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Mood Disorders and the Christian Show Notes

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Show Notes from A Wonderful Life - AWL Show Notes

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Summary:

Mood Disorders often carry negative connotations. We often think these are crazy people walking the streets talking to themselves wearing worn out clothes. Today we want to offer some insight on this subject and how it affects many people you may know.

Suzann Schlichter and Sharon Hinton Smith

Suzann Schlichter and
Sharon Hinton Smith

Often in the Christian community, people with these challenges are told to have more faith, or to pray more. Would we tell a diabetic to forget the insulin and have more faith that his body will just automatically create what it needs? Would we tell someone who needs glasses to walk around with blurry vision instead of equipping him with what his body needs?

Neither Suzann nor I are doctors. We are speaking today about a subject that is dear to Suzann’s heart because of personal experience. Maybe you’ve struggled with some similar issues, but didn’t know you needed help. If so, we encourage you to seek a medical professional.

Be sure to watch the show to hear Suzann Schlichter's story. You will be encouraged!

Some common types of Mood Disorders: bipolar disorder, depression, ADD, anxiety, OCD, addiction.

People react to mood disorders in a negative way because of fear, lack of knowledge and lack of understanding.

Scriptures
  • 2 Corinthians 10:5b "...and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
  • Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whaterver is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

According to Dr. Paul Meier's, book "Blue Genes" (Breaking free from the chemical imbalances that affect your moods, your mind, your life, and your loved ones.)

Who we are is made up of a combination of:

  • Genetics
  • Environment
  • Life choices

Four (4) Key Brain Amines that work together to regulate our behavior (Pages 21 - 22)

  • Serotonin - probably the most influential chemical in our bodies. Each of us is basically as happy as our brain's serotonin level. If you have the right amount of serotonin in your brain cell synapses, you are filled with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, energy during the day, great sleep at night, and so on.
  • Dopamine - gives sanity. If out of balance, you may start hearing negative voices outside of you head, or might have difficulty holding thoughts together, or might become paranoid, or might become grandiose, thinking you were God or His right hand assistant.
  • GABA - puts the breaks on our worries, helps with sleep, takes away our shyness, decreases physical pain, takes away drug and alcohol cravings, and helps us to have muscle relaxation
  • Norepinephrine - the brain's version of adrenaline. It mediates energy, motivation, sexual pleasure and improved mental focus. Low levels lead to sexual dysfunction, chronic fatigue, forgetfulness, lack of motivation and depression. High levels result in anxiety, insomnia, and even panic attacks.
Amino Acids are precursors to Neurotransmitters

Up to half of the American population has an inherited predisposition for some mental abnormality (depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, etc.) (Page 31)

Key in taking medication - It can take 10 weeks for serotonin levels to build back up.

You take medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or arthritis. The brain is an organ too and needs its correct levels for proper function.

Bitterness and anger among other things can cause serotonin depletion. Unresolved anger can actually result in serotonin depletion in the brain, thus leading to depression. This is an example of a biochemical problem, triggered by (Pages 30, 128)

  • an emotional problem, that was brought on originally by
  • a spiritual problem

Dysthymia - A chronic, intermittent, low-grade depression. These people are more likely to be divorced (sometimes several times), have distant relationships with adult children and report loneliness and few friends. Sometimes treatment can unveil a totally new, happy person who is fun to be around.  (Page 133)

Depression is more complicated than just chemical abnormalities. It involves physical aspects, emotional aspects and spiritual aspects.  (Page 128)

The elderly frequently suffer depression and are at risk for being misdiagnosed. Depression in the elderly often looks like dementia. There are numerous stories of elderly depressed people who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia and put in a nursing home. When treated for depression, they returned to their old selves.  (Page 134)

Getting Help

"Blue gene" problems are physical; they involve physical abnormalities with physical chemicals that strongly influence how and what you think, as well as how you feel about yourself, your life, others, and God. (Page 141)

If you need psychiatric medications and do not have access to a Christian psychiatrist in your area, see a Christian counselor to deal with your issues, and see a non-Christian psychiatrist who is good a medications. Just don't ask him to discern spiritual matters with you. Or travel to a good Christian psychiatrist and then have your family doctor follow up if the psych meds are not too complicated.

If you have a complicated "blue genes" problem, like bipolar or psychotic depression, do not go to your family doctor to decide what medications you should be on. See a psychiatrist. You wouldn't go to your family doctor for brain surgery, would you?

Don't ruin your potential because you are too proud to ask for help.

In my opinion, it would be wrong for me to refuse to take medications that render me much more useful to the cause of Christ. (Page 31)


Question: Suzann, what would you say to someone struggling today?

Keep taking your medications. If you think there is a problem with the dosage, contact your doctor to get it adjusted.

Get into God's word and learn the truth of what He says about you. Medications alone will not solve anyone's condition. We need the truth of God's word to speak to us. Try to memorize Scriptures if you can.

Resources

Fayetteville Family Life Center
Phone: 910-484-0176
114 Highland Avenue
Fayetteville, NC
Meier Clinics
Phone: 1-888-7-CLINIC
www.meierclinics.com Opens a new window
Book referenced in this show: Blue Genes by Dr. Paul Meier
The Amen Clinics
Phone: 888-564-2700
www.amenclinics.com Opens a new window
Brain Scan SPECT technology and great brain health information!
Websites:
BipolarChristianFellowship.org Opens a new window
Christianbipolarfellowship.blogspot.com Opens a new window
Jesusjournal.com Opens a new window

Notes from A Wonderful Life with Sharon Hinton Smith show. © 2005 - 2018

You are invited to print and keep these notes for personal encouragement. www.sharonhintonsmith.com