25 Inspirational and Insightful Quotes for Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis

25 Inspirational and Insightful Quotes for Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis

One of my favorite things to do is to collect inspirational sayings that resonate with me. I find short inspirational quotes to be simple ways to remember important truths in learning and remembering how to live well in spite of having a mental health diagnosis.

So, I thought I would share with you some new quotes that I have found to be helpful:

  • “To get somewhere new, you must first decide that you are tired of being where you are.” Unknown
  • “You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue with his or her actions.” Unknown
  • “A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret.” Unknown
  • Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys. Rita Schiano
  • “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling
  • “Busy is a drug that a lot of people are addicted to in their lives.” Unknown
  • “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” Unknown
  • “What defines is not our past. Rather, how well we rise after falling.” Unknown
  • “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change: I am changing the things I cannot accept.” Unknown
  • “Two things prevent us from happiness; living in the past and observing others.” Unknown
  • “Your past does not determine who you are. Your past prepares you for who you are to become.” Unknown
  • “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” Unknown
  • “Never trust your tongue when your heart is bitter.” Unknown
  • “Failure isn’t final unless you quit.” Unknown
  • “Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to or expected it to, doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you ever imagined.” Unknown
  • “Let’s stop believing that our differences make us superior or inferior to one another.” Unknown
  • “Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.” Unknown
  • “I refuse to please others at the expense of my emotional well-being. Even if it means saying no to people who are used to hearing yes.”
  • “Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances.” C.S. Lewis
  • “You don’t protect your heart by acting like you don’t have one.” Unknown
  • “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” Winston Churchill
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill
  • “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
  • “Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” Unknown
  • “No one can go back and make a brand new start. However, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Unknown

Do any of these quotes speak to you? If so, why? Do you have any favorite inspirational quotes that have been helpful to you in learning how to live well in spite of a mental health diagnosis?

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

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“Why We Offer a Christian Mental Health Group at Our Church” By Dale Rose

“Why We Offer a Christian Mental Health Group at Our Church” By Dale Rose

By: Pastor Dale Rose

Mental health issues and how to deal with them came ‘out of the blue’ when our son was diagnosed as schizo-affected.  It was “upfront and personal” and very hard to deal with, but we had no choice.  The problem was ever growing as the experiment with different prescriptions did little to alleviate the paranoia, delusions and other symptoms Steve was enduring.   

As a family, where faith is paramount, we found that there wasn’t really any help within the church.  We traveled from church to church because our son believed that surely we would find the right place where this ‘problem’ could be dealt with once and for all.  Our search in the Christian community was met with one pastor who told us the problem was solved, “we cast out all the demons.”  Steve was excited, “finally someone found the problem and I’m going to be ok.”

He wasn’t ok and it was a great trial of his faith and of ours.   Steve was a Ministerial Studies graduate at one of the finest universities and found his place in ministry soon after graduation in Hawaii.    He was doing fine in a Calvary Chapel Church. It was there that he first began to exhibit signs that something was wrong. Things didn’t work out and he returned to the mainland.

For years we dealt with Steve’s mental illness as best we could.   At one time we even found a Christian therapist who was of the same denomination as us and was within our insurance program.  Unfortunately, the therapist was transferred to another distant hospital, too far for us to travel. We were met with frustration after frustration in our quest to find something besides meds and therapists who didn’t understand the spiritual aspects that were part of Steve’s particular illness.

We have found that the enemy of our soul delights in beating up those with mood disorders.  We often heard Steve say….. “God told me he was through with me, I’ve committed the unpardonable sin.”   It would require sessions of prayer and reasoning to convince him that it was a lie from hell.   We continued to support him and take him to counseling sessions and some peer support groups, some of which only made things worse.   We couldn’t find the right therapist! The support groups were not supportive at all, sometimes all the negativity only made things worse.   There didn’t seem to be any hope anywhere.

In March of 2014 I went to a symposium called Mental Health and The Church.  It was held at Saddleback Church where Rick Warren is Pastor. Before hearing any presenters, I was browsing the many books that were available for sale in the different booths.  

One of the books caught my eye, it had a simple title, FRESH HOPE.    That’s what we needed, fresh hope. Oh how we longed for something that would help us out of the pit we were in.  Speaker after speaker presented their stories and helps in regards to mental health and mood disorders. One speaker stood out,  Brad Hoefs, the author of the book I had bought before the sessions began.

Brad had his break with reality just like Steve.   It too was traumatic and life changing. Both Steve and Brad lost their ministries because of their mental health diagnosis.  When I returned to our church after the conference, I consulted with the lead pastors and told them about FRESH HOPE and that the three of us, Steve, my wife and I would like to see this ministry at our church.  At that time, one person had to have a mental health diagnosis in order to charter with FRESH HOPE. Steve was so excited when the leadership said yes to our proposal; he would once again have a place of ministry, helping facilitate a faith based mental health support group.

We began the training through the manuals and videos provided and set a date a couple of months ahead for our launch.  Sadly, we lost Steve to a massive heart attack two weeks before our launch. But having walked beside him in his journey for seventeen years, we decided that we could use our experience and knowledge gained to help others.

Four and a half years have elapsed since that symposium and we continue to minister to those who suffer from the stigma associated with mental illness.   We are doing our part to end the stigma and break the silence, we see FRESH HOPE at our church as Steve’s legacy.

I visited a mental health ward at one of our hospitals five times last week.  This week we will have our regular meeting with people looking for help and hope; they won’t leave disappointed.   Fresh Hope fills the bill! Last week twenty seven people left feel better than when they came. We recently had to change our meeting location because we outgrew the old one!  Steve would be so glad to see that his years of suffering helped us to better reach out and touch someone. Fresh Hope is an expression of God’s hand extended. Now our quest and challenge is to develop new leaders.  Our belief is that every church needs Fresh Hope! The statistics demand a response from the Christian community. I have found that Fresh Hope is the best response a church can offer!

Thank God for all of the different groups making an effort to alleviate the pain and suffering of those with mood disorders.   However, some of them are stuck in molds that aren’t the best. One church uses a program that goes for twenty-four weeks, but if you miss the first two weeks, you have to wait till they start over!   You are welcome at Fresh Hope anytime!
Picture1Pastor Dale Rose is Minister of Pastoral Care at Canyon Hills Assembly of God in Bakersfield, California.   He and his wife, Martha, facilitate the weekly Fresh Hope peer support program for the church and are ambassador-advocates for mental health issues.   Martha does the “heavy lifting” (teaching) each week.  Contact info: freshhope4u2@gmail.com

 

 

 

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

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What Do People Say When You Are Depressed?

What Do People Say When You Are Depressed?

by Rick Qualls

People say all kinds of things when they discover you are suffering from depression.

Here are some unhelpful things you might hear:

“There is always someone who is in worse shape than you are.” Depression is not a competition. Comparing illnesses only induces guilt. Yes, others are hurting. But that is not the point. Don’t discount your illness and its effect on you and others.

“You are just sad.” No. Depression is more than sadness. We all are sad at times, but depression is a disease. Depression affects physical health such as sleeping habits, brain chemistry, appetite, and the slowing down of speech and actions.

Oppressive negative thoughts accompany depression. Depression affects your spirit. You may lose meaning in life. You may question your faith and prayer life.

Depression is a disease that affects your whole life. It is far more than sadness.

“Cheer up! Have happy thoughts.” Negative thoughts overtake the sense of joy or cheerfulness that you once had. Why does this happen? No one knows. It may be brain chemistry, a genetic dysfunction, the electrical impulse that has created patterns of thinking that are negative, or even tragic events may have induced a depressive state.

No one wants to suffer depression. If happy thoughts could cure, there would be less misery in the world.

Here are helpful things you may hear:

“You are important to me.” To have someone stay in the dark shadows with you is a precious gift. You may not feel worthy of the people who remain in your life.

Some people will not be able to follow you into the darkness. They may be afraid. Afraid that depression is contagious. Or they don’t know what to do. They want to “fix” you, but they can’t and are frustrated. Family members may have guilt feelings that keep them at a distance.

But those who say, “You are important to me. I will stay with you through this” are gifts from God.

The words, “You are not going crazy.” There are medical reasons for the way that you feel, and affirmation from those who care bring relief. Depression brings fear of slipping more deeply into the shadows. Words of affirmation from caring people remind us that our experience is a regular part of depression.

Some may say, “I am glad to help you.” When they say this, they are specific about what they can do. They may offer to listen or walk with you. Perhaps they may watch a movie with you, become your exercise partner, or check on you every day.

We live in a society of words. Some words are meaningless noise. Some words hurt and other words build people up.

Filtering out negative words is hard. They stay with us longer than positive words. (Some clinicians believe that it takes five positive comments to make up for one negative one.)

One thing that I try to do, though not always successfully, is to assume the speaker means well but doesn’t understand depression. I try to hang on to the positive comments as long as possible.

Be aware of the power of words. The Bible reminds us that we have a responsibility for our what we say.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

Parts of this article are from Rick’s book: Bright Spots In The Darkness: Meditations When You Are Depressed. See this and other writings at

  • Bright Spots in the Darkness Christians can be depressed. Yet there is stigma in the church for suffering depression. Well-meaning people will say: “Just get over it.” “Think about good things.” “Confess your hidden sin.” “You must not be reading your Bible enough.” Instead of help, you may find judge…
    RICKQUALLS.COM

    Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

    YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

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A Key to Thriving in Spite of Your Difficult Circumstances

A Key to Thriving in Spite of Your Difficult Circumstances

Over the last 30 years, I’ve spent untold hours doing pastoral counseling with what seems to be a “gazillion” or more individuals, couples and families. I’ve heard just about everything and seen even more than I’ve heard. I’ve seen what seems to be manageable problems tear families apart. Broken relationships, wounded people, discouragement, and despair seem all too familiar. But, interestingly enough there have been times when I have watched families, couples and individuals actually pull together and become stronger because of overwhelming circumstances that I was sure that no one could go through and “survive”. They not only survived, but they thrived!

I’ve asked myself what it is that those who thrive in spite of horrible life altering circumstances have that those who seem done in by even less severe circumstance do not have? I have come to the conclusion that there are some things that the “thrivers” have in common. And there seems to be one major thing that they all have in common for not just surviving but thriving in spite of their circumstances. What is that one thing? They help others in spite of their circumstances. They regularly and consistently give and help other people in spite of their pain.

Helping and giving to others gives temporary relief to one’s overwhelming circumstances. It has the power to cause a shift in one’s perception of their problems. Time and time again I have seen people going through tragic events in their lives step out of their pain to help someone else. By giving to others their focus changes. When you and I help others in spite of what is going on in our lives, it has the power to change everything. When I move the focus off of myself and onto someone else to give to them, if even for a brief moment, my personal pain is brought into focus.

It seems that when you and I lose our perspective due to our circumstances the circumstances feel even worse. When we focus only on ourselves and how horrible our circumstances might be we allow the circumstances to hold even more power and pain in our lives.

Giving and helping others in spite of what we might be going through is the release valve from the pressures of our circumstances. Just like a teapot the pressure builds in our lives when the circumstances are difficult. There has to be a release of the build up of the environmental pressure, or it leads to potential disaster.

A mental health disorder/illness can be very challenging. It can cause difficult circumstances within one’s life. It can cause you and me to become very self-focused. Which at times is necessary. But, if all we do is focus on ourselves, then bipolar disorder has the potential to hold too much power in our lives. You know what I mean?

How about you? Are you only focused on you and your circumstances? If so, have you thought about helping someone else? Or doing something for someone else? Have you found helping others to be good for you?

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

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Podcast: Hope for the Homeless, Hurting and Hopeless

Podcast: Hope for the Homeless, Hurting and Hopeless

In this edition of Fresh Hope for Mental Health, Pastor Brad interviews Ms. Candace Hoyt-Gregory, C.E.O. of the Open Door Mission in Omaha, Nebraska.  Candice gives helpful insight into mental health issues that the homeless face as well as just the compassion and mercy that is needed when ministering to hurting, hopeless and homeless people.

This interview is very insightful for the Church at large and caregivers regarding hopelessness.  But, there’s a LOT of encouragement also for those who are hurting and feeling hopeless.  No matter where you are “at” today, you’ll get a lot from this interview.

Candace Gregory is President/CEO of Open Door Mission in Omaha, Nebraska. Since joining the Mission as a case manager in 1995, Ms. Gregory has also served as Director of Family Ministries, Director of Lydia House and Family Ministries, and Chief Operating Officer.

Born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada, Candace is a graduate of Lower Coverdale Christian Academy, Bethany Bible College, New Brunswick Community College, and Grace University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. In 2004, Candace received an honorary doctorate from Clarkson College of Sciences in Humanitarian Services Prior to her entry in the social service and family ministry profession, Candace was a successful businesswoman who launched and managed family-owned pizza restaurants in Canada. She is a devoted wife and mother, residing in Iowa with her husband Steve and their four children.

Ms. Gregory has more than 20 years of experience in children and family ministries. She has become a noted national advocate for the homeless and is sought out for her experience in implementing community prevention programs that help end the cycle of homelessness and poverty.  Ms. Gregory is a seasoned community relations builder, having acquired partnerships with Omaha businesses and service organizations.

After listening to this podcast, we encourage you to email us at info@FreshHope.us with a comment or question that we will share on our next podcast.

To listen to this podcast click on the icon just below here or click here:

small logo for Fresh Hope

If you are listening to this podcast on iTunes, we encourage you to leave a comment regarding the podcast. Or you can leave a voice message for us on the site:  www.FreshHope4MentalHealth.com

Pastor Brad Hoefs, the host of Fresh Hope for Mental Health, is the founder of Fresh Hope Ministries, a network of Christian mental health support groups for those who have a diagnosis and their loved ones. In other words, Fresh Hope is a Christian mental health support group.

Brad was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1995. He is a weekly blogger for www.bphope.com (Bipolar Magazine). He is also a certified peer specialist and has been doing pastoral counseling since 1985. Brad is also the author of Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis, which is available on Amazon or at http://www.FreshHopeBook.com

If you are interested in more information about Fresh Hope go to http://www.FreshHope.us or email info@FreshHope.us or call 402.932.3089.

To donate to Fresh Hope go to http://freshhope.us/donate/

For a complete list of where Fresh Hope groups are presently meeting, go to www.FreshHope.us and click on “find a group.”  Or you may attain an online group of meetings of Fresh Hope by going to www.FreshHopeMeeting.com

If you are interested in starting a Fresh Hope group within your faith community, contact Julie at Julie@FreshHope.us 

Fresh Hope for Mental Health is a production of Fresh Hope Ministries. 

Fresh Hope Ministries is a non-profit ministry.  

The copyrights of this program belong to Fresh Hope Ministries and may not be duplicated without written permission. 

All of the podcasts of Fresh Hope Today, as well as numerous other videos, are all available on our YouTube channel: Fresh Hope Network

 Fresh Hope for Mental Health is on Facebook at  www.Facebook.com/FreshHopeforMentalHealth

Allow Yourself to Grieve by Rick Qualls

Allow Yourself to Grieve by Rick Qualls

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Grieving is part of depression. With depression come loss. Depression may have changed your feelings so that even positive things are seen negatively.

You may not “be yourself”.  Your energy levels are lower, you socialize less, you may think less clearly, medicines often have unwanted side effects.

You may feel as though you are not the same person as before depression. These losses are real.

Foggy headed, I remember one incident while severely depressed, I became confused driving familiar roads. It was startling and frightening. Afterwards I grieved over being confused.

I was angry, shocked about this symptom of my depression. Embarrassed I wondered what was happening to me. I wondered if this would be a permanent.

I grieved over “not being me.”

What is the answer to the questions?  First, remember there are treatments that can lift the fog of depression.  There are many treatments with new ones being pioneered every day. Don’t give in to grief.

Two, this depression will pass.

Three, with the help of your doctors and therapists look at your depression management program and see if changes are needed.

One of the first questions we ask in the middle of these “losses” is:  Why?  Why me, God?

Is it totally random?  Is it because of personal circumstances?  Is it the result of dysfunctional cognitive functioning?  Is is genetic?  Chemical?

We may never know.  What I have found helpful is to begin asking, “How” instead of “Why”.  Since I am depressed how will I deal with it.  If I can’t control having the disease, how can I manage it?

When you are grieving don’t beat yourself up.  Grief requires emotional and physical rest.  Grief is a process different for everyone. Take care of your physical needs, eat well, exercise and spend time with positive people.

One of the things that helps process grief is to repeat your story. In the repetition the mind and heart process feelings.

Allow yourself to grieve.

With the best of your ability turn to God as your refuge.

Psalm 46:1-2  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

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Surviving Versus Enjoying the Holidays

Surviving Versus Enjoying the Holidays

Several years ago it dawned on me that my attitude towards the holiday season was only one of ‘survival.’  Before being treated for bipolar disorder, the Christmas season had been a time of ‘escalating mood’ with a ‘downward spiral’ in January.  When my journey of recovery started, I began to view the holiday season as a time to ‘simply survive’ while closely managing my mood.

My list for survival included things such as:

  • don’t overspend
  • don’t over plan
  • don’t overeat
  • don’t “people” yourself out.

It was a list of don’ts.  For many years that approach worked, but left me wondering if it would ever be possible to actually enjoy the holidays – as opposed to surviving them.

Several years ago I decided to approach the holidays differently.  Instead of seeing them only as a time to ‘survive,’ I decided I would find a way to enjoy them.  And it works for me. For the past four to five years, I can honestly say that I have genuinely enjoyed Christmas!

My ‘how-to-enjoy’ Christmas list still includes some don’ts, but it also includes a list of ‘to do’s,’ such as:

  • be around people that I enjoy
  • savor the sweet moments; be in the moment
  • take time to pray and reflect

To my surprise, the activity that has created the most enjoyment is making gifts for loved ones.  This allows me a quiet creative time for fun and reflection.  It’s my ‘creative play time, ’ and it brings me a lot of joy.  It’s working for me again this year.

Will you be ‘surviving’ or ‘enjoying’ the coming holidays? What are some things you do or could do to bring about more enjoyment into your holiday season?  What works for you?

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

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