September: Mental Illness
“O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me, for you
do what is right.” Psalm 31:1 NLT
Mental health is something we tend to take for granted until there is a problem. At that
time we wonder where to turn for help. In addition, stigmas are often attached to mental
health issues which make us reluctant to seek help and we pretend that everything is
Mental illnesses can affect people of any age, race, religion or economic status and are
one of the leading causes of disability in the world. Without treatment, they can result in
unemployment, homelessness, incarceration, or suicide. Some of the many conditions
considered mental illness are:
• Anxiety Disorder
• Bipolar Personality
• Eating Disorders
• Learning Disabilities
• Obsessive/Compulsive Behaviors
• Panic Disorders
• Post-traumatic Stress
• Substance Abuse
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses. Symptoms of clinical
depression include: persistent feelings of “emptiness,” sleep disturbances, inability to
concentrate, memory problems, changes in appetite, loss of pleasure or interest in
things that were once enjoyable, irritability, loss of energy, and feelings of
hopelessness. Depression can be experienced because of a chemical imbalance,
environmental factors, or stress.
In Ecclesiastes we read, “’Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.’” These words describe how most depressed people feel.
In a subsequent chapter it says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has
also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from
beginning to end.” We can’t separate our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Only
when we seek wholeness through our Creator do we find true joy. Joy or wholeness
can only be found at the foot of the cross and the empty tomb. Seek medical help but
don’t forget to seek spiritual help too.
July: Heat Exposure
“For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the
heat of summer.” Psalms 32:4 NIV
During a heat-related illness, the body’s temperature can quickly rise above 103
degrees. To prevent overheating make sure the person stays hydrated, wears loose
clothing, avoids the hottest time of the day, avoids caffeinated beverages, and uses air
conditioning or fans to cool down. If suffering from heat stroke, a person may display
the following: confusion, dizziness, fainting, clammy/pale skin, headache, fatigue, dry
mouth, weak pulse, lack of perspiration, or nausea. If heat stroke is suspected, move
the person to a cool place and seek medical attention immediately to prevent serious
June 2015: Men’s Health
June: Men’s Health
“Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is
yours!” 1 Samuel 25:6 NIV
Men can live healthier, longer lives just by knowing their health threats and how to work
through those risks. Statistics show that heart disease is the number one threat with
cancer, injuries, stroke, COPD (respiratory disease), diabetes, flu, suicide, kidney
disease, and Alzheimer’s making up the top ten. By listening to your body and adopting
good lifestyle habits, you can decrease your risk for life-threatening health issues.
A healthy, balanced diet will greatly reduce the risk for five of the top ten threats: heart
disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. Fruits, vegetables, and whole
grains are heart healthy selections and can fight some cancers as well. They also help
maintain a healthy weight which is necessary for the prevention of diabetes and kidney
failure which is a complication of diabetes and high blood pressure.
Risky behavior can cut a man’s life short and is easily preventable. Accidents from
automobiles, falls, and the use of chemicals can be fatal or seriously debilitating so
wear seat belts, drive safely, use chemicals in a well-ventilated area, and use ladders
carefully. Also lose the smoking habit as it increases your risk of heart disease, cancer,
and complications with respiratory disease and diabetes.
The three remaining health threats – flu, suicide, and Alzheimers – can be decreased by
being proactive, eating right, and avoiding risky behavior. Exercise, get an annual flu
shot, don’t smoke, and eat a healthy diet to prevent illness and stimulate your brain.
Avoid falls which have an apparent link to Alzheimers and avoid addictions to prevent
suicides and self-harm.
Know your body, listen to its needs, and see your physician when things do not seem
right. Your families want a future with you so look at your life and see what can be
changed. A few simple adjustments can give you better health and longer life.
(Source: National Library of Medicine www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/menshealth.html)
May 2015: Women’s Health
“Eve … would become the mother of all the living.” Genesis 3:20 NIV
It is important for women to maintain annual medical checkups even in the senior years.
As women live longer, their risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression
increases. Regular monitoring will diagnose these issues before a concern becomes
severe or debilitating. It is equally important to maintain healthy relationships with
family and friends to prevent issues of depression or social isolation. Attend activities at
a senior center, join a bowling league, or find an activity that provides both exercise and
socialization. Stay healthy and productive by staying active, listening to your body’s
signals, and visiting your doctor.
“You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together. You
gave me life and showed me your unfailing love.” Job 10:11, 12 NIV
Healthy women start as healthy girls. Osteoporosis is a pediatric disease with geriatric
results so see that teens get enough calcium in their diets to protect their bones later in
life. For strong bones they need about 3 servings of milk products in their daily diet. At
about 18, schedule their first gynecological exam and consider the vaccine that protects
against cervical cancer. Encourage relaxation through hobbies, journaling, girlfriends,
or other fun activities to combat the stressors of growing up. Teaching preventive
healthcare measures and instilling spiritual or mental habits will foster a lifelong practice
of healthy habits and result in healthy bodies.