13 Reasons Why Not

By June 5, 2017 Blog

We’ve just finished watching the series ’13 Reasons Why.’ It’s about a teenage girl, Hannah, who kills herself; and the 13 people she blames for her decision. My feelings on it are mixed. It graphically depicts issues such as self-harm, rape, addiction and suicide; all of which need to be discussed. It also teaches us how to spot warning signs in vulnerable teenagers and to ask, ‘what would I do? How could I have helped?’ These are vital questions; but there …Read More

Guest Post: Can Despair Be Worship?

By August 19, 2015 Blog

Glen here. On Sunday I preached the darkest Psalm in the Bible: Psalm 88. It’s 18 verses of unrelenting anguish and confusion and yet… the Holy Spirit authored it, Jesus prayed it and the Father hears it. In fact he has continued to hear it prayed by millions around the world for the best part of three millennia. It belongs to a whole category of Psalms – laments – which are the most common forms of prayer in the Psalter. Almost …Read More

It’s Ok Not To Know

By April 13, 2015 Blog

Depression is a beast. Sometimes you can spot it coming. But often, it sneaks up and grabs you from behind. At these times, the normal weaponry – self-care, support from friends/GP, comfort TV, maintenance meds – feel like sword-fighting with a plastic spoon. Or it would if you were up for a fight.   Which, (along with other tasks like getting washed, cleaning your teeth and breathing), you’re not. A friend comes to you and says that they’re struggling. ‘Tell me this will end.’ ‘I can’t believe anyone else …Read More

When the Black Dog’s Howling

By July 27, 2014 Blog

It’s hard to explain depression when you haven’t had it.  I was chatting to a guy about this a few days ago. ‘Yes’ he said. ‘My wife’s found things difficult in the past but I never really got it.  I tried to be sympathetic, but I couldn’t help thinking, ‘ we’ve got things good. Why can’t you just be more positive?’ He paused.  ‘Then I was made redundant at work.  One day I just couldn’t get up.  It wasn’t just …Read More

Helping A Depressed Friend

By March 3, 2014 Blog

When someone you love is depressed, it  can feel like nothing you say or do makes a difference. Do you leave them alone if they say they don’t want company? Or press them to do something that might make them even unhappier? What if they blame you for their moods? –  or if everything you do seems to set them off? Signs to watch out for: Doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore – including things they used to enjoy, …Read More

Depression and Christmas

By December 19, 2013 Blog

Let’s face it, there’s never a great time for depression.  But Christmas can be especially hard. So, 1. Be aware of this.  It’s not just you.  You are not going crazy.  Everyone else is not having the Best Time Ever with their Perfect Pet/Partner/Brussel Sprouts. It might look that way, but that’s because you’ve forgotten to.. 2. Stay away from social media, (or get one of those apps that replaces shots of babies/engagements with grinches/dolphins in santa hats).  No, Really. …Read More

The Gift We Don’t Want

By December 5, 2013 Blog

A friend of mine works with those struggling with depression. She knows a lot about it and does a brilliant job. But until recently, she had no experience of it herself.   That changed when she felt in herself the things that her patients described.  She’s now feeling much better, but the experience  hit her, she says, like a truck. ‘I do the same things as I always did – but somehow it’s completely different.  The way I see myself …Read More

Misery, Meds and the Messiah

By September 10, 2013 Blog

There’s not much to say about depression except this: it’s really crap. No sudden flashes of genius or moments of clarity. No deeper understanding of the human psyche or renewed faith in the little things. People are lifelines. They help keep you alive. But it doesn’t mean you feel it. And when you’ve Not Felt It for a while, you get awfully tired. At times like this, I’m all for pharmaceuticals. Meds are rarely the answer – but in my …Read More

When Jesus Isn’t Enough

By August 8, 2013 Blog

A question from J, after yesterday’s post. ‘What happens when that’s still not enough, when no matter how much you believe it should be and it is, Jesus, God, Christian faith, Christian hope hasn’t yet been the solution? It’s the text book answer, the right answer, but it isn’t answering it this time. It’s the answer I would give to anyone else, the solution I would offer and advise, but it’s not cutting the cake for me. When you’ve tried …Read More

Depressing Evangelicals? Guest Post

By August 2, 2013 Blog

Does evangelical spirituality help or hinder those who are depressed? Glen asked this question a few days ago and got some great responses. Here’s one from Paul: Evangelical culture so often puts a deep emphasis on internal ‘states’ rather than simple life practice and structure. When the emphasis is all on what is happening inside me – emotionally and psychologically – then it tends to be too demanding or uncontrollable. One of the core reasons that depression so easily attaches …Read More