Brett.Ullman

Category - mental health

Doing These Two Simple Activities Together Can Reduce Depression by 40% in Two Months

I am always scared when any article says you can fix/reduce depression or anxiety by doing certain things. I began reading this article being sceptical. I ended up really liking this article. If you have seen my talk on mental health I talk about a body, mind and soul approach. We need to look at all of these areas. This article looks at meditation (breathing exercises) and exercise. Cannot go wrong with these 2 things.

The connection between our minds and our bodies is profound. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that the way to strong mental health involves bringing our physical selves on board. Recent research has made this strikingly clear, showing how the symptoms of depression can be reduced by 40% with an easy mind/body activity combination.

Click here for entire article.

What’s So Funny About Mental Illness? | Ruby Wax | TED Talks

Fun talk on mental health. Note: Not a faith based perspective.

Diseases of the body garner sympathy, says comedian Ruby Wax — except those of the brain. Why is that? With dazzling energy and humor, Wax, diagnosed a decade ago with clinical depression, urges us to put an end to the stigma of mental illness.

We’re in a constant state of alarm

What once made you safe now drives you insane.

Your Pets are happier than you are.

Kings Kaleidoscope – A Prayer

One of my favourite things is when someone shares a new artist or band with me. Last night at a speaking date someone asked if I had heard of Kings Kaleidoscope. I had heard their name but never listened to them. I was told that their song “A Prayer” was about the singers (Chad Gardner) struggle with anxiety. I listened to this song on repeat the entire way home last night. Powerful lyrics. Thought I would share it with you.

Side Note: There are actually 2 versions of this song. In one version the singer used his actual journals and it includes a F word in the lyrics describing his feelings. If you are going to download this song just be aware there are 2 versions. Lots of debate online about the use of the F word. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression I loved the raw honesty of the lyrics in the clean version. Personally I downloaded the clean version for use in my home. I also understand being in a dark place and his use of language is something that most of us who have struggled can connect with.

This song is a real turning point in worship music to me. The honesty of this amazing song is something i really feel that every follower of Christ needs to hear. A lot of worship seems to be all about the good, while forgetting that, we are bound to struggle in our imperfect, human lives. And there are going to be times where we feel like God will forget about us, or suddenly decide that we are no longer worth his time. Now this isn’t a shot at any other worship, and i hope this is taken as such, but it’s extremely rare that we hear something so honest get put out there, and we really need more songs like this. Songs that remind us even in the hardest times, Jesus will never leave us, because he loves us.So please, if you have the time, give this song a listen and share the word of God’s unfailing love.

Why a Prayer by Kings Kaleidoscope is a turning point for worship

Video and lyrics are below. (clean version for both)

Will I fall or will I misstep?
Will I fall or will I misstep?
Will I call you with my last breathe?
Will you be there for me after?
Will I waste inside the silence
Where the fear is vicious violent?
Wicked sinner thrown to lions
With no hope on the horizon
Will I fall or will I misstep?If I fall or if I misstep
If I fall or if I misstep
If I call you with my last breath
Will you be there for me after?
Cause I’m wasting in this silence
And my fear is vicious violent
I’m a child thrown to lions
Is there hope on the horizon?
If I fall or if I misstep

Jesus, where are You?
Am I still beside You?
Jesus, where are You?
Am I still beside You?
Jesus, where are You?
Am I still beside You?
Am I still beside You?
Jesus, where are You?
Jesus, where are You?

I’m right beside you! I feel what you feel!
And I’m here to hold you when death is too real!
You know, I died, too! I was terrified!
I gave myself for you! I was crucified
Because I love you! I love you, child!
I love you!

What do you think about this song?

Stupid Phrases for People in Crisis

First off: I completely dislike this title but I think the article has some great value to it. The question is about what we say to people who are struggling. What people usually take from a title like this is that they are calling the people saying the phrases stupid and then we argue about that statement instead of the content. For some people these statements are all you know and you say them with a heart that is trying to help. What people struggling would like you to know is that for the most part these statements are more hurtful then helpful.  Lets look at how we can better support people struggling.

They suggest changing this from “God will never give you more than you can handle” to “Let me come over and help you do some laundry.” This strikes me as even more theologically correct.

They have some great thoughts on a framework for how to respond.

The first is the emergent or resuscitative stage. At this stage priority is given to removing the person from the source of the burn and stopping the burning process. The big things to think about are fluid replacement, nutrition, and pain management. Translated into crisis care, this means we’ll bring meals, coffee money, and pick up children from day care.

The second stage is the acute or wound healing stage. At this stage, the body is trying to reach a state of balance, while remaining free from infection. During this stage, patients can become withdrawn, combative, or agitated. This stage can be a lengthy and unpredictable stage. Burn victims, like people in crisis, often lash out at those closest to them. Translate this into listening, listening, and listening some more.

The final stage is the rehabilitative or restorative stage. The goal at this stage is for a patient to resume a functional role within their family and community. Reconstruction surgery may be needed. Encouragement and reassurance are critical to the person at this stage. This would translate into going on walks with the person, taking them out to a movie or dinner, having them over for coffee or a meal.

Click here for the entire article

The Unexpected Gift of Burnout

Some great thoughts here. I am seeing burnout everywhere I travel.

I prefer saying in burnout—present tense. It is a season in the valley of shadows, but the journey is far from ending. There is no defeat here, only a period of spiritual exile, where the exhaustion runs more deeply than simply being tired. Hope lies on the horizon.

Burnout is an overwhelming and all-encompassing exhaustion due to prolonged stress. It is pervasive, affecting the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of a person. In its wake lies depression, low energy, lack of immune system defenses, emotional numbness, and a sense of spiritual discouragement or defeat. The deep cynicism, the lack of desire to be around anyone, the brooding frustration and anger—this wasn’t what I signed up for when I got into youth ministry.

Click here for the entire article.

 

Pot-related psychosis linked to early ‘dangerous’ use

In the last year I have had at least 6 emails from parents who talk about similar stories from the Toronto Star article linked article.

“I was shocked. We live in a society where there is such a culture around smoking dope that people think it is cool to be a stoner. Nobody ever talks about the pitfalls.”

Researchers have established a link between cannabis and psychosis among young people, although they cannot predict who will be triggered, or why.

That last quote is the scary one. Not being able to predict who will be triggered and why.

Youths who are especially at risk are those with a family history of mental illness, or who have suffered sexual or physical abuse. Thibodeau, who went to private school and has a supportive, intact family, doesn’t fit any of these categories.

“When people start smoking before the age of 16, there is a higher risk of having a psychotic experience. We know that early use is dangerous,” said Dr. Romina Mizrahi, a psychiatrist and director of the Focus on Youth Psychosis Prevention Clinic at CAMH. “The brain continues to develop until the age of 25.”

Please take the time to read this. Love to hear any of your thoughts as well.

Click here for the entire article.

10 Thoughts on the Deafening Silence of Parents Today!

In the last month I have had over 2 dozen (24 conversations) with students, family members, youth workers, teachers and others all talking about students in crisis. You would then ask what kind of crisis am I talking about. I am talking about students in Grades 3-12 struggling with:

  1. Eating disorders
  2. Physically harming themselves (cutting)
  3. Suicidal thoughts including suicide attempts
  4. Depression
  5. Anxiety
  6. Panic attacks
  7. Burnout and breakdown

In every single one of these conversations the problem people are talking to me about is not with the desperate struggle the student is having but what to do when the parent(s) refuses to acknowledge that anything is wrong and/or will to do nothing about the problem.

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” Martin Luther King Jr.’s

So where do we go from here. First I would say we need to advocate for the people around us. Advocate means to speak up or stand up for people. We, as friends, family and leaders, need to have conversations with the parents who are not addressing these issues.

For some people you may need to sit for a second and question if maybe you are the silent parent. If so, here are some thoughts for you:

  1. How are you presently helping your child in their struggle? You should be able to answer this.
  2. How are you hindering your child in their struggle? There are always areas we can improve on.
  3. Have you created a safe environment where you child feels comfortable talking about their struggles?
  4. Are you perpetuating the stigma of mental health but not talking openly about the struggle in your home?
  5. I understand that you might feel completely overwhelmed but the situation. That is ok. How about booking a counselling appointment for you. Tell the counsellor what is going on in your child’s life and get some strategies to begin to come along side them and support them in this struggle. If you feel overwhelmed as an adult picture being a young student dealing with these issue and how much more overwhelming it must be for them.
  6. I read a quote once that said something along the lines of many parents today are so focused on the downward spiral of their own lives it is hard to think of anything beyond their own situation. Maybe some of you need to work on your own struggles first. I also think that we can be working on our own struggles while at the same time advocating for our own children.
  7. I love the book by Robert Munsch that says “I love you forever and always”. We need to let our kids know that we are always there for them and even if they struggle we will still love them. Many students say to me that they could never tell their parents about their struggles as they hear the comments their parents make about other people with similar struggles. Be careful what critical comments you say about others. You might have people in your own home dealing with the same issues.
  8. Even if you have no idea what to do or say you can say this “I don’t know what you are going through but I love you, I will be here through this journey and I will look at getting you some help.”
  9. Say something. Say anything. Just don’t ignore the problem and assume it will get better. It will not.
  10. As a parent, who has a child struggling, talk to your friends at work, church, school, sports etc. You will probably find that many of your friends have kids who have gone through similar journey’s.  Be vulnerable enough to not be ok. I have heard this quote by many people “Its ok to not be ok, its just not ok to stay that way.”

If you have any other thoughts please add them in a comment. Thanks

An Answer to Suffering and Evil / DR. RAVI ZACHARIAS

Great interview with Dr. Ravi Zacharias by Carey Nieuwhof on the topic of suffering and evil.

Dr. Ravi Zacharias is Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) and he has spoken all over the world for 43 years in scores of universities, notably Harvard, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, and Cambridge. Dr. Zacharias is well versed in the fields of comparative religions, cults and secular philosophies.

As Carey Nieuwhof mentioned above, he could ask any question he like and Dr. Zacharias would be able to give a satisfactory answer due to his extensive knowledge. So for the purpose of keeping this interview concise, they have decided to tackle the problem of evil and suffering.

In Dr. Zacharias’ latest book, “Why suffering?”, he presents what the secular philosophers call a “trilemma”.

Click here for the entire video.

Understanding Anxiety

Great simple article.

Do you feel anxious from time to time? We all do – and it’s perfectly normal. Whether it’s work, personal life, parenthood or school, life can be overwhelming. But there’s an important difference between feeling anxious and struggling with a diagnosable anxiety disorder. This Psychology Month, let’s consider anxiety in greater depth to provide clarity on when and if you need to seek professional help.

Click here for the entire article.

 

Talking about Depression within the Church

You can make your church, workplace or home an accepting place for people struggling with any form of mental illness but doing one thing … talking about it. Love seeing this video on 100 Huntley Street. Please make sure you are talking about depression and other topics in your families, small groups and churches.

Tara Lalonde, PhD is a Registered Psychotherapist today she gives insight into the issue of depression and how we need to make it a comfortable topic within the church.
For More Information: www.LifeCareCentres.com

Click here for the entire video.