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Depression Help

Depression Help

Your Emotional Toolkit

posted by tereziafarkas

love | life | depressed | depression help | Terezia Farkas | author | dealing with depression | Beliefnet

What’s in your emotional toolkit? Jennifer Boyatt, life coach and speaker, believes we all have the strategies and skills necessary to cope with life in our toolkits. It’s just how or if we use them that makes the difference between healing or coping.

Jennifer lived through her own painful marriage, depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-hatred and addiction. When her husband passed away from cancer, Jennifer became a widow with six children. Instead of giving up, Jennifer started her journey of healing. I found Jennifer’s blog inspirational. I hope you do too.

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TOOLKIT

Healing and coping are two different things.  When you are coming from a place of dysfunction (like I was), sometimes your first steps are coping steps.  For me, I learned strategies and skills that allowed me to navigate my challenges and still function in the world.  I call that my toolkit.  I can still call upon that whenever I need to.  Of course, there is not always a clear demarcation between coping and healing, and there doesn’t need to be.  Sometimes they overlap.

But I just know that in my experience when I took early steps and decisions to be able to cope and function, this was good, but it meanwhile took massive amounts of energy to maintain.  I was willing for that.  I pushed through everything.  I was willing for that.  I was exhausted and still had a lot of breakdowns.

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Healing, for me, was breakthrough learning, decisions, experiences, magic where all of a sudden (or gently over time), I was released from the struggle.  I was able to live and act without consciously having to push through everything.  I just lived.  The weight of the energy it had taken to do the same kind of thing with my toolkit, was no longer there once I healed.  I became free.

Coping is still important in the journey.  Strategies in the toolkit can include specific thoughts to think, ways to induce or maintain specific emotions, scripts of things to say, habits to have in the day, and much more. (I have been sharing some toolkit ideas for the past few blog posts.) I love the toolkit, because whenever I am faced with “new ground” that my healing may not cover yet, I can rely on my toolkit instead, that allows me to take stock and continue breathing and walking as I meanwhile seek for healing.

What is in your toolkit?

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10 Things Not To Say To Someone Who Is Depressed

posted by tereziafarkas

I used to wish I had a list of 10 things not to say to someone who is depressed stuffed in my pocket, ready to give to anyone who pushed my sensitivity buttons. Some people would say the stupidest thing, and I mean really stupid, and expect that you’d be happy for the advice. I’d shake my head. “Why would you say that to someone who’s depressed and suicidal?!”

True, some people don’t know how to talk to someone who’s depressed. So here’s my list of 10 things not to say to someone who is depressed.

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  1. Snap Out Of It – Depression is a medical illness. It needs medication to bring the body back into balance. You can’t just snap out of depression. It’s like telling a cancer patient to snap out of cancer.
  2. Cheer Up – A depressed person can’t cheer up because there’s no thing or reason that can cheer you up. Saying cheer up will just make the person put on a fake smile or fake positivity for you.
  3. It’s All In Your Head – True, that’s where the negative ideas are and where the chemical imbalance is located. But life experiences and personal situations have a big impact on depression. If those aren’t also dealt with, depression can deepen.
  4. It Could Be Worse – Things in a person’s life could be worse, but depression is about how bad a person feels right now. It can feel like there’s no past or future. You judge life by how crappy you feel in that moment.
  5. It’s Always About You – In a way it is. There’s so much pain that the depressed person might not see past the pain to appreciate what others are doing to try to help. The depressed person isn’t being selfish. It’s just that the intense pain and sadness prevent being able to focus on anything else.
  6. It’s Your Fault – We like to judge and put blame on others. Tempting as it might be, saying it’s your fault means you’re judging the person based on partial facts or your bias. Sometimes there’s no real reason for depression. It can be hereditary or environmental, things beyond the person’s control. Making a depressed person feel like a failure won’t help.
  7. Get Over It – Depression isn’t about self-pity, even if that’s how it looks to you. It can take years to get to a point in life where depression is manageable. It’s not a speed race. It’s an endurance course.
  8. Don’t You Want To Feel Better? – Of course the person wants to feel better! But the question is how? Medications take a long time to kick in with their effectiveness. Therapy takes time. Energy is gone or low. Friends aren’t visiting. Telling the person go to the gym, take yoga, or meditate is frustrating because if those things worked, then the person would have done it long ago.
  9. I Know How You Feel – This will get the eye roll and close all communications. Yes, you’re kind for being empathetic. But even if you’re an identical twin, you don’t know how the depressed person feels. There are minute differences in your brain chemistry and how you perceive the world. All you do with this comment is get the person angry.
  10. Silence – Silence is as bad as saying something wrong. Silence means you don’t care or are afraid to ask. At least that’s what the depressed person will think. Don’t be afraid to talk to the person. Remember, suicidal thoughts love silence.

* Click here to find out more about Terezia Farkas and her Depression help and click here to follow Terezia on Twitter

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Jesus and Forgiveness

posted by tereziafarkas

jesus and forgiveness

Christians are familiar with Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness. It’s easy to understand when you’re reading scripture, but what about real life? Do Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness work? I asked my friend Dave. His marriage collapsed years ago. Has Dave forgiven his wife?

“It took me a while to forgive my ex,” says Dave who doesn’t want his last name used. “Once I did, all that heaviness and darkness that was glumped together suddenly shifted off me. I could see a thin crack of light and I knew if I kept it together, if I worked at it, I could be in that light again.”

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Dave’s journey is one of struggle and ultimate spiritual triumph. Forgiveness is a tough shoe to put on. It can be an uncomfortable fit. Sore spots can still open up. How forgiving should you be?

The simple answer is you should forgive and be ready to forgive over and over again.

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18: 21-22 NIV

It’s easy to judge others, especially when someone hurts you. Society teaches us to judge everything – people included. That’s not what the Bible teaches.

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“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 NIV

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6: 14-15 NIV

Forgiveness is about your spiritual growth. Being stuck in negativity saps energy you could use for other things, like being happy. Simply saying you forgive doesn’t release the pain, negativity, and hurt inside you. You must forgive from the heart. It’s a liberating feeling. It also lets more love back into your life. The Bible teaches that love is the ultimate form of healing. Love doesn’t keep records of wrongdoings, neither does love want revenge or pain upon others.

“The first to apologize is the bravest.

The first to forgive is the strongest.

And to first to forget is the happiest.” (Unknown)

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Is Depression Punishment From God?

posted by tereziafarkas

Is depression punishment from God?

Christians believe that God loves us and wants only what is good for us. One of my previous articles explained how depression isn’t a sin. Depression isn’t a punishment from God. If anything, depression is you punishing yourself relentlessly. Whatever hell you feel you are in is your own creation. What God brings to depression is hope and love.

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When you ask God to help you and give you hope, it’s all part of healing. Asking God to take away the sin of depression won’t work because God knows depression isn’t a sin. Nor is depression some form of demonic possession. Laying on of hands and asking God to make the demon leave won’t work because God knows depression there’s no demon.

An article from the Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) gives a nice answer.

“Many churches already have taken broad steps toward helping members struggling with mental illnesses. Some churches have provided ideal locations for support group meetings. Others have found ways to normalize the problem,” said Del Donaldson, a therapist and seminary professor. And most work to dispel any thought that a mental illness is a punishment for those of lesser faith.

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“Is this a punishment from God? Maybe some churches believe that,” Donaldson said. “But I think folks are better informed and tuned in to the human dilemma.”

People today have a considerable knowledge about mental illness, one that was not available in biblical times, Donaldson says.

Joyce Kaatz, parish nurse at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, puts it bluntly.

“If you have pastors or churches or staff who tell you you’re not strong enough in your faith, you might want to find another church,” she said.

“The people who say that, they don’t understand depression or mental illness.”

Is depression punishment from God?

Previous Posts

Your Emotional Toolkit
What's in your emotional toolkit? Jennifer Boyatt, life coach and speaker, believes we all have the strategies and skills necessary to cope with life in our toolkits. It's just how or if we use them that makes the difference between healing or ...

posted 7:48:15pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

10 Things Not To Say To Someone Who Is Depressed
I used to wish I had a list of 10 things not to say to someone who is depressed stuffed in my pocket, ready to give to anyone who pushed my sensitivity buttons. Some people would say the stupidest thing, and I mean really stupid, and expect that ...

posted 8:00:35am Apr. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Jesus and Forgiveness
Christians are familiar with Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness. It’s easy to understand when you’re reading scripture, but what about real life? Do Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness work? I asked my friend Dave. His marriage collapsed years ...

posted 8:00:00am Apr. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Is Depression Punishment From God?
Christians believe that God loves us and wants only what is good for us. One of my previous articles explained how depression isn’t a sin. Depression isn’t a punishment from God. If anything, depression is you punishing yourself ...

posted 8:48:30pm Apr. 09, 2015 | read full post »

Why Andreas Lubitzs Hometown Supports Family, Condemns Public Judgement of Germanwings Co-pilot's Suicide
Media are using highly provocative and inflammatory words to describe Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz and his battle with depression. Depression once again is getting bad press as a mental illness that will change you into a maniacal, ...

posted 5:38:09pm Mar. 31, 2015 | read full post »

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