Pastor Brad Hoefs

Pastor | Author | Speaker | Hope Coach | Mental Health Advocate

How To Survive A Panic Attack When It Strikes By: Stan Popovich

How To Survive A Panic Attack When It Strikes By: Stan Popovich

How To Survive A Panic Attack When It Strikes

By: Stan Popovich

Do you experience panic attacks and do not know what to do? A person can experience a panic attack when they least expect it.

As a result, here are six easy steps a person can follow when a panic attack strikes unexpectedly.

  1. Take a break: A panic attack can be very uncomfortable and can affect a person’s thinking. The best thing is to take a break in order to calm down. You don’t want to do anything when your not thinking clearly.
  2. Take deep breaths: A person should take some deep breaths to help feel better and to get rid of some of the excessive fear and anxiety. There are many kinds of breathing exercises a person can learn to follow with the help of a mental health counselor. Taking some deep breaths can help a person relax right away.
  3. Distract yourself: A person should try to distract themselves from the panic they are experiencing. A person could get some fresh air, listen to some music, take a brisk walk, read the newspaper, or do something relaxing that will give them a fresh perspective on things.
  4. Get the facts of your situation: Many people feel helpless when they experience a panic attack for the first time. The fact is that you will be ok and that it takes a few minutes for the anxiety to go away. Talk to a counselor and get the facts of what a panic attack is and what you can do when a panic attack occurs.
  5. Don’t dwell on your thoughts: A person must not dwell or focus on their thoughts during a panic attack. The more a person tries to reason out their thoughts the longer a panic attack will last. Read some positive statements from your favorite self-help book to help overcome your negative thoughts during a panic attack.
  6. Get help: It is important to talk to a qualified professional in order to learn how to survive a panic attack. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with any panic attacks that may occur in the future.

 

Stan Popovich is the author of the popular managing fear book, “A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear”. For more information about Stan’s book and to get some free mental health advice, please visit Stan’s website at http://www.managingfear.com

 

Fear and Anxiety Do Not Have To Rule Your Life By: Stan Popovich

Fear and Anxiety Do Not Have To Rule Your Life By: Stan Popovich

By: Stan Popovich

 

Many people have a difficult time in living a normal life when they have to battle with anxiety and other fear related issues. Dealing with anxiety on a daily basis can be very challenging and frustrating.

Here are 7 suggestions on how to live a happy life when you have a mental health disorder.

1. Educate yourself regarding your mental health issues: It is important to learn as much as you can about your mental health disorder so you can better manage your situation. Talk to a professional who can give you advice on how to manage your situation.

2. Use the services of a counselor: Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a counselor who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem.

3. Learn from your experiences: In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. Use what you have learned when you experience another similar situation.

4. Know where to go for help: Your family doctor is a great source in getting help for your mental health issues. Your local hospital is another place you can visit to find treatment. Hospitals know a lot of good counselors and mental health programs in your area and they can lead you in the right direction.

5. Surround yourself with supportive friends: You need to surround yourself with positive and supportive people. A person can always go to a support group where they can meet people who are also struggling with their mental health.

6. Be patient with yourself: Do not be hard on yourself when things do not go as planned. Dealing with anxiety and fear can be challenging so be patient. Do not be in a rush to get things done. Go at a pace that you feel comfortable with when accomplishing your regular activities.

7. Your Goal Is To Get Better: Your goal is to get your life back on track. Don’t waste your time arguing with your friends or relatives who are giving you a difficult time. This isn’t a public relations event where you need to get everyone’s approval. Your main focus is for you to live a happy life without anxiety and fear.

 

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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When Your Child is Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder: Becoming a Loved One

When Your Child is Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder: Becoming a Loved One

Recently someone my wife and I love very dearly was been diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. I find myself learning a lot from my wife about becoming a helpful and healthy loved one. It’s a new role for me.

You might say that my wife has a “doctorate degree” in being the loved one of someone with bipolar disorder. Not only has she been there for me for the last 20 years since my diagnosis, but also her Mother had bipolar disorder and took her own life 26 years ago. Painfully she is an expert at loving those with a diagnosis. And now together we have become loved ones of someone that we both love and have watched grow up.

As most of us know, bipolar disorder can run in families. As parents we’ve known this and have prayed that our children might be spared any more of the pain of this disorder that what they already had to overcome due to my struggle with the disorder during their childhoods. But, it has happened. One of our adult children has been diagnosed.

It’s been painful at times watching our child struggle and having to see them navigate through finding a doctor and the “trial” runs of various medicines. At times it has triggered both my wife and I of our past. Yet, both my wife and I know that our adult child can and will live a full and rich life in spite of the diagnosis. Because of our past experience, we knew that finding the “right” doctor and getting onto the “right” combination of medicine sooner than later was key to keeping our loved one from becoming sicker and to begin the process of healing.

Because of what we have experienced these past months I am once again reminded that getting well requires some initial ongoing elements to living well in spite of having bipolar disorder:

  • Finding the “right” doctor is key.

Your doctor needs to listen to and understand fully what you are experiencing before they jump to any medical conclusions. Unfortunately, some doctors have a habit of hearing key words that they assume you and they have the same definition of and they quickly jump to a diagnosis. When in fact, words can mean many different things at times and the better thing for a doctor to do is to ask, “What do you mean by that?

If your doctor does not ask you to clarify what you are saying or if they do not ask you more questions and you do not feel as though the doctor has really heard and understood you; you might not have the “right” doctor.

Your relationship with your doctor is key to getting well. If I felt as though my doctor didn’t listen to me and understand me nor care to understand me, I would be looking for a new one.

  • Having a personal advocate with at your initial doctor appointments is imperative from my perspective.

When you and I are not well our ability to be assertive for our own medical care is next to impossible. I can remember many of the years initially following being diagnosed and I found myself unable to even tell the doctor what was going on or how I really felt. I certainly didn’t have the ability to ask meaningful questions.

I believe it is imperative for your best care to have someone that you trust and that knows you well to go along with you to your doctor’s appointments. For me it made all the difference in the world. And it made a significant difference for our adult child to have someone there as an advocate. If you don’t have a family member or close friend who could be this person for you, consider having a certified peer support specialist be your advocate.

  • Having the support of family and friends makes a huge difference.

Doing mental health recovery alone is next to impossible. Those who have the support, love and understanding of family and/or a few close friends simply do better in the long run. If you don’t have those who are supportive in your life I strongly recommend that you find a good positive mental health support group and find the support and care that you need.

Our adult child is doing so much better today. And I’m learning from a different perspective that getting well is work; work that is not done alone in a vacuum.

I’m going to be selfish in this post and ask for those of you who have bipolar disorder and who have become loved ones of either children or others who have been diagnosed please give me your insights into becoming a caring and helpful loved one of someone who also has a mental health diagnosis. Thank you in advance.

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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6 Tips On Balancing Your Family, Career, And Your Anxieties By: Stan Popovich

6 Tips On Balancing Your Family, Career, And Your Anxieties By: Stan Popovich

6 Tips On Balancing Your Family, Career, And Your Anxieties

By: Stan Popovich

It can be difficult for adults to take care of their families, careers, and stresses at the same time.

Here are six work life balance tips on how to take care of your family and your career without getting overly stressed.

  1. Set goals: The most important of work home balance tips is to set goals for yourself when you manage your family or career. When you get up in the mornings, try to set some daily goals for you to accomplish. When you accomplish these goals, you will feel happier and more confident to do more things.
  2. Delegate: When taking care of your family, get your spouse to help you out. If your kids are older, get them to assist you. If you are at work, only take on what you can handle. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Learn to delegate and work with other people.
  3. Evaluate your situation: If you try to do everything, you will get stressed out and anxious. A person can only do so much in a given day. Learn to manage your responsibilities. If you feel like you are doing too much, then take a break and evaluate your situation.
  4. Prioritize: Try to do things in terms of their importance. Let’s say that you have to clean the living room, go to the supermarket, and wash the dishes. You decide to go to the supermarket since that is the most important thing that needs to be accomplished. You decide you can do the other two tasks later on. Determine what needs done right away and do those things first.
  5. Plan ahead: It is much easier to accomplish something if you know what you are going to do ahead of time. Proper planning will help manage the stresses and anxieties of getting want you want and help you to stay organized.
  6. Communication is important: It is important to talk to your friends and family in order to avoid any potential problems. Get into the habit of talking to others in order to get things accomplished. Do not get upset when things don’t work according to plan. Learning how to work with others can save you a lot of time.

BIOGRAPHY

Stan Popovich is the author of the popular managing fear book, “A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear”. For more information about Stan’s book and to get some free mental health advice, please visit Stan’s website at http://www.managingfear.com

 

5 Ways to Develop a Healthy Church Culture In Regards to Mental Illness By: Katie Dale

5 Ways to Develop a Healthy Church Culture In Regards to Mental Illness By: Katie Dale
  1. Talk About It

Start with the preaching from the pulpit (that’s you, pastors!) Include stories about those who have personally experienced mental illness as testimonies, to how they have experienced hope and healing in practical mental health treatment and results. Normalize its reality from the pastor’s perspective. Have a guest subject matter expert or success story from a church member who’s managed their illness to come in and speak to the congregation on a Sunday morning or Wednesday night. Hold a panel discussion inviting multiple field experts and host a talk on what the church can do to help those with mental illness. Make these events open to the church and the community.

 

2. Learn About It

If you are church leadership, look into material on mental illness and ways the church can help. Read books like Mental Health and the Church, Grace for the Afflicted, Troubled Minds, and Fresh Hope. Make these resources available and recommended for your ministry leaders to read and learn from. Invite a guest speaker to teach on it for a church leadership program or open it up to the congregation and invite the outside community for a conference.

 

3. Hold a Support Group

There are support groups like Fresh Hope for Mental Health, and Grace Alliance that can help your congregation and church members who struggle. The groups are usually member-initiated, pastor-approved, and peer-led. That means the ones facilitating must have a diagnosis and be maintaining a healthy functioning lifestyle. The support group curriculums are provided in the programs. If you are going to start your own group without a pre-existing organization’s curriculum program, research those that have done this before like Dr. Stanford’s, Dr. Grcevich’s, and Tony Roberts’ ministries found in this post on BipolarBrave.com

 

4. Advertise and Share about the Success of the Group

Make sure your congregation and community find out about the group and you have the resources to advertise and spread the word. You might advertise by investing in Facebook ads, a vinyl banner in front of the church, a blurb in the Sunday bulletin, an ad in the local newspaper, and through your denomination’s communications/newsletter. Get the word out.

 

5. Love and Support Each Other Practically

Be the hands and feet of Jesus and personally get to know other people who have mental illness. Form friendships, cultivate relationships, forgive when necessary, come alongside for practical needs when there are barriers to care. Practical ways you can help may range from providing transportation to medical appointments or hospitals, to a meal train for the family while a loved one with a diagnosis is away, to sending the member a card in the hospital, to sitting with and praying for them, and listening. These may seem like minor ways, but to the ones struggling, they make a huge difference.

 

Katie Dale is the mind behind BipolarBrave.com and GAMEPLAN: Mental Health Resource Guide. She anticipates the release of her first book, a memoir of her psych hospitalizations entitled But Deliver Me from Crazy, due March 2020. She enjoys her long runs and long naps to keep her bipolar in remission and resides in central Missouri with her husband and cat. You can follow her activity on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

Making Self-Care a Way of Life by Jamie Meyer

Making Self-Care a Way of Life by Jamie Meyer

By

Having a mental health diagnosis can make it difficult to care for ourselves. For people who don’t have a diagnosis, self-care is mostly a matter of choosing and making time for the things that will lead to better health. For those of us with a brain illness, it isn’t quite that simple. The question we’re more likely to ask ourselves is “Am I able?” Ability is the key word here because there are times when our symptoms can prevent us from caring for ourselves as well as we’d like.

Although we often think of self-care as something we do, it also means protecting our thought life. Nothing good comes from feeling ashamed when you can’t get out of bed or can’t concentrate because of racing thoughts.

We need to stop comparing ourselves to people who don’t have a diagnosis and let go of the messages from our culture that tell us productivity defines our value as a person. We need to be more gentle with ourselves and accept the truth–even if we don’t “feel” it’s true–that we have great value because we are God‘s creation and are loved unconditionally by Him.

After being diagnosed with Bipolar 2, I spent many years telling myself that my life was less valuable because I could no longer work full-time or take part in all the activities I had before. I beat myself up for being lazy and not trying hard enough. I felt ashamed because I didn’t want to be around other people.

When I began to interact with like-minded people in our Fresh Hope group, I came to realize that they too felt “less than” after their diagnosis. I learned from them that it’s okay to make caring for myself a priority. I felt understood and no longer needed to hide in shame.

I’ve come to accept that I’m not the same person I was before being diagnosed. But you know what? Neither is anyone else. Everyone grows and changes over time whether they have a diagnosis or not.

I’m learning to focus on the things I’m able to do, activities that are fulfilling yet keep me mentally stable. I work evenings part-time so I don’t have to get up early and I volunteer in smaller but just as valuable ways.

Another way I care for myself is by giving back to people like myself who live with the challenges of a mental health condition. In 2012, I put my personal journey into words when I wrote the book, “Stepping Out of Depression: Fresh Hope for Women Who Hurt” (available on Amazon). I wanted women to know they were not alone in dealing with depression, that true hope and healing are possible.

I also find fulfillment in giving encouragement and support to the wonderful people in our Fresh Hope group. Doing so helps me feel like I’m making a difference in my small corner of the world.

Caring for yourself involves more than eating right, exercising and reducing stress. It includes having supportive relationships and being involved in something that is meaningful to you. Self-care also means accepting the truth that you have value and purpose because of who you are, not what you do. You choose to let go of shameful thoughts and stop putting yourself down.

When we decide to make self-care a priority, life can become more satisfying and meaningful. Although we may not escape the ongoing challenges of our brain illness, we significantly improve our chances of living well in spite of it.

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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How To Help Someone You Know  With Their Anxieties And Depression By: Stan Popovich

How To Help Someone You Know  With Their Anxieties And Depression By: Stan Popovich

How To Help Someone You Know  With Their Anxieties And Depression

By: Stan Popovich

Do you know a friend or loved one who suffers from fear, anxiety, and depression and do not know what to do?

If so, here are six ways on how to help the person you care about in these kinds of situations.

  1. Learn as much as you can in managing anxiety and depression: There are many books and information that will educate you on how to deal with fear and anxiety. Share this information with the person who is struggling with their mental health.
  2. Be understanding and patient with the person struggling: Dealing with depression and anxiety can be difficult for the person so do not add more problems than what is already there. Do not get into arguments with the person whose having a difficult time with their anxieties.
  3. Talk to the person instead of talking at them: It is important not to lecture the person who is struggling with anxiety and depression. Talk to the person about their issues without being rude. Most people will listen if you approach them in the right manner.
  4. Talk to a counselor: Seek help from a professional who can help your friend or relative with their mental health struggles. A counselor can give you advice and ideas on how to overcome anxiety, fear, and depression. Getting help from a professional is the number one priority in helping your loved one deal with fear and anxiety.
  5. Remind the person the importance of getting help: One way to convince the person who is struggling with fear and depression is to tell them what may happen if they don’t get some assistance. Anxiety and depression can be difficult to manage and usually these mental health issues won’t go away by themselves.
  6. Find out why the person won’t seek assistance: Address the issues on why the person will not get the necessary help. Many people who are struggling are fearful and frustrated. Try to find out the reasons why he or she won’t get the help they need and then try to find ways that will overcome their resistance of seeking assistance.

BIOGRAPHY

Stan Popovich is the author of the popular managing fear book, “A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear”. For more information about Stan’s book and to get some free mental health advice, please visit Stan’s website at http://www.managingfear.com

 

5 Insights on Forgiving Yourself

5 Insights on Forgiving Yourself

By Brad Hoefs:

When your brain is not functioning properly, it certainly affects your behavior, which then affects your relationship with others. Those of us with a mental health issue can end up hurting a lot of people that we love. Whether it’s through our words or because of something we have done, those closest to us are left wounded.

Those who have been hurt will either forgive us and give us another chance, forgive us but no longer be in the relationship or choose not to forgive us and leave us. And we end up feeling the deep pain our behavior(s) have caused for them and ourselves. It is at this point that we have a critical choice to make; whether we will forgive ourselves or not.

Even if others will not forgive us, it is important for us to take responsibility for any of our hurtful behaviors; asking for forgiveness and then choosing to forgive ourselves. If we do not, we end up getting stuck and unable to move forward in living well. Everyone gets stuck at times. But, staying stuck is not okay. Thus, being able to forgive yourself is an essential component of living well in spite of having a mood disorder.

These are some of the insights I offer to you about “how” to forgive yourself so that you can move forward in living well:

1. Come to this realization: no matter how hard you try, you cannot change what has happened. You can only learn from it, grow from it and move forward. Accept what happened.

2. Take responsibility for what you did and the pain it caused others, asking them for forgiveness. Even if they choose not to forgive you; you must forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself cannot be contingent upon them forgiving you. Remember, them forgiving you is going to be a process, it’s not like switching on or off a light switch, just as forgiving yourself is going to be a process.

3. If you are a person of faith, then ask God, your higher power, for forgiveness. If it is within your faith tradition to go to the clergy and confess to him or her what has happened, then I would encourage you to consider doing that. Sometimes we need to hear out loud from someone in spiritual authority that God has forgiven us.

If God forgives us (and He does), who are we to refuse to forgive ourselves? God sets the example for us. So be kind to yourself, just as you would be to a close friend.

4. Decide to stop rehearsing over and over in your head what has happened. Rehearsing it will not change it. Rehearsing over and over is a way abusing yourself for what you did or didn’t do. Decide that you will stop allowing the rehearsal of it in your head. Yes, it’s tough to do. But, it is possible. You and I can be in charge of what we think about in our thought life. At first, it will feel as though it is next to impossible to do. With time, it will get a bit easier.

To stop rehearsing over and over what I had done that had hurt so many people in my life, I disciplined myself to have two times a day where I would think about it and grieve it. I promised myself that I would only spend 20 minutes each time. During this period, I wrote what I was thinking down in a journal. At the end of that time, I always spent time in prayer and reading some carefully selected scriptures from the Bible.

Wallowing in what happened will get you nowhere. Allow those few times a day to do this and then get on with your day. Don’t sit around letting your mind “wander around” on its own. Take charge. As you do this, it will get easier.

5. With my therapist, I began to work through any emotional issues that I had that were being exacerbated by my mood disorder, that I could work through in the hopes that it would give me a breakthrough in any of my dysfunctional behaviors that were harmful to my relationships with others. Too often you and I think we behave a “certain way” because of our mood disorder. However, more times than not, much of our behaviors happen due to emotional issues that we have yet to resolve, and the mood disorder merely intensifies those issues. Plus, if you and I are not stable, we can have great difficulties with impulse control. So, in my thinking, it is imperative for you and me to be working through as many emotional issues and any of the dysfunctional ways of being in relationships as possible.

One of the emotional issues that I had to work through was not to hate myself. I did not like myself at all. I had a very critical parent tape playing over and over in my head. I had to erase that tape. And create a new healthy adult tape. It took time. It was a process. And even yet today, some 20 years later, that critical parent tape plays just a bit here and there, but I stop listening to it rather quickly.

These things helped me to forgive myself. I hope that some of them might be helpful to you. It is a day- by-day process, but you can do it. Remember, if you tell yourself, “I can’t forgive myself for that,” then you won’t forgive yourself, and you will stay stuck at that point. If you choose not to forgive yourself, then you will not move forward in living well. Without forgiving one another, where would we all be? We live in a broken world that necessitates forgiving one another and forgiving ourselves.

How about you? Do you need to forgive yourself? Have you forgiven yourself? If so, how did you go about it?  (We encourage you to leave a comment or question!)

Check out Brad’s podcast: Fresh Hope for Mental Health

For more information about Fresh Hope go to: FreshHope.us

 

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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We Are Not All the Same: How Bipolar Disorder Varies from Person to Person

We Are Not All the Same: How Bipolar Disorder Varies from Person to Person

It’s essential to recognize living with bipolar disorder is a different experience for every person, with complexities such as co-occurring disorders.

Bipolar disorder differs from person to person.  The same medicines do not work for all of us, nor do we all even have the same type of bipolar.  The issues of mental health recovery are very complex.  So, the “things” that have worked for me might not work for you. This is why we need one another.  Corporately, we have answers for one another as we encourage each other and share what “works” for us as individuals living well in spite of our bipolar disorder.

When you and I connect with one another, we empower each other to live well in spite of any possible daily battles with our disorder.  Individually, no one of us has all the answers.  But, together we have solutions for one another. Corporately we have answers for one another as we encourage each other and share what “works” for us as individuals in living well in spite of our bipolar disorder.

It always concerns me when everyone is talking about mental illness/health and over-generalizing it, simplifying it to the point where everyone is lumped together.

By doing this, the public is not even beginning to understand the complexities and challenges for each individual dealing with their particular life’s situation and experiences, plus having a mental illness.

Some of us have only one diagnosis; bipolar disorder.  Others of us have the complexity of co-occurring disorders which some now are calling “complex” instead of co-occurring.  Just bipolar disorder in and of itself is enough to make life very complex at times. But, add on top of that a borderline personality disorder, and now it’s even more complicated.  As I watch friends of mine who have a personality disorder, lots of child trauma and bipolar disorder, I have come to know that their struggle for wellness is compounded many times over as they strive to live well in spite of several mental health issues.

Yet, I believe there are some general “living-well” principles that are true for most, if not all, of us. I’d like to share a few of them.  This list is not exhaustive, but some of the “principles” that I believe may be universal to us all:

  1. In order to achieve some level of wellness in our lives, you and I must be disciplined to do those things that move us toward wellness and keep us well. This is a choice.  As much as I hate to be disciplined, I choose to discipline myself daily to live well in spite of bipolar disorder.
  1. To live well, you and I need other people in our lives.  You and I are made for community.  Isolating will not help any of us to live well. If you have alienated all of the people in your life and are alone, then I strongly encourage you to seek out a certified peer support specialist and/or a peer-led mental health support group and/or group therapy led by a professional therapist. You need other people.
  1. To live well, you and I must be committed to some of the hardest work we will ever do in our lives. Living well in spite of bipolar plus any other issues you might face is But, it’s worth it.  It’s a difficult job that sometimes must be done moment by moment, day by day.
  2. To live well, you and I must have hope for our future, or we will give up. Hopelessness comes about when someone believes they have no future.  Choosing to believe that your life has purpose and meaning is key to overcoming hopelessness.  If you are a person of faith, then this is where your conviction becomes key.  Faith gives hope because it says that life, each life, has meaning and purpose.  Person of faith or not, your life is essential.  Your life has meaning. Out of the pain and hurt of your life, you have the power to empower others by just telling your story.  Telling your story to others who are also on this journey gives your life purpose.  That’s a future. And that gives hope.  Never give up. Each of us needs you. You hold some answers for some of us in our journey towards wellness.
  3. To live well, you and I have to choose to look for the golden nuggets in the “poo-piles” of life (Of course, there’s another way to spell “poo” but, I am going to stay with “poo”). There’s a lot of “poo” in life. No one gets through life without pain and brokenness to varying degrees. When you and I let go of our expectations of life, it allows us to find the “gold nuggets,” the silver linings, even in the most difficult of times. Part of doing this means that you and I must never lose our sense of humor about how goofy life and others can be!

So, I offer these five principles to wellness that I believe are some of the foundational principles of a life of wellness.  They are simple.  But, so very important and challenging to do at times.  I’d love to hear your input regarding them. And I would also like to hear from you about those things you have done and continue doing that help you live well in spite of having bipolar disorder.  It’s easy to do, just send in what you do or have done and we will add to the list!

In the meantime, keep looking for those golden nuggets!

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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6 things I Found in the Fresh Hope Support Group By: Samanta Karraa

6 things I Found in the Fresh Hope Support Group By: Samanta Karraa

By: Samanta Karraa

When I started attending a Fresh Hope group I found-

  1. People who had a mental health diagnosis, who were living a full and rich life in spite of their diagnosis. They were working, taking care of their families, getting married, getting a master’s degree, serving at their churches and starting new projects in spite of having a mental health challenge. I cannot describe to you how loudly this spoke to me.
  2. A leader who had a diagnosis and therefore could understand me. She was well ahead in her recovery process and had been trained to facilitate the meeting. FH groups function peer to peer. Encouragement and hope are shared amongst the members.
  3. Acceptance. People accepted me for who I am and at the point of recovery in which I was.
  4. Confidentiality. What is said in a FH group stays there. We don’t mention who was at the meeting either.
  5. A community of faith who understood. With so much stigma going around and so much misunderstanding amongst Christian circles, finding a faith-based community who understood mental illness was like finding a treasure. Although the topics introduced at the groups don’t have the format of a bible study, but rather a recovery centered approach, our values and recovery principles are Biblically based.
  6. Answers. After having been diagnosed I had lots of questions and uncertainty. However through the Fresh Hope principles of recovery I received answers to my many questions. And this filled me with hope.

If you´re thinking about attending a Fresh Hope group or starting one in your area, think about it no more. Don’t settle for reading about the things that I found. Go and try for yourself. I am sure you will find these blessings and many more.

 

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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