In Me: Streams In The Desert, March 31st, 2012

Joni Eareckson Tada

“In me . . . peace”   John 16:33

There is a vast difference between happiness and blessedness. Paul had imprisonments and pains, sacrifice and suffering up to the very limit; but in the midst of it all, he was blessed. All the beatitudes came into his heart and life in the midst of those very conditions.

Paganini, the great violinist, came out before his audience one day and made the discovery just as they ended their applause that there was something wrong with his violin. He looked at it a second and then saw that it was not his famous and valuable one.

He felt paralyzed for a moment, then turned to his audience and told them there had been some mistake and he did not have his own violin. He stepped back behind the curtain thinking that it was still where he had left it, but discovered that some one had stolen his and left that old second-hand one in its place. He remained back of the curtain a moment, then came out before his audience and said:

“Ladies and Gentlemen: I will show you that the music is not in the instrument, but in the soul.” And he played as he had never played before; and out of that second-hand instrument, the music poured forth until the audience was enraptured with enthusiasm and the applause almost lifted the ceiling of the building, because the man had revealed to them that music was not in the machine but in his own soul.

It is your mission, tested and tried one, to walk out on the stage of this world and reveal to all earth and Heaven that the music is not in conditions, not in the things, not in externals, but the music of life is in your own soul.

If peace be in the heart,
The wildest winter storm is full of solemn beauty,
The midnight flash but shows the path of duty,
Each living creature tells some new and joyous story,
The very trees and stones all catch a ray of glory,
If peace be in the heart.
–Charles Francis Richardson

Praise & Worship: March 30th, 2012

Song List

1.  You Said-  Rita Springer

2.  Here I Am To Worship-  Chris Tomlin

3.  God Of Wonders-  Third Day

4.  Take Me In-  Kutless

5.  See His Love-  Kim Walker

6.  He’s Gonna Turn It All Around-  Misty Edwards

7.  From The Inside Out-  Hillsong

8.  Thy Throne Oh God-  Kelly Willard

9.  A Mighty Fortress-  Christy Nockels

10.  Doxology-  David Crowder Band

11.  All The Earth-  Parachute Band

Jet Blue Pilot’s Breakdown Draws Attention

Captain Clayton Osbon


It seems public breakdowns have been in the news a lot recently.  The two stories I have posted about make me incredibly sad.  Pilots are afraid to share about mental illness as they don’t want to lose their jobs.  The exact details of this pilot will be forthcoming but it’s a shame he is being brought up on charges.  Yes America, a brain can be sick.  Allan


Taken from CNN  which is located   HERE.

The midflight breakdown of a JetBlue pilot has sparked concerns about psychological screening for flight crews.

Capt. Clayton Osbon’s erratic behavior prompted Flight 191 from New York to Las Vegas to make an unscheduled landing in Amarillo, Texas, on Tuesday after crew and passengers intervened and subdued the 49-year-old pilot.

Osbon “yelled jumbled comments about Jesus, September 11th, Iraq, Iran,and terrorists,” according to a federal criminal complaint filed against Osbon. One passenger quoted Osbon as saying, “Pray f—— now for Jesus Christ,” the complaint said.

“It just seemed like something triggered him to go off the wall. He would be calm one minute and then just all of a sudden turn,” said passenger Jason Levin.

JetBlue pilot charged with interfering with flight crew

JetBlue has not elaborated on the pilot’s condition, but CEO Dave Barger referred to the incident as a “medical situation.”

The pilot’s behavior points to possible psychological distress, doctors say.

The episode could be the result of bipolar disorder or a recent start on antidepressant medication, said Dr. Charles Raison, a psychiatrist at the University of Arizona and CNN consultant who has not treated Osbon. Medical illnesses such as brain tumors, subtle seizures or hormonal imbalances could also have caused Osbon’s behavior, Raison said.

All airline pilots are required by the Federal Aviation Administration to have a first-class medical certificate that must be renewed annually for pilots younger than 40 and every six months for pilots 40 and older. JetBlue follows all FAA pilot requirements, the airline said.

Pilots must be examined by an aviation medical examiner as part of that process, and a candidate’s psychological condition is assessed.

The exam does not include a formal psychiatric evaluation, although the examiner should “form a general impression of the emotional stability and mental state of the applicant,” according to FAA’s Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners. Bipolar disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders that involve “acting out” and substance dependence generally are disqualifying conditions, according to the guide. In these cases, the examiner would either deny issuing the certificate or defer it and report evidence of significant problems to the FAA, the guide says.

“If the person is exhibiting any signs of psychosis, thinks he’s on the moon, is disoriented in time and place, if he’s taking any medicines — and the FAA is very strict — the computer won’t even let me give an exam if medicines are not approved. It’s very strict under those circumstances,” said Dr. Gabriel Guardarramas, an FAA-approved New York family doctor who performs about 40 pilot exams a year.

Guardarramas said one pilot grieving the death of his father raised a red flag for him and he deferred certification to the FAA.

“Pilots as a rule are extremely stable people,” said retired airline Capt. Steve Luckey, a 33-year veteran. “By the time a person becomes a commercial pilot, they’ve gone through so many filters.”

However, the agency’s strict criteria prompt some to hide their conditions, according to two pilots who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity out of concern for their own careers.

One veteran with three decades of experience said he’s known just a single fellow pilot who sought treatment for depression. The treatment lasted eight or nine months, and he never told his employer, the pilot said.

“A guy has worked his whole career toward what he’s gotten, and he’s dealing with issues, what does he do? If he says, ‘Hey, I’m depressed,’ then the FAA pulls his medical certificates and then there goes his career.”

Another veteran pilot echoed that sentiment: “Yes, pilots are flying around depressed because if they do (admit depression), they’ll be grounded.”

“Pilots are generally well psychologically screened for all the right reasons. Some people snap. If this pilot did indeed snap, it doesn’t surprise me. There’s tremendous pressure out there in the pilot group, and that’s something the public should care about,” the pilot said.

In its medical examiners guide, the FAA says pilots being treated with four specific antidepressants may receive medical clearance, which would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Osbon’s breakdown comes just weeks after an American Airlines flight attendant’s behavior alarmed passengers and prompted flight crew members to restrain her while the plane was taxiing. One passenger said the flight attendant described herself as bipolar and said she had not taken her medication. Other accounts referred to her talking on the intercom about the plane crashing.

American Airlines has not identified her, and no charges have been filed. She remains employed by the company, the airline said Wednesday. American said the airline follows all FAA rules.

Unlike pilots, flight attendants are not required to pass medical examinations before they fly, according to the Association of Flight Attendants, a union that does not represent American Airlines workers.

“However, flight attendants do have to go through recurrent training each year to refresh their emergency situation skills,” said AFA spokeswoman Corey Caldwell. They are also required to receive proficiency certification from the FAA.

She added that “in most cases,” flight attendants could be treated for various conditions and still perform “as first responders efficiently,” noting that red flags would probably come up during the initial six- to eight-week training period or during a probationary period of up to a year.

In addition to the pressure of performing the duties of flying itself, airline employees face the added stress of trying to survive in an industry fraught with restructuring, bankruptcies and other uncertainties.

“This industry is very turbulent,” Caldwell said. “And after 9/11, these workers really went through a very difficult time personally and professionally.”

What Jason Russell’s Mental Breakdown Shows Us About Ourselves

Taken from her-meneutics  which is located   HERE.

This is the second article concerning Jason Russell’s breakdown I’ve posted.  There’s much to glean from each one.  Allan

It was the latest installment in a blitz of headline-grabbing publicity for Invisible Children—but it was a story they never intended. During almost two weeks of astounding success for their new-media publicity blitz, Kony 2012 attracted plenty of controversy and dissenting voices. But perhaps nothing could damage the credibility of the Invisible Children campaign as much as their founder’s run-in with San Diego police, who last week confronted an allegedly agitated and naked Jason Russell ranting on the sidewalk near Pacific Beach.

Apparently the San Diego police determined Russell was not a criminal threat but did present a danger to himself or others—a designation that allows law-enforcement officials to seek evaluation in a mental health facility on behalf of a detainee. Police brought Russell to one such facility, where he presumably underwent evaluation of his mental condition, and where, if necessary, he might receive treatment. The police response suggests there was a strong possibility that Russell was in the throes of a symptomatic mental illness. Writing for The Atlantic, brain-injury physician Ford Vox concurs. Although not confirmed, the introduction of a possible mental illness—and a public “breakdown”—has taken this story into a new dimension. It has also introduced a new source of fuel for public ridicule.

Regardless of the truth about this incident and Russell’s health, the incident elicits echoes of a common pattern in public life: the voyeuristic and cruel response to the public breakdown, usually followed by shame, humiliation, attempts at damage control, and a hospital stay for “exhaustion.” In our society, few things are considered as shameful as mental illness. Consider the cases of Demi Moore, Britney Spears, Charlie Sheen, and Mariah Carey. If celebrities are publicly skewered for their vulnerabilities, imagine how ordinary citizens are treated.

I should know. My mom has the disorder schizophrenia. After she began to have breakdowns—some of them public—when I was 14, I carried with me the sense that I was “infected” by association, and I was deeply scarred by the rejection and potential for rejection I felt in society at large and in the church. This is a kind of suffering you just aren’t supposed to talk about. And because of the general lack of conversation about mental illness, for decades my family and I felt very much alone in our suffering.

People with mental illness are the butt of jokes, the subjects of terrifying movies and amusement park rides, and sources of entertainment that seem to assume they are mythical creatures—like leprechauns and unicorns—so no one should be offended.

The church’s response to mental illness is typically silence—a silence that is tantamount to complicity in the world’s rejection of the most vulnerable among us, that speaks volumes about the weakness of our faith in the face of suffering. When the church is not silent, it often condemns, suggesting people need exorcism or simply more faith, and denying people’s need for legitimate medical intervention to ease their suffering and help them function as the people God made them to be.

In any given year, a little more than 25 percent of the adult U.S. population is affected by a diagnosable mental illness. And over the course of a lifetime, the numbers are much higher. This is roughly equal to the total percentage of people diagnosed with cancer each year, those living with heart disease, people infected with HIV and AIDS, and those afflicted with diabetes—combined! We have largely erased the stigma associated with these and other illnesses, but we can’t seem to overcome the stigma that curses those whose illnesses and disorders happen to attack the brain.


Stigma means immediate, irrational rejection of people with mental illness. They are shamed, labeled, stereotyped, misunderstood, mocked, and dismissed. Stigma keeps people isolated, away from treatment, and hidden away in poorly funded hospitals and prison cells—America’s highest-population “treatment centers” for people with mental illness.

Why do we perpetuate this stigma, joke about people with mental illness, titillate ourselves with terrifying images of them, mock them sadistically, or pretend they don’t exist? Somewhere in ourselves, we all know we see in them a reflection of who we could be—and that, I think, is what really scares us. By dehumanizing people with mental illness, we distance them from ourselves and our experiences and make ourselves feel safer. The less real they seem, the less we feel we have the potential to suffer similarly. But the truth is, our brains are as vulnerable to disease and disorder as the rest of our bodies, and in this age of relentless stress, impossible expectations, and information overload, perhaps we are more vulnerable than ever. These illnesses strike both predictably and randomly, and none of us is immune.

In writing a forthcoming book on this subject, I’ve been amazed at how many have shared their own stories (sometimes in hushed voices) as soon as they’ve heard about my project. How many people have talked about the shame and humiliation of being diagnosed with an illness, then suffering discrimination at work, in their friendships, and in their churches.

This has to stop. Cultural signs indicate it may be slowing as celebrities talk openly about their struggles. But if anyone should lead the way on loving society’s most vulnerable, it’s the church. We who are called to serve “the least of these” as if we were serving Jesus (Matt. 25:40). As living temples carrying God’s presence in this world, we must allow his light to shine out from us and infiltrate the darkness that surrounds so many people. Let’s start by responding to Jason Russell with grace and compassion.

Amy Simpson is editor of Christianity Today’s Gifted for Leadership, a freelance writer, and author of numerous resources for Christian ministry, including Into the Word: How to Get the Most from Your Bible (NavPress) and a forthcoming book on ministry to people with mental illness. You can find her at and on Twitter @aresimpson.

Jonathan & Charlotte Amaze Everyone On Britian’s Got Talent

A friend posted this on Facebook and after watching it I knew I wanted to post it here.  The focus of this video is the overweight 17 year old.  He speaks a little about how he has been treated in his life due to his weight.  Then when he steps on stage the reaction of the audience and Simon Cowell in my mind was mean spirited as well.  Not all overweight people have Jonathan’s talent and if he performed terribly I imagine he would have faced a ton of ridicule.  Yet he took the big step of going on television and delivering a jaw dropping performance.  Jonathan should be accepted the same no matter how well he sings.  How many young people who have been bullied and teased have gone on to have emotional problems in their lives?  Too many!!  That being said I hope Jonathan and Charlotte go on to win this competition and do great things.  Allan



University of Massachusetts Totally Fails Student Suffering From Depression

Taken from The Daily Collegian  which is located   HERE.

The reasons for this consistent rise in depression among college students remain unconfirmed, but it is clear that colleges must provide increasingly exemplary health services to students suffering from debilitating mental illnesses.

To quote Amherst native Emily Dickinson, suffering from depression is akin to feeling a “funeral in the brain.” When a wave of melancholy hits, one feels like an incredibly insignificant speck in the universe, like every light in the world has not simply been shut off but smashed, never to shine again.

It is an incredible loneliness. However, it is an illness that more than one in three college students suffers from, myself included, and that number is rising. With these sorts of statistics, one would think colleges and universities would have strict, fast-moving services in place to aid students with mental health illnesses. Unfortunately, the University of Massachusetts’ mental health services have much to improve on.

I have probably always had some semblance of undiagnosed depression, but a severe, clinical bout barreled into my world during my first semester of college. What was supposed to be the most enjoyable time of my life quickly descended into a nightmarish, tear-filled few months, through which all I wanted to do was literally disappear. I did not want to die, per se; I just desired to sort of dissolve down to a molecular level, where I wouldn’t have to feel anything, much less misery.

During this time, I was undiagnosed and therefore was not receiving any medication. After what seemed to be the millionth heart-wrenching phone call to my mother, an event that never failed to leave the screen of my phone covered with tears, I finally decided that this was absolutely no way to live and decided to obtain the help I had needed for months.

My first stop on my quest to vanquish depression was the UMass Health Services website. On this page, the office has a link to its mental services webpage, which is ripe with links and phone numbers.

When I called the number listed for UMass’ Mental Health Services, I was desperate, despondently looking to get into contact with someone who could help quickly. Presumably because I did not have a suicide plan in place, I was instead given a two-week waiting period before I could even speak to someone.

It shouldn’t even have to be mentioned that severe clinical depression is not exactly something that can wait for weeks before action is taken. No, it does not warrant a trip to the Emergency Room, but for those who already feel utterly alone, being told your misery would have to continue for weeks before any action could be taken is simply inexcusable.

After what seemed like an eternity, when a mental health services employee finally spoke to me, she treated me like I was absolutely wasting her time. When I discussed my family’s history of depression and told her I was fairly sure I had symptoms of clinical depression, she did not even take the time to screen me, the first logical step in treating depression. Because I did not have suicidal thoughts, she literally told me that obviously my depression was not pressing or worthy of concern. Finally, her proposed “treatment” was suggesting that I drop out of the University.

This was someone who was supposed to be a comforting presence on campus for students suffering from mental illnesses. Unfortunately, she was the sorriest excuse for a counselor I have ever encountered. Luckily, I eventually was brought into contact with a nurse practitioner who prescribed an antidepressant that has been incredibly helpful and effective.

I have not detailed my personal story as an affront to UMass’ Mental Health Services. I simply feel my experience is a prime example of why colleges across America need to step up and improve their services for students with mental illnesses.

According to a study by the American Psychological Association, the number of students on psychiatric medicines has increased by more than 10 percentage points over the last 10 years. Of course, one could argue the reason for this is because the number of medicines available has increased over that same span. But, the fact is, Sertraline (commonly known as Zoloft or Lustral), the most popular antidepressant, has been on the market since 1991.

The reasons for this consistent rise in depression among college students remain unconfirmed, but it is clear that colleges must provide increasingly exemplary health services to students suffering from debilitating mental illnesses.

The first step in reforming mental health services at universities like UMass is implementing an organized, efficient system to screen students for depression. At Loyola University in Chicago, first-time visitors to the university’s medical center are given a two-question survey to screen for depression. If the patient’s answers indicate a possibility of depression, the student is more extensively evaluated.

Such screenings are incredibly beneficial for both universities and students alike. The universities have an organized system to record depression levels among students and therefore more easily establish programs to better help students with mental health afflictions. Conversely, screenings can help students who were previously averse to discussing their potential depression by opening the door for questions and support.

Additionally, colleges must continue to attempt to obtain bright, compassionate doctors, nurses, prescribers, psychologists, and psychiatrists to support students and get them the help they need. It is vital that such professionals keep up to date with the latest in mental health news and provide a comfortable environment for students to discuss their ailments and problems.

As depression rates continue to rise among college students, American universities are faced with a burgeoning responsibility. Colleges must take care of their students, and increasing mental illness rates should mean increasing available services. If the services available for students were to improve, perhaps the “funeral in their brains” could become a sunnier, warmer occasion, where depression is just another villain easily vanquished.

Emily Merlino is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at and followed on Twitter at @EmilyMerlino

Treatment Dropout Rates High In People With Bipolar Disorder

Taken from  Mental Wellness Today which is located   HERE.

Results from a new study show that approximately one-third of bipolar disorder patients go against the advice of their doctors and stop taking medication within a year of starting treatment.

Kyooseob Ha, MD, and his team from the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital in Seongnam, Republic of Korea, said that compared to studies on schizophrenia and depression drop-out rates and contributing factors, there has been little research on the same topics for bipolar disorder patients.

Researchers studied 275 patients with bipolar I or II disorders who received treatment at the Mood Disorders Clinic of Seoul National University Bundang Hospital between 2005 and 2007. More than half of the participants (65.1 percent were female) with an average age of 39.

The team defined “dropout” as the point in which a patient stopped their treatment against their doctor’s recommendations for a period longer than one month. Dropout rates were measured over a 36-month period.

The researchers found that dropout rates after one, three, six, 12, 24, and 36 months following the start of treatment were 10.9 percent, 20.4 percent, 24.7 percent, 33.8 percent, 44 percent, and 50.2 percent respectively. They also found that dropout rates increased significantly after the first three months.

Researchers also found that those with a previous bipolar disorder or axis I disorder diagnosis were at a much lower dropout risk than those with no prior psychiatric disorder. Patients with previous psychotic symptoms were also less likely to drop out than patients who did not have previous psychotic symptoms, and those with a previous history of stopping treatment had an increased dropout risk.

Source—Medwire News