A few weeks back I had the opportunity to speak to a group of teenagers about mental health and to share my own story about experiencing depression and anxiety. After speaking for a few minutes, I opened the floor to questions. I expected an awkward silence and maybe some prompted questions from the leaders but… Continue reading Good questions about depression, anxiety and mental health
Traditionally one of the tensions and taboos around mental health has been the perception that this is primarily a spiritual issue with people believing that mental illness from depression through to schizophrenia is caused by sin or even by demonic oppression and possession. When I’ve written about mental health before, I’ve urged care in this… Continue reading Mental Health, spiritual warfare and demons
One question I’ve seen raised so many times is about whether or not Christians should take anti-depressants. It’s fascinating because I rarely here the question asked about taking Ibuprofen, or going to the hospital to get your leg put in plaster if you break it. Yet, there seems to be some uncertainty about medication for… Continue reading Should a Christian take anti-depressants?
From time to time I write specifically about the impact of mental health issues on pastors and church leaders. I’ve recently returned to the subject again writing about depression here and here. I wanted to follow up these articles by writing a little about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is described on the MIND… Continue reading Pastors and PTSD
Last year I contributed to a short book called “The Pastor with a thorn in his side.” It’s a book which tells the stories of 7 pastors who have faced depression during their ministry. Steve Kneale edited the book and as well as telling his own story provides an introduction and a conclusion. In those… Continue reading Towards a theology of depression
“The body keeps the score” is the title of a book by Bessel Van Der Kolk about mental health and the affects of trauma. We sometimes describe particular health conditions as “all in the mind.” At one level, what we might simply mean by that is that we cannot find a specific and direct organic… Continue reading Is it all in the mind?
I’m continuing a series of articles picking up on Mark Pickett’s call following the publication of The Pastor with a thorn in his side for further reflection and analysis concerning pastors and Christians experiencing depression. In this article I want to talk a bit more about how Scripture can be helpful to those suffering from… Continue reading How Scripture can help with cases of depression and mental distress
One factor affecting mental health is rest and sleep. There are two aspects to this. First of all, when we are struggling with anxiety and/or depression this can affect sleep patterns but also disrupted sleep is likely to affect our overall sense of mental well-being. So, it is possible to get into a vicious cycle. … Continue reading Sleep and mental health
In his review of The pastor with a thorn in his side, Mark Pickett calls for further theological, ecclesiological and sociological reflection on the causes and consequences of depression among those in Christian service. I agree and believe that such reflection will be helpful not just for church leaders suffering with depression but as we… Continue reading Thinking about the effect of environment on mental health and depression