Wednesday, 5 September 2012

How I Overcame Depression

I was blessed to hear Dr Caroline Leaf speak 10 days ago at a women's church conference. My dear friend Jo did also, but at another conference! Jo has posted today on her blog Princess Warrior Lessons on what she learnt from hearing Dr Leaf speak, and also how she overcame depression.

Yes, you heard it right! Overcame depression.

It is doable! It can be done!

My journey through depression is taking me one small step by one small step closer to that reality. Jo has featured strongly in my story and will continue to do so, as has and will Dr Leaf.

Please take the time to read Jo's blog post here and say hi to Jo in a comment, and also pop over to Dr Leaf's web page here.

If anyone reading this has a story to share about their depression journey, or on how to help a loved one deal with depression, etc, please email me at

Paula C. Whitehouse for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

How Creativity Can Improve Your Mental Health

Way back in November (the previous post from this) I shared links to two blog posts from myself and Stacey Clark on depression. Today, I'm sharing Stacey's entire post as encouragement on how creativity can actually improve your mental health. The original posting can be found here at Princess Warrior Lessons.

I know this to be true because as someone who is overcoming depression I've returned back to painting and drawing after a 26 year absence and I'm flourishing! I find such peace in exploring my creative side, and I'm also learning to be more patient, to try new things, and accept mistakes as a blessing!

I hope that you benefit greatly from Stacey's post and be sure to pop over to her blog and say hello! She can be found at "mrs clark: it;s about blogs tea & me".

Paula C. Whitehouse for A Scarlet Rope of Hope


How creativity can improve your mental health 

When Jo asked me to do a guest post on creativity I was so pleased (and shocked and over the moon)! 
And straight away I came up with the idea to post on creativity in relation to depression and my walk with God. 
You see in the last few years I have struggled in a massive way with mental illness. 
Who knows. 
Maybe because I was married at 19. 
Had had my three children by 27. 
Maybe because I homeschool. 
Maybe because of the pressure of overseeing 2 ministries in our last church, raising a family, being a wife and remembering that there is still a wee person under all of that. 
A person that needs some love and attention. 
Isn't that sad. 
The one person who is really the physical glue of the family being overlooked all the time. 
It's something we find so easy to do huh? 
Forget about ourselves. 

{my babies :: Zac, 3, Holli, 7 and Isabella, 5}

So I was diagnosed with severe depression, severe stress and severe anxiety in July last year. 
My life was a mess. 
I would drive down the street and want to drive into the oncoming traffic. 
It was horrific. 
I would daydream about self harming but would never actually be game enough to go ahead and do it. 
I would fantasise about dying and my husband remarrying and giving my three angels a real mother. 
One that wasn't sick. 

{shelves I made from a pallet I found}

Now I'm coming through it. 
I'm on the other side of it. 
How did I do it?
A combination of medication, a great Christian psychologist, sound advice from good friends, the Word of God and creativity. 



— adj
1.having the ability to create
2.characterized by originality of thought; having or showing imagination: a creative mind

I'm a crafty person.
I create. It's what I do. 
To wear. 
For the house. 
For decoration. 
For use.  

{screen printed placemats}

I would rather a night of sewing, crochet, screen printing, tunes and tea to anything else.
I like to see something come from nothing. 
[You should definitely check out this amazing website, Craft for Health

Crafting is so amazing for a few reasons ::
  • You get the joy of living in handmade. Most things around my home are homemade.  I love when my children exclaim in delight "mummy thats beautiful". It's a way of making myself feel better. For now. I love it. I used to use shopping as an outlet. And then I'd wake up the next day feeling worse than the day before. Sound familiar?
  • You have the ability to express yourself in a creative way. A way of saying something that you really can't bare to utter. If you feel like throwing water balloons filled with paint at a canvas you can do that! 
  • It doesn't take thought.. or it does. You have to think about following the pattern that you're following therefore you have no time or space to think about your fears or anxieties. 
  • I think creating is something that is close to God's heart. Something He values. He breathed the Earth into being. Breathed. We are His canvas. The earth is His footstool. Does that not blow your mind?! 
That last point, that's what makes it all the more lovely. 
It's beautiful. 
Having a homemade home makes me feel closer to Him!
And I like that.  

{screen printing doilies for padded pot holders}

And that's my story in a nutshell!
The end.

Creatively yours,

Monday, 28 November 2011

Guest Post Series: Depression and Other Important Topics

Jo Puggioni from Princess Warrior Lessons is hosting a collection of guest bloggers over the Australian summer period.  Topics such as biblical beauty, motherhood, homeschooling, grief and loss (miscarriage, death), faith, His (God's) love, grace and depression will be covered. I hope to share the majority here, especially if the post links to the writer's journey with depression and/or anxiety.

To start the guest post ball rolling, Jo featured me and a post I wrote earlier this year about using depression as a cop out. You can find that post, titled "Using Mental Illness as a Cop Out" here. It was written at a time when I was having problems with a person whom I had to deal with every day. It's written raw and from the heart and I hope that it blesses you!

The next guest post is by the delightful Stacey Clark from Western Australia and the title tells what it's about - "How creativity can improve your mental health".  It is an open and honest post and one that I can relate to given that I've just returned to painting and drawing after a 25 year absence.  I've found that my depression/anxiety has eased off due to spending time creating, and that I only ever have down moments when I'm either tired or the "good old" female hormones are running their course.  Stacey talks in depth about her journey and how being creative has helped her immensely. You WILL be blessed by Stacey's post. Make sure you follow her for regular inspirational posts.

If, while reading this, feel a desire to share your story with depression and/or anxiety, please contact me at Your story WILL bless others! 

Please continue to check back here, and over at Princess Warrior Lessons, for more guest posts!

Paula C. Whitehouse for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Monday, 7 November 2011

What Would You Tell A Brave Girl?

This is the question that is being asked over at the Brave Girls Club this month -

"What would you tell a Brave Girl who is dealing with depression
(either her own or someone else’s)?"

Pop on over the Brave Girls Club blog post and check out what other people are saying, the pop back here and answer this question in the comments below -

"What would YOU tell a girl (or guy) about depression?"

Photo source

Paula C. Whitehouse for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Monday, 10 October 2011

Mental Health Week, 9-15 October 2011

Mental Health Week, 9-15 October 2011

Depression and anxiety don't discriminate. Do you?

Depression and anxiety can affect anyone at any time but often, people won't talk about how they're feeling because they're worried what others will think.

Don't let discrimination and stigma stop you, or someone else, from getting help.

Depression and anxiety can affect people's thoughts, mood, behaviour and physical health. They are common illnesses - around one million Australian adults have depression and two million have an anxiety disorder. If it's not you, it could be someone you know.

People with depression and anxiety need to talk to a doctor or other health professional to get appropriate treatment.

beyondblue Acting CEO Clare Shann is encouraging everyone to make an effort during Mental Health Week, to help break down the stigma associated with depression and anxiety.

"This year, we will be aligning our awareness-raising efforts with Mental Health Week, which runs from Sunday 9 October to Saturday 15 October. Mental Health Week is a national awareness event, held every October and incorporates World Mental Health Day (Monday 10 October).

"During Mental Health Week, we are asking everyone - individuals, community groups, schools and workplaces - to help raise awareness of depression and anxiety, and reduce the associated stigma. beyondblue information materials that can be displayed in workplaces, schools or community centres during Mental Health Week can be ordered via the beyondblue website from September," says Clare.

Get the facts about depression and anxiety at or call 1300 22 4636.

For more information on how to get involved with Mental Health Week, go to beyondblue: the national depression initiative - Share our newsletter article for Mental Health Week 2011

Paula C. Whitehouse for A Scarlet Rope of Hope