateful for some things in our life, that doesn’t change fact that we’re depressed, addicts, or both.
I take full responsibility for not following up on my treatment, and that would be whining about being a depressed alcholic. Following up on seeking treatment, including following Dr’s orders, and reading There’s blog, while still complaining is not whining, IT’S BEING HONEST. It’s my party and I can be grateful because I want to, and depressed not because I choose to.
Kudos to you, Therese.
2007:



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Stephanie

posted August 8, 2007 at 3:05 pm


Definitely Kudos to you Therese! Gratitude, an interesting subject indeed. When I was in AA, the topic of Gratitude would come up at least once a week in meetings. Yes, I’m grateful for the blessings in my life, sure I am. Grateful for my depression/addiction? I think not. Grateful to have an ex-boyfriend who’s also unfortunately my roommate and tells me what a loser I am? I think not. Grateful to having lost a job that also includes losing my medical insurance? I think not. Not many people understand this disease, hell, I’ve had it almost my entire life and I really still don’t understand it! I am grateful for you Therese and your guts to put it all out there, I thank God to have your blog to read daily. Namaste, Stephanie



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Dick

posted August 8, 2007 at 3:12 pm


Came home from my 12-step meeting this afternoon and saw 5 adolescents across the street just enjoying each others company in the rain. Said to them, “You folks look like you don’t even know it is raining.” “It isn’t raining! This is a beautiful day.” What an attitude. Their having fun perked up my day since the Maine rain isn’t quite so warm as it is in some places. :) I love your idea fo putting positive comments in a file to save for times such as these, Therese. God has His way of bringing people and situations into our lives just when we need them the most. Hope your husband is a snuggler since it’s great to have God, but sometimes we need Him with skin on. Been divorced for so darned long almost forgotten what it’s like.



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Cindy

posted August 8, 2007 at 3:20 pm


Gee, can I relate to your topic today Therese. My well meaning husband is a very upbeat, positive person, who always looks on the bright side. I, on the other hand, have battled with severe depression most of my life. He is very supportive and understanding, but will often say to me, “be grateful, it could be worse” or “snap out of it” or “it’s your upbringing”, “give it to the Lord to handle”, etc….
Well, I often feel worse after he says that, as it makes me also feel like a spoiled child who doesn’t get her way. We are ALL given a cross to bare in this life….some have addictions, mental illness, physical illness, etc….I have come to realize that my depression is a part of who I am and I am so grateful when I do have good days.
I think we must be strong and ask our friends and loved ones not to make “trite” comments, as they hurt us deeply. If it were so easy to “snap out of it”, no one would be depressed.
I do have a confession to make…..yesterday, my doctor got upset with me, as I haven’t had a pap test in many years. I thought to myself, “who cares, it’s my body and if I get cancer, oh well”…..
I know that sounds horrible, but that’s how I truly feel.
I really appreciate everyone’s honesty. It’s so cleansing to open up and speak the truth on how we feel.



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Blanche

posted August 8, 2007 at 5:25 pm


Cindy, your comment reminded me of Cher in “Moonstruck”, “Snap out of it!” I got a chuckle.
Seriously, I’m with you. I’m overdue for a pap, never had a colonoscopy, and haven’t seen my primary doc since I confessed I was an alcoholic. He was the one that told me not to try to quit smoking at this time, as it should be “one addiction” at a time.
Well, for me, it’s also one medical condition at a time, and depression is a medical condition, as well as the controversy of “addiction or substance abuse” being a medical condition, or “inherited”.
I think I’m going to tell my supportive “poopsie” to knock off the trite comments (he goes to Al-Anon, and now he thinks he knows everthing), and “snap out of it”. Good Luck.



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Margaret Ferris

posted August 8, 2007 at 7:17 pm


How can I help someone who doesn’t want anything to do with the family? She was seeking professional help but the doctor is bound by law not to discuss a case without the patients permission. I have tried to be patient and give this person “space” and time while still being available. Nothing seems to change and its been two years.



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Margaret

posted August 8, 2007 at 9:10 pm


This is for margaret F from another Margaret!
In my opinion, and i’ve suffered from depression for many years, you absolutely CAN’T help someone who wants nothing to do with you or other family members. her doctor’s secretiveness may seem harsh to you, but to those of us who seek help with illnesses, confidentiality is a HUGE issue! There have been times when I haven’t even really known myself why i was behaving in certain ways until a professional asked me just the right questions to unlock my feelings for me. I know those keys wouldn’t have allowed me to open up had I needed to be concerned about others being able to find out the things that made me hurt so deeply that I hasd successfully blocked them from even my own consciousness. I know it’s hard when you love someone whom you want to help, but each of us is entitled to some safe harbor or another, so even discounting the ethics of ignoring confidentiality, it may be the one thing that allows your loved one to continue receiving professional help at all. If she didn’t feel safe, she might not ever go back. I’m sure your zeal to help her wouldn’t go so far as to scuttle what may be her only life raft. You say nothing seems to change, but maybe it just isn’t changing in ways YOU can measure. Who knows how much worse the situation might be after these two years if she hadn’t been soliciting professional help? If there’s one thing my fifty-nine years have taught me, it’s that just like things can always get better, they can also always get worse. I can think of several times in my life, like my mother’s death, when I actually told myself, “Okay, this happened, and I survived! It couldn’t possibly get any worse, if I can survive this, I can survive anuthing! Each time that I gave myself that mental shot in the arm, things actually did find a way to get worse. Just because you can’t see the change doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any! In addition, two years is honestly not a long time in terms of receiving professional help! It’s been my experiece that spiritual/emotional recovery must be reached through a series of baby steps. There are only ‘giant’ steps in that old children’s game,”Mother, May I?”
PLEASE don’tgive up and stop being patient; I can gaurantee you that she is more miserable than you are! For most of us, getting professional help requires an extreme level of unhappiness. My advice t you is keep loving and supporting, and pray until your knees hurt! Familal differences are often so complicated that the ONLY cure is divine intervention. Losing your patience will do nothing beyond exacerbating your own misery as well as that of your loved one. I know the old saw is that ‘misery loves company’, but I don’t believe that’s necessarily always true. I know the LAST thing I want for any of my family members is for them to know the dimensions of the abyss or feel the black dog of depression shake them in its teeth like a chew toy.I know both of those experiences only too well, and I wouldn’t wish them on ANYONE, not even someone like my cheating ex-husband who destroyed my belief in myself as a woman (with my help, I know; othrwise he couldn’t have succeeded!)Continue to be available while giving this person time and space, and don’t give up! I will also be praying for you.



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Larry Parker

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:42 am


This post is like an ice cream sundae on a 100 degree day (which it is, of course, here on the East Coast!).
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!



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The Secret Life of Bees

posted August 9, 2007 at 1:23 am


Sometimes gratitude journals are helpful- but,I’ve also had the same horrible guilt feelings- of how ungrateful I am-it’s another crazy merry-go-round for those of us with any sort of depression. I don’t try to fix myself anymore-or try to “be happy”-I think we should get therapy when we need it, take meds when we need to or whatever other reasonable thing we can do -whatever works for us during a difficult time. I loved reading the Secret Life of Bees –once that was what worked for me. And, deep down, I am grateful- for all that’s good in my life and everyone who really knows me- including God, knows that !



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Chris

posted August 9, 2007 at 8:41 am


I have been keeping a daily gratitude journal for at least five years now, and I totally agree with your post. Recently I went through a bout of depression (chalk it up to midlife), and though I kept up the journal, one of the lessons of it was that it wasn’t enough for me. Yes, I’m grateful for my blessings; yes, I know how good I have it compared to others. I think I do a pretty good job telling the ones I love that they are my blessings. But I had gotten to a place where I was so grateful for what I had, I had stopped wanting more, and I was stagnating. A visual image would be a river that used to joyfully run to the ocean, but stopped midway because the scenery was so nice around it–and after awhile, algae begins to grow and mask the view that made the stop beautiful to begin with.
Long story short–keep on counting your blessings, but don’t settle; God always has more in store for us if we keep reaching and moving!



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Laura

posted August 9, 2007 at 11:58 am


I don’t think Dan Baker meant that stage four breast cancer should be “treated” or “cured” with gratitude. That feels dismissive and a little bit of a spin on his point. I think he was saying gratitude is a tool for handling the fear that diagnosis creates. That’s an enormous difference. I am facing major surgery next week which may reveal cancer. I am scared out of my wits most of the time, even if the fear is just under the surface as I continue to make dinner, smile, and interact with my husband and children.
I have been learning to exchange gratitude for anxiety for most of the past year and have made such strides. With tremendous effort and practice I have actually been creating new synapses in my brain that allow me to expect goodness instead of disaster, that allow me to exchange “let’s prepare for the worst” for “let’s expect the best.” I have profound respect for every single method that helps anyone connect with a sense of well being and would not expect any one method to work for every one. I have learned to tap into joy at will by a number of different methods. But now, as I face the scariest thing I can imagine other than this happening to one of my children, I’ve found a new dimension. For me, it is true that fear and gratitude cannot occupy the same space at the same time. It takes consciousness and a practiced act of will to exchange the two. But the most effective and efficient way to make the shift is to let go of the effort that shift requires. To simply let go of the struggle, of the work, in the moments it is too hard.
When I look back, every loss, every difficulty, has led me to a better place. So there is no bad news here. There is just news. And if I think beyond this day, this week, this decade, to the experience of this life as a whole, then who is to say that someday I won’t be saying in awe and wonder, “wow, what if I’d never had that scary experience? I’d never be where I am now.” So here in my most frightening of life experiences, yes, I am exchanging anxiety for gratitude every moment that I can. But most importantly, when I can’t, I’m exchanging fear for trust, and in trust there is such relief, such joy.



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Laura

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:09 pm


postscript: I realize, in rereading your blog, you are saying Dan Baker would not expect someone to be treated for cancer with optimism but my point is he is not saying depression can cured with optimism either. It’s a tool, a piece of the whole. Dan says only, “appreciation is the antidote to fear.” He does not claim “gratitude is a cure for depression.”



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Malini

posted August 10, 2007 at 10:22 am


Gratitide may not pull one out of the doldrums of depression or other negative events happening around you. Just comparing your pain, suffering, angst or anguish to the others in the Universe, who have more pain and suffering and have no control over their lives, would definitly help one deal with their own trials and tribulations in life.
Also, in the direst circumstances, if one can step back and Thank the
Good Lord for even the tiniest bit of happiness which may have come your way, helps you deal with the depression.
Thirdly, life is precious and has to be lived to the fullest even with pain, suffering and sorrow; helps one cope with the physical or mental illnesses.
These are few of my favourite thoughts which have helped me deal with the setbbacks in my life.



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Mary

posted August 14, 2007 at 9:48 am


There are so many things to be grateful for. God has given us the tools to live a life full of glorious things. The setbacks are the devil trying to kill, steal, and destroy our joy, faith and hope. In todays society that can be depressing. But knowing that God loves us and will not forsake us is the key to holding on. Asking for stability in any situation will help guide us and staving off the devil is the key.



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Ellie Wyckoff

posted August 14, 2007 at 11:49 am


Hi Laura: Thank you for your opinion. Could you explain how you exchange fear for gratitude? Or refer me to your source?
I’m a teacher and find it very difficult this time of year. The start of the school year in a demanding school district and position grates on me. It’s that fear of anticipation and fear that someone will find me an impostor. You know, not really qualified to have the job or get the job done. Even though I’ve been teaching for years and have a masters degree. I prepare and plan to help me get through it-and it does help me. It gets me excited to go back to work but I anticipate the whole year and the feel exhausted.



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Lucia

posted August 14, 2007 at 12:57 pm


I’ve kept a gratitude journal since June 2006. Each morning I note thanks for something from the day before and/or something/someone for which I’m overtaken with gratitude at the moment — most often, my niece and nephew. Recording “gratitudes” has been so helpful in a number of ways, making me even grateful to have followed through on starting such a journal. While I don’t think that simply expressing gratitude in and of itself is a relief to depression — nor does it appear that Dan Baker says that — the deliberateness of bringing to mind something from the day before helps me gain perspective on whatever negative thing is going on with me at the moment. This morning, for instance, I was bemoaning and obsessing over my financial situation, and I didn’t even want to take the journal out. But I did it anyway. Did I feel good immediately? No, but there was no expectation of the cloud being suddenly and magically lifted. Instead, as the morning passed, the gratitude seeped into my very being and the blue mood eventually lifted.
The major wonder of my gratitude is realizing that the gratitude itself a gift from God — as though God, through an article by another Beliefnet writer, told me that remembering how he was working more consistently in my behalf regardless of any negative things that I’m used to be prone to focus on would help me. Because recording gratitude forces me to be attentive to what’s actually going on in my life, as opposed to focusing on my fears and anxieties, I know God’s love and care up close and more personally than ever before. I have problems – and financial problems are among the worst – but I know that God is with me and taking care of me because I look back and see what he’s done. One more reason for gratitude: Laura’s 8/9 response to your article — beautifully written and it speaks my feelings, as well.



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Katie

posted August 14, 2007 at 5:11 pm


Unfnortunately, I am so consumed by the pain I feel when I am in the throes of a depressive relapse that I cannot sense much else, and don’t want to, for that matter. I relish any numbness and/or disconnectedness that I get because it brings some relief of the emotional pain. It is not until I have a combination of medications on board that are effective in treating my anxiety and depression that I am able to consider the many things in life that I am truly grateful for. It is only then that my senses begin to re-awaken and I can notice and enjoy the little things in life that make it worth living. Only then am I able to feel the love and support that surrounds and sustains me. The more progress my body makes toward recovery, the more my soul recovers. And for this, I am TRULY grateful. Praying for physical and spiritual recovery for you all…



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Skyler Ricketts

posted August 15, 2007 at 3:53 pm


I understand !!! The bible speaks of there being a time and place for everything as does literature of other religions.
Go to the http://www.secret.tv.com – They agree also!
We all must continue the “Attitude of Gtatitude”
There is nothing wrong with seeing the vison of that which you want and feeling how GOOD it feels to finally have it!
Yet, we need also be aware there is a time ot seek professional help and services until one can line up the spirit and body for a total healing and other desires of the heart.
Remember, there are some that desire to benefit mankind in medical and emotional emergencies. They too, feel GOOD when they are successfully able to help.



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Vincent

posted August 15, 2007 at 4:29 pm


At times, even I don’t feel like acknowledging,much less expressing,gratitude when i’m in a depressed state.Nothing helps anymore,to bring me out of my black hole.The only two people who could bring me out of depression, no matter how severe,were my brothers, Chad and Todd.They’re both gone now,and I haven’t found anyone with the singular talent they both possessed for bringing me out of the black hole I sometimes fall into.I have since learned that you cannot depend on any one person for anything,that sometimes the only person you can depend on is yourself,because,as much as we don’t want to admit it, we can’t always depend on our friends,our family,or our co-workers,for any reason.Everyone will,sooner or later,disappoint us.Our family and friends won’t always be there for us.There are,as little as we like it,challenges that we must face alone,to either overcome them,or fall beneath them,by ourselves.Gratitude can lift you out of any depression, if you’ll let it,gratitude for the big things in life,knowing there’s a God who cares about you,having people who love you,the many freedoms and liberties we are priviledged with,both as human beings and as americans,and gratitude for the little things in life, quiet times spent with loved ones,putting a smile on the face of someone you care about,shared joys with others,pride in personal accomplishments.We have to express our gratitude for these things, we should express gratitude on a daily basis,because it’s all too easy to fall into a black pit of depression,it’s not always so easy to climb back out.



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Anthony Blackwood

posted August 15, 2007 at 6:39 pm


I know that there are lots of things to be gratful for & I’m supposed to feel it. sometimes I do, but right now I don’t, don’t want to, am not going to, & it’s an insult to ask me to, because I am feeling lonely, unhappy, anxious, stressed-out, like I’m having a mini-nervous-breakdown, depressed, & hurt by so-called-loved-ones who are continuously very rude, arrogant, selfish, inconsiderate, insensitive, unempathetic, unkind, sometimes down right mean, & I’m sick & tired of being sick & tired of it right now. So I don’t want to hear about gratitude. I would much rather receive empathy, support, & encouragement.



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Angela C.

posted August 15, 2007 at 6:39 pm


Could it be that we go through such a tremendous amount of hurt and pain that our minds get so used to being in that cycle that it is difficult to feel anything else but that ? The reason I ask is that my past 3+ years have been so bombarded with losses of loved ones and friends that were dear to me, along with a court battle, financial trouble, job issues, car accident, husband with addictions and so on. I felt like when it was raining it certainly was pouring on me and I was fighting it with barely an umbrella. I prayed to God dilligently and asked for this year 2007 to finally make much of these trials come full circle and end on a good note for me as I am having a tough time continuing to deal with this day by day. It has all affected me so much that I find I now suffer with anxiety, moodiness, have a tough time being grateful or relaxed, I have very little hope for my future and have started going for counseling 2 months ago. It has helped some, but this week I have felt like what is the use of continuing to try anway. Well, the court case is pretty much finally over as of last week after 3 years and 2 months at a close and I am having difficulty finding relief or hapiness about it. It almost seems like a little, too late to not have caused the damage it did. Thus posing my first question. So, is it because we become used to dealing with the sadness, badness, negativity that when things should be viewed as good we have difficulty feeling it and if so, how do we get back to being more balanced ? Thanks. Angela C.



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elizabeth

posted August 16, 2007 at 1:21 pm


i am grateful for being able to help students, i have a son thier age and i am grateful that my children are alive and healthy, not to metion beautiful, good took his time with my family. my oldest son seemed to be lost, 16 yrs, wanting to be a man, i did what GID expects of us, being a person of service and he led my son back home, and i am so happy, now i can help without feeling guilty that i am not helping my own son thanks to god. liz



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Pastor Elizabeth

posted August 18, 2007 at 1:21 am


I’m grateful that I have the chance to live in a free country and that I’m able to PRAISE JESUS and that He (JESUS) died for all of us so that we could have that right, but most of all I’m grateful that He Loves me like nobody else could. I’m grateful that I have a life now before Jesus called me I was on a one way street to hell,I had heard Jesus call me but I didn’t want to hear Him then,one day when I was at the lowest point of my life I called out His name and He picked me up and put His arms around me and told me that He loved me and that I was forgiven for all my past, Now I know what real Love is.May God Bless and Keep You All Love Your Sister In Christ Pastor Elizabeth



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Margaret

posted December 17, 2007 at 1:09 pm


I tend to feel that this kind of research is aimed at people who are otherwise well. It does little good for people who are mentally ill. (That is a term that still makes me cringe when I apply it to myself.) I am not in love with being mentally ill. I would not have consiously chosen this path. It only makes me feel guilty when it is implied that I am not appreciative, positive, or resiliant as I could be.
I work very hard to recover. I use gratitude, forgiveness, affermations, praying and any other spiritual or psychological tool that I can.
The context that people who are not mentally ill have for mental illness is their own experience. They are ignorant of what it means to have your mind go places that you don’t want it to go.
With all the good intentions of the New Age/Alternative Medicine philosophy, they blame people for their illnesses. Bad things happen to people. Mental illness happens to people. While it may put life in a comforting cause and effect relationship (that is, you asked for this to happen so that you could learn from it), it is not realistic. That mindsset seeks to insolate us from the reality that random chaotic events happen. One of those random chaotic events is becoming ill. God can help us out of the illness. We can work very hard to conquer our illness and learn from that experience. We are not being punished or seeking to fulfill a contract in illness. God suffers
with us. It is cruel to blame people for becoming mentally or physically ill. It implies that if you just try hard enough, you can will yourself to become well. The reality is that the best you can hope for is to learn to deal with yourself as the person you are and gleen what lessons you can from that experience.
Margaret



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Kathy

posted December 17, 2007 at 5:12 pm


Thank you for this! What a relief to know I’m not the only one who felt guilty for being depressed when I have so much to be thankful for. So often what you right helps, but this was such a huge help, especially at this time of year. Thank you for opening yourself to those around you!



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merry

posted December 17, 2007 at 11:10 pm


I,too,thank you for your thoughts.I love Christmas and all it means with His most precious birth.But,this year I am having a difficult time with the blues and can’t seem to pull myself out of it.For the sake of my children I am trying.I so miss having a deep connection with a significant other that at times I am on the verge of such despair.I have so many other blessings in my life that the guilt over this paralyzes me.Family and friends who have never experienced these feelings don’t understand.I am glad you are here.



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Ariel

posted March 15, 2008 at 8:58 am


I, too, was grateful to see this. I have had terrible things happen to me as a child. I put it behind me, and I went on with life, but several years ago bad things started happening to me, one after another, after another, and still it is happening. I am so sad, though I have learned to accept most of the losses. But the loss of good health, and a work place where I am discriminated against and harassed because of my health problems, (this is a synopsis) make it impossible to be “happy.” I do count my blessings, but don’t tell me it is going to make me healthy and happy. It is annoying at the least, and increases my sadmess at most. Counting one’s blessings works for billionaires like Oprah and for simple folks who maybe have one big thing, or maybe a few minor issues with which they must struggle. Can we call the Pollyannas stupid without sounding bitter? :)



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Dave

posted March 16, 2008 at 10:14 am


I think you missed the point. It appears you’re waiting for that “One Thing” to relieve the depression. It also appears you’re overwhelmed with these oh so helpful cheery know-it-alls that say “All you have to do is. . . . ” and when that doesn’t help they tell you that you must have done something wrong, then the guilt sets in and you wonder what you should have done different, thus adding a link in the depression chain. All they have to do is mind there own business. Being grateful isn’t a cure. It helps eliminate a link or two of your depressive thought process chain. Being depressed isn’t the result of just one “thing” it’s likely the culmination of many. Coming out of depression can be a long, drawn out and complicated process. Being grateful, along with other positive thought processes, can divert you away from some of the aspects that affect your depression and replace them with more positive thought processes. Having a different / positive outlook on life can allow you to approach depression from a different perspective. This, in turn, allows you to focus on the remaining aspects that do contribute to depression so those can be addressed. In time depression can be whittled down to something manageable. It may never go away completely but one can experience the joys in life when they come around. I’ve been there, it’s taken me nearly 40 years of listening to these cheery people and doctors all of whom had good intentions but didn’t have a clue. There isn’t just one way to come out of it. Geez, I wasn’t going to write this much but this has been therapeutic, Thanks. Holy smokes, I was just grateful.



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salume

posted October 15, 2008 at 2:08 pm


Having gratitute is actually what makes me sick. When someone is kind to me or does something that I can’t do for them in return puts so much pressure on me that I want to kill myself. Recently, a friend lent me some money and her daughter has been constantly, in a kind way, wants to find out what did I do with the money, I hate finding myself in a position to explain myself to a 17-year old selfish girl and thank them over and over for lending me some money. They have been kind to me but how can I make them understand that I am grateful and will return the favor the moment that I can.
I had a brain surgery couple of years back and my life has been up side down since. I am always grateful to everything and everyone and this makes me lose my mind.
Isn’t there limit for everything?



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