Watch For Signs Of Depression In Teenage Boys

Taken from   Mental Wellness Today   which can be found   HERE.

Depression is the number one cause of all suicides. But it’s often overlooked and left untreated in young males. That’s because they tend to express their symptoms differently than other populations. Thirty-eight thousand Americans take their own lives every year. Young men in their early 20s have the second-highest rate of suicide in the country, second only to men older than 65.

For instance, depressed young men may become more aggressive, resulting in violence, abuse, or inappropriate or exaggerated anger.

They can have difficulty concentrating, remembering things, or making decisions. They may withdraw from friends and family, often spending excessive amounts of time on the computer. Some report feeling that they are worthless. Others become irritable or restless.

Depressed young males might display unexplained physical symptoms such as headaches or digestive problems. They might have difficulty falling asleep or want to sleep all day long. Their appetite might increase, or they may be unable to eat.

Depressed young men often self-medicate by abusing drugs and alcohol. Their depression may also co-exist with an underlying substance-abuse problem.

In addition, they may engage in self-destructive behaviors such as reckless driving, unsafe sex, and gambling.

Some depressed young men commit crimes such as shoplifting or violate family rules. When questioned, they may respond with undue hostility or rudeness.

Depression often leads to thoughts about death or suicide. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, young males are less likely to attempt suicide than females. However, they are more likely to be successful in their attempts.

Depression is a treatable mental illness. But cultural influences often interfere with young men’s ability to get the help they need. They may have difficulties expressing their emotions and are less likely to see a doctor about their symptoms.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a young man is most at risk for committing suicide if he falls into the following categories:

• Ongoing mental disorder, especially depression, bipolar disorder, or substance abuse.

• Previous suicide attempts.

• Family history of attempted or completed suicide.

• Victim of childhood abuse.

• Stressful life event such as death of a loved one or trouble with the law.

• Access to lethal methods of suicide during a time of increased risk.

CONVERSATION WITH A DEPRESSED YOUNG MAN

Tips for talking to a depressed young man:

• Be supportive. Let him know you care and that his life has meaning to you. Don’t worry about finding the right words. Your underlying compassion is what’s important.

• Listen without lecturing. Allow him to vent his feelings. Make it clear that everything he says is acceptable to you. Try not to act shocked. Never engage him in a discussion about the value of life.

• Be gentle but persistent. It’s difficult to talk about suicidal feelings. Your young man may shut down when emotions get too intense. It’s OK to back off from the conversation. But be willing to discuss it at another time.

• Don’t promise confidentiality. A young man may ask that you don’t tell anyone else. But a life is at stake. You’ll need to do anything necessary to protect him.

• Don’t blame yourself. You’re not responsible for his depression. Nor can you make it go away. You can, however, be part of his support system. That’s the best role for you to play.

• Ask about suicide. If a young man talks about feeling worthless or seems depressed, ask, “Have you thought about killing yourself?” You’ll learn more about the severity of his depression while letting him know he can safely discuss his feelings with you.

• Offer to find help. Be willing to make an appointment with his physician or a mental health professional. He may be too depressed to do the legwork. His life depends on your swift action.

Quicken Us: Streams In The Desert, September 28th, 2013

Thou, who hast showed its many and sore troubles, wilt quicken us again” Psalms 71:20, RV
God shows us the troubles. Sometimes, as this part of our education is being carried forward, we have to descend into “the lower parts of the earth,” pass through subterranean passages, lie buried amongst the dead, but never for a moment is the cord of fellowship and union between God and us strained to breaking; and from the depths God will bring us again.
Never doubt God! Never say that He has forsaken or forgotten. Never think that He is unsympathetic. He will quicken again. There is always a smooth piece in every skein, however tangled. The longest day at last rings out the evensong. The winter snow lies long, but it goes at last.
***
Be steadfast; your labor is not in vain. God turns again, and comforts. And when He does, the heart which had forgotten its Psalmody breaks out in jubilant song, as does the Psalmist: “I will thank thee, I will harp unto thee, my lips shall sing aloud.” –Selected
***
“Though the rain may fall and the wind be blowing,
And old and chill is the wintry blast;
Though the cloudy sky is still cloudier growing,
And the dead leaves tell that the summer has passed;
My face I hold to the stormy heaven,
My heart is as calm as the summer sea,
Glad to receive what my God has given,
Whate’er it be.
When I feel the cold, I can say, ‘He sends it,’
And His winds blow blessing, I surely know;
For I’ve never a want but that He attends it;
And my heart beats warm, though the winds may blow.”

Praise & Worship: September 27th, 2013

Song List

1.  Eye Has Not Seen-  Marty Haugen

2.  Spirit Of The Living God-  Audrey Assad

3.  Be Lifted High-  Bethel Church

4.  The River-  Brian Doerksen

5.  All Who Are Thirsty-  Brenton Brown

6.  Draw Me Closer-  Vineyard

7.  We Are-  Kari Jobe

8.  Light Of Heaven-  Fernando Ortega

9.  The Man Comes Around-  Johnny Cash

10.  If I Stand-  Rich Mullins

11.  Gimme Shelter-  Ashley Cleveland

Mental Illness Myths

Often people are afraid to talk about mental health because there are many misconceptions about mental illnesses. It’s important to learn the facts to stop discrimination and to begin treating people with mental illnesses with respect and dignity.

Here are some common myths and facts about mental health.

 

Myth: There’s no hope for people with mental illnesses.
Fact: There are more treatments, strategies, and community supports than ever before, and even more are on the horizon. People with mental illnesses lead active, productive lives.

 

Myth: I can’t do anything for someone with mental health needs.

 
Fact: You can do a lot, starting with the way you act and how you speak. You can nurture an environment that builds on people’s strengths and promotes good mental health. For example:

  • Avoid labeling people with words like “crazy,” “wacko,” “loony,” or by their diagnosis. Instead of saying someone is a “schizophrenic” say “a person with schizophrenia.”
  • Learn the facts about mental health and share them with others, especially if you hear something that is untrue.
  • Treat people with mental illnesses with respect and dignity, as you would anybody else.
  • Respect the rights of people with mental illnesses and don’t discriminate against them when it comes to housing, employment, or education. Like other people with disabilities, people with mental health needs are protected under Federal and State laws.

 

Myth: People with mental illnesses are violent and unpredictable.
Fact: In reality, the vast majority of people who have mental health needs are no more violent than anyone else. You probably know someone with a mental illness and don’t even realize it.

 

Myth: Mental illnesses cannot affect me.
Fact: Mental illnesses are surprisingly common; they affect almost every family in America. Mental illnesses do not discriminate-they can affect anyone.

 

Myth: Mental illness is the same as mental retardation.
Fact: The two are distinct disorders. A mental retardation diagnosis is characterized by limitations in intellectual functioning and difficulties with certain daily living skills. In contrast, people with mental illnesses-health conditions that cause changes in a person’s thinking, mood, and behavior-have varied intellectual functioning, just like the general population.

 

Myth: Mental illnesses are brought on by a weakness of character.
Fact: Mental illnesses are a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, and social factors. Research has shown genetic and biological factors are associated with schizophrenia, depression, and alcoholism. Social influences, such as loss of a loved one or a job, can also contribute to the development of various disorders.

 

Myth: People with mental illnesses cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.
Fact: In essence, all jobs are stressful to some extent. Productivity is maximized when there is a good match between the employee’s needs and working conditions, whether or not the individual has mental health needs.

 

Myth: People with mental health needs, even those who have received effective treatment and have recovered, tend to be second-rate workers on the job.
Fact: Employers who have hired people with mental illnesses report good attendance and punctuality, as well as motivation, quality of work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees. Studies by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) show that there are no differences in productivity when people with mental illnesses are compared to other employees.

 

Myth: Once people develop mental illnesses, they will never recover.
Fact: Studies show that most people with mental illnesses get better, and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. For some individuals, recovery is the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life. For others, recovery implies the reduction or complete remission of symptoms. Science has shown that having hope plays an integral role in an individual’s recovery.

 

Myth: Therapy and self-help are wastes of time. Why bother when you can just take one of those pills you hear about on TV?
Fact: Treatment varies depending on the individual. A lot of people work with therapists, counselors, their peers, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and social workers in their recovery process. They also use self-help strategies and community supports. Often these methods are combined with some of the most advanced medications available.

 

Myth: Children do not experience mental illnesses. Their actions are just products of bad parenting.
Fact: A report from the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health showed that in any given year 5-9 percent of children experience serious emotional disturbances. Just like adult mental illnesses, these are clinically diagnosable health conditions that are a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, social, and sometimes even genetic factors.

 

Myth: Children misbehave or fail in school just to get attention.
Fact: Behavior problems can be symptoms of emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders, rather than merely attention-seeking devices. These children can succeed in school with appropriate understanding, attention, and mental health services.

 

Mental Illness Does Not Equate To Mass Murder

Taken from   USA Today  which can be found   HERE.

A new Gallup poll taken after last week’s tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard reveals that Americans fault the mental health system for mass shootings, even more than inadequate gun laws. Apparently, according to Joe Public, guns don’t kill, psychotic people do. The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre echoed these sentiments on Sunday: “If we leave these homicidal maniacs on the street … they’re going to kill,” he said.

Notwithstanding a few high-profile defendants — such as James Holmes in Aurora, Colo., and Jared Loughner in Tucson, Ariz. — whose mental health issues are well-documented, no clear relationship between psychiatric diagnosis and mass murder has been established.

Mass murderers generally do not hear voices or suspect that they are being followed. More typically, they are miserable, but not to the point that they’d be hospitalized or lose their ability to purchase guns.

Based on a review of mass shootings in the past four years, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that mental health concerns were raised for only four of 56 perpetrators before the tragedy.

Rush to make a link

After mass killings, politicians often rally to address the needs of the mentally ill. “Given the connections between mass violence and mental illness,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., “improving mental health training for those who work in our schools, communities and (as) emergency personnel will give them the tools they need to identify warning signs and help individuals get treatment.”

However, the presumed telltale indicators are generally not obvious until after the blood has spilled.

Adam Lanza in Newtown, Conn., for example, had mental health problems and withdrew to the sanctuary of the basement. Although his mother was increasingly concerned over his downward slide, neither she nor anyone else could have anticipated his violent rampage.

Unintended benefit

It would certainly be a fitting legacy to the tragedy of mass murder if mental health services were expanded and improved. However, greater access to treatment options might not necessarily reach the few individuals on the fringe who’d seek to turn a school, a theater or a military facility into their own personal war zone. With their tendency to externalize blame and consider themselves victims of injustice, mass killers demand fair treatment, not psychological treatment on demand.

The post-massacre effort to aid the mentally ill is the right thing to do, but for the wrong reason. For example, during a speech in Hartford, Conn., delivered months after the Newtown shooting, President Obama urged Congress to respond: “We have to … help people struggling with mental health problems get the treatment they need before it is too late.” We should help the mentally ill out of concern for their well-being, not just out of concern for the well-being of those they might kill.

We must resist the urge to equate mental illness with mass murder. Proposals to correct the flaws in the system exposed by mass murderers tend to stigmatize the vast majority of people who suffer mental illness. We might not only fail to prevent mass murder, but we will make it less likely that those most in need will seek appropriate treatment.

Pain

Who in the world enjoys pain?  Who would see pain as a gift?  My life has been marked by my doing everything possible to avoid pain. If I experienced pain I’d stay away from doctors because of what they might tell me the pain meant or maybe what they might have to do to rid me of my pain.

Pain can be good when it leads you to have the pain addressed so it can do no real damage to you.  There are things that can help the pain resulting from a migraine headache, a toothache, a sore knee, or pains that indicate something more serious.

Pain is something we would all like to avoid but that isn’t how life works for most of us.  We have to walk through it as healing takes place within our body.  As we walk out of the tunnel of pain we are happy to be well and having addressed what ailed us.

I read a book some time ago titled  “The Gift Of Pain”  which can be found   HERE.  The book deals with the topic of leprosy and how the lack of pain leads to so many terrible consequences.

Those with leprosy don’t feel pain and as a result untold damage is done without the person even realizing it.  If they could feel the pain they would surely would do nothing to exacerbate it.  Sadly that isn’t the case as the book so carefully describes.

I am a Type 2 Diabetic.  There was never any pain that alerted me to my condition.  As a result I indulged in habits that were not good for me.  Several years ago I learned of my Diabetes through a blood test.  What a shock that was.

Taking on Diabetes is a challenge.  It requires a lifestyle change that is very difficult for so many to implement.  A person like myself who craves all of the wrong foods may just keep eating them after being diagnosed.

Why might that be?  Quite often there’s no pain to warn you things aren’t right.  So you continue ignoring what you were told by your doctor.  Silently the Diabetes is at work and quite often patients let things get out of control that can lead to serious problems.

High cholesterol and blood pressure don’t cause pain either but left unattended they can lead to serious problems and even death.

Silent diseases can be the most serious because they are the most easy to ignore.

Mental illnesses don’t cause physical pain which very well could lead some to not seek help for them.  Of course there are other reasons that factor in here but the point is if we don’t seek help for an illness it doesn’t go away on its own.  It needs to be addressed.

Emotional pain is just as real as physical pain although they are experienced quite differently.  Maybe you think seeking help for emotional pain isn’t legitimate.  After all you can just suck it up, right??

That dark cloud that seems to have found a home in your life can be dealt with.  Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your pain.  There is help for you.  God hasn’t forgotten you.  In fact He loves you.

The Voices That Vie For Your Heart

Taken from   CCEF  which can be found   HERE.

From the moment our alarm goes off in the morning, we are counseling ourselves. We are listening to other counselors, too, and our hearts are pushed and pulled in different directions with everything that we hear and choose to do and say. David Powlison, in his class Dynamics of Biblical Change, tells us a story of the different counselors that bid for his heart and attention one winter morning.

“Many years ago when our kids were little, I woke up first. There was a raging blizzard outside. The windows were rattling, snow pelting the windows. Six inches was on the ground, and it was piling up rapidly. So, I knew what the weather was like. Even still, I turned on the radio to hear about the weather. The first words that came on were: ‘Winter weather warning! Trailer jack knifes! Banks closed! Everything scary spooky!’

They wanted to hook me, and there’s no better way to hook me than anxiety and fear. So, there was voice #1. Counselor #1 was the radio.

Counselor #2 was my wife. Nan woke up and said, ‘Ah! It is beautiful!’ Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Both Nan and the radio were talking about the exact same phenomenon. Counselor #1 said, ‘Be afraid! Anxiety! Scary!’ And Counselor #2 said, ‘This is a beauty of the Lord! Psalm 147 says that he makes the snow and frost, and this is an occasion to love him and worship him.’ It was the same facts, but with a different drive behind them.

About 15 minutes later, Counselor #3 entered the fray. Counselors #3, #4, and #5, actually. The kids came in and said, ‘Mom, Dad, is school cancelled? Can we go sledding?’ Completely different worldview. Completely different implications. Their behavioral, emotional, and logical conclusions were different: go to the garage, get the sleds.

So, everybody was talking about the snowstorm, but it engaged them differently.

Finally, Counselor #4 came in—a neighbor. The plows had come through and a man started to curse. ‘This #@% & snow storm!’ His thoughts were, ‘Philadelphia after a snowstorm is Hell…and Florida is Heaven! And I’m going to complain about it so that you feel like you’re in Hell, too!’”

We live in a world that is overflowing with voices. Every interaction confronts us with a new voice. A new counselor, saying: “Believe me. Believe my interpretation of your world. See things my way.” Your job, your spouse, your kids, and your morning routine can all put you into a tailspin. But there is another voice who asks the Lord to “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom…Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” (Psalm 90:12, 14) This is where wise counsel begins: when we posture ourselves before the living God. It begins with me waking up and saying to my God, “Satisfy me with your steadfast love that I may rejoice,” even in the midst of other voices yelling.