Brett.Ullman

Category - mental health

How To Actually Comfort Your Partner During An Anxiety Attack (Because Saying ‘Don’t Worry’ Does Nothing)

We often talk about how someone struggling with anxiety or panic can help themselves but we rarely seem to talk about how loved ones can support people in this tough moment. This is a really good practical article on how to help people going through a panic attack.

Anxiety is difficult on a few levels for the individual that suffers from the disorder, but when it’s your partner, it can be challenging to help them get back to being themselves after having a panic attack. It’s scary, it’s confusing, and to some sufferers it can feel incredibly isolating. Let me iterate here that it is never your responsibility to “fix” what is going on, as it’s something only the sufferer can do, but sometimes it can be useful to know how to help your partner feel better. Here are a few things you can do to help your partner when they are having a panic attack.

For the entire article please click here.

Upcoming Tour Dates in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Manitoba

Saskatchewan

Date: Friday, Feb 10th (World Vision Sponsored Event)
Location: Regina Apostolic Church (808 Assiniboine Avenue E. Regina, SK)
Equipping Conference (http://equipping.ca)
Evening Parents night – 7pm (Parents 101)
This evening talk is not part of the Equipping Conference and all Parents are welcome.

Date: Saturday, Feb 11th (World Vision Sponsored Event)
Location: Regina Apostolic Church (808 Assiniboine Avenue E. Regina, SK)
Equipping Conference (http://equipping.ca)
Speaking in the afternoon of the equipping conference (Walking Wounded)

Date: Saturday, Feb 11th/Sunday Feb 12th (World Vision Sponsored Event)
Location: Regina Apostolic Church (808 Assiniboine Avenue E. Regina, SK)
Church Services (all 3) Saturday 7PM, Sunday 9AM & 11AM (Walking Wounded)

Date: Sunday Feb 12th
Location: Cornerstone Christian School (43 Iroquois St. E, Moose Jaw, SK)
7pm (Walking Wounded Talk)

Date: Sunday Feb 12th
Location: Cornerstone Christian School (43 Iroquois St. E, Moose Jaw, SK)
8:45: Students talk on media.faith.culture

New Brunswick

Date: Wednesday, Feb 15th
Location – Grace Church (41 Girouardville Road, Bouctouche, NB)
6:30 (Walking Wounded Talk)

Date: Thursday, Feb 16th
Location – Grace Church (41 Girouardville Road, Bouctouche, NB)
6:30 (media.faith.culture talk)

Date: Friday Feb 17th
Location: The Journey Church (Allison Campus, 1539 Salisbury Road, Moncton, NB)
6:30 media.faith.culture (students and parents)

Date: Sunday Feb 19th (World Vision Sponsored Event)
Location: Smythe Street Catherdral (913 Smythe Street, Fredericton, NB)
Both Sunday Services: 9am and 11am: Walking Wounded Talk

Date: Sunday Feb 19th
Location: The Journey Church (Allison Campus, 1539 Salisbury Road, Moncton, NB)
6:30 (Walking Wounded Talk)

Manitoba

Date: Wednesday, Feb 22nd
Location – Victory Family Church (127 4 Ave NE, Altona, MB)
7:00 (media.faith.culture talk) students and parents

Date: Thursday, Feb 23rd
Location – Grace Mennonite Church (1350 Pembina Avenue, Winkler, MB)
7:00pm (media.faith.culture talk) Parents/Leaders

Date: Friday Feb 24th (World Vision Sponsored Event))
Location: Zion Apostolic Church (305 Machray Avenue, Winnipeg, MB)
Equipping Conference (http://equipping.ca)
Equipping Conference: Evening Parents night – 7pm (Parents 101)
All parents / leaders welcome – no costs.

Date: Saturday, Feb 25th (World Vision Sponsored Event))
Location: Zion Apostolic Church (305 Machray Avenue, Winnipeg, MB)
Equipping Conference (http://equipping.ca)
Speaking in the afternoon of the equipping conference (Walking Wounded talk)

Date: Sunday Feb 26th (World Vision Sponsored Event))
Location: Zion Apostolic Church (305 Machray Avenue, Winnipeg, MB)
Speaking in the afternoon of the equipping conference (Walking Wounded talk)

Date: Sunday Feb 26th
Location: Calvary Temple (400 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg, MB )
media.faith.culture talk 6pm (Buntain Chapel)

If you are around please come out to these events. If you have any questions please just send me an email or a message.

Great Music Video: NF: How Could You Leave Us

Powerful music video. Check it out.

 

“How Could You Leave Us” Lyrics

How could you leave us so unexpected?
We waited, we waited.
For you but you just left us
We needed you, I needed you

Yo, I don’t know what it’s like to be addicted to pills
But I do know what it’s like to be a witness it kills
Mama told me she love me, I’m thinking this isn’t real
I think of you when I get a whiff of that cigarette smell, yeah
Welcome to the bottom of hell
They say pain is a prison, let me out of my cell
You say you proud of me, but you don’t know me that well
Sit in my room, tears running down my face and I yell
Into my pillowcases, you say you coming to get us
Then call a minute later just to tell us you not, I’m humiliated
I’m in a room with a parent that I don’t barely know
Some lady in the corner watching us, while she taking notes
I don’t get it mom, don’t you want to watch your babies grow?
I guess pills are more important, all you have to say is no
But you won’t do it will you? You gon’ keep popping ’til them pills kill you
I know you gone but I can still feel you

Why would you leave us? Why would you leave us here?
How could you leave us here?
How could you leave us? Why would you leave us?
Oh, Hey

I got this picture in my room and it kills me
But I don’t need a picture of my mom, I need the real thing
Now a relationship is something we will never have
Why do I feel like I lost something that I never had?
You shoulda been there when I graduated
Told me you love me and congratulations
Instead you left us at the window waiting
Where you at mom? We’re too young to understand where you at huh?
Yeah, I know those drugs got you held captive
I can see it in your eyes, they got your mind captured
Some say it’s fun to get the high but I am not laughing
What you don’t realise and what you not grasping
That I was nothing but a kid who couldn’t understand
I ain’t gon’ say that I forgive you cause it hasn’t happened
I thought that maybe I feel better as time passes
If you really cared for me, then where you at then?

Why would you leave us? Why would you leave us?
How could you leave us here?
How could you leave us? Why would you leave us?
Oh, hey

Our last conversation, you and I sat in the living room
Talking ’bout my music and I brought you some to listen to
You started crying, telling me this isn’t you
Couple weeks later, guess you were singing a different tune
You took them pills for the last time, didn’t you?
They took you from us once, guess they came back to finish you
Crying my eyes out in the studio is difficult
Music is the only place that I can go to speak to you
Took me everything inside of me to not scream at your funeral
Sitting in my chair, that person talking was pitiful
I wish you were here mama but every time I picture you
All I feel is pain, I hate the way I remember you
They found you on the floor, I could tell you felt hollow
Gave everything you had plus your life to them pill bottles
You gave everything you had plus your life to them pill bottles
Don’t know if you hear me or not, but if you still watching why?

Why would you leave us? Why would you leave us?
How could you leave us here?
How could you leave us? Why would you leave us?
Oh, hey

[Sobbing] Sometimes I think about like, sometimes I think about things like, you know, when I have kids, you won’t be there, you know? You won’t be there for any of that, I’ll never get to see you again, sometimes I wish I would have just called you, I wish I would have just picked up the phone, wish you were here, I mean you should of been there for us, you should have been here, those pills got you, right? Them pills got you, right? I wish you were here

Sharing Jordan’s Story

There is not a week that goes by where I don’t get an email or a phone call hearing about another student, young adult or adult who has taken their life. The way to make your church or school a relevant, accepting place for those of us struggling with mental health is to talk about it. Encouraged to see this honest article talking about Jordan and his family. Please take a few minutes to read it.

“One of the biggest struggles that I’ve had is recognizing how Jordan’s illness changed his perception of things so that he couldn’t really see things for what they were anymore,” shared Christy. “In the note that he wrote to me before he died, one of the things he said was, ‘I don’t know how much this is going to affect you, Mom’. I was shocked! He had no inkling that his death would change my whole life completely! And not just mine—like Chris already said—he changed so many people’s lives. But he couldn’t recognize the truth of how much people really did care about him.”

“I think Jordan felt that he was hurting us already and that he wanted to save us more pain. I don’t think he could ever fathom how much pain his death has caused us. So, for other teenagers, or even adults who think that others don’t care, or that taking your life is a way to spare pain for others, I feel such a passion to let you know that you couldn’t be further from the truth and that your absence will deeply affect the ones that care about you.”

Click here for the entire article.

Thanks you to Jordan’s family for sharing his and their journey.

To anyone struggling with suicide today I say this to you.

What you are going through is a season… and seasons change.

Please get some help.

Anxiety Is An Invalid Excuse.

Very powerful. Small language.

Anxiety is an invalid excuse. I fear having to tell people I’m on medication because the second I do, I see my fears written across their faces. The fact that I have to take a dose of something with an unpronounceable name twice a day just to make me feel like I’m residing on some middle ground that makes me capable of mandatory human function immediately sets off alarms that I am a lesser person, lacking independence and radiating unpredictability. All of a sudden I’m the crazy, mentally unstable girl completely incompetent and incapable of any mundane task in front of me. I don’t even dream of revealing I have a Xanax in my bag in case of emergency, because the one time I mentioned it, the faces of my friends were the same as I’d expect if they saw me shooting up heroin in the bathroom of the bar.

Click here for the entire article.

More than Butterflies: Overcoming Social Anxiety

The Signs, Symptoms, and Learning how to Cope

Great article on Social Anxiety. Please take a few minutes to read it. Very practical advice for those people struggling.

If you worry a great deal about what others think of you, you have social anxiety. You might be uncomfortable returning items to a store or ordering pizza over the phone. You might avoid social gatherings. You may have few or no close friends. Perhaps you’ve turned down job promotions because you feared needing to make presentations. Maybe you even use alcohol or drugs to feel more comfortable in social situations.

When social anxiety ramps up to this point – where you’re living your life based on fear – it’s morphed into what’s termed social anxiety disorder.

Click here for the entire article.

 

Instagram’s Newest Feature Is Incredibly Important

Social media is getting more and more isolating. Really excited to see this sort of positive engagement by a social media company. (Thanks Jeff Smyth for sending it)

We use Instagram to share photos of the beauty around us, the delicious meals we’ve eaten or created, and our personal highs. But it is a social network, and we also use it to share our feelings when we’re sad, upset, or when we need some moral support. Today, Instagram made some subtle but important changes to its app. Now, if you see a friend post something that feels like a cry for help, you can do something about it — without being confrontational.
Click here to read the entire article.
Another great article on Instagram’s #perfectlyme campaign  – Click here

Guest Blogger | How To Minister To A Person Battling An Anxiety Disorder – by Sarah E. Ball

When you have an anxiety disorder you quickly learn to avoid asking for prayer because there is a huge chance that you are going to be told to cast all your fears upon Him. The trouble with an anxiety disorder is, you don’t even know what you’re afraid of. You tremble, stutter, have heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating and racing thoughts and a million other symptoms for no reason at all. So the idea of casting all of your troubles on Him is an overwhelming ambiguous thought, kind of like if I told you to lose weight by just casting all your carvings upon Him. All good and all, until someone orders a pizza!

An anxiety disorder is not just worrying about your bills, or extreme nervousness. It’s a clinical disorder that causes your brain and your body to continually fire off panic and anxious thoughts against your will. For me, panic attacks happened 5-10 times a day, leading me to complete exhaustion and despair. Living with an anxiety disorder was such a shock to me, my family, my friends and my church because I was your good Christian woman, capable, dependable and strong. You can read my full story here

More often than not I received well intentioned advice from Christians that were trying to help me but sometimes it made my anxiety worse. As I talk and meet with many people who suffer with mental illness, I have heard countless similar stories of mental health advice gone bad. As a survivor of mental illness, I really want to help Christians know how to effectively minster to someone struggling with a panic disorder.

The 4 Worst Things You can do when ministering to someone with severe anxiety…

  1. Over Spiritualizing a Mental Health Issue – There are spiritual causes to some mental issues, to deny that, is to deny all the scriptures that teach us how to guard our minds. However, when you take a mental health issue, like anxiety, and mentor the sufferer through generational curses or demonic deliverances, you can add to the terror and confusion that happens when you are going through a breakdown. God did lead out of crippling anxiety through addressing some spiritual issues in my life, but not until I was mentally and physically taken care of.
    When a person feels like they are one breath away from sanity, which is a major symptom of battling an anxiety disorder (the fear of going crazy) you run a huge risk of confirming their unfounded phobias.Be gentle with you words and your spiritual rationalizations, or you can run the risk of severely harming a person with mental illness.
  2. Blaming them for their mental health – Maybe you’re not reading your bible enough, or if you only spent more time in prayer, or worse, perhaps there is sin in your life. Listen, when I went through my breakdown it was so severe that it escalated to OCD and suicidal despair. I was very ill. However, at the time that I had my breakdown I had NEVER been so close to God. I prayed continuously, worship music always played in my home, I did bible studies, and was the Sunday School Coordinator and Worship singer. I was a mom of 5 kids, and had a great marriage. I spiritually did not deserve to break down, but I did, because sometimes, just like our kidneys fail, and our hearts fail, so do our minds.When you blame a person, or ask them what part they have to play in their breakdown you bring shame. Shame, in my opinion, is one of the most destructive mindsets a person can own and when you add that to a mental illness diagnosis you have just possibly opened a door to despair. Would you punish your child for their sins by inflicting torment, terror and panic? I don’t think our Heavenly Father would either.
  3. Don’t give too much spiritual home work – In my healing, it took a lot of work on my part. It was my persistence to get out of the house, exercise, create healthier boundaries, rest and spend time with God that led me to freedom. So I absolutely believe that it takes work to get better. However, when you are exhausted fighting endless fear all day long, and often into the evenings, you need rest. Added pressure to be more, or do more can really rob a mentally ill person of the rest they need to recover.
  4. Give Pat Answers & Scriptures – Jesus rarely threw scripture at the sick and mentally tortured, but he threw a lot at the Pharisees. If you don’t have anything realistic to say, don’t say anything at all. Meaning, if you cannot explain to a person battling fear how to tangibly take their thoughts captive, or how to let God’s love cast out fear, then just don’t. God personally took me on a powerful journey through the bible. They weren’t effective until I had a deeper understanding into the well-known fear scriptures. Before you pass on an encouraging scripture to a trembling sufferer, make sure you pass it on with full knowledge of how it applies.

The 4 Amazing Things You can do when ministering to someone with severe anxiety…

  1. Offer rest and help them guard it – REST. The first thing God led me to when I was in the midst of a raging mental assault was rest. Did you know that A type personalities, those ‘getter done’ people, the reliable ones, the ‘how do they do it all’ people are the most susceptible to a breakdown? Why? Because rest is for weaklings, in their opinion. I quote often on my blog, “lack of rest got me into this mess, so rest is what will get me out.” I was and still am a very driven woman. Rest is now my first defense against relapsing. Any moment I begin to feel any anxiety creeping in or negative thoughts, I make sure to pull back and find some time to rest. In churches we often preach about doing more, being more for Christ. Many church pastors display a culture of exhaustion for the work of Christ, leading to embarrassing amounts of Christians spiritually dying from burnout. Jesus did all of his ministry from a place of stillness, rest and time with God.
  2. Encourage them to seek a medical doctor – I won’t argue this point for long with facts, and stories and pleading, but an anxiety disorder, is a mental and PHYSICAL issue that needs the guidance of a doctor. There are many physical reasons for panic. Something as simple as an elevated thyroid issue can cause severe anxiety. When counselling a person with mental illness encourage them to seek a doctor first before any other treatment, and if they are prescribed medication- good! It will give them enough stability to work on the other causes.
  3. Ask them what you can pray for specifically – The prayers that helped me the most were specific prayers. Like my sleep. I slept sitting up for 4 months, I suffered panic attacks in the middle of the night. Sleep was torment for me. Specific prayers for me to be able to sleep was huge. Ask the person suffering with panic for specific prayers. They may need enough courage to go to a public event they have been avoiding, or to help with a specific fear. Giving them grace to share specific prayers will also help the sufferer speak out their concerns, and that leads to my last point.
  4. Let them share their experiences and don’t over react to crazy thoughts – I couldn’t even use a knife to prepare dinner for my family of 7. I loved to cook and now the thought of holding a knife brought me to tears as I ran to my room in terror. I was afraid of hurting myself or someone else. Would I have? Looking back now, of course not, but I was plagued with awful harm thoughts, also known as intrusive thoughts or the onset of Harm OCD. I was hesitant to tell my husband how bad I was, how insane my thoughts were, and how irrational my fears had become. When I finally shared with him, I felt such a weight lift off my shoulder, and my husband was able to truly understand why I was so tormented. Giving a person who has a raging battle going on in their mind a safe, non-reactive, and non- judgmental place to share can be life saving for them.

We may never know, in each case, what is spiritual, what is mental or what is physical. I believe that we cannot have one without the other, because that is how God designed us, body, mind and spirit. So I believe when it comes to treating the mind we should treat the whole self. If you have someone in your life that is struggling, I hope these suggestions help you to navigate your response to their captivity, they really need you. If you yourself are battling mental illness, know that you are not alone and there is a lot of help for you, find the courage to seek it out.

Sarah E Ball is a blogger, speaker and author of The Shame Project and the online series and book, Fearless in 21 Days- A Survivors Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (coming in 2017). Sarah lives in a small town in Southern Alberta with her bearded hubby and five children. Sarah is a passionate advocate for those bound in mental torment and is passionate to help them find hope, and freedom, because she is a survivor. You can follow her blog here and help her figure out where to put all those commas, because she still has no clue!

sarah

New Book: The Forgotten – looking for 100 stories from caregivers

As most of you know my life changed back in March 2012 when I had a breakdown. 4 1/2 years later I have had 15 medical specialists, 3 Psychologists, 1 Psychiatrist, 2 Naturopaths. On top of this I have had churches and individuals around the world praying for my health and the support of numerous friends and family.

Something I have heard a few hundred times in the past few years is people asking me how my wife and children are coping with my struggles. These people are asking because it is not them who is struggling but their loved one. I hear terms like these people are floundering or drowning and they don’t know what to do. For the most part the people who have been forgotten in my journey are my wife and children. They have to deal with the ramifications of my anxiety, sleep struggles etc but they don’t have the support around them that I do. I have felt a growing desire to help these forgotten people. My problem with this is that I am not a caregiver to my spouse, child or parent, I am the one struggling. What I have decided to do is to collect stories from caregivers so that their stories can help others.

I am looking for stories if your spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, child, parents or a close friend is struggling with any of the following mental health issues:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bi poloar
  • schizophrenia
  • OCD
  • other emotional issues

I would also love to hear from caregivers whose loved ones are struggling with:

  • cancer or other disease
  • diabetes
  • chronic pain
  • death of loved ones
  • loss of job
  • or anything else that you think might help others

I would love to hear how you are surviving. This is not how you are helping someone dealing with their struggle. It is you letting people know the boundaries, strategies, thoughts, supports that you have in place for you and/or your family to survive in these tough seasons of your life.

I will then collect these stories. package them up in a book (physical and digital) and we can then get a resource out for people who are caregivers.

FAQ (Frequently asked questions)

  1. When do I have to have the stories in by? Dec 1st, 2016
  2. Do I have to use my or my loved ones real name? No. Feel free to use a fake name but if you (and the person you are writing about) are willing to share your story you can also use your real names.
  3. How much should I write? I am not looking for a large chapter from each person. Maybe 500 words or less on what you are doing. I am flexible here.
  4. When will this book be out? As soon as I get the stories out and put the book together. Hopefully Spring/Summer 2017
  5. Will all stories be published? Once all the stories come in I will be able to see how many we have in each category (ie anxiety, cancer etc) I will pick (with the help of some caregiver friends) the stories that have the best strategies for other caregivers for each section.

All stories can be sent to my email at brett@brettullman.com

If you are thinking of writing a story if you could send me your name and email that would be great. That way I can keep track of how many people are involved.

If you know of someone who might be able to help in this project please forward them this blog.

Thanks

Brett