Depression Recovery Workshop -Transcript

note: Members can discuss this workshop in the Message Boards HERE

Obie-host: Please join me in welcoming Linda Lufkin. She is the author of the book. A Pathway to Healing: One Woman's Journey through Depression
You also can visit her website. LindaLufkin.com. Linda will tell us a bit about herself and the things she has learned regarding recovering from Depression as well as coping with disappointments in life. Linda will speak for about 20 minutes after which you all will have a chance to ask her questions. If you get bumped out of this chat room simply sign back on. Some people have problems staying connected. Linda we warmly welcome you. You now have the floor.

lindal-author: Thank you all for the warm welcome...I pray you will all be blessed tonight.

I've been married for 38 years and have 4 children and 12 grandchildren. I was brought up by alcoholic parents and developed defense mechanisms to cope with hurtful emotions of living with a dysfunctional family. I blocked put my feelings and tried to go on with my life as though it was normal when I got married, I carried these feelings into my marriage which caused problems. I lost my third child and battled with grief, but tried to block it out. It was the beginning of a downward spiral into the darkness of depression.
Later I learned that the heartaches of my childhood only furthered my current sorrow of the loss of my baby. I didn't learn how to grieve so I buried the sorrow because no one helped me grieve. God began to show me that I couldn't block out painful emotions. For healing to take place I had to see the negative things in order to make positive changes.

I learned that my past had emotionally crept into my negative thoughts and reactions, and tell myself the truth,this wasn't easy. Sometimes I called out to God, "How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and everyday have sorrow in my heart?"

In order to heal, I had to put away my past way of thinking and chose a new way of life. This included forgiving my parents. The emotional feeling of letting and forgiving them and leaving it in God's hands was helpful in my healing process. Once I began to expose the negative cycle, and I had to determine which thoughts I would permit to enter my mind. It was a long process to filter out the destructive thoughts and replace it with positive and affirming thoughts. The bible says to dwell on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely...Phil 4:8. I learned that changing my mind set helped. Sometimes I would cry. Why are you downcast, O My soul? why so disturbed within? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him Ps. 42:11.

Remember it takes time to renew our minds and change our way of thinking. This much I know. There is a pathway to healing that's found when we walk with God. It's because of His love that I've found the path to healing for my depression. He extends the same love to you. Just reach out from your depression and take His hand by faith. He'll lead you in the right direction.

Obie-host: Linda, thank you so much for sharing your story and words of encouragement with us! We now open the floor to questions for Linda. Who would like to ask a question?

Delores: Being where you've come thru Linda..how do you deal w/crying every day and the Christians that see you as 'weak' because of it? I hate people seeing me crying every Sunday. I feel like a bad witness.

lindal-author: Yes...I cried a lot but often hid it from people. I hated anyone seeing me cry, but God saw my tears and put them in a bottle. There's a verse about that. I would cry out "record my lament, list my tears on your scroll..are they not in your record Ps. 56:8. In bible times, mourners would sometimes catch their tears in bottles (wine skins) and place them at the tomb of their loved ones. I imagines god collecting my tears and placing them at the foot of the cross.

Delores: : ty Linda......that gives great comfort

Obie-host: Who has a question they would like to ask?

NancyWi: Linda, my parents were also alcoholics. You talk about finding the underlying problems that have made us feel the way we feel. I feel as though I am trapped in my past and can't remember how I came to feel and act the way I do. Where do I start looking?

lindal-author: First, forgiveness and realizing that your parents have their own problems and weren't able to be there for you forgiving them for that helps. I think we came to feel the way we do because we learned how to feel that way.we have to learn a new way of thinking and realize that God sees us in a new way. We are made new and can change with his help.

Obie-host: Who is next with a question?

MaryBeth: Do you have any comments on the "legitimacy" of the Pain of depression? It is much easier to recieve compassion for emotional suffering we can be expected to "shape up" that often makes me feel worse.

lindal-author: I believe the pain of depression is real and there's no denying it's grip on our emotions. I have a section in my book about the physical feelings that depression and fear have on the body. I didn't realize what the body goes through. When you have constant anxiety going through it. It takes time to recover from those feelings. So to "shape up" can't happen over night.

Obie-host: Who is next with a question?

Obie-host: Linda, you mentioned using scripture to help. How can scripture help when you are so depressed that you cannot even comprehend the print on the page?

lindal-author: That is a good question. I couldn't pray and I found that I used scripture to pray. For example, Psalms:28:1 to you I call, O Lord, my rock: do not turn a deaf ear to me. For as you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit. My prayer: "Lord, I pray that you will not remain silent. I am in a day of trouble and need you to hear my prayer. How can I praise you if I go down to the pit of depression? Pull me up. I reach out my hand to you.

Andy-co-host: Right Now I am fighting with chemical depression, meaning I am on medication that has a side affect of depression. The doc keeps saying it will level out. Any suggestions besides prayer? I am wearing my knees out.

lindal-author: I found that our body goes through a chemical change and if we get off antidepressants ( I did),and remember that the symptoms of withdrawal will subside as the body heals. It is possible to be free from antidepressants. I felt the withdrawals and it was hard, but now that I've been off them for 3 years. I feel better because I don't have the side affects, but this doesn't always apply to everyone. Nor should anyone wean themselves off without a doctor's permission. It worked for me and I praise God for it.

Obie-host: Little or no information is out there regarding the physical impact depression has on the body. You mentioned this. What are some of the physical impacts of depression?

lindal-author: I had many: shaking inside, nervousness, headaches to name a few. I also had blurred vision.

Delores: Ty Linda did you find that cutting certain things out of your diet such as caffeine and sugar made a difference in the depression/anxiety level too?

lindal-author: no, not really but caffeine made me have more symptoms of jittering inside.

dlcnea: Are there physical causes, or imbalances that could cause depression?

lindal-author: I'm sure there are, I had some trouble with hypoglycemia and it intensified depression....done

Obie-host: How did you handle the stigma that comes when people find out you have had Ect (shock treatments)?many people have trouble hanging on to their jobs or finding new ones once the word gets around.out has left....Done

lindal-author: my family members were angry with my husband and thought he was putting me away.it was very hard on me too...i felt that people wouldn't look at me the same after having shock treatments.I actually wouldn't tell my doctor how badly I was feeling with the depression .so I wouldn't have to go through it again....done

bj: I have experienced depression as anger turned inward.have you experienced this,and how do you externalize that anger?....Done

lindal-author: actually, I didn't feel that I was angry,but some people said that depression has anger symptoms...but I never realized that to be true for me.I was more sad and fearful.

dlcnea:Are you free from depression?

lindal-author: Amen! Yes I am! And I owe it all to God. I can't say that I will never become depressed again, but I have learned the warning symptoms and try to avoid them and think positively and praise god and be thankful for not being depressed anymore right now.

Thank you all for being here and I hope I was able to be an encouragement. You were all great to talk to! I thank God for you all and pray that you will be blessed in a special way.

Obie-host: Thank you Linda for taking the time to address our group. Again, Linda is the author of "A Pathway to Healing: One Woman's Journey through Depression"

Her web site is: http://www.lindalufkin.com

lindal-author: Thank you for reading my book. I hope it was helpful and that god leads you all on a pathway to healing!
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[This was the Technical end of the meeting. Linda Was gracious enough to spend some More time chatting with us afterwards This is the post workshop discussion:]

Delores:I so relate to your testimony and recovery here. God bless you!

lindal-author: have you recovered from depression Delores?

Delores: I have had chronic depression since 13. I am 51 now. Been the gamut of drs. .meds...ect. A year ago I felt led to get off anti depressants and went thru bad withdrawal but God brought me thru it. I was doing great.

lindal-author: I did 3 years ago. I struggled with depression for over 20 years. I'm 55.

Delores: Then my cat disappeared a month ago and I was so afraid of sinking again. Terrible depression. But every day, I prayed. Talked to God. Prayed the praise psalms even though I wasn't 'feeling; joyful'. And now God is bringing me thru it.

lindal-author: Amen..that's the same things I did

Delores:I have learned so much in this past month...........so much of what you shared that works biblically. I now know personally and it is so awesome. Thank you so much for sharing tonight..

lindal-author: I kept praying and praising and trusting that God would heal me...and He did

Delores: It really is a double witness for me

lindal-author: I'm so glad. If I could help even one person tonight I am thankful and happy

Delores: I have no doubts you have. I sure am one! I haven't read your book yet.....but I am definitely going to asap.

lindal-author: That's great! I was especially praying today and thinking of everyone here tonight. A lot of what we talked about is in my book. It's amazing how God brought out questions that have answers in my book.

bj: Have you ever heard of reactional depression ?

lindal-author: Is reactional depression when you over react to problems? I'm not sure of the term.

Andy-co-host: bj just asked a Question, Please Explain bj:

bj: Someone asked me if their reactions to life's situations could bring on depression

lindal-author: Oh yes...it is life's situations that brought on a lot of my depression: my life while growing up, my family life with problems with my teenagers back many years ago.

bj: ty for sharing that linda

Butterfly: Did you find that the Depression comes in waves, sometimes worse than others? Some days it is so overwhelming

lindal-author: I found that the depression was always bad. But did get worse when I was under stress or having a problem with something that bothered me.

Butterfly: Thanks, that makes sense. I am on medication for it and it helps a little but I know that is not what God wants for me either. It's just a band aid.

Andy-co-host: Anyone else with a Question for Linda? well I guess that truly answered all willing Questions Linda. Thank you SO very much for participating.

lindal-author: Thank you for having me. It's been a pleasure and I enjoyed everyone. I sure will come back again sometime.Good night and God bless you all on your pathway to healing.As yet, I have seen half my days and that a sorrowful half: give me to live till the flustering morning shall have softened into a bright afternoon of happier existence.It is my prayer for you....done

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