Setting the Captive Free! New Research Illustrates our Power to Overcome Depression

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In response to my post linking the new study questioning the serotonin-deprivation theory of depression, I received a very thoughtful email from a reader who wrote, "Dr. Popcak, some of my friends who suffer with depression are saying that in this article you are blaming them for their depression. Can you explain further?"Blaming the Victim?  A ResponseI am grateful for her question because I would never want anyone to think that I was blaming sufferers of depression for being d … [Read more...]

Suicide and the Christian

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In light of Robin Williams' tragic death there are a lot of people saying a lot of different things about Christianity and suicide. I thought it would be useful to take a moment to consider the wisdom the Catechism has to offer."Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide. We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him … [Read more...]

Effective Coping for Emotional Distress

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Earlier today I offered some reflections on what people-of-faith need to know about depression.  I promised that I'd offer some additional thoughts on effective coping for emotional distress.Effective coping strategies enable a person to gather their psychological, emotional, spiritual, and relational resources so that they can respond to the problems they are facing.  By contrast, ineffective coping strategies simply allow a person to escape, withdraw, or numb themselves for a time, but w … [Read more...]

Dealing With Depression: Getting the Right Kind of Help Matters

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The news of Robin Williams' suicide has brought the insidious nature of depression front and center.  I know too many Christians who believe that they should be immune from depression because they are Christian.   While research shows that some believers can be more resistant to depression and have a somewhat easier time bouncing back when they do get depression, it is also true that some approaches to religion can be associated with higher rates of depression and emotional problems.  When … [Read more...]

“This Book Changed My Life”

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Every once in a while the Holy Spirit allows me a glance at how he's using my work to touch the hearts of his people.  It's always humbling and I'm always truly grateful for the experience.  Earlier today, I came across a post by Molly Milroy of Ignitum Today titled, "Five Books That Changed My Life"  I was genuinely blessed to find my book, The Life God Wants You To Have:  Discovering the Divine Plan When Human Plans Fail listed among the titles that significantly impacted her life for the bette … [Read more...]

The Secret of Forgiving Yourself

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We're heading into Lent and, as I noted on the show today, it's a time where lots of us will end up facing some degree of temptation to beat up on ourselves for failing in our efforts to fulfill our Lenten penances.  Beyond this, though, forgiving oneself for one's failings and struggles is a constant struggle.  It can be hard to know what forgiving yourself means much less how to do it.As I've shared before, St Augustine said that  forgiveness is what happens when we "surrender our natural d … [Read more...]

Antidepressants Have More Side Effects than Previously Thought

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A University of Liverpool researcher has shown that thoughts of suicide, sexual difficulties and emotional numbness as a result of anti-depressants may be more widespread than previously thought.In a survey of 1,829 people who had been prescribed anti-depressants, the researchers found large numbers of people -- over half in some cases -- reporting on psychological problems due to their medication, which has led to growing concerns about the scale of the problem of over-prescription of these … [Read more...]

A Screwtape Letter to An Unappreciated Mom

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The original Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis reveals a series of fictitious letters between Screwtape, a senior demon, and his nephew, Wormwood, a demon-in-training, about the tricks of the demonic trade of tempting a "patient" (i.e., Christian) away from "the Enemy" (i.e., God).    In this tremendous adaptation, a blogger reveals a previously undiscovered letter from Screwtape to Wormwood about how to undermine the faith, marriage, and confidence of  "an unappreciated mom."  It's powerful stuff, a … [Read more...]


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