The Robin Williams Question

463px-Robin_Williams_2011aLinda Evans Shepherd

I want to answer the Robin Williams Question that so many are struggling with;

If Robin William’s died, why shouldn’t I?

Here’s my answer, an answer I would have loved to have shared with Robin…

Depression is like a living monster which is built on lies that parade through your mind; lies built for one purpose, to steal, kill and destroy the wonderful person you are.  Dr. Keith Abow, a psychiatrist who has dealt with many who entertained this monster said in a recent article which addressed Robin, “I would have told you to fight against the invader with everything and every resource, without pride.  Deploy every weapon. And because the truth is the mortal enemy of every lie, I would have told you to get to an emergency room or call a suicide hotline or 911 and tell someone the absolute truth about all the dark thoughts you were having—yes, even the one about leaving the planet. Especially that one. Because that one is the big lie implanted in your mind by the Godforsaken charlatan, scum, named major depression. Your enemy. And mine.”

I applaud Dr. Abow’s wise words, but I’d like to further shine the truth on the lies that come with depression.  They are from the pit of hell.  We know Satan (who is real) has come to steal, kill, and destroy the ones that God has gifted with the most purpose and potential.  First he blinds them to their future and hope, then he whispers lies into their hearts.

Do not believe those lies.

If I could have said one thing to Robin prior to his death, I would have told him, “You are loved and have brought joy to so many and if you choose to live, you will continue to bring joy to others and even find happier moments yourself.  Plus, if you live, you will not inspire others to give up on life. Your death will become a tragedy for many families.”

The sad truth is that others have been influenced by Robin’s death and chosen death as well.  Robin could have chosen life and walked out of his deep depression to experience more of his God given purpose as well as love, joy and even peace.  Sure, he may have had to struggle from time to time, but he could have worked to manage his depression and continued to live.  The problems he may have struggled with such as self-loathing, financial woes, fear of the future, or even mental illness, could have been lived-through.  These struggles could have been met through the strength of the very God Robin believed in.

If Robin had only trusted in the God who loved him, if he had pushed back against his depression and called 911 or gone to the emergency room, he would have lived through the darkness to find life once again.

Robin is gone but you are here, and I’d like to say that if you are depressed, you can fight back. You can recognize the lies of depression which may be trying to coax you into a tragic decision that will not only hurt you but those who love you. Don’t do anything rash while you are in the depth of your hurt or despair. Live, so you can have a hope and a future.

As the word says in Jeremiah 29:11New Living Translation,

 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)

Like Robin, you do not have to give into the temptation of death.  You can choose to live.  Just as the Lord told his people,

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deut. 30:19 (NIV)

Live!  God loves you and will get you through the darkness.

If you would like to know more about God’s love for you, go to:  GodTest.com

Review: How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide

Review by Martha Bolton

REVIEW: How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide:  Steps to Heal the Hurt is available as a Kindle book, click HERE.

cHow to Survive5

As a mother who experienced the grief of her son’s suicide, Louisa Lanford shares her heart, her hurt, and her journey toward healing in her new ebook, How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide (Right to the Heart Publishers, 2013). In this moving account of her own experience,  Louisa Lanford provides hope for other hurting parents.

Healing is often found in forgiveness, but real forgiveness comes after first looking at the truth of a situation and then opting to forgive.  Louisa had a lot of truths to consider.  Her hurting son had chosen a path that may have, in his mind, ended his pain, but that unfortunate decision opened a world of hurt for those who loved him.  She needed to forgive her son.  Louisa found that she also needed to forgive her daughter-in-law who may or may not have inadvertently suggested that “he go ahead and do it.”  She needed to forgive her because if her daughter-in-law had said that, she would be dealing with unbelievable pain and guilt.  If she hadn’t said that, then she would be suffering from the pain of being misjudged.  And finally, Louisa needed to forgive herself and others around her son who sadly missed important signs of his escalating suicidal thoughts.

Needless to say, the path to forgiveness wasn’t an easy one for Louisa.

But she was determined that her son’s story wouldn’t end at his death. This author of How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide has taken her family’s painful tragedy and turned it around to help others on their own journey through grief, guilt and forgiveness.  She also wanted to send a wake up call to all of us to be keenly aware of the very real need to intervene when someone is so desperately hurting.

If you or someone you know has lost a loved one to suicide, or if you or someone you know is presently in the jaws of despair, this book will encourage you to do more than sit on the sidelines.

Or if you are the one who’s depressed, don’t sit on the sidelines of your own life.  Reach out and ask for help.  Call a pastor, friend,  or counselor, but let someone know how desperately you’re hurting.  You can get through these moments of despair.  Listen to the reasonable, caring voices in your life that don’t negate your past hurts or remind you of wrong choices you may have made in the past.  They won’t bully you into believing untruths about yourself.  Instead, they will encourage you to look beyond yesterday and today, and see your future.

To download the ebook, how to survive your child’s suicide, click HERE.

Why Am I Here?

By Martha Bolton:

Do you have days when you wonder, “Why am I here?”

 

Why by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos net

Do you ever wonder why? Why are you reading this right now? Why did that person say an encouraging word to you today? Or send you a card, or smile at you as you passed them on the street?

Why did you decide to remember the people who love you? Why did you pick up that phone and start to call a friend?

There’s a reason. There’s a reason you’re reading this. There’s a reason someone reached out to you, or is praying for you right now. You may not even know their name, but there’s a reason God put your name on their heart.

So why? What is the reason?

To remind you that whatever you’re going through, you’re going to make it.  It may not seem like it right now, but there is hope. There is a lifeline–all you have to do is reach for it.

Talk to anyone you know and ask them this one question: “What was the darkest moment of your life?”

I guarantee you they can tell you. They can tell you in great detail, I’m sure, because most people have been there, right where you are right now. They, too, have been blindsided by some unforeseen pain, devastated by an unwanted loss, bullied by heartless people who may or may not realize the damage their hurtful words and actions have caused. But they survived it all. And you can too.

There are many lifelines that you can reach for. Talk to a parent, friend, pastor, get professional counseling, read books filled with life-changing advice and encouragement, read the Bible, and pray. But be pro-active in your recovery.

There’s a reason you’re reading this right now. It’s not an accident. The world needs to benefit from the gifts that you have been given. It needs to learn from the experiences you’ve had. And someone out there needs YOU to keep going until you find hope again, and then have you share it with them.

See more helpful articles by Martha Bolton here at Thinking About Suicide to offer you hope and encouragement.

Look Here For Hope

help me God, suicide, the suicidal, help, facts, prevention, your problems, survivor’s guilt, survivor stories, and the loss of a loved one — as well as info for anyone thinking about suicide, suicde.Welcome to our search engine which includes helps, statistics, and hope concerning suicide and the suicidal. You will find facts, survivor stories, suicide prevention tips as well as answers to your survivor’s guilt after the loss of a loved one. You will also find helps and info if you are thinking about suicide.

Be sure to use our powerful search tool at the upper right hand  corner of this page to search our many topics and resources.  You can also check out our arcticle categories on the upper, white tool bar or on the lower right side of this page.  You can also scroll down to see a sampling or our articles.

If you are contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). We will try to answer comments, but if you need a timely response, please call the phone number above.  (Also, see our disclaimer.)

Treatment for Depression; Seasonal Affective Disorder and Nutritional Deficits

By PeggySue Wells:

Treatment for depression should include addressing nutritional deficits. Also, Seasonal Affective Disorder causes depression in some.

 

Doctor Writing On Clipboard by stockimages

Image from stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Feeling depressed? Having suicidal thoughts?

According to Dr. Michael Lyles, doctor of psychiatry and neurology at Crawford and Lyles in Georgia, these feelings and thoughts may be symptomatic of physical conditions that are easily remedied.

Our bodies send messages to alert us when something in our system is off balance. Depression can be the symptom of several treatable conditions including:

  • Lack of magnesium
  • Low levels of vitamin B
  • Not enough vitamin D
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Testosterone below normal levels
  • Iron deficiency
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Poor diet 

Additionally, feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide may be a symptom of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Certainly feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide may be exactly that. A simple step forward is to ask your doctor for a blood test that will quickly show deficiencies and treatment can begin immediately. Correcting these conditions may be all that is necessary.

If your feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide remain, your doctor can help you find additional help.

Don’t wait.

To listen to Lynne Ford interview Dr. Michael Lyles about causes of depression and treatment for depression,  click  HERE.

In that interview (especially the last 3/4 of the interview) Dr. Lyles addresses Seasonal Affective Disorder, nutrition deficits, depression in pregnancy, medication interactions, stress and other causes. He also discusses reluctance in Christians to seek out help for depression and how to find help.

Grief and Suicidal Thoughts: Loss of a Baby

By Karen Kosman:

Sometimes grief and suicidal thoughts go hand-in-hand, and the loss of a baby may seem too great to bear. But God is there to comfort you.

 

grief, suicidal thoughts, moses basket

God can heal your broken heart–even after the terrible loss of a baby.

My body ached and my heart throbbed with sorrow. Surrounded by family and friends we stood at Kim’s gravesite, all eyes resting on my baby daughter’s small casket.

The wind blew softy against my cheeks as my tears cascaded down. I looked at the grief-ridden faces of my husband, daughter, and son.

How do I help them to go on? How do I say goodbye?

Briefly my mind traveled back to the first time I held Kim. I’d marveled at her tiny, delicate features and auburn curls on top of her head, highlighted with gold streaks. Back in the present I questioned, How do I go on?

As the days turned into weeks my emotions vacillated up and down. At my lowest point of grief I questioned why God hadn’t taken me instead.  Each day depression robbed me of joy. I questioned how I could believe that Kim is in heaven and feel so grief stricken and depressed.

Home alone, one morning, while cleaning my kitchen I found a package of forget-me-not flower seeds shoved at the back of a drawer. On the back someone had written Kim’s name. I immediately went outside and planted them. A few weeks later their blue blossoms filled the garden.

I allowed myself to embrace our precious moments with Kim. I realized as I listened to my children’s feelings how much they needed me to go on. We began praying together and talking about our feelings—talking openly began healing our hearts.

We stayed busy. Working on school projects and home projects brought back normal routines. The days became easier. We counted the many blessings Kim’s life brought to others: My mother accepted Christ and was baptized because of the love she’d witnessed from our church family. Friends began to tell me things like, “Kim’s short life made me ponder about my own life and eternal destiny,” or “I value life more.” But one comment really touched my heart, “Kim’s life made me realize how precious every moment is.”

The shortest verse in the Bible is found in John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” At the lowest point in my sorrow I remembered this verse.

Yes, Jesus wept for the heartache and loss Lasarus’ family and friends felt at his death.  As I thought about the compassion of Christ I felt comforted. I began to realize God understood my grief. As the oppressive blanket of grieve began to lift, joy came back into our lives. I am grateful that I had God to lean on in my sorrow and thankful I didn’t give in to my fleeting thoughts of wanting to die.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

My daughter’s life, although brief, had purpose and still does. I am grateful for the precious gift God granted us in Kim.

God Loves You and Approves of You

By Karen O’Connor:

 You may not think it’s true that God loves you and approves of you, but he does. He says so in the Bible:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you” (Jeremiah 1:5).

God loves you, thumbs up, approval

Image by mack2happy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Imagine: the God of the universe is on your side and has been for all time. Your life is important to him and to those around you.

If you are thinking about suicide today or have thought about it in the past, I urge you to take a moment to consider this. Above all your friends, your family, your coworkers, your neighbors—God cares about you and says that your life counts.

That means you can start over today.

Pastor Joel Osteen in his message of encouragement this week, Before You Were Born, says the following:

“No matter how you may be feeling right now, no matter whose approval you didn’t get on this earth, know that Almighty God loves you and approves of you today. There’s nothing you can do now or ever to change that. You may be thinking, “I’ve made so many mistakes, how can God approve of me?

“Understand that when God sees you, He separates you from your behavior. He may not approve of your actions all the time, but He desires to help you grow and make better choices.”

Here are three steps you can take right now to start over, trusting that God loves and approves of you and wants to be Lord of your life.

  1. Buy or borrow a bible and read one psalm each day.
  2. Jot down what you learned from that reading and how it applies to you.
  3. Tell someone you trust that you want to make a fresh start and ask for support.

View and share this excellent YouTube video from Joel Osteen “Dealing With Negative Influences.”

 

I Hate my Job!

Linda Evans Shepherd:

I once met a woman who told me, “I hate my job,” and expressed that she wanted to die.  But as we began to talk, what  happened next was so remarkable that I wrote about it in my book, When You Don’t Know What to Pray – How to Talk to God About Anything.

See the excerpted story below:

After speaking at an event in Iowa, I was chatting with the soloist when a grandmother in her early sixties approached us. Her conference nametag read “Barb” and she said, “Linda, I appreciated your talk today on joy but it didn’t help me.”

Startled, I stared as she continued, “I can’t go on. I’m no good to anyone. It’s like I’m already dead.”

My friend Jackie’s eyebrows shot into her hairline and she looked to me as if to say, “Yikes! What do we do?”

I studied the woman before me. Her eyes were dull and her face hard. She was in incredible emotional pain. “What’s happened to you, Barb?” I asked softly.

Barb frowned, then in one long breath she said, “My husband died last year of a heart attack. I hate my job. I was left to raise my granddaughters and I’m doing a terrible job. My son-in-law committed suicide and I think he had the right idea. I’ve decided I should kill myself too.”

I asked, “Who are you mad at?”

Her blue eyes locked with mine. With a trembling voice she answered, “I loathe myself and I’m mad at God.”

I nodded slowly, comprehending her fury and replied, “That’s okay. God’s big enough to handle your anger. Do you want to let go of it? Do you want to give God your anger?”

She nodded her head and together we knelt on the carpet. There on the hotel conference room floor, with conference attendees milling around us and Jackie looking on, Barb let go. She not only gave God her anger, she also gave Him her burdens, hurts, and disappointments with a simple prayer, “I give it all to you Lord, the anger, the burdens, everything.”

When we finished, Jackie and I witnessed an amazing transformation. Color returned to Barb’s cheeks. Her eyes glistened. The hardness in her face evaporated as if she’d received an instant facelift. It was a stunning moment as we witnessed Barb’s return from the dead.

Barb and I stood up and hugged. I said, “Barb, this is what it feels like to be free.”

Barb jumped and clapped her hands. “Oh, I didn’t know this could happen. I am free. I’m free. I’m free!”

If you are finding yourself in the same situation as this woman, why not pray a prayer of your own.

Dear Lord,

I’m so angry about my job situation, and all the people who have contributed to my difficulties, including my boss, my co-workers, me and even You!  But I’m willing to give you my anger, to lay it at your feet, and to say to you, I give my anger over my job to you, Lord, it’s now your problem.  Help turn this situation around into a miracle.

In Jesus’s name,

Amen.

 Speaking of miracles, Zig Ziglar, who passed a few days ago , was a man who spent his 86 years living life with zest as he helped others find their purpose.  Watch him tell about a woman he met who also hated her job, and how he helped her turn her situation around.  His solution is brilliant and I think it might also work for you.

Japanese Students – Please do not Kill Yourself

This is a message to all Japanese Students – Please do not kill yourself!

Currently suicide is the leading cause of death in many age groups in Japan.  This is partly because suicide is often a considered solution if one feels they have shamed themselves or their family.  Today, even school children commit suicide simply because they made a mistake or got a lower grade than they had intended.  Recently, I met a teacher from Japan, who is sad to lose so many of his students to what he called ‘senseless deaths.’  He asked me to write an article which would show an important alternative to student suicide.

So, this article is written to the young (and old) students of Japan:  Please do not kill yourselves! Japaneses students, please do not commit suicide!

Despite you or your family’s or society’s expectations, shame is not a good reason to take your life as I will explain below.

Consider this; if you should live past this shame, you will get a chance to honorably redeem your grade (or situation) another day.  Life will continue, and this incident, which seems shameful right now, may even be forgotten in time.  If you live, you will have a chance to bring honor to yourself and family, even marry, raise a family, find in a job,  perhaps in part because you learned how to handle shame and disappointments with honor and grace.  But no matter what you decide to do, you must know this sacred secret I am about to share with you.

The secret is this; there is hope for you when you discover the God above all gods– a God many people in Japan know and meet every day.  This great God is a God who has a different plan for both you  and your shame.  I would very much like to introduce to you to this God.

This mightly, holy God wants, more than anything, to love you and to be your constant companion.  But he had a problem.  He was too holy to walk with mankind because we all make mistakes and shame ourselves.  So, God sent his son Jesus to die a cruel death on a cross.  You see, his son Jesus died in our place.  Jesus, who was good and never did anything to shame himself or his father, allowed himself to be hung naked on a wooden cross until he was dead. He did this to pay the price for our shame, sin, and mistakes. When we accept Jesus’s payment for our shame, God  will allow us to wear the righteousness of Jesus like a beautiful, holy robe.  The righteousness of Jesus covers our sins, failures , mistakes and  shame.  In this way, God counts us as good enough to walk with him without shame.

You can start a relationship with this great God with a simple prayer:

Dear Lord,

Please forgive me for my failures and the shame that I have brought upon myself and my family.  Thank you that you provide forgiveness for my sins as well as my shame through the sacrifice of your son. Jesus. Thank you that Jesus gave his life for my life.  Jesus wants to carry my sins and shame on himself.  So I give Jesus my sin and my shame.  In exchange, I give God my whole life.  God, thank you that because Jesus is your son, and because he never sinned, he had the power to rise alive from the grave.  Because Jesus did this for me, I can now walk with you, holy God, without sin or shame.  God, please send your holy spirit to live inside of me so that you will be my constant companion.  For with God, through Jesus, I am free from shame!  My life becomes too valuable to throw away or to end it with suicide.  God thank you for giving me your love, purpose and for honoring me by taking my sin and shame!

In Jesus Name,

Amen

This is a happy development.  For now you belong to a God who believes that  your life matters.  To learn more about your new life in Christ, go to:  http://thinkingaboutsuicide.com/new-believers-bible-study/

We have several videos which may interest you.  The first video shows a Japanese worship service where the worshippers are honoring God with songs of praise.

Watch this anime (below) which shows part of the story of Jesus’s death on the cross.

This is an importatant movie in Japanese which shows the whole story of Jesus:

Max Lucado Shares Words of Hope to Depressed and Suicidal

Max Lucado Shares Words of Hope with Readers of Thinking About Suicide

Max Lucado shares words of hope to depressed and suicidal

When I told pastor and bestselling author, Max Lucado about our website, Thinking About Suicide, I asked him if had any words of hope to the depressed and suicidal.  He replied, “The message of grace is so important for those who are in tough times because it takes the burden off of the person and places the burden on God. Grace says that salvation and strength is God based, God given, God driven. Every other religion and philosophy in the world says that it’s up to us to get God’s attention or to win God’s favor—but grace says, ‘No! You already have God’s attention. You already have God’s favor.’

“Those who are passing thought times of despair feel as though they can relate to the orphan because they feel like nobody really cares. But the theme of grace is that God does not just pat us on the back, he gives us a place at his table. He gives us his name, he brings us into his family because he has adopted us. His act of adopting us once and for all declares–I must be worth something. I must have hope and a future.”

I asked, “How can we learn to trust that God’s grace is for us?”

Max Lucado's Grace, More than we Deserve Greater than we Imagine, Due out September 2012, Thomas Nelson

Max replied, “First of all, we have to understand, Linda, what grace means and how it’s articulated in the Bible. We have to wrestle with this whole economy that we are sinners, we need a savior, and that we have one in Jesus Christ who is sufficient to cover our eternal needs.”

“Then, what’s the best way a person can experience God’s grace in their everyday life?”

“I think that one of the underutilized disciplines of faith is confession. After 30 years as a pastor, I believe most people carry around unresolved guilt; a regret, a stumble, a failure—and they’ve never talked to God about it. Satan uses this guilt, Linda, because the commodity of Satan is condemnation. Satan wakes up every day wanting to figure out a way to make us feel guilty. The Bible calls him the accuser and his goal is to condemn us and to create within us a feeling of condemnation.”

“So what’s the solution, Max?”

“If we could learn to quickly confess, ‘Lord, I’m sorry for what I did. I accept your grace,’ then we would live in a state of confession, not in a state of guilt.  To live in a state of receiving this forgiveness of God, all you have to say is, ‘Lord, I’m sorry, please forgive me.’ “Then, confess specifically what you did; ‘I looked at a woman in the wrong way, I spoke out of turn.’”

Max explained, “On the days I really apply this, I find myself practicing dozens of confessions of hour. But it’s not a sense in which I’m just beating myself up, it’s a nonstop conversation that takes place in the back of my mind, between God and me and it’s so liberating!

“Then there’s the issue of these deep seated bad choices,” Max continued, “choices that we made years ago that have never been dealt with.  Many people need to go back and have a good talk to God about that. About the night or the time in the back seat of a car, or with the drugs or the abortion. Some of these major issues that we’ve never really let God forgive.”

It’s time to receive God’s forgiveness.  Watch Max tell an illustrated story about how to let God forgive as he shares words of hope to the depressed and suicidal:

You may also be interested in Max’s books, including the one that led to my interview with him;  Grace, More than we Deserve    Greater than we Imagine, coming September, 2012.