Category - mental health

Mourning Booth

Everyone must take their turn in the morning booth but they should not have to do it alone

There is a season in everyones life of walking through the valley. Even though it is in our nature as human beings to want to fix things, sometimes all that is needed is our presence.

St. Francis: Share Jesus with others and if needed use words.

Who do you need to sit with in their mourning booth today? Then go and do it.

Brett Ullman: The Walking Wounded DVD & Digital Download

So glad to let you know that my newest talk The Walking Wounded is now out in DVD format. Click the link below!

You can still rent or purchase a digital download from our Vimeo site as well.

If you have not seen the trailer for this talk it is also linked. Enjoy



An ‘epidemic’ of self-harm: Why are more Canadian youth hurting themselves?

Pajer said the type of person who self-harms now compared to 20 years ago has changed. She said she used to expect someone with severe mental health issues such as depression or psychosis. But it’s become far more common.

“More and more of the kids don’t have what we might call a severe mental illness or a severe substance use disorder but instead are really experiencing sort of a crisis of meaning in their lives or an inability to handle their negative emotions except by cutting,” Pajer said.

“My point is that a lot of these kids don’t fit into one of our neat diagnostic categories.”

She suggested kids need to be taught at an early age to deal with and learn from negative emotions.

The Bigger Picture: Why do we suffer?

After my breakdown in 2012 I have spent the past few years researching the concept of suffering from a Christian Worldview. To be honest I found very few books that seemed to have a balanced perspective on this topic.


Last month I read a book by Richard Winter called When Life Goes Dark: Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression. I would highly suggest this book to anyone. When he gets to a section on suffering he had a list of 5 reasons why we suffer. To be honest this was the best perspective I have found. Again for people reading this is from a Christian Worldview or perspective. He talks about looking at the bigger picture in why we suffer.

1. We are caught up in a fallen world and deeply affected by it

2. We live with the affects of others sins

3. Our own sinful nature

4. We are also told that “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world” Eph. 6:12

5. God’s Discipline

As Christians we can then use our stories for HIS Kingdom and HIS Glory.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

The Secret Dual Lives of People Living With Mental Illness

This article made me think of my own struggles and how I could easily create 2 pictures of myself when I am doing well and when I am struggling.

“I hope to give a glimpse to the viewer about the internal lives of people who struggle with disorders that are often misunderstood,” she wrote in an artist statement about the series “Dualities.”

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Are you making a life despite limitations?

After having my breakdown in 2012 I have had hundreds of conversations with people who are going through similar struggles with burnout, breakdown or other forms of suffering. One of the themes I often hear is the idea of being “stuck” and not being able to do the things we want to be doing. I fully understand this thought. I was at home for almost a year dealing with depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I get the idea of being stuck and feeling like your life is over. I recently read an article that rocked me a little as it talked about how Pope Francis said that “recovery is about making a life despite limitations.”

Stigma against people with mental disorders has been around even longer than the Catholic Church. Blame for being ill or behaving oddly has accompanied that stigma. As a young doctor, I was taught to forecast to young people with a serious mental illness (and their families), like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or post-traumatic conditions, that they never could achieve lasting relationships or success in a career. It was a message to those ill that they should resign themselves to a bleak life and a fate that could not be countered. It was, as well, a clinical stance that, ironically, kept good clinicians from providing what may be more important than anything else — fostering hope and helping to heal the wounds of illness.

Francis’ message is clear: as people and institutions, we need to be welcoming (not judging); not defer to the dogma of powerful, hierarchical authorities (“Excessive centralization… complicates,” he said); serve those in need (the wounded); and practice what we preach. This is more and more the lesson taking off in my field as well, where a powerful concept of recovery is spreading. Recovery means sustaining hope, inclusion, finding strengths, building resilience and valuing, most of all, the patient’s needs and wishes first — not the convenience of practitioners or organizations, nor the mandates of received teachings or hallowed theories. Recovery does not deny illness. That would not help either. Recovery is about making a life despite limitations, which seems to have far greater application than just to those with mental and addictive disorders.

This quote is one that I have said to myself daily since I heard it. For me I am still on my road to recovery. I continue to struggle with sleep issues from waking 3-6 times each night and anxiety is a daily struggle for me no matter where I am or what I am doing. The question I now ask myself is what can I do today  in this moment to make a life despite my current limitations? Life is made up of small simple decisions each day and I am trying to see which things that I can do instead of worrying about what I can’t do. Read More

How are you?

When you ask someone “How are you doing? you will usually get he answer “Fine”. I think we need to ask a second time “No really, How are you doing?” I have found that you then get the truth of how someone is doing.


A Christian Looks at Depression – Tom Nelson

I think there are 5 reasons for suffering in the life of a Christian. This talk is a great example of the reason I would call “Fallen World”. This can basically be anything that happens because our minds and bodies are “fallen” – Genesis 3. I would also include here any natural consequences for our actions (crazy unceasing stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, pace of life, lack of exercise).   I will be doing an upcoming blog on the 5 reasons but wanted to share this decent talk. Enjoy