We both love how Matthew has taken the concept of sin and given a breath of fresh air to the topic. You must read this book because in its pages you will finally gain a biblical perspective on sin and what it takes to free yourself from the bonds that so easily entangle!

Gary and Michael Smalley
Smalley Relationship Center
When mental illness afflicts a loved one, how can we understand what is happening and respond appropriately? This biblically-literate and scientifically-informed book offers helpful insight, encouragement, and practical advice. For pastors and for those who hurt for those who hurt, Matthew Stanford offers sensitive and welcome guidance.

David G. Myers, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Hope College and author of Psychology Through the Eyes of Faith.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Women, Depression and the Church (Part 2)

So what should a woman struggling with profound sadness and depressed mood do to determine the best course of treatment and healing? A good place to start is with a physical by your primary care physician (PCP). During that office visit the PCP can order testing and perform a physical exam that will rule out many other potential disorders that may be causing the problem (e.g., hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, pancreatic cancer). In addition, the PCP can likely make a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist who will further evaluate the person once a non-brain related disorder is ruled-out.

If a psychological assessment shows that the individual meets criteria for a diagnosis of major depressive disorder the person should then begin treatment. Treatment may include antidepressant medication and some form of talking therapy (psychotherapy). It is imperative that an individual diagnosed with major depressive disorder receive some form of psychotherapy. Medication alone is typically not effective in fully managing the symptoms of major depressive disorder. In combination, psychotherapy and medication have consistently been found to be a more effective treatment than either alone.

What if a physical illness is ruled out and the person does not meet criteria for a diagnosis of major depressive disorder after a psychological assessment? At this point antidepressant medication should no longer be considered an option and some type of counseling is the most appropriate course of action. Personally, I would recommend some type of pastoral counseling either through the church or a local Christian counselor. Spiritual healing and wholeness only come through an understanding of who we are in Christ. In addition, during a time of psychological distress the person’s friends and family have the opportunity not only to remind their hurting sister of the truths of God, but also to love them, walk beside them, and encourage them. Two sets of verses that I have found helpful in doing this are Philippians 4:11-13 and 1 Peter 1:3-9. These verses teach us that while difficulties and trials (like depression) will come into all of our lives, contentment in Christ is learned through a process of daily submission to God and ever increasing dependence on the great hope laid before us, Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. Depression is very common among teens as well as mid-age adults. It is a common type of mental disorder. Stress is main cause of depression. Major depressive disorder is a common type of mental disorder. Major depressive disorder affects personal and social relationship. The symptoms include losing interest in daily activities, eating disorder, sleep disorders, etc. There are many ways to treat this type of disorder like medication, psychotherapy etc. For more
    details refer major depressive disorder