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Ministries, Mental Illness & Communities of Faith

Religious communities are in a unique position to combat stigma and provide a message of acceptance and hope


Life After Divorce

Few personal crises rival the destruction created by a failed marriage. The process of choosing to divorce, legally severing your relationship, and recovering following the divorce is exhausting emotionally, financially and often physically. Once the divorce decree has been signed and the dust has settled on the ruins of what you once hoped would be your happily ever after, how do you pick up the pieces and move forward? Here are some tips:

When Stress isn’t just Stress

Though it may seem like a relatively simple concept, trauma—a powerful experience that may have long-lasting effects—has not always been defined the same. Scientists continue to study experiences of trauma in hopes of finding better treatments. One particular type of trauma is known as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Depression in People with Chronic Illnesses

Depression is one of the most common – and potentially dangerous -- complications of every chronic illness. According to depression specialist Arthur Rifkin, M.D., a psychiatrist at Albert Einstein Medical Center in New York, the most common misconception about depression and chronic illness is that it's understandable to become depressed when faced with a chronic illness. It is understandable -- but only during the initial adjustment period that should not last for more than a few months.

Depression Can Break Your Heart

Depression and heart disease are common companions and what is worse, each can lead to the other. It appears now that depression is an important risk factor for heart disease along with high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure.

How do I know I need help?

Mental health is a complex part of overall health that often requires a lot of time and energy to understand.

Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis: An undiagnosed substance abuse problem may be a barrier to effective treatment of mental illness.

Spring's Comin'

“Boy! I’ll be so glad when Spring gets here!”  How many of us have heard that statement  or have made that statement ourselves.  It seems like it’s been a long Winter. But Spring’s Comin’!

Necessary Endings

Dare to dream big. Have the courage to list some of the necessary endings that may need to happen in your life so that you can become what you were created to be!

Forgiveness

“Forgiveness” is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, forgiveness lets go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

Shhhhhhh…Don’t tell anyone!

Even with all the education and information that has been done to combat the mental health stigma in our 21st century culture, there still remains this “not so secret, secret.” I find it fascinating that we can converse with relative ease, telling friends and family members of our aches and pains. Sometimes we even tell of our latest surgery…in detail! We find ourselves comparing with others the various kinds of medication with take from blood pressure medication to the latest diet pill. But when it comes to mental health issues, we “clam up” or whisper.

Apollo 13 – “Failure is not an option”

Climbing the Mountain

Yesterday Ended Last Night

I was watching a movie last night called "We Are Marshall." This is a true story of the tragic loss of the entire Marshall University football team, their coaches, booster, and others as a result of an airplane crash in November 1970. It tells the story of how a University and the people of Huntington, West Virginia dealt with and recovered from this horrific tragedy. 

Failing Forward

This week I want to talk to you about "failing forward." This idea comes from a book written by John Maxwell with the same title.   I know, it sounds kinda weird. From the time we are small children we are taught succeed. We are taught to succeed academically, in sports, at work and in many other areas of life. But ask yourself, when was the last time you can remember being taught what to do when you are not successful.


Those Holiday Blues

Well, here we are again, that time of year when families gather together to open presents, eat a hearty meal together  and just enjoy being together.  Or, maybe that does not describe you.  Maybe you dread the coming of holidays. Maybe you have grown to hate the festive music that comes with the holidays. In fact, you may be thinking,  “If one more person says, ‘Merry Christmas’ I’m going to hit them!”  For you, the holidays are not very special at all. Maybe you have lost a loved one. Maybe a dear relationship has ended. Perhaps, because of a divorce, your children are not scheduled to be with you this Holiday Season. Maybe you are facing the holidays being alone for the first time.


The "V Formation"

I was watching the an episode of "Hollowed Ground Outdoors" a few weeks ago with my wife. No, I'm not a hunter but this is a hunting show that our son produces and hunts in, so a proud mom and dad watch the show. That week's show featured our son and some other guys hunting geese in Oregon. There these guys were in a blind, in the cold (you could see their breath) waiting for these birds to fly over and then shoot them.


Relationships

“I love you.” ….. “I love you too.”…. “Will you marry me?”…..”Yes!”  

Remember those words both of you spoke? Maybe recently. Maybe many years ago. Whatever the timeframe, when both of you spoke those words, at the time you really meant them. This was for life. There was the excitement of the wedding, gathering of friends and family for the great occasion. Then off on the honeymoon. All was great as the two of you began to chart out a new life together.  

Warning Signs

In a previous Blog, I talked about depression. Depression, if left untreated, can be lethal. I don’t want to bore you with a bunch of numbers but I want to share some stats with you to make the point of how significant this issue is.

Caregiver Burnout

For years she took care of you. That’s what every parent is supposed to do. Your parent was there to protect, nurture, provide, someone to talk to when you had a problem. You remember when you began to build a life with the one you married.  Maybe you struggle with whether to admit your parent or spouse to a nursing facility. “But.” you think to yourself, “This is my parent, this is my spouse, I can’t do that to them.” 

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