Wretched man that I am.

I am woefully depressed and once again, like the Apostle Paul, the thing I most need to do I don’t do and the very thing I most need to avoid, I do. Take sleep. Please! I toss and turn through the evening then get up soon after midnight. I try to listen to music 🎼 and write ✍️ but rarely does it help calm me. What a wretched man 👨 I am! Who will rescue me? Need I answer? Jesus is the answer but he rarely offers an easy solution. Or maybe they are easy but I make them complicated trying to show off? I wonder if Paul ever stayed up all night eating junk food and sorting out his woes. I am sure he did — tied at literal stakes and chains ⛓  instead of a food addicts craving. And Paul was doing time for fewer divine crimes than [...]

Wretched man that I am.2022-11-03T06:32:10-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: KyLee and her mother’s love.

When I was 17 years old, I delay enlisted into the Air Force. I had known at a very young age that I wanted a life devoted to the service of others. I was the oldest of four and already knew what sacrifice was or at least I thought I did. I enjoyed my time in the Air Force and short stint in law enforcement, but chose a different path because I felt I was too optimistic and in law enforcement you were always waiting for someone to make a mistake. Instead, I chose to go to college and work as a paralegal. Divorced young, I learned sacrifice as a parent. I was a single parent for 16 years. Sometimes I worked two jobs and went to college full time. I had aspirations of going to law school and making a real impact in the world. Then, two months shy [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: KyLee and her mother’s love.2022-08-08T11:30:38-04:00

Finding Hope Through Chelsea: Hope for Troubled Minds

Some time ago I was blessed to come to know a young woman with a deep faith and a beautiful smile. We shared a common diagnosis in a support group and did our best to encourage one another. She was wise beyond her years and her compassion has lasted beyond her time on earth. Her legacy lives on through family and friends and those they encounter. This letter is from Tricia, her mom. Dear Chelsea, Gosh where do I begin? You were our “oops” baby, LOL! After 7 years of having a family of four, we thought our family was complete. God had a different plan though because, little did we know, it was far from complete. You came into our lives 5 weeks early, which scared us to death, but everything turned out fine, you were just in a hurry to meet your new family. You brought love and [...]

Finding Hope Through Chelsea: Hope for Troubled Minds2022-07-31T21:09:02-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Ripples, Waves, and Heroic Measures

Diane has been a pioneer in sharing her story publicly to a wide variety of audiences including health professionals, students, city councils, church members peers and law enforcement since 2013. "In Sickness and in Mental Health" was one of a handful of biographies on bipolar disorder and is now on the top 100 Bipolar Books on BookAuthority.com. This is her letter to her husband and life partner Greg.     Lover, our life together has been like no other and we went through fires before we even met. We have had many challenges, yet so many victories and blessings along the way.  I thought that I finally had a grasp on our mental health conditions back in 2013 since it took me seven years of observing our recovery road to write our story In Sickness and in Mental Health: Living with and Loving Someone with Mental Illness. Since then, there [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Ripples, Waves, and Heroic Measures2022-06-01T18:05:35-04:00

Brain Balm Vol. 1, Issue 2: Psychotropics – A Healing Prescription

I was first diagnosed with a mental health condition in 1990, the heyday of what were becoming known as "second generation antidepressants." Alternatives to lifetimes of misery in locked wards of psych hospitals gave psychiatrics a whole new tool to treat those desperately depressed. Even "family doctors" were getting into the act as drug representatives passed out samples like happy pill candy of the dubbed "Prozac generation." But my depression in 1990 was not garden variety and these pills I took sent me into a medication-induced psychosis, keeping me up in a manic frenzy for six days and six nights concocting mission schemes and conducting ministry initiatives (as documented in my memoir When Despair Meets Delight). Ultimately, I would break with conscious reality and become a danger to myself and others. Were the drugs the cause of the psychosis or, because they were not properly prescribed, did they just light [...]

Brain Balm Vol. 1, Issue 2: Psychotropics – A Healing Prescription2022-05-29T18:27:51-04:00

#remissionispossible

I have big news! I noticed yesterday I was feeling mellow. The only word I had for it was effortless. Today, I realized the voices in my head that have been constantly demanding my attention for over three decades have been silenced. Praise God and pass the sugar free sweet potato pie! #remissionispossible

#remissionispossible2022-05-10T12:09:56-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Dear Bobby, from your grateful mom.

Dear Bobby, One of my greatest accomplishments in life was becoming your mother - I had hopes and dreams for the man you would become. Your intelligence, compassion and determination in everything you did brought me a great sense of pride. Bipolar disorder no doubt changed the way I see the world and what I now want for you, my loving son. This brain illness at times has made you say and do things uncharacteristic of the person that I know is deep inside of you.  It is an illness that has caused much turmoil for you, for this I am deeply sorry and only wish that as your mother I could take the pain away. Despite great suffering, despair and heartbreak, bipolar disorder has taught me so much. It has taught me that we live in a world where those with serious brain disorders are discriminated against.  We live [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Dear Bobby, from your grateful mom.2022-05-07T17:49:20-04:00

Mental Health or Brain Illness Awareness?

Recently I've been sharing my story in a variety of places that reach people interested in faith and mental health. I've gotten a wide ranges of responses and I'm delighted for this. I want to share one with you that I found very thought provoking. Hi Tony, am appreciating your posts on FaithNet but how come you’re promoting brain illness instead of focusing on nervous system dysregulation and recovery? Things like the importance of restorative sleep and techniques to calm our nervous system? My short answer is borrowed from a quote of Jesus in Mark 2.17a -- It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  May is known as mental health awareness month and, from one perspective, this is unfortunate. While it is true that the mental health needs of many need to be addressed, it seems lately we have tipped the scale to favor those [...]

Mental Health or Brain Illness Awareness?2022-05-03T17:26:00-04:00

Sharing My Story with Law Enforcement and Facebook Responses

I published the following post and it elicited much response: My name is Rev. Tony Roberts and I live with my wife Susan and lab Briley in Columbus, IN. I have a diagnosis of rapidly cycling bipolar disorder with psychotic features. Every day is an adventure. Some are joyous. Others are volatile. Thanks to the grace of God, the miracle of medicine, and the support of my caregiving team, I do relatively well, though I have limitations others do not have. On my best days, you could never tell I have a severe mental illness. Then there have been days when I’m confined to bed and see no future beyond the next labored breath. In February of 1995, I was riding high — an ambitious pastor with a young family at a church poised for growth. I was driven to succeed, to make a difference in people’s lives and have [...]

Sharing My Story with Law Enforcement and Facebook Responses2022-05-02T01:47:52-04:00

Psychotropics and Side Effects: You are getting very sleepy.

“I was not taking [my prescription] quite as often as I was technically supposed to. Partly, I kept forgetting, but also there was something else I couldn't quite identify, some way-down fear that taking a pill to become myself was wrong.” ― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down “Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don't believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it's good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.” ― Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression   I have been taking psychotropics in one form or another for nearly thirty years. As someone diagnosed with rapidly cycling bipolar disorder with psychotic features [...]

Psychotropics and Side Effects: You are getting very sleepy.2022-04-20T20:52:36-04:00
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