Healing the Mind Series - Part 1

Understanding the mental health Crisis and what we can do about it. Tune in for part 1 of the series.

Also click on this link to hear more about this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-IR48Mb3W0&feature=youtu.be


so much wound up so I'm really excited
that we're here today and I'm really
excited that we have this series and I'm
even particularly excited that Boone is
here and that we have the support kind
of we're on the same team we're all
doing this together that there isn't
kind of one you know side speaking over
another so one of the reasons I'm
excited about this series is because
first we had like an intro series before
yeah I think yeah there was an inner
talk already to kind of set the stage
and today we're gonna talk about this
idea now of of healing the mind when it
comes to this subject I usually think of
this when it comes to health right we
think of how do you be healthy go to the
gym some people go to the gym more than
others when you go right you know those
guys that seem to be working a lot on
their upper body but they seem to skip
leg day
anybody see those guys they have these
like chicken legs they're just enormous
massive refrigerator looking people but
like little tiny tiny legs sometimes in
the spiritual life you can be working so
so hard unlike your left bicep and like
your left bicep is amazing looking wow
look at my prayer life wow look at the
way I read about one particular subject
and look the biggest expert on this one
thing great good for you but that's not
the way God explains how us that's not
the way we understand what it is to be
healthy right so what we're not gonna do
today we're not gonna skip leg day and
like they the analogy here is just like
the one I was saying health overall
we're talking about your physical health
your spiritual health your emotional
health the health of your mind
tried to come up with a hashtag maybe
this will trend later minds matter is
because the church teaches us that
you're not just a bunch of random
collection of parts you're not an arm
and a foot and you know if you go to the
doctor and doctor says you know your
lung is something wrong with it it's
okay I have another one or if you go I
was reviewing she's a true story someone
told me hey you know can you look at my
lab work you know this though you don't
you go to doctor you do bloodwork
and they said hey can you just take a
look I'm not an expert but I'll take a
look I said you know this seems like
something's wrong with your cholesterol
and they're like yeah but like my
diabetes thing is on point like yeah but
like that's a differ
you need to kind of do both of the
things so far not too long makes sense
and that's why we're here because we
understand that we're not just one part
we are a whole person and the whole
person the Church Fathers explained to
us that it's all connected it's all
related that's what we want take a look
at today to understand that there isn't
one piece we're gonna focus on more than
the other a quick recap I wanted to
share with you from last talk is what
what are the things that we you already
kind of talked about with duck knee
being solemn one oh this is real this is
a thing this is not like a figment of
our imagination right and to that it's
not always spiritual we'll talk about
what that means specifically a little
bit later it's common okay sometimes and
I know she'd joked about this too
I've had people like servants like older
servants come and tell me Mina thank God
we're people in the church we're not
like the world we don't have to worry
about this stuff like thank God you
don't have to worry about it but is
there you should be a little more
worried about it than you already are
because it's there and sometimes I think
that make us worried and the things that
make us more making make us concerned
we're not able to identify what's wrong
we're gonna identify where it's coming
from but it's more related so we're
gonna talk about now than it is to just
how often we're praying the egg baya
even though that's an important part so
not always spiritual it's common
treatable those are some of the things
we talked about last time sorry because
it's st. Mary's fast and because when I
take a look when you take a look
together at this and say like somebody
asks me last night last night I was
sharing with them about the clinic that
we have that I'll talk to you about in a
second at the Coptic clinic in New
Jersey so why is there a need for a
Coptic clinic for this subject and there
was one reason and not one reason is
stigma and when I thought about someone
in the Bible or someone in our church
history that battled this idea of stigma
or the idea of people talking about you
in a way that it's unpleasant
I thought about Saint Mary this there's
passage in mark 6 where the Lord Jesus
speaking and he's doing the regular Lord
Jesus things he's saying something
amazing and people were like wow that's
aspiring and that's amazing and then it
enough and someone responds with this
phrase and says is this not Mary's son
right and for us we think hmm that
sounds like a regular phrase like what's
Mary Sun of course it's an honor it's
st. Mary he's a son of Saint Mary I
didn't understand this the conduct of
this passage and so last week at church
there was a group coming from California
and we and there was a very traditional
priest who I love he's my father
confession to make them feel welcome he
made every sing one of them stand up and
say the name of their name the name of
their father who was your father who was
your who was your grandfather to really
make them feel at ease you know just
introduce yourself to the whole
congregation individually so there's
like fourteen-year-old girl is saying
yes my name and my father's name is why
did he ask for their father's name in
the culture of this passage if you
introduce yourself and the same in Egypt
as well say I am my name is so-and-so
I am Mena Idol whatever that's your name
to say to somebody that you are so and
so and you're Mary's son it's like my
reaction initially to this was this like
this was like this was what hey like
what how could you say that to Jesus
Mary son he's not just Mary's son that's
not you can't just well why are they
saying that because there was this
stigma that she had that Saint Mary had
and Jesus had his whole life growing up
is like well we know you know he's
Mary's son but we don't really know
angel didn't speak to us you know spoke
somebody else that's the story one of
the things that always struck me about
st. Mary and what I really want for us
together like for a second to ask for
her intercession on this subject it's to
battle this to have her strength have
her strength that when someone murmurs
and and says this is says that she was
this powerful powerful rooted person who
would say no I don't care about this I
don't care about stigma I'm above the
mainstream above the stigma above the
nonsense because I know what's right and
that's what we want to begin for this
series to truly seek her intercession
for that okay
so sorry I'm just trying to they'll just
go by this quick survey question right
now not you personally because of course
none of us are dealing with us
individually but do you know someone
raise your hand if if you know someone
if you have a friend at work or a church
or somewhere in your life you've known
someone who has struggled with this
issue just give me a hand raised okay
just take a quick look or look around
the room it's most of us and that
already tells us something that we're
we're on the subject that is relevant
for all of us
cool here is my next pertinent question
for us according to medical literature
according to studies where is the first
place that people go to for help do
people go to work school their family
doctor their mental health practitioner
where's the number-one place the
emergency room where do you think would
be the number one place no pressure okay
no pressure but the number one place
people go to and this is published
clearly documented in literature when it
comes to mental health issue is the
church their faith leader and they'll
come and say we have this that's the
first place they'll go for help that
makes this again this is now a little
bit now more of like an emergency room
this you are the primary responders both
for yourself and for somebody else that
you're dealing with because when we're
talking about this subject we're gonna
deal with the whole spectrum of this for
a second of health right
and you say if we're looking at another
part of health cardiovascular health
right can you say I'm 100% healthy
I could be healthier I could work out
more I could eat better when it comes to
our minds we're all somewhere on this
spectrum we're all saying you know even
if I'm not in the point of criteria for
illness but things could be a little
better I could figure out a way to cope
better with things around me or I could
figure out a way to deal with people to
work better relationally all these
things deal with the way that our mind
is working and like we're saying here
the number one place where
things go really really south is the
church our main conversation today the
main crux of the talk is going to be how
do we treat this since we gave I know in
the last talk
there was an overview of what it is what
it looks like how it feels
we're gonna dig it a little bit deeper
today specifically how is this treated
and why is it treated this way and I'm
gonna even share with you some data
because there's national data about what
happens when people are treated with
depression but then even I thought a
little more exciting is what if we have
a sub group of Coptic people treated and
if we have data on that we do share that
with you so I thought that would be
relevant okay before I get into the
treatment part I want to share with you
a national study also that was done with
they asked a group of churches about if
you're gonna treat this issue with
prayer and and Bible Bible reading alone
how many people believe that this would
be the solution like this would be the
curative answer so I'm not gonna get
your particular response but I'll tell
you here is here is the answer in this
study this is what done by a group
called life way and they study a lot of
particular a lot of life issues but they
they do a good job of publishing this
I don't know this surprises you but it
surprised me where if you see in the in
the bars right it was about 48% of
people who identify as evangelicals say
then this will be the solution and then
there's even a subset of people who were
outside the church said this would be
the solution as well and then some you
know this agreed and stuff like that so
sometimes people that come to us and say
they've tried to speak to a friend at
church I serve in the church and this
was kind of their answer so I'm hoping
since last talk we've already kind of
agreed that God's approach for us which
we'll talk about in a second as well
is more encompassing than that it's more
comprehensive than that this is the
approach that I want to think about for
a second when it comes to the medical
literature when it comes to how things
are talked about in treatment wise this
idea because you're a person who's made
up of these many parts bio psycho
spiritual social bio psycho spiritual
social for example if you're talking
about something like your spiritual life
like today we're praying in liturgy if
there's something wrong with you
physically if both your feet all of a
sudden are non-functional it's going to
affect the way that you stand to pray to
be able to pray in liturgy if there's
something wrong with you socially like a
buna would this really great
announcement before about holding
something in right what the Bible
teaches about you can't have this
interpersonal like grudge you can't
approach the altar that way similarly
now when we're talking about could there
be a physical biological part that holds
you back from doing something spiritual
and the illustration I wanted to give
you a simple thing sometimes people talk
about you know there's there's doctors
here or specialists and all kinds of
wonderful wonderful parts probably 97%
of you were doctors the other 3% are
lawyers or pharmacist I think that's
those are the allowed things in the
church so right I just want to pick one
organ could an organ in your body affect
you emotionally the example here was
thyroidism other hypo or hyper if this
little this little sucker right here
just a little something you throw if
it's working too hard this is what it'll
look like it'll it'll make you anxious
sometimes you wonder why am I thinking
about something all day all the time and
I have so much energy and I can't sit
still and I'm running around running
around running around and you do a
little blood test you show you know what
this thing is working on an overdrive
and here's how we can fix it we just got
to dial it down so other people can come
and tell you know what I try to stay
awake and liturgy and I just keep
falling asleep I don't know if liturgy
is boring but I just can't stay awake I
also can't stay awake at work what else
I can't stay awake when my spouse
speaking to me
that'll get you in trouble maybe again
it's something with a little organ
there's an issue
biologically oh here's the medication
seventy five micrograms in the morning
and things are way better but you're
looking for a spiritual solution to a
biological problem make sense so imagine
if you go to your doctor and your doctor
is taking this approach and saying okay
like for us I'll tell you when where I'm
seeing people who are not in the church
because we're already addressing the
biological and the social I spend more
time on the spiritual because nobody
else spending time on this we shoot I
say oh you used to go to church when you
were a kid that matter to you let's
looks like look it to that versus now
what we have is we're spending a lot
time on the spiritual we're spending a
lot of time on the social we're spending
a lot of time on the interpersonal if we
just spend a little bit more time on the
biological you would be amazed and I'll
show you how much hopefully you'll be
amazed at the numbers of how much of a
difference this can make for us the
impact of our overall functioning so
does the model kind of make sense the
idea here is that I'm not just like CS
Lewis would say you have a body you are
a soul you have a body you have a body
like a Bruno say in the beginning you
have a mind you have a soul what the
Church Fathers talking about you have a
noose which is like the Gateway to the
soul all these things are a part of you
and when Saint Paul says again he makes
the illustration when one member of your
body suffers the whole body suffers we
sometimes talk about that as the body of
Christ but we kind of feel that too you
know like I was talking with a dentist
friend earlier today if yeah if you have
a dental issue nothing in the world
matters more than your dental issue
because it's affecting your whole body
it's what just one tooth but like it's
excruciating and like you want to kill
everyone and it's it's affecting your
whole function right so that's how all
those things are related okay
I don't want to be labor at this point
because I think we kind of get it we're
so I'll maybe I'll skip over this but
the the point of can God heal these
things of course but Kent can God cure
hunger yes but does that mean our plan
for lunch is the gathering of a prayer
please Lord send tuna sandwiches we
wouldn't do that
because God would say I've provided you
with tuna sandwiches and seal my pizza
and all kinds of amazing things you know
that you wouldn't have thought to ask
for otherwise there's a there's a quote
that I love from one Bishop that God
heals and doctors take all the credit
and we really believe that I think in
the church is that the healing that's
coming whether it's physical biological
spiritual emotional wherever it is
there's one source of healing and that's
God if you believe something else the
bottom one that says well if you're sick
and you're still sick pray more if
you're poor and you're still for pray
more there's a different theology that
we don't subscribe to a theology of a
prosperity the health and wealth kind of
movement right I'm sure you guys have
heard this before that's not the way the
Orthodox Church looks at healing and
wellness right but I won't get into that
for now just to say that we have a
different way of looking at healing
there's a beautiful passage in in the
book of Sirach which sometimes we don't
read because it's deuterocanonical it's
not all in our books so we sometimes can
miss it but I wanted to read with you
for a second over here it says this is
honor the position with the honor due to
him according to your need for him for
the Lord has created him for healing
comes from the Most High and he will
receive a gift from the king the Lord
created medications or medicines from
the earth this is a good verse to
remember okay that the Lord created
medicines from the earth and a sensible
man will not despise them he gave skin
he gave skill to man that he might be
glorified in his marvelous works the
Lord created medicines from the earth
one of the things that we'll talk about
that's maybe some of the most
contentious is this idea of medications
and where medications come from and what
God's perspective is over the church's
perspective is on these things this is
where I want to introduce abouna MD this
is a new show coming to Fox
right you heard a house m.d. this is a
boon MD right the same abouna that gave
me communion last week right he gave me
communion it was very good
follow-through very good technique
this same abouna also on a one day of
the week gives prescriptions to cop to
people and these prescriptions are of
the mental health variety and he's doing
this because the bishop urged him to do
this said a Buddha please do this
because we need you to do this now if
there was something wrong with this
I think his a blue no license will be
revoked I think there are bylaws and
abouna like by codes you can't give bad
stuff to people as an opponent because
that's the role we entrust you to so if
a boon is giving me communion on Sunday
and Zoloft on Wednesday okay it must
mean that there is some indication
sometimes for me to take a medication
and I know this is now I'm going right
into it this is this is the heart of
things because whenever we talk about
therapy and stuff and counselling that's
becoming more like alright well let's go
to counseling and go to Christian
counseling and you should do that and
it's really important isn't it very
there's a very strong role for that but
this subject so go hold on now
don't talk to me about medications and
Prozac and and these happy pills that
the world takes I'm Christian this
little true story one time I was in the
it wasn't about these pills but we were
doing a consult on a lady who refused to
take a medication it was an antibiotic
for infection I said ma'am please take
your antibiotic she said looked at me
dead in the face she said Jesus my
Wow that's deep but I said maybe could
it be the Jesus created Enda biotics
then he wants to give you healing
through antibiotics
she said no this is gonna be a long day
so we had to have a long exchange with
this lady and of course we wouldn't say
that that's Coptic people we wouldn't
say that Jesus my antibiotic I'm not
gonna take medication I'm not gonna take
medication for you know any other part
of my organs going wrong my pancreas
whatever it is no Jesus will heal my
pancreas you can you can't heal you of
your diabetes but that would be a way to
meet him faster than the rest of us like
I'm just just giving you a heads up on
that right because God has dispensed a
way for you to be healed and it's again
only from him but you should not despite
it's like the old classic story you ever
heard that
I don't was real or not but it sounds
believable enough you know the guy that
was drowning and he went to the top of
his roof and he said God saved me from
drowning like there was a flood
everywhere right and then God and then
there's a helicopter that comes by says
no I'm waiting for God is a boat that
comes by and there's a and then God says
what happened he said I was waiting for
you said I sent you a helicopter and a
boat and you know snapchat like help me
help me help you
so this Center led by a Boone MD is a
Coptic Orthodox mental health clinic in
New Jersey and the importance of it one
is the the people that it treats but
even more so I think when I'm starting
to see now in retrospect it's been five
years now we've we've had this clinic
open that Boone and I have worked on it
together one part of it's helpful is
actually treating people one part is
just as a reference point to tell you
hey this is happening means to prove by
the bishop ran by a priest and then the
doctors some doctors run around and do
some stuff but at least all people we
trust are working on this they approve
of it and there's other things I'll
mention just in the same breath and be
used it from the South sort of a rehab
center I'm a syrup Ian's in LA has a
network of referrals for these for these
issues but I want to share this with you
because I'm most closely related to it
and I want to show you some of the
things that we've seen so far here are
some of the things
have been treated in this clinic I don't
if you can read it but I'll tell you
mood disorders addiction disorders
psychotic disorders ADHD personality
disorders so a lot of like the the full
gambit of things that we can struggle
with in mental health and a lot of these
things I'll tell you people that we see
in the clinic some are servants some are
you know the person that you would see a
church you say man why is that person
just seem like they're all grouchy
irritable all the time maybe it's
because there's something going on there
and then once they get a treated it gets
a little bit better all right or some
poor people tell me like this is one of
my favorite phrases I'm not gonna get
into every disorder specifically but
they say oh that's just my personality
like I'm just a worrier I worry about
everything all the time maybe that's not
a personality we all were all worried
we're all wound up we're all stressed
out but maybe we're all stressed out but
also maybe that stress could be a little
better because you don't have to be
stressed out all the time this because
you live in a metropolitan city of
Norwich in for Northern Virginia or New
York City where I live
doesn't mean you have to walk around
like chasing your tail I know they make
us think that we do the next line is
probably most important when I what I
told you if I showed you national data
of how effective these things are it
would be sometime maybe 40 50 percent
but like I said the national data will
also show there's over 3,000 studies
that input in PowerPoint that show the
effect the positive effect of being like
a church member being someone who preys
on your health on your physical health
like you're coming after surgery if you
believe God is punishing you you have an
increase of mortality like the risk of
you dying and the surgeons could tell
this better than I could more than the
rest of us if you believe God hates you
and is punishing you this was published
and I believe in one of the prominent
journals I don't have the reference for
it right now but it's true versus if you
believe God is on your side and is
healing you and there's a church
community and all the stuff there is a
notable clear difference in your health
physically and emotionally and
psychologically so having
we're getting people to come to the
clinic that have never seen a doctor
before because they say like Abe and
ammok noon
I'm not crazy don't make me see a doctor
thup come see a boner
they come say Bologna and then we see
this kind of function overall
improvement in function there's a way
without getting too technical but but
there's basically ways that we measure
response to treatment in these things
and basically it goes from impairment to
functioning and people 84 percent at the
time have some kind of improvement or if
you saw here 47% have gets it like
profound improvement and I'll show you
the next slide they begin with like
severe impairments some people are like
severely severely impaired was
impairment look like your school your
work your relationship like you're on
the verge of divorce and you're about to
get fired maybe just take a second look
at how things are going inside here
maybe things are not going so and like
you're fighting with your friends all
the time and all these things all the
same time severe impairment versus now
functioning and how does functioning
look functioning is how again like
you're dealing with the people closest
to you your responsibilities around you
so this still blows me away this is just
a snapshot of treatment but it blows me
away because it shows like listen we
have an amazing foundation here because
it's not like you'll take a pill and
this will be your answer for everything
no but because you already going to buna
and you're confessing and you're coming
to liturgy and taking the eucharist and
you coming to bible study and learning
about the bible and all the things you
do all the things and you have a
fellowship in cadonia
and like pizza and all those things now
add to with the one element you stop
skipping leg day now you have the whole
thing going and that's what we saw
that's what we saw so now I want to get
into this so what are these magical
little pills anyway let's just get into
this for a second I try to try to
explain them in the most implicitly
we communicate with trailer you know
right now how like we're sitting here
talking but we're also texting other
people right we're live tweeting this so
all our followers can know what we're
doing because they're concerned right
we communicate via these messages to
each other the brain does the same thing
the brain communicates by messages it
says it's like traffic control right if
things are not going well you kind of
look like the picture things your
messages are going all over the place
like I was gonna meet my wife earlier
when we left church imagine I get
message 1 mr. Mercer's go to the parking
lot another one says go to church
another one says go to the bathroom
another one go to sleep like it's just
too many things at the same time
sometime this will happen where these
little messages in your brain and again
I apologize for everybody who knows way
more about this than I do
the messages in your brain called neural
transmitters neural brain transmitters
they transmit stuff this one thing is
saying hey feel this way but this while
the one is just now overwhelming it was
saying too much of this too much of that
some of these things the way these
medications work essentially is by
trying to regulate that traffic a little
bit maybe one person
there's too much of this one messenger
there's too much of this one text
message flooding I were reading a report
one time this lady was arrested because
she sent her ex-boyfriend like 47,000
text messages right that was that's a
good day for that person that's I don't
know something but that's like an
overload of messages if you're getting
one overload of message because of too
much of this one messenger in the brain
it'll make you feel a certain way or too
little of it it'll make it feel a
certain way the same way with the other
ones dopamine will make you feel a
certain way if you have too much of it
we can feel a certain way too little of
it make you feel a certain way and the
tough thing with our minds is that we
fail or we forget sometimes but the way
you feel emotionally or the way you feel
throughout your day can sometimes be
related to these little chemical
messenger guys it's not fully excluded
you know fully explained by it we're not
saying we're reducing ourselves to a
bunch of little neural messengers but
it's a part of us and again there's good
research that can show how these things
can also be changed not just by
medications but also by the things we do
by our prayer habits and so on so the
three main categories I wanted to share
with you we're not gonna get into every
medication ever but the antidepressants
the mood stabilizers
and the neuroleptics after the presents
are probably the most commonly
prescribed thing and most of time
they're prescribed by primary care
doctors the second one probably won't be
prescribed as much but I'll tell you
like one person was visiting today from
out of town it's actually a coincidence
from I feel may be from God to remind me
to tell you this story from a different
state he called me one time he said hey
we have a situation where a server in
church came to their priest and said you
know a lot of these really spiritual
ideas but he was a lot of spiritual
ideas all at the same time and God is
telling me to sell my business today
today yes it's all my business today and
tomorrow go to a different city and
preach the gospel and this guy's married
with kids all these responsibilities and
the response he got was like wow this
sounds very spiritual god bless you wow
that's amazing
and the person who called me who was
visiting here today was a doctor so he
called me he said Mina this is sour
right no no nope as spiritual as this
person is I don't know him at all but
this is not the way we understand like
Orthodox spirituality in general there's
also a very classic of a description for
a disorder where it shows itself in
mania and sometimes mania or bipolar
disorder all these disorders that we can
have when we get them we get a spiritual
flavor to them if you get depressed and
you're Coptic you get depressed and you
feel more like a Coptic kind of
depression it's all that come down it's
because you know I'm unworthy and you
have all these different reasons that
you'll reinforce but the things that
you'll be telling yourself are different
from the way someone else was outside
the church they sound more spiritual and
you will use Bible verses to beat
yourself down and you'll like you'll
have a patristic like Saint Ephrem the
Syrians said you know that I actually
died because you're Coptic because your
spiritual is the problem and said
Ephraim no the problem is the way we we
are functioning same with anxiety I'm so
anxious how can I be anxious you says
don't be anxious I'm more anxious now
how can I be worried you just don't
worry I'm more worried etcetera
and sometimes in this particular
situation I've seen several cases in the
church you'll wonder why is there
someone in the church who seems to be
sometimes they have all the energy in
the world they can do everything and
then they fall face the planet you don't
see them for a while sometimes it seems
like they're so irritable like if you
look at them the wrong way they'll
explode maybe they're just able to have
a bad day or maybe there's something
more that's going on in their life
the next question usually happens is
well what's the risk of taking these
medications okay and the thing I want us
to try to understand is there is a risk
of taking medications in general the
same way there's a risk of taking advil
there's a risk of taking tylenol and
there was a risk of not taking these
medications okay in medicine general
they tell you about risk benefit I want
to try to remember the fact that right
now I have depression I was talking to
somebody earlier again before the talk
started out of town just to maintain
anonymity they said hey you know in my
home church wherever it was we lost to
keep the suicide it's a real thing right
couple weeks ago we're doing like a
homeless service thing homeless homeless
homeless homeless wait a minute you're
Coptic why are you homeless well I've
been almost five years what's going on
so when this is going on it was a mental
health issue I don't think this to be
like dramatic to tell you like Oh like
but this is a reality though like there
is a risk that we have especially if
we're talking about suicide like every
once in awhile this subject of like
depression and suicide it's so heavy and
kind of depressing I get we don't talk
about it well like some famous guy will
do it you know Anthony Bourdain and
everyone's like we got to talk about
this Robin Williams we got to talk about
this I won't reference on other people
next up your team subs not in the church
people in the church maybe a cleric will
attempt suicide it happens then we say
you guys talk about it because there's
risk of not taking medication that's the
point that I'm trying to make to you
there's a risk of not taking medication
and there is a risk also of taking
medication and like I said here I won't
be able to get into all of them but I'll
tell you there's side effects to these
things but most of the time because
they're so widely prescribed the most of
the time pretty well tolerated let me
get into a couple quick myths real quick
or misunderstandings one people say well
this somebody was telling me this last
night well I feel like there then I'll
be depending on them like they're
addictive and it kind of goes in line
with the second one like I'll be empty
on to be on these medications forever
that's not the way this works just good
news like flashing port eyes these
things do not they're not something you
have to be on forever the indication for
a lot of these things is that there's a
period that's the guideline you would go
maybe on a medication for a certain
number of months your clavo followed
closely how is your function are you now
going to therapy are you feeling better
let's watch you but typically you should
not be on that on a medication like this
just one time forever for the rest of
your life that's not the way it works
and secondly in terms of depending on it
or feel like you're addicted to it there
there are a class of medications that
are like that but I would recommend that
you avoid them
xanax ativan stuff like that unless it's
indicated for what you have going on not
a great thing but the things that we
talked about the antidepressants the
lithium difficult things like that
generally not an addictive situation
another one here they change you they
change you this is similar to like this
dependency thing they change who you are
in a way that's true because part of how
they change you is you're not really
being like yourself when I have someone
I'll give you an example like a couple
that we saw in the clinic who were
saying like young couple and like
fighting non-stop non-stop non-stop why
are you fighting we don't know what are
you fighting about the dumbest things
okay maybe there's something here so one
of the people one of the persons of the
spouse one spouse
it's our son medication follow up with
them months later how's it going
I don't know we haven't fallen a couple
months a couple months what do you mean
what's long as you went without fighting
before this finish it was a couple of
hours again not to say that the answer
to your marriage is medication I'm just
saying sometimes sometimes one of us in
a marriage
it may be struggling with depression
that's so severe that it makes you
irritated at everything that the other
person does and the best target the
closest the best target is the closest
target the person who lives with you
it's all your fault so they take it out
on you so just for the old married
people consider that so that's the part
about changing you sometimes it can
change you in a sense that it can make
you just able to be more like yourself
that's the goal and we talked about the
danger that most of the time these are
well tolerated because they're so
frequently prescribed so maybe this
could work for you too
I want to just gloss over or at least
mention this subject because no matter
like I gave a talk via whatever video to
Chicago last week and no matter how much
I talked about and kind of beat this to
death the question the end was still
like okay but but I don't want to be
doing something like not Christian I
want to be holy why would I do this this
seems like it's not Christian in a
survey again by LifeWay even pastors
like church leaders 23% of them said
they had they struggled with some kind
of mental health issue one of my
favorite little interactions that Jesus
had remember when there was a guy who
was sick and they the type was said to
him this question that we really want to
ask about mental health who Sint whose
fault is this who do we blame for this
mental health inget whose fault and you
said neither it's not his not talking
about his parents don't tell me his
uncle because it's not the point the
point of figuring out this idea of
health is not we have to resist our
inner like I don't know it's an Egyptian
impulse to find somebody to blame find
somebody yell at
what causes these things like you saw in
the last and the last talk yes there is
a part of this that's genetic there's a
part of this that's environmental
there's a part of this that's just
neurobiological all these things but the
issue is not who do you blame
okay so we talked a little bit about how
there's a spiritual overlap for a lot of
these things what I wanted to share with
you is will in this study is that they
said seventy-five percent of the people
who felt this experience but the church
was supportive and right now I think if
I was to ask somebody in the church
who's sitting here or hearing this later
whatever do you feel that the church is
supporting you in how you feel I think
they would say yeah cuz they're talking
about it like it's not they're not just
doing the like the classic Egyptian
approach to problem solving which is you
know denial denial is not just a river
in Egypt it's like an old dad joke right
we just were all about denial sometimes
but we're not denying it here we're
facing it head-on so this is a beautiful
thing that I think would apply to us
that people feel that the church is
supportive I'll skip over a couple
things I want at least to mention the
part about substance use because again
nothing that we're struggling with in
the church whenever we see someone is
like like somebody again was just
telling me this yesterday like all made
you hear about so-and-so
it's always a great conversation starter
yes tell me tell me about so so they
went to rehab dad again there's a Coptic
rehab in Florida and whether or not you
go to the Coptic rehab the fact that
there is a Coptic rehab means that we as
a church are acknowledging that this is
if any of us have confessed the sin more
than once to abouna there's an element
of you that's an addicted that's
addicted to a sin there's no reason for
us to look down at somebody else to say
ha this person's in drugs yeah man drugs
we need to be able to support people who
are struggling with this because it's
it's again one of the things that we're
seeing I don't tell you the story but
there was basically an encounter that we
had with a Coptic person
who we could have reached out to them
they didn't and that person later died
of an overdose in the church these are
all Church things know if it's heavy too
heavy to say this is true and the
flipside is true too there are people in
the church who struggle with an
addiction the church embraces them it
says like we got your back and spiritual
one like reinforcement and we got you
and we'll help you with the rehab
there's one servant who told me a mom
called her before she called 9-1-1 she
said help me my kid is using this and
the servant pulled together with other
servants we raised enough money to send
him to a particular rehab that kids
doing well in the same spirit like I
said before how the church is this
emergency room first aid sometimes is
really good outcomes that come from that
so lastly to wrap up just a couple of
kind of questions so what do we what do
we do what do we do we talked about
women occasions look like we talked
about how some of these things appear
first there's a like one was tell me he
went to you know something with medicine
recently how we saw how doctors become
doctors the first rule of medicine is do
no harm the first rule for us as the
church emergency room is do no harm
just try not to make it worse that's a
first great goal by now piling it on to
people the second which are already kind
of doing be more vocal have a
conversation like at dinner yesterday we
were just talking about a little bit
casually in between talking about like
the Knicks and stuff just okay it's okay
that D stigma sizes it that in itself
will be that if you're one of the people
that have struggled with it but never
really talked about it but it came up at
dinner right yeah well talk about it the
reason I tell you that is because again
this life way serving 66 percent of the
people surveyed and it was thousands of
them that they had never heard about
this in church never or once and I
usually ask that question I know at
least you heard about it once because it
was a couple weeks ago but I usually ask
that question in churches Coptic
churches same response overwhelming
majority the church never heard about
this never talked about it in church
so we've got to change that what do we
do specifically now let's say you're
concerned about somebody that you know
this little mnemonic by a group called
Mental Health First Aid which goes like
this you approach you assess you assist
basically at least if you want to write
this down and took like Christian terms
be present
sometimes as we're getting our coffee or
as we're like doing our thing we're used
to being people that we want to be with
people with you know I mean like one
time I was in the elevator and I saw
somebody and I asked them hey how how's
it going how's your day
and he said to me well my day really
depends on the number of people that are
that I have to see in the morning as a
dog I was just I was looking for like a
head nod like don't give me what do you
want to help you I'm gonna be present in
your life right I didn't say that I was
just trying to but sometimes that's how
we feel people if you ask them like how
how are things going and your family
we're just looking for fine okay coffee
so be present with people
listen non-judgmentally because we're
all struggling give support encourage
professional help and encourage others
to support sorry wrapping up how about
this how do I make a professional like
how do I make a referral how do I know
people ask me it's a lot a lot of times
like how do I know if somebody I know
should go get help
what if they shouldn't what it felt like
what's the criteria I tried to make it
as simple as possible with these these
these three DS one danger are you
talking to somebody and they're telling
you how hopeless things are and you're
starting now to fear for their life
there's a danger element here what is
the danger involved if the danger is
real bad the danger is real
and you got to act quickly to is the
stress like how is their function the
stress and Duty kind of how affectionate
how is it affecting their function at
work and the places around them those
are some of the guidelines that they use
for maybe now we should get somebody to
be evaluated and here's the the kicker
it's okay if you're wrong about this
because diagnosis can be hard that's why
people go to like school for it and
stuff it's okay if you don't nail it
don't feel like if the diagnose people
the same way that if we know something
is not 100% true or not upset right we
could say hey man maybe even talk to a
Buddhist because there's like a
spiritual thing that a Buddha has to
intervene here and say like whether or
not you need something more same way
when you go to a primary doctor part of
their role is to be able to say I could
help you a hundred percent or no you got
to go to somebody else you got to go to
a specialist specifically if you want a
resource try to remember this or write
it down or something a simple website
called hope for mental health calm you
can search by your zip code for a
provider around you and there's a lot of
really great there's a great talks
there's great resources I even brought
like a hard copy or I'll tell you this
and about that in a second but this is a
very simple website that I would start
with because you can search locally and
we've done this in our area another
opportunity if you're if you're looking
you can also call st. Luke's our phone
numbers on here 949 St Lu ke ke 949 for
Saint Luke
just touching what we talked about this
I'll skip it because we talked about it
in a second before when there is a
concern that you have for suicide tackle
that head-on okay don't be afraid to use
the term the term is not going to make
people want to do it but it can validate
someone that they're like thinking about
it and maybe this is the kind of talk
that maybe you hear like once well
you're just put in the back here mine
for emergencies and maybe you could
prevent one of these things from
happening okay lastly if you're
concerned about someone and the concern
and you've tried to do what we said
before the algae one you approached you
non-judgmental maybe you also that the
role of the buna here is really
important too by the way the side note
the vast majority of referrals that we
get in the clinic come from priests
which we're so thankful for because the
priests will get confession and everyone
will say Habibi I will pray for you but
also go to the clinic
and when a Buddha tells them that they
go so there's a role of the
encouragement of boudnath as there all
the encouragement of like servants I
have a patient of the only reason she
comes to see me is her one of her family
members say house rules like you either
go to the doctor or you can't live here
that's like it's a kind of intense but
family members support and then
community friends support but I put this
here to say there is a role if we're
concerned enough there's a role for 911
one there's a role for like the most
urgent kind of case where we need to
help of like an ambulance to get someone
to the hospital and I got at least say
that just that we're aware of it so
that's there a lot of things that most
things never get there but at least to
know that that's a possibility that we
need to kind of have a we're having
awareness of one it's also give you my
information if you have questions
individually or if you have questions
about a friend everybody has a friend
and if you have if you have a friend
here right and you're concerned about
maybe there have depression or anxiety I
brought for you also the simple little
questionnaire you
take with you it's an evidence-based
questionnaire it's called a phq-9
and one called the gat seven one free
depression one for anxiety you can fill
it out get a little score and if the
score tells you
wow maybe talk to someone then you
should just so I encourage you to come
take one of these I won't even look if
you don't want me to or if you have
questions that you wanted to ask to the
group I know we don't usually do that
because people are shy and stuff but if
you wanted to ask questions afterwards
I'm here okay thank you so much