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

Monday, 1 August 2011

Becoming a Joyful Mother

Janet Camilleri, Editor of Footprints Magazine for Australian Christian Women continues with her series on her depression journey, and she shares with us about being a joyful mother while dealing with depression. (Written in approx. 2002.)

This morning my bible reading was from Galatians 5:22 & 23 about the gifts of the Spirit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…"
My devotional suggested making these two verses into a personal prayer, by reading it out loud and asking God to make each fruit real in my life. I was surprised at how much I was able to pray about each fruit, and especially, JOY.

You see, I suffer from clinical depression and have been on medication for several years. I did try to go without it at one stage but I fell into the pit of despair very quickly; and it wasn't just me that suffered, my poor old husband and children got dragged down there with me.

Needless to say I wasn't a very joyful mother! My husband and I have realised that in my particular situation (with a strong family history and other variables), medication is the best way to handle my illness and who is to say that God does not sometimes use medication to heal?!

So this morning one of the things I prayed for was God's joy to fill me to overflowing. Not because it makes ME feel good (which it does!); but more because of the way my joy touches the lives of those around me, especially my family.

I have a theory that the devil is behind the epidemic proportions of depression in Christians in modern times. SATAN KNOWS THAT IF HE CAN STEAL A CHRISTIAN'S JOY, HE CAN EFFECTIVELY RENDER THAT BELIEVER USELESS!

Without joy (which is what depression is), we have no energy and are unable to serve and minister to others. Our minds become focussed on our own problems. Every little pain and ache is magnified -research shows that it's not just imagination -the part of the brain that processes pain becomes overactive in a person with chemical depression. In my case, I suffered from excruciating headaches. Now that my depression is controlled, I only get the odd headache at that time of the month.

DON'T LET THE DEVIL STEAL YOUR JOY! If you seem to have fallen into a pit of despair that has lasted more than a couple of months, seek help. If it's become an effort to mix with other people and to carry out normal tasks, talk to your husband, a trusted Christian friend or counsellor, or even your doctor. Don't be surprised if praying seems a real struggle; I found that when I had depression, all my relationships suffered and were neglected (mainly from sheer lack of energy); and that included the Lord.

Once my depression lifted, I realised how much my family had been suffering. Without joy, it was like I was in my own personal hell and couldn't seem to make real contact with anybody -let alone my husband and children. I felt so very alone, yet I needn't have. I had to take the mask off, and share with my husband that I did the bare minimum of housework and childcare, and felt like I was dragging around all day. I was irritable and I certainly wasn't a loving wife! Even my children missed out.

Oh sure, I could iron and cook and clean and wash, but without JOY, I didn't really care. What was the quickest and easiest dinner I could put on the table each night? That was what mattered. Not pleasing my family with foods they enjoyed, keeping to a budget, or preparing nutritious meals.

Sure, I cleaned the house but I was such a grump I'm sure my family would have been happier with a messy home with a happy Mummy! Once I started feeling better, I became more affectionate and "cuddly" with my children; whereas before it irritated me. I could go on and on about the difference JOY has made in my life, but I'm sure you get the picture!

Quite apart from the depression issue, my husband and I have discovered one of the things that brings the greatest JOY to our lives is GIVING. In order to give, we need to become aware of the folks around us -are they hurting? Do they seem overwhelmed? Distracted? Tired? Needy in any way? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you tune into the people around you, and how you can give to them. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money. It's the simple things that can mean the most.

For instance, this morning my sister phoned. Her first baby is just 11 weeks old and he suffers from reflux and as a result, both he and my sister are very sleep deprived! My sister was in tears, and she herself said "You are the only one I felt like phoning, I knew you'd understand". Not only can I provide a listening ear, I am probably one of the few people she knows that is available for a distress call at 10 in the morning! Everybody else is at work!

I can't tell you the JOY it gives me to be there for her at this difficult time. But it could be anything -as simple as a card or a phone call to let somebody know you're thinking of them; sharing a good book that might help in their current situation; a box of chocolates; minding their children while they go to the doctor or hairdresser; taking a homemade treat and meeting the next door neighbours. Sure, the people on the receiving end will be touched but you'll be astounded at how much JOY it will bring to your own heart.
Paula C. Whitehouse for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Thursday, 7 July 2011


Janet Camilleri, Editor of Footprints Magazine for Australian Christian Women continues with her series on her depression journey, and she shares with us in the post what happened when her depression returned.

I have been re-visited by an old foe -depression, that is. I didn't really notice at first. It's funny how I only realise the extent of it, in hindsight.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression in November 1998 and began a course of anti-depressants. Things were going well -1999 was the year I began pursuing, and achieving, my dream of freelance writing. Soon the black days were a hazy memory. On January 7, 2000, my 33rd birthday, my doctor and I decided it was time for me to try "flying solo" again. So I started weaning myself off my medication gradually.

I took my last antidepressant on the 1st of March.

By Easter I was feeling rather stressed. Uh-oh, I thought. Could it be? But I was able to rationalise it, explain it away. I had a lot on my plate -writing assignments due; deadlines for my newsletter for Christian women; I was organising a stall for an Easter festival and also the school fete; I had a couple of speaking engagements to prepare for. To top it all off, I'd lost three loved ones quite suddenly since the beginning of the year. Even somebody without depression would be feeling less than their best!

So I decided to wait it out. I began clearing my diary and cutting back my workload -I wanted to have a break and see what happened. Hopefully once the stressful circumstances had disappeared, so too would the disturbing symptoms.

By 1 July 2000 I was back on medication. Why? Because the evidence overwhelmingly suggested that I was once again wrestling with depression, despite all my vows, prayers and good intentions. Here are just a few of the symptoms I was experiencing:

             I'd lost interest in food and had dropped 5 kilos (about half a stone or more).
             My husband and I were beginning to squabble over trivial things.
             I didn't want to go out, phone friends or socialise. Everything just seemed too much of an effort.
             I started having difficulty concentrating. I was forever losing my train of thought in conversation, and I became quite forgetful.
             My aches and pains -headaches etc -returned.
             I didn't want to write. Amazing for me!
             I thought about death often. Even though I don't think I would ever commit suicide, I sure thought about it lots.
             I became anxious about little things, such as what I had to do that day, or about going to public places such as the shopping mall.
             My relationship with the Lord suffered and I found it really hard to pray. I was beating myself up about this, until one day I had a stunning revelation: when I have depression, all of my relationships suffer. Most of my friends think I have dropped off the face of the planet. It's not that I love them any less; it's just that depression makes me want to curl up quietly under my rock and stay there. And it's the same with my relationship with God. It's not that I love Him any less; it's just that I find myself unable to put into words what I am going through. I am always aware of Him and His presence, but not always so capable of "talking" to Him as such.

My doctor said I was "very sensible" to go back on the medication. It was quite a simple decision really. I realised that I don't have to live like this anymore! I'm not content to settle for second best. Now that I know what it's like to taste and enjoy food, I've been missing the experience of looking forward to and savouring a meal. I'm tired of being negative and tired all the time. I couldn't face the thought of living in the depths of depression and I knew medication would help me to find the way out.

Of course part of me resisted at first and wanted to do it in my own strength. But I was shocked by how quickly I slipped back and now feel I have lost the past three or four months.

I'm still waiting for the medication to kick in fully, but at least now I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's only a matter of time.

Paula C. Whitehouse for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Friday, 17 June 2011


Today's post is a continuation in a series of posts from Janet Camilleri, Editor of Footprints Magazine for Australian Christian Women. In this post Janet shares how her depression affected her daily life and relationships; how she felt literally brain dead!

People often ask me what it's like to have depression, and I always find it difficult to answer. How can I describe a continual downward spiral? The unending misery, the total lethargy, the lack of anything to look forward to? The aches and pains? The strong desire to just curl up under my quilt and never come out? The way food became something I just put in my mouth periodically because I knew I should - not because I actually wanted to?

Imagine that you have a can of soup strapped to each of your hands and feet, and that you are wearing false eyelashes. It's okay for a little while, but imagine carrying that load all the time. No matter what you do, that heavy feeling is with you. You try to live a normal life but everything is that little bit harder, and takes that little bit longer. This will give you just a glimmer of what it is like to live with depression.
Now take the cans away, gradually, one at a time. Stretch. Enjoy the sensation. There, feels better doesn't it! Another can gone -wow, look what you can do now! Finally remove those false eyelashes that make your eyelids feel so heavy. Isn't it wonderful! Don't you feel free! You can run and jump and sing and laugh. This is exactly the difference medication can make in the life of a person stricken with depression.
I think the best way to describe my recent brush with depression is to say that I felt 'brain dead'. It's almost like the last three months have been lost in the mists.
Normally I am 'quick' and 'on the ball' but overnight I became very forgetful. I mislaid keys, books and other items. I forgot appointments. I would even find myself standing in the supermarket, knowing that I needed to purchase three items, yet totally unable to recall what the third item was!
I found all my relationships suffered because I lost my ability to communicate. I just didn't feel I had anything to talk about to family and friends. Although some of them chided me for not reaching out to them when I needed help, how could I make them understand that just to pick up the phone and make small talk, or even remember current events in their lives, was completely beyond me? I would completely lose my train of thought in the middle of conversations with my husband, to the point where I was struggling to even complete one sentence. Believe me, this is an alarming symptom in a gal who has been blessed with the gift of the gab!
Praying became almost impossible. I felt terrible that my walk with the Lord was suffering. But one day I had a revelation. All of my relationships were suffering because of my depression. It didn't mean that I loved my husband, my children, my friends any less. And it's the same with God! My relationship with Him suffers when I have depression. Although I lose my ability to communicate, to pray, it doesn't mean that I love Him any less!
My concentration was shot to pieces. Although I normally love to write and read, I just didn't seem to have the attention span necessary. Nothing gripped my attention enough to keep me concentrating.
I had no plans for the future because I was unable to think past the misery and the present day. I lost the joy of anticipation. What are you looking forward to right now? An upcoming vacation? A birthday? Getting together with friends on the weekend? Going to the movies or a concert? Getting married? Having a baby? Finishing your studies? Now imagine all that is taken away from you and you will have some idea of how a person with depression feels.
Research has now proven that many of the electrical impulses in the brain are 'dulled' in a person who suffers from depression. Perhaps this is why I felt brain dead. Pleasure centres especially are affected; yet pain seems to be magnified. When I learnt this, I realised why I was plagued with headaches and migraines, which mostly disappeared once I started taking anti-depressants!
People often joke that when a woman falls pregnant, she loses her brain. When she has the baby, she only gets half of it back! If this is true in your life, I urge you to seek help. Even if you haven't had a baby! Hey, you could be a guy for all I know! As you can see from my story, feeling 'brain dead' for an extended period of time could indicate underlying problems. The good news is, it CAN be treated and soon you will be feeling just like your old self again.
Paula C. Whitehouse for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The New Normal

Today's post is an excerpt of a post from Kelly at Be A Fun Mum.  The complete post can be read here at Kelly's blog.  Kelly shares of her journey with depression; the discovery, her reaction, how she dealt with it and where she is at now.

It became the new “normal” for me. The feeling of fear. Like a heavy weight on my chest that would squeeze so tight, I found it hard to breathe. From the moment I opened my eyes of a morning, I was frightened. Properly scared. There was no rationale behind it, it was just there. And so fear and I, we became both friends and enemies, entwined in a paradoxical way: I felt alone if I wasn’t afraid, like something was missing, and yet it debilitated me to the point I could not function. Sometimes the fear would dissipate into numbness. Sometimes it would escalate into blind, uncontrollable panic. But it was always there. This was my normal.

For years and years, I carried around the weight of 100 bricks. Every lift of my arms was painful because of the bricks. Bricks, bricks hanging off my body. Bricks squeezing around my heart…bricks everywhere. I was tired. So very tired from carrying the weight. It hurt, and I felt alone. I had to be strong for my family. I had to be strong for my speciial needs daughter. I had to be strong for my dying mother. I had to be strong for my grieving father.  I had to be strong because of my pride. I had to be strong because of my faith. Oh, deluded, pathetic me!

People greeted me with the usual question: “How are you?”

And I would say, “I’m okay.”  But really I wanted to say, “I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid. Afraid of nothing and everything at the same time.”

And then one day I did know. After a violet panic attack, I knew something had to change. The abnormal became my normal, and my new normal was destroying me. 

Please click here to continue reading the remainder of Kelly's post over at her blog.

Paula C. Whitehouse
for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Macho men opening up about depression: Researchers has released an article on how men deal with depression.

Men are becoming more willing to talk about emotional problems like depression, but many refuse to seek help in the form of medication, say researchers who are looking into how ideas about masculinity are affecting male health.

Several studies are being done by researchers at the University of British Columbia.

"We're looking at men's health in a new way, by trying to understand some of men's health behaviour in relation to masculinity," Joan Bottorff, a professor in UBC's school of nursing, said Thursday.

"It provides a different way of looking at men's health and therefore opens up some new avenues for promoting men's health."

Depression, heart health, quitting smoking and sexual health are four areas of research being examined at a forum Friday as part of UBC's Celebrate Research Week. The researchers all work at UBC's school of nursing.

Read more here.

Paula C. Whitehouse
for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Thursday, 2 June 2011

What Does the Bible Say About Depression?

So...what does the Bible say about depression? I bet this is one question that you've asked yourself if you're living with depression or know of someone who is. Personally, I have asked.

It's comforting to know that despite the human condition and the likelihood of depression, it is something that has been around since creation. has an answer to this question, and also to the question of "how can a Christian overcome depression?"

"Answer:  Depression is a widespread condition, affecting millions of people, Christians and non-Christians alike. Those suffering from depression can experience intense feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness, fatigue, and a variety of other symptoms. They may begin to feel useless and even suicidal, losing interest in things and people that they once enjoyed. Depression is often triggered by life circumstances, such as a loss of job, death of a loved one, divorce, or psychological problems such as abuse or low self-esteem."

Read the full article here at  Also check out more answers to questions on both depressionanxiety, and anti-depressants.

[Please read more about here to learn about the web-site
and how answers are obtained from the Bible.]

for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Resources for You!

Have you visited our Resources page yet?  Please do!

You will find a number of links for both American and Australian sites where you can access information.  The personal links listed offer encouragement for you from people who are either dealing with anxiety and depression, or who have overcome it.  These links will remind you that you are not alone!

Anxiety and depression are debilitating conditions, but you don't need to journey alone. There is always hope and help. That's why this blog was created, and that is why the Resources page is such a valuable tool to have.

Please email us at if you know of any other valuable resources that we can add.

Paula C. Whitehouse
for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Let's Look at Zoloft

This post was written by a contributor who has requested to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of the details below.  The post gives a very personal account of the effect that the anti-depressant Zoloft has on an individual.  Please remember that not everyone will experience the same side effects while on any type of anti-depressant.  For more information regarding anti-depressants and the possible side effects, please see your doctor.

Any medication has side effects, and Zoloft, a common antidepressant, is no different. I thought that I would share my experiences with this medication to help others who may be considering treatment.

  • The first few days of taking Zoloft I felt light¬headed and dizzy. This was not an unpleasant sensation; and I found that this dizzy feelings made me feel quite relaxed when I laid down at night. For the first time in ages, I slept through the night!
  • Although the quality of my sleep improved, I began to have extremely intense dreams. Not nightmares, just dreams. They were so intense that sometimes when I woke up I had difficulty trying to remember what memories were reality, and which ones were only dreams!
  • I still felt drowsy after lunch. As extreme tiredness and lethargy had been a symptom of my depression, this was quite normal for me, and I frequently had a rest with my daughter at this time. This habit did not change after I started medication. I'm not sure if it was because it had indeed become a habit, or if the medication was making me drowsy (which is quite possible) or if it was just my biological clock. Many people experience a 'biological slump' in the early afternoon. As taking a nap fitted in quite well with my routine, it didn't really bother me as much as it would for a person who worked 9 to 5. However, once I'd increased my dosage, this problem disappeared and made me wonder why I hadn't done it earlier!
  • My mouth became quite dry. At night it felt like the bottom of a bird cage! My doctor suggested that I chew sugar free gum to increase saliva production, and this definitely helped. I noticed I had three sore throat 'bugs' within the first three months which was unusual for me. My theory is that my dry mouth made me more susceptible to germs, hence I was more vulnerable to throat infections. I don't know if this can be scientifically proven or not but it has certainly been my experience!
  • I began craving cigarettes. Now I have never been a smoker and never want to be, so this was quite bizarre. My doctor thought it was quite odd also when I told her! Maybe it was the dry mouth that inspired that craving. Maybe it was the thought of breathing deeply and relaxing. Whatever it was, I became obsessed with the thought of smoking a cigarette for the first six months or so. My doctor suggested I try one just to get it out of my system, but I was too concerned that I could become addicted, especially in my vulnerable emotional state. My husband threatened to divorce me if I started smoking, so I learnt to get over it!
  • I couldn't cry! In nearly 18 months on medication, I think I only shed tears once. This from a gal who cried at least once a day before that (no wonder I needed medication!). Before treatment, anything and everything, or just plain nothing set my waterworks off!
  • I noticed that I put on a bit of weight. This was unusual for me as I had never been one to gain weight no matter what I ate. My doctor assured me that it was not so much a side effect of the medication, as the fact that once I was feeling better I began enjoying my food and ate more! My weight gain was the inevitable result. It wasn't much really, just enough to make me need a whole new wardrobe of clothes because nothing fitted anymore (what a hardship)!     
  • Some of my favourite clothes also seemed quite 'smelly' and no amount of washing, soaking or scrubbing seemed to help. I would often change my shirt at lunch time because I felt so self conscious and uncomfortable. I put it down to part of the 'aging' process (!) but it was only when I recently read the pamphlet enclosed with my medication that I learnt that excessive sweating is often a side effect
  • On a more personal level, sexual dysfunction is a common side effect. I'm blushing as I write this but I think it's important that those contemplating medication get the full picture! Knowing this however means that you can help both you and your spouse understand why your sex life may be affected. Remember to enjoy the intimate experience as an expression of your love no matter what the outcome.
You may wonder, with all these side effects, exactly why I bother with this medication. Let me put it this way; if I wasn't taking it, I wouldn't be writing this right now. I wouldn't be writing anything. I would be curled up under my quilt, wishing that I never had to come out. Sure, Zoloft has side effects. But I figure it's a small price to pay for the quality of life that it has given back to me.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

If a Christian is Supposed to Be Joyous - Why Did I Get Depression?

Today begins the first post in a series of posts from Janet Camilleri, Editor of Footprints Magazine for Australian Christian Women. In this series Janet shares various aspects of her journey with depression, from diagnosis, to dealing with depression, to living with it.

As the posts are lengthy, the first six paragraphs are featured below, with the remainder of the post contained in a document on A Scarlet Rope of Hope's Scribd page.

It took a long time to realise exactly what was wrong with me. I’d been feeling miserable for months, yet there was no logical reason for my blues. The guilt feelings were overwhelming - I had a wonderful husband and children, a lovely home and comfortable lifestyle. What’s more, I was a Christian! I loved the Lord; but somewhere along the line, my joy had slipped away.

Family and friends were shocked when I was diagnosed with depression, as I’d always hidden it so well. Even when I was having a really bad day, I didn’t want to ring or visit anyone and inflict my tears on them. They had their own problems, I reasoned. Even my husband was not aware of all my symptoms -especially how often I slept, unable to get motivated beyond the basic necessities of life. He knew that something wasn’t quite right - I was irritable and plagued by headaches. We seemed to be fighting a lot, often over my reluctance to mix with others. Entertaining and visiting were things of the past.

I thought it might be a spiritual problem so I cried out to God daily for His help. I was worried that I didn’t have more excitement about Him, or soul winning, or fellowship or any of the other things that I thought a “good Christian” should be doing. Gradually I realised that God loved and accepted me just the way I was, and I didn’t have to prove anything to Him. If anything, this dry time drew me closer to God. I began to realise there was more at stake.

Then I started blaming my problems on a new responsibility - but even when I was relieved of this stress factor, it didn’t help. My usual schedule overwhelmed me. Finally, I broke down and confided in a trusted friend. With her encouragement, I sought medical advice.

I felt like such a fake going to the Doctor as there was nothing physically wrong with me. But as I explained the reason for my visit, the tears started to flow. My Doctor arranged for various tests, finally diagnosing clinical depression. I was devastated; although the thought had crossed my mind, I had secretly been hoping that I was iron deficient, which would have been a much more socially acceptable explanation.

With a family history of depression and the knowledge that I had been suffering in silence for nearly 2 years already, I realised it wasn’t going to go away by itself. However, I still resisted the thought of medication -it took me two weeks to actually take my first tablet. There is such a stigma attached to anti-depressants. Yet if I was an asthmatic or diabetic, it would be perfectly acceptable to take medication to address the problem. Why should we treat depression any differently?

Please read the remainder of Janet's story here on Scribd...

for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Life With Little White Pills

I wrote a post earlier this year on my personal blog page on life with little white pills. I was inspired by Carlos Whittaker who also takes little white pills. Carlos is an "artist, pastor, thinker, experience architect, and Web 2.0 junkie". He lives to "ignite a movement of authenticity among all generations of Christians that morphs the face of the evangelical church into a place of being real with yourself, others, and God." To do this he has embraced the little white pills he takes every day.

Read my post here and click on the links there to read Carlos' story. You will be inspired.

Paula C. Whitehouse
for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Book Review: Unveiling Depression in Women

The journey through depression is a difficult one. Isolation, confusion and helplesness are but three conditions that a depressed woman (or man) has to contend with. A very useful resource that can help a depressed woman, or one suffering from anxiety, is this book - "Unveiling Depression in Women: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Depression" by Archibald Hart PhD and Catherine Hart Weber PhD.

During my journey through depression I have experienced all of the above conditions and more. I've documented some of my journey here on my personal blog page but I'm yet to overcome depression. But I will! I will conquer depression, and that day will be soon! This book, even though I am still on my journey of recovery, has blessed me greatly. Not only have I read new information, but I've also discovered that the steps I've taken in dealing with my depression have been the right ones!

The book is split into four parts - Understanding Depression in Women; Causes of Depression in Women; Getting Help and Healing Depression; and Strategies for Overcoming Depression. There is also a Resources section that is very useful.

Drs Hart and Hart Weber share with the reader that depression can be dealt with and overcome. They discuss how to recognise depression, risk factors, depression and the life cycle, counselling, antidepressant and complementary therapies and strategies for recovery. There is also a chapter for loved ones so they can understand and learn how to care for a woman who is depressed.

As Christians, they deal with the spiritual side of depression and offer prayers for healing, such as:

"Thank you, God, for the hope and promise of my healing. I know that you desire that I am well in my body, mind, and emotions." - Prayer inspired by Jeremiah 30:17

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to anyone who is suffering from depression (and/or anxiety) or has a loved one who is journeying through it.

The book is available from Amazon.

Paula C. Whitehouse
for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Inspiration Behind "A Scarlet Rope of Hope"

"After sharing my depression story with a new friend, she asked me if I would meet with a friend of hers to encourage her. I was most enthusiastic thinking that God could use my ashes for beauty in another life and agreed to meet her. During our initial three-way emails, my friend said "Amazing, even strangers are friends because of the blood of Jesus".
It struck me how true this was and my mind went to the story of Rahab in the book of Joshua. Remembering that she was told by God's people to let down a scarlet rope to show that she wanted to be delivered from the destruction of Jericho. It was her faith (belief that she would be saved) that caused her to act on the directive given to her. The scarlet rope she let down connected her to God's people and she and her family were delivered from destruction.
When I met our mutual friend over coffee, she expressed feeling "so alone" which I know to be a common feeling in people struggling with depression. At that time I had a deep longing that there be a place where I could send someone who is battling depression to find encouragement and connect with others (God's people) who had won the battle or are continuing to fight and find victory over depression.
I expressed this idea to a friend "on the other side of the world" (I am in the USA and she is in Australia!) who was too busy to take on another project, but she sent the idea on to her friend Paula who has blessed me by taking on this mission. I pray that the Lord blesses Paula, and every one of His children fighting the fight to overcome and walk in victory because of "The Scarlet Rope Of Hope" given to us by Jesus to ensure our victory. He is our Mighty Deliverer! May you find help from His people and full freedom in Him!"

Kathy Schwanke
for A Scarlet Rope of Hope

Monday, 4 April 2011

What is a Scarlet Rope of Hope?

A Scarlet Rope of Hope is something for YOU.  If you have ever just needed somewhere to turn to for hope, then this is where you need to be.  The amazing Kathy Schwanke from Blessed Builder has written about A Scarlet Rope of Hope here.

Join us on our journey to create a haven for you ... a place where you can journey to and find the hope you need.

Paula C. Whitehouse
for A Scarlet Rope of Hope