More ways to win over depression

In another post I told you about depression from the viewpoint of blogger Darren Rowse of ProBlogger,com. He shared how he has dealt with depression, steps that I endorse and recommend to my patients. In this post I talk about another public person who has depression and uses her insights to help others.

Sheila Walsh-singer, speaker, author

Sheila was an accomplished singer when she became co-host of The 700 Club. She seemed to be at the peak of her career publicly but privately she was careening downward. One evening she left the studio on the verge of suicide and checked into a mental hospital .

Since then she has lived with depression but not under the weight of depressive feelings.

” After entering the hospital, Sheila went through therapy and evaluation. Along the way, she discovered things about herself that were harmful. For example, when she was unable or unwilling to deal with what was true about her life, she buried it.

“You can try for years to deny the things that are tearing at your soul, but they will not go away. They thrive in the shadowlands, and if you don’t deal with them, they will one day deal with you.”

Sheila

Her doctor determined that she was severely clinically depressed. She had all the classic signs:

  • insomnia,
  • loss of memory,
  • loss of appetite,
  • overwhelming feelings of hopelessness,
  • loss of emotional control, and
  • an unbearable sadness.

Sheila’s doctor helped her understand that mental illness is a reality, a treatable reality, and there is no shame there. Through prayer, reading the Bible, therapy, and medication Sheila began to manage her depression. At the end of thirty days, Sheila left the hospital and returned to CBN to say goodbye. ”

from CBN.com

Sheila’s top 4 tips

In a radio interview with Jenny Dean Schmidt of Channel Mom, Sheila lists 4 things that help her deal with depression.

  • walking her dogs
  • listening to worship music
  • sleeping well
  • staying in touch with trusted friends who “know all about me”

“a kind supportive boss”

In this interview with her former boss, Pat Robertson, Sheila explains how his kind and caring support, medication, and her faith helped her overcome depression .

These are all similar to things Darren mentioned in his article- exercise (walking), getting a dog, telling friends and family, medication, and prayer/meditation.

(This post contains affiliate links which, by paying a commission if used for a purchase, help fund this blog. )

How Sheila was “Loved Back to Life”

In this book, Sheila tells her story of her recovery from depression.

Sheila’s “Unexpected Grace”

I enjoyed Sheila’s story about supporting her mother-in-law through a cancer diagnosis.

Unexpected Grace is a tender account of the relationship between a mother and daughter-in-law and how they discovered extravagant grace in the midst of what could have been the most tragic experience of their lives. Their story will encourage you and help you see how God can bring good out of even the bleakest circumstances. “

Sheila Walsh

available on Kindle Unlimited and Audible

I hope you enjoy listening to Sheila sing You Raise Me Up

If you haven’t read it already, please read my post about how Darren Rowse manages to control his depression.

How to relieve depression in 11 simple steps

If you are depressed and thinking about or planning suicide, please stop and call this number now-

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

watercress words-exploring the HEART of freedom from depression

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

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Still TRUMPED by SOVEREIGNTY: a family update

You’ve met my friend Sara Stophel here before when I reviewed her book and when I told you she completed her college degree. Now she has more exciting news- a wedding.

Nik, the son of Sara and her late husband Chuck, married a beautiful young woman Alivia in a spring wedding. Sara gave me these photos to share with you.

a bride and groom posing with flowers
Mr. and Mrs. Stophel

I know how it feels to welcome a girl having raised 2 sons. Sara is thrilled to have a daughter in her family now.

In case you missed it, here is my review of Sara’s book where she explains how her life has been…

TRUMPED BY SOVEREIGNTY:

Juggling Faith, Healing, And Submission to God’s Perfect Plans

a memoir BY SARA STOPHEL

“Damen Ballard, twenty-five, left his apartment on April 19, 1995, to grab a pack of cigarettes at the convenience store. On his way back he took the shortcut…crossing I-44 on foot at rush hour. He was hit and became a John Doe while doctors tried to save his life. Even as we were watching the terrible news of the Oklahoma City bombing down the road…and fighting against all of those feelings of desperation when we discovered no hearts would be coming…Chuck’s new heart was just two floors above us in the very same hospital.”

Sovereignty is a word you may not use or even hear often; I know I don’t.  Probably the most common usage is in a political sense, like the sovereignty (authority) of a nation. Maybe that’s why Sara Stophel offers this definition on the back cover of her book;

“‘Sovereignty’ means that God, as the ruler of the universe, has the right to do whatever he wants. Further, he is in complete control over everything that happens.

In a game of cards, a trump card overrules any card previously played … But what happens when that “game” is actually life? And what happens when you realize that God’s sovereignty is the final trump card?”

Trumped by Sovereignty is two stories in one book.  One story relates the multiple medical challenges faced by Sara, her husband Chuck,  their children and extended family. The other story describes how Sara coped with these challenges, especially in relationship to her Christian faith.

I have known Sara and her family for several years and already knew much of their story although not all. I know Sara to be direct, truthful and frank. She does not mince words.

(I did not consult Sara prior to writing this review.  I paid for my copy of her book.)

This is not one of those “how we went through a horrible experience and survived by our unshakable faith” stories; rather it is “how we went through extraordinary stress which tested our faith which survived and grew anyway”.

Sara doesn’t tell you how she solved her problems; she admits that her problems caused her to change the way she looks at life, faith and God.

Sara’s book describes multiple medical conditions that afflicted her family (yes, afflicted is exactly the right word). The list reads like a medical textbook, so much so that you may need to look up some of the terms to understand what they are; she does not describe them in detailed scientific terms.  (I’ve included some links for you to use.)

Between Sara, her husband Chuck, their children and extended family they endured –

Sara and Chuck met in college, a Christian university that is known for its belief in divine healing. However, Sara’s home church did not teach miraculous healing. So it was a new concept for her, and one she found difficult to reconcile as her family’s serious health issues continued to worsen and not respond to medical treatment much less prayer.

Sara Stophel with her late husband Chuck

She does not expect you to believe that she endured these challenges and tragedies due to strong and unwavering faith; rather she freely admits otherwise. As she puts it, her “truster” frequently breaks and needs repair.

“I could not commune with a God who did not honor my bigger-than-mustard-seed faith. I was more than certain God loved people…but I was also nearly certain He just needed me as a tool of transparency. My truster was broken. Having loved God my whole life, I couldn’t think of anything better…anywhere else to turn…so I just kept on serving and assuming the love and peace of God were for everyone but me.”

Sara sense of humor never wavers, both in her writing, and  in life; she probably could not have made it  through some of the days she has lived without it.

You will laugh, cry, or both at some of her stories like-

  • Her annual physical (which was a year late) with her doctor, Dr. LionKing (an offbeat humorous pronunciation of his real name)
  • Her first CPR class after a family death

And you may get angry as she describes her shabby treatment by the IRS, the cell phone company and the local fire department first responders who refused to take her critically ill husband to the hospital.

Sara recently with her 3 sons

I encourage you to buy and read Trumped by Sovereignty. I know Sara and her sons which means I also know that their challenges are not over; in fact, they may be bigger than ever. I believe she will continue to face them with the same courage and humor that she has so far; and maybe in a few years she will write volume 2 of her story.

 

 

Trumped by Sovereignty is published by Paladin Publishing, Tulsa Oklahoma.

Sara Stophel welcomes invitations to speak; you can follow her on

Facebook  at Sara Stophel -author .

Sara at a speaking engagement

Sara’s son Nikolai Stophel is a professional writer/photographer for Samaritan’s Purse. Prior to that position, he  covered the turbulent weather we have here in Oklahoma. His photos of Oklahoma storms illustrate this previous post. You can find more of his work on Instagram. 

On the 6th anniversary of Chuck’s release from illness and pain, his wife Sara reflected on her Facebook page-

sharing the HEART of health

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

To start following Watercress Words , use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, links are on the left side bar here and the Home page. Thanks so much.

          Dr. Aletha