Going Mental

I read an article this morning about the decline of mental health in America. jn

All joking aside, there’s an epidemic of depression amongst teens.  This article is from the U.K. but I’m guessing we’d have similar number over here in North America. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3752222/Depression-anxiety-strikes-one-three-teenage-girls-Number-mental-health-issue-rises-10-past-decade.html The article sites a 10% increase in depression in the last decade and that 1 in 3 teen girls will deal with depression.

Not only that but the CDC says that 1 in 6 children have a developmental disorder https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2011/05/23/cdc-1-in-6/13146/ and that there was at least a 17% increase between 1997 and 2008.  Who knows what the figure is at now.

All the experts can tell us is that kids are depressed because of their smart phones.  Kids are disconnected.  While I believe that is true and a contributing factor I also believe the high aluminum loads in our collective brains has an awful lot to do with it.

This study showed than exposure to environmental aluminum posed a major risk to neurological health and can lead to Alzheimer’s https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212093300.html  “While aluminum is a known neurotoxin and occupational exposure to aluminum has been implicated in neurological disease…” quote  Now this study is focused on Alzheimer’s, a specific condition, but maybe environmental aluminum (cough*vaccines*cough) is behind the explosion in depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD and possibly even behind the increase in tragic school shootings.

This article from 2007 illustrates the prevalence of aluminum in modern society and the neuro-toxic affects “Trace amounts of aluminum applied to the brain surface of animals resulted in seizures and fits. Other studies demonstrated that aluminum salts injected into the fluid surrounding the brain produced changes that are similar to those occurring in senile dementia. In further animal studies, cats given aluminum became slow learners at experimental tasks. The level of aluminum in the cats’ brains was equivalent to the amount in the brains of persons who have a type of senility called Alzheimer’s disease.”  http://proliberty.com/observer/20071207.htm

But what’s the link between Alzheimer’s and learning disabled kids, depressed teens and 20 somethings still living at home?  Maybe it’s all aluminum.  Just check out some of these common symptoms of dementia-

Difficulty concentrating and planning things
Memory loss and confusion
Short attention span
Lack of motivation
Depression
Personality, mood and behavioral changes
Delusions or hallucinations
Incontinence
Muscle weakness, stiffness, or paralysis
Slow and unsteady movements
Trembling in arms and legs
Sleeping difficulties
Aggression and frustration

Difficulty concentrating, short attention span, depression, aggression…sound familiar? Sounds pretty similar to what is being seen in the mental health epidemic we are seeing.

All of this because of an aggressive (ahem, profitable) vaccine schedule.  Why aluminum?  It’s in virtually all vaccines to trigger as strong as possible immune response to gain immunity to the disease they are vaccinating against.  The major problem being, this powerfully immune-stimulating, potent neuro-toxin is in nano particle and tends to stick around the body.  It isn’t coming back out.  It is getting stored in white blood cells and worse, the brain.

Pumping babies full of this junk could easily explain not just the neurological decline but also the explosion of auto-immune problems.  Again, all the experts can say is that we are causing asthma and allergies by being “too clean”.  Really?  Or could it be the powerful immune system antagonist being injected into our bodies throwing our immune systems in a tailspin???

Really I could go on and on but I’m going to exercise a bit of restraint and get to the good part- what do we do now?  How can we rescue ourselves and our kids from this man made crisis of poor physical and mental health?

We need to start with avoiding further environmental aluminum.  It’s been an experiment.  It’s failed.  We need to make major changes.  For those of us who feel like we developed an auto-immune condition and/or mental health issue as the result of aluminum, we need to detox it out of our bodies.

This is the daily regiment I have my 12 year old son on. 20171213_113059.jpg

I’m personally experimenting with taking diatomaceous earth.  It’s really cool in that it’s the crushed up fossils of diatoms.  It’s a rich source of silica- the single best thing in detoxing aluminum.  I just mix a heaping tablespoon with filtered water and drink it.  It isn’t too bad and doesn’t have much of a taste.  It’s an incredible natural and safe detox aid.  The silica is also great for hair, nails and skin- added bonus.  I just started but I’ll definitely update my blog on how and if I feel it’s helping.  Here’s some additional info https://draxe.com/diatomaceous-earth/

I’d like to do more posts on mental health, because really, it’s is just such a complex topic.  But I really believe that our bodies and brains are going to have issues as long as they are laboring under this toxic burden.  Getting the aluminum out is the first step.

 

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Social Media O.D.

I sat shaking while drinking my coffee this morning.

I had left a comment on my local news station about a local story.  I was just trying to offer an alternative view.  It inspired a dirge of negativity and name calling.  Wow.  Not a good wow.  Just a wow.  Social-Media-Crap2501

The internet provides a medium for people to make quick judgements and be downright nasty with a level of anonymity not previously afforded.  My husband compares it to people driving in their cars.  You probably wouldn’t cut someone off (budge in line) at your local grocery store.  But people feel empowered in their cars to act brazenly in ways they wouldn’t in a face to face setting.

There is a name for this phenomenon- trolls.  People who are bored and nasty just for the sake of being nasty.

I also think in this age of instant news and all the negativity it inspires that kind of behavior.  People are so angry.  It’s why I basically stopped following most of the news and politics.  It gave me a ball in the pit of my stomach and filled me with anger.  It just wasn’t healthy.  It was fostering an “us verses them” mentality that isn’t conducive to being a Christian and loving your neighbor.

Another problem I run into is that people use social media to market and sell.  Now, nothing wrong with that, in a sense.  But it means that a lot of the hype you see just isn’t real.  “I AM SO HAPPY AND FULLFILLED SELLING LEGGINGS TO MY FRIENDS!  ERMAGOSH!  HERE’S ME ON A YACHT IN FRANCE!”  or “GUYS!  I AM SO THRILLED THIS CREAM SIMULTANEOUSLY FILLED MY BANK ACCOUNT, RID ME OF CELLULITE, AND I LOST 20 POUNDS!!!  I CAN’T STOP GRINNING, GUYS!”

It’s only a slight exaggeration.

I recently befriended another young mom at a park.  We connected on facebook and she was instantly trying to sell me stuff.  I eventually just stopped talking to her because it was awkward.  I wanted to be her friend, not her next costumer.

I have to confess in over-using social media.  Ok, just facebook.  I’m not cool enough for Instagram and I’m obviously too wordy for twitter.  My excuse is that I’ve been mostly housebound for months with my very sick child.  That and my closest friend, who literally used to live down the street, has moved a 90 minute drive away.

I think a lot of use (er…miss-use) social media to fill in the gaps in our lives.  We get lonely, or sad, or anxious….and those feelings suck so we block it out by scrolling away on our social feed.  The problem is- there is a lot of nastiness out there.  Trolls gonna troll.  People are trying to sell you stuff.  The whole thing rings hollow and leaves you feeling empty.

So what to do?  In my typical extreme fashion, I’ve seriously contemplated deleting my 9 year old Facebook account.  But it is how I stay in touch with my siblings, who I rarely see in person.  It’s how my sweet Grandma gets to see my kids and our shenanigans every day.

I need to find some kind of balance.  I’m guessing I’m not alone in this.  I need to figure out a way to get the good out of my social media usage (and there is good to be had) while skimming over and minimizing the bad.

Social media is a tool.  The problem comes when we try to make it more than that.

I’m going to consciously limit my time indulging in social media.  I’m going to listen to the radio more.  I’m going to set some goals (even within the walls of my home, where I’m currently spending most of my time).  I’m going to do things that feed my soul so I’m not looking to social media to meet a need that it just can’t.

Grunge and Depression

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a “there’s demons in the rock music” type of post… just some random reflections and what’s been rolling around in my head lately.

Just within this past week or so I have been coming to grips with the fact that I have depression.  I think I’ve always put my depression in the context of “overcoming” just because that’s how I’m wired.  I’m an INFJ and part of that I am always aggressively looking for ways to improve myself, including my mental health.

“Feeling sad?  Feeling down?  Nothing a good workout and chocolate protein shake can’t fix!!”

Recent events have brought it more clearly into focus.  I have depression.  I’ve probably had it since I was 13.  I usually manage it well enough through healthy coping mechanisms (and let’s face it, sometimes unhealthy ones).  I’m a sensitive person, I think and feel very deeply.  I naturally tend towards melancholy.  Out of all 4 of my siblings and I, I think it is safe to say we all struggle with some degree of depression and anxiety every single day.

There is certainly a genetic component as well as a very real spiritual one.  I do struggle with depression however I do still hear from God, I do still feel a great deal of happiness in my life- because of my relationship with Him and all the gifts he has showered down onto my life.

I can honestly say I don’t think I would have survived my depression without God breaking through into my life.  “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16

With the passing of Chris Cornell I can’t help but reflect on my past and the impact depression has had.  I was only a kid when the grunge movement was big but my older siblings were really into it.  When I got into my teenage years the angst and authenticity of the music really spoke to me.  My favorite band was Soundgarden…and then of course, Audioslave.

Chris Cornell was, like many artists, a sensitive soul that battled his own demons and dealt with depression.  We don’t know for sure if his death was a suicide, but it seems likely.  He likely fought the depression and the darkness the best he could, until he couldn’t.

I’ve gone through major crisis’ in my faith.  When I came to God I knew I had major issues, deep pain in my heart.  I knew I needed healing.  I knew I carried a shame around in my soul that tainted every part of my life.   I sought God with everything, I sought healing.  I prayed, I fasted, I wept…. for years.  Yet I still feel such angst in my soul.  I still wake up everyday and feel the need to prove my worth.  I still fight to keep the depression at bay.

I really don’t like offering up “untidy” blog posts.  I really like to post when I’m pumped up on a spiritual high with God and feel like I can offer inspiration.  Those times are true and genuine but they certainly don’t capture the whole story.

I feel like I want to be a little more real in my writing.  Because, well…there are no “successful Christian makeover!” stories, at least not in the sense that we get so healed and delivered that we live in a sort of spiritual reverie, immune to the flesh nature, with a perfect grin and perfect family until Kingdom come.

It just isn’t reality.

In being thrust into a caretaker care for my son, a lot of the self-medicating (or coping, tomato-tomato!) tactics I’ve used have been really messed with.  The things I use to prop myself up (don’t we all have them?) where suddenly taken or just not enough.  I’ve realized my motivation for serving God is actually very little when I am really hurting and my prayers seem to go nowhere.  “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.” 2 Timothy 2:13

Just today I was feeling down about something when I heard God speak to my heart about how He loves me.  He loves the “hot mess” me.  I remembered a time, when I was in my early 20’s and seriously depressed.  I couldn’t love myself and couldn’t imagine God could either.  I stopped praying.  I remember sitting on the dusty carpet in my bedroom near tears when this song came on the radio… https://youtu.be/Ek4I6BeMQIs

I just knew that song, at that moment, was for Me- from God.  I bawled and bawled.  It was a real moment in my life where his light burst forth into the deep darkness I found myself lost in.

I struggle with wanting to wrap everything up into a neat little Christian bow but I really can’t.  As my 8 year old was asking me why God has allowed him to go through these years of suffering, there really aren’t any easy answers.

20170518_221523
Copper the dog looks sad for Gabe too~

I think in this life the pain is real.  The hurts are real.  Especially the hurt we all carry around in our hearts.  So much of life seems random, chaotic even- but for the moments that the light of God breaks in.  Somehow we survive and come out a little softer, a little stronger.

It’s ok to be hurting.  It’s ok to have questions.  As long as those pangs and hurts ultimately lead us to our Healer, into a deeper relationship with Him, as he slowly unravels the hurts and shines his light into our deep darkness.   And if we take a detour, He will come and rescue us when we are ready.

Dark Tunnel

Today I’ve been thinking about brokenness in life and finding glimpses of light in dark spaces.  Cheery, no?

Life is heavy.  Life is hard.  Sometimes it all, plus the unrelenting pull away from God can all be too much.

I have a child with aspergers, high-functioning autism.  It’s never easy but sometimes it is just so hard.

Another child has eczema an it is a daily struggle to keep it under control.

I have my own health issues- which means I am on a very restricted diet or  I feel awful.

I tend to get sad and withdrawn because of the weight of it all.  So often we bear our burdens alone.  No one can totally understand what we go through.  Or we get platitudes or the dreaded unsolicited advice.

Plus the pressure we feel to act like everything is ‘ok’ when it isn’t.  Suffering is just part of life.  I wish we could just let things be what they are without trying to put a positive spin on it.

But if we are real we risk being judged or having our pain minimized.  Like Job.  We are uncomfortable with suffering so we try to come up with a quick fix, an answer, a reason…when sometimes things are just broken.  Sometimes prayers just go unanswered.

If we can’t be real in our brokenness and honest is our faith even real?  Jesus was the ‘man of sorrows’.  He understands even when no one else does.

“Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne…” Matthew 19:28

I’ve been thinking about that a lot- that there is going to be a great renewal of all things.

Every burden lifted.  Every tear gently wiped away.  Every last broken thing gloriously made right.

In the mean time I pray that my own pain and brokenness makes me a more compassionate, merciful, caring person.

No one has it all together.  We all have private hurts, pain, and burdens.  We all need mercy.  I think pain can be like the surgeon’s knife- cutting out the pride and arrogance and leaving something a little messier and tender and Christ-like in it’s place.

“Lord, all you asked us to do was to believe and follow you.  Help us to do that in spite, or even because of, our circumstances.  Help us to love.  Help us to be beacons of grace in a harsh world.  Help us to be strong until you come to set all things right and make all things new.”

 

 

Depression and Anxiety

I’ve read a couple articles in the past couple days that stood out to me.  Sarah Silverman and ‘Lady Gaga’ have both come forward to talk about lifelong struggles with anxiety and depression.

I get it, I do.  Celebrity or not.  I imagine it might be worse for them- to reach the pinnacle of success and to find yourself more lost than ever.

Personally, anxiety and depression almost took my life.  I know there is only one cure to the ache- Jesus.  We are spirits first and foremost and that part of us longs for more.  We sense we were created for more.  We know there has to be more than this.  Without the light of Jesus we are wandering around in the dark.  And how great that darkness is.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2 rays-of-light-shining-throug-dark-c

It isn’t a mental disorder.  It’s sick soul disorder.

We all carry the original design in our D.N.A.  We were created to live in harmony with God and at peace with each other.  Depression and anxiety is the natural affect of being cut off from that.

I get that some people do well on medication.  I’m not knocking that.  But if you take a pill for an ache in your soul it is like putting a bandaid on a deep, gushing wound.  Not gonna cut it.

Jesus is sufficient.  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9

Sarah Silverman described her anxiety as a ‘homesickness’ she felt even when she was home.  I think what she feels is homesickness.  I’m praying for her, and for others like her, that they find that problem is an easy one to solve- the answer is Jesus.

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Importance of Community

bekerI am 100% introvert.  Not by choice, by design.  I love people but my natural tendency is towards a ‘lone wolf’ approach to life.  I hate asking for help.  I don’t want to burden anyone.

‘Downward spiral’ sounds a bit intense but I’ve definitely been struggling.  I haven’t gotten much time with God and the voice of the enemy has been so loud and persistent.  The downward pull of life has gotten me adrift.  And then my tendency is to isolate (at least I my head) and that makes me an even easier target.

(me and my good friend, who is always encouraging and blessing people- Becky)

So church this morning was a huge blessing to me.  My pastor had the exact message I needed.  (coincidence?  um no) I went up for the altar call and a woman shared a word from God with me (again, exactly what I needed to hear to gather courage and strength for the battle).  I went in feeling really defeated and left feeling encouraged and loved.

Getting a big hug, literally and figuratively, from the body of Christ is exactly what I needed.  I am so glad that the Kingdom of God is built on love and relationships.  We are a body, a family, all knit and bound together in love.

I am just thankful today for the faithful church.  The people who show up to be the hands and feet (and hugs!) of Christ.  You know who you are!  I love you and appreciate you so much.

Our Only Hope

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/healthy-24-year-old-granted-right-to-die-in-belgium/ar-AAckxLg?ocid=iehp

I remember watching a video clip of a prison in South America that would take and rehabilitate the worst prisoners- the ones that no one else wanted.  The prison was completely Gospel-centered.  A sign over the entrance read, in Spanish- “Jesus Christ Our Only Hope”.

That saying has stuck with me.  Jesus is our only hope.  Nothing else can suffice, nothing else can save.  When every other option fails, when the anti-depressants don’t work, when life is just too much, when you want to go to sleep and not wake up… Jesus Christ is our only hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

We serve the God of HOPE. 

I know what it is like to be horribly depressed.  I know what it is like to be suicidal.  I also know that the Gospel is real and it is possible to trade in sorrow for JOY.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him. And even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy…” 1 Peter 1:8

I really believe sorrow, heart ache, and life’s difficulties can be a gift leads us to finding Jesus and everlasting life.

In Godless Europe, specifically Belgium, when people lose hope the best the government/health care system can offer is- the right to die.  People have tried to take God out of the equation and replace him with government, science, psychology, etc.  But the human soul still has this gaping (God-sized) emptiness that refuses to be filled or satisfied with anything but the living God himself.  When we try to fix depression as a mental, physical, or emotional problem we fall short.  We are not animals.  We are spiritual beings that happen to reside in a body.  Spiritual beings that were created for experiencing love and fellowship with our creator.  It makes sense that if we are completely missing the point of our existence that a deep depression would result.

Not only are we spiritual (even the staunchest atheist) but we are eternal beings.  When the body dies the soul leaves and goes to it’s eternal destination.  “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20:15  I don’t want to flippant or callous.  The tragedy is that people think their suffering is going to end by choosing ‘the right to die’.  It is beyond tragic.  It is completely unnecessary.

Putting your trust in Jesus does not ‘fix’ all your problems.  But the peace and joy is real.  You can know where you are going after death.  You can know there is nothing to fear.  You can know you are loved. god-of-hope

I see my depression as a parameter around my life, it is a safeguard.  When I start to drift away from God or allow something to come between us, the depression starts creeping back in.  When I am living for Him, in close fellowship, I am being continuously filled with joy.

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11

“Lord Jesus, my prayer is that when people come to the end of themselves that they would find you.  When people find that nothing on Earth can help, let them turn to you.  I pray that you would reveal yourself to those contemplating suicide.  I pray that you would deliver with your mighty out-stretched arm.  I pray for a revival of faith in Europe.  Amen.”