Doing Life Together

This week, Janet Parshall had me on her radio show, In The Market, to talk about a topic the church and society have  a great deal of trouble discussing–depression. The phone lines were constantly lit up. People wanted and needed to talk. Emails were sent asking for help. With  1 out of 10 people struggling with depression, we need to keep talking about it.

The news of the recent suicides of Robin Williams and GRL lead singer, Simone Battle, brings depression into our daily conversations. Yet, most people are unaware of the many causes of depression. It is a complicated disorder that requires on-going attention and treatment.

Depression can be a result of other medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, Cushing’s, heart disease, sleep apnea, strokes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hormonal imbalances, HIV and AIDS, cancer, autoimmune disorders , seizure disorders and chronic pain.

Depression is also associated with substance abuse and withdrawal from long- term use of many drugs like cocaine, sedatives, narcotics and steroids.

It is more common in people with a family history of mental illness, suggesting genetic involvement and inheirted traits. And people with depression have biological changes in their brains. Brain chemicals go out of balance and hormone changes can create depressive symptoms.

Traumatic life events such as childhood trauma, death, loss, financial pressures and stress that strains a person’s ability to cope all play a role as well. Certain personality traits make a person more susceptible to depression. Medication side-effects can cause depression.  For example, a common medication like Accutane used to treat acne has a side effect of depression in some people.

And while the causes of depression are complicated, treatment is available and effective. We know the signs–difficulty concentrating, fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, insomnia or excessive sleeping, loss of pleasure, overeating or appetite changes, sad, anxious or empty feelings, and thoughts of suicide.

If you struggle, don’t do so in silence. Tell your physician or a mental health professional and get the help you need.

And because so many people are affected by depression, let’s keep talking even when a celebrity isn’t in the news. People’s lives may depend on it.


affairWe all know how devastating an affair can be to a marriage. The question often asked is, “Should I try to work through the betrayal and give the person another chance?”

It’s a question most of us hope we never have to answer.

If you are faced with this question, slow down and consider what is at stake and what is behind the cheating. I know, you may not care because the breach is so painful, but most cheating comes out of relationship problems that need some attention. Clearly, cheating is a choice made by one person, but it is often driven by issues in the relationship than need to be addressed.

If both partners are willing to work on the relationship by acknowledging their shortcomings, there is the possibility of rebuilding trust and growing in intimacy.

But before willingness can be assessed, the most important factor is the repentance of the person who had the affair.

Is the person truly sorry, repentant and willing to do what is necessary to try again? This requires complete cut off of the extramarital relationship, a commitment to honesty, a sincere apology and request for forgiveness. Then the person must be ready to answer questions.

Forgiving the person who cheated may take time. If you can’t forgive eventually, you won’t move forward –alone or in the relationship. Forgiving someone doesn’t necessarily mean you will reconcile, but it is the first step if you choose to stay in the relationship.


ID-10064537It’s easy to do. You are bored, mad at your partner and notice a Facebook Message from an old flame. Your curiosity is peaked. What harm could it do to answer and catch up?

Next thing you know, you are sharing the details of your life, only you aren’t talking about your marriage.

The messages get longer and more detailed. Now, you are flirting. Then one day, you find out that he will be in your town on business and would like to meet over dinner. You don’t tell your husband. After all, this is only an old flame from high school.

At dinner, the spark ignites. Those cyber chats have brought you close together. And this is a man interested in you and listening to your life and dreams. You are in trouble!’s information library reports: [i]

•       57 percent of people use the Internet to cheat

•       38 percent of people have engaged in explicit online sexual conversations

•       50 percent of people have talked on the phone with someone they first chatted with online

•       31 percent of people have had an online conversation that has led to in-person sex.

 Infidelity is often opportunity-driven. Social media provide many opportunities!

Posts that become too intimate or tantalizing can quickly transform a trusted partner to a tempted one. Fast and easy emotional availability and regular communication with former friends and lovers can lead to affairs, both emotional and physical.

Safeguards are needed. Here are 5 to help:

1) Don’t friend a former flame or ex. Resist the temptation and flee!

2) Don’t hide that you are married. This is the beginning of secrets and deception.

3)  Think of every line you write as a face-to-face conversation. Would you say those things if your partner could hear them? If not, don’t say it.

4) Check the frequency of your communication. Frequency can build intimacy.

5) Stop flirting and hit De-friend. If you’ve crossed the line, end it now!



Source;  Lindsay Shugeman, “Percentage of Married Couples Who Cheat,”,

ID-100237853My father has type 2 diabetes. His mother had it as well. Does this mean I will get it too?

Most of us look at our family history of disease and wonder if we inherited our parents’ illnesses. We worry that because our parents had cancer, diabetes or some other type of illness, that we will get it too. Well, the good news is that you may or may not!

And there may be something you can do to lower the risk of that problematic genetic information.

For some diseases, inherited genes up your risk of getting the disease, e.g., Huntington’s, ALS, etc. But for others, like type 2 diabetes, lifestyle can activate or inactivate those genes. In other words, our behavioral choices matter.

What are those lifestyle behaviors? The usual suspects:

1) Healthy diet

2) Exercise

3) No smoking

4) Weight control

5) Stress reduction

So while we can’t control our inherited genes (you get what you get), we can control our behavior, which can reduce our risk of getting certain diseases. The genes do not change, but our behavior changes the way the genetic information is used.

So stop worrying! That creates# 5 on the list! Instead, take action and do what you can to lower your risk!