Featured Guest Post and By My Dearest Friend Tony Roberts Who Shares Mental Health Topics Openly Thru Faith.

Featured Guest Post and By My Dearest Friend Tony Roberts Who Shares Mental Health Topics Openly Thru Faith.

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One of my big “flaws” is not being as open and transparent in sharing about my mental health issues and challenges like my dearest friend Author, Tony Roberts. And is why I enjoy sharing and having him often to eloquently share his experiences with his and how he approaches and moves through the bumps and challenges that many who deal with mental health can have.

The difference is, he is open and transparent, as I am still a bit shy in spilling all I go through with my challenges. However, I, like Tony both relie on a power greater to get us through … GOD and our FAITH.

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Feeling Burdened By or a Burden For?

 

Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

(Matthew 11.28-30)

 

I grew up in a country church where there was much talk of having burdens. Members, ministers, missionaries all spoke of having a burden for youth, drug addicts, Africa. Through their impassioned speech, the sweat on their brows, and the waving of their leather Bibles, they would stir up in us a burden to give — prayer, supplies, money.

What I got from this early spiritual teaching is that a burden is something God gives a person who then transfers this burden to others. It didn’t occur to me at the time that it had anything to do with a passion to work for Christ. Instead, it was more like a moral responsibility we had to meet to appease a god we could never please.

I’ve carried around many burdens in my life. Many have been anything but burdensome. They have been uplifting. Having a burden for basketball kept my body and mind in good shape to ward off physical and emotional attack. Having a burden for learning put me on an educational path that expanded my mind, giving me a greater understanding about the human condition. Having a burden for ministry built compassion in my soul for glorifying God and serving God’s people.

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But it seems that with every uplifting “burdened for..” there came a debilitating “burdened by…” A dreadful fear of defeat. A critical voice of failure. A demonic despair.

How do we let go of the earthly burdens that weigh us down so heavily and receive the load-bearing yoke of Christ?

Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart…”

Jesus invites us to join him in building the kingdom of God. How? Gently. Humbly. Passionately, sure. But not with a heavy burden that it’s all on our shoulders. It isn’t. It never is. If you think you are flying solo on God’s mission trip, you’d better check your flight instructions.

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Before I was diagnosed with bipolar, I was treated for depression. A family doctor tried out a new medication that had only just been FDA approved. It sent me into what my later psychiatrists called a medication-induced psychosis which had to be treated at a psychiatric hospital. But this medical explanation does little to describe what I went through. It was like this…

God had chosen me for a special mission. The signs were all there. Words spoken in prayer. Looks on faces. Sounds in the night. Everything pointed to this place they told me was a psych center but was, in fact, a safe haven. The staff there didn’t listen when I told them this absolutely logical explanation for why I needed a pass to get out and rescue God’s children from pending disaster. They offered me a sugar cookie instead.

Little did they know those sugar cookies were supercharged energy bars that would give me the strength to break through the security doors. Little did I know, they weren’t. And they didn’t.

Christ’s load-bearing yoke may lead us to face what seems like unbearable burdens, but as we move forward in faith, what looks like a weight too difficult to bear, suddenly becomes like. With Him. According to His Word. By His Spirit.

 
The exact opposite of supercharged bars that give us the strength to crash through security doors.

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You are my strength, I sing praise to you;

you, God, are my fortress

my God on whom I can rely.  (Psalm 59.17)

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Please take some time to visit Tony’s uplifting and Inspirational website of “Delight In Disorder – Tony Roberts” for more amazing articles.


~Catherine Lyon, Author/Advocate 

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Is Gambling Just For Entertainment? Guest Article From Psych Central~Compulsive Gambling 101

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and Visitors,

 

When I do loads of research for my recovery article writing, I come across interesting articles written by other writers. One of my favorite places to visit for research is the fine folks over on Psych Central .Com . . . Now I know what you are thinking, “isn’t that website for just mental health resources?” NO, they wonderful articles, blog, and many fantastic resources for addiction as well. I go there as I am ‘dual diagnosed.’  So here is an article I came across that introduces compulsive gambling addiction and what it is. I hope by sharing this today, someone may get help, know they are not alone, and be informed and educated about this devastating addiction. . . .

An Introduction to Compulsive Gambling

Although gambling does not produce the cognitive or physical impairment associated with alcohol or drug abuse, an obsession with gambling can be just as devastating. Compulsive gambling can destroy social, personal and occupational or educational performance.

Compulsive gambling is considered a form of addiction. The term addiction is usually reserved to explain a compulsive attraction or pathological attachment to a substance, normally a drug. However, we now recognize that some behaviors can be addicting, such as eating, sex and gambling. All addiction is characterized by loss of control, preoccupation, racing thoughts, obsessive nature, narrowing of interests, dishonesty, guilt and chronic relapse.

Addictions to behavioral processes are called process addictions. The process of engaging in these behaviors leads to typical addiction symptoms (withdrawal, tolerance, heightened excitement or euphoria).

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Process addictions are more common among children of alcoholics or addicts, recovering alcoholics or addicts, or current alcoholics or addicts. Like other addictions, in many cases there are no correlations with high-risk situations or history—it just happens.

When people describe their subjective experience related to gambling or other process addictions, their stories are qualitatively similar to users’ descriptions of their drug addictions. Compulsive gamblers indicate that they seek to be in action, referring to the “high” or euphoric state associated with the act of gambling. Gamblers also describe the anticipated high or “rush” before being in action.

The description of these aroused states is remarkably similar to that described by cocaine addicts. A study involving 298 cocaine abusers found that a diagnosis of compulsive gambling could be made in 15 percent of the population—19 percent of the males and 5 percent of the females. This is about five to seven times the rate expected in the general population.

Course of Gambling Addiction

The course of the gambling and process addictions is remarkably similar to that of drugs or alcoholism. Some divide pathological gambling into four phases: winning, losing, desperation and weakness.

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The early or winning phase is similar to the learning phase of a substance addict where the high is fun and the consequences minimal or nonexistent. As the disease progresses, there is a marked narrowing of interests as the gambler becomes preoccupied with gambling and obtaining money to gamble.

Home life and interpersonal relationships are affected as the gambler lies and covers up losses and is careless about the welfare of his family. Interests narrow to gambling and planning to gamble. There are often “bailouts,” where the family members lend the gambler money to pay off debts. This is akin to enabling behavior seen in families of alcoholics and addicts. Finally, as the gambler becomes alienated from family and friends, helplessness, demoralization, divorce, suicidal thoughts and other catastrophic consequences occur as the gambler hits the bottom.

Phases of Compulsive Gambling

Compulsive gamblers go through the following four phases:

Phase 1: Winning phase

  • more common in “action seekers” (usually men) than escape gamblers (usually women)
  • initially, occasional gambling followed by more frequent gambling
  • big win
  • increasing bet amount
  • unreasonable optimism—feeling of authority
  • big shot—brags about winning while minimizing losses
  • lasts months to years

Phase 2: Losing phase (“the chase”)

  • often begins with unpredictable losing streak
  • can’t stop gambling (“chasing”)
  • borrows money (bailouts)
  • covering up, lying
  • home and work life affected
  • spouse, even if aware of gambling, usually unaware of the extent of debt incurred
  • personality changes—irritable, restless and withdrawn

Phase 3: Desperation phase

  • often begins with gambling away funds from a bailout that were supposed to pay debts
  • options decrease
  • illegal or immoral acts (e.g., fraud, embezzlement, writing bad checks)
  • reputation affected
  • alienation from family and friends
  • most common time for seeking help — “hitting bottom”

Phase 4: Helplessness

  • suicide thoughts and attempts (15 to 25 percent prevalence rate of suicide)
  • major depression
  • co-morbid substance abuse
  • divorce
  • emotional breakdown
  • arrests

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Note:  I can tell you from my own addiction to gambling and what I went through, and experienced, I did go through most all above.  Trust me, it is very shameful when the police come to your door and arrested you and haul you to jail for stealing from somebody. Then, sitting in a cold concrete jail cell for hours waiting to booked and then released. It was very embarrassing, sobering, and shameful all at that the same time. I never want to go through that experience AGAIN!

My point in sharing my flaws and character defects is to prove that for those who are problem gamblers, or even if you may have a full-blown gambling addiction?  The different phases above? They WILL surely happen to you if you keep on gambling, or using gambling for all the wrong reasons . . . .

If you have yet to read my current book; “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat?”
I wrote all my pitfalls about what I went through with the disease of Compulsive Addicted Gambling.

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Product Details

( Click Book to Amazon )

Keep Up The Good Fight Recovery Friends! ODAAT!

In Recovery Magazine Columnist & Author,
~Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~

 

 

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