Recapture Your Vision: Quit Isolating


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(c)2012 Istockphotos
Stop Isolating
By John Thurman

Reggie had struggled with his severe, recurrent depression and his ten-year battle with alcohol abuse. He consistently complained about how lonely he was but minimized how much he was drinking by himself. He tried church support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous, going to the gym with friends, but each program seemed to fail miserably. Alcohol kept him from overcoming the isolation. Reggie eventually dealt with his addiction and then he began to recover from the depression.

Isolation is the double-edged sword of depression as it is both a cause and outcome. Isolation complicates depression in some people.Individuals begin drinking, gambling online, using pornography, or beginning other addictions to treat their depression.

So how do you move out of isolation?

For people with significant depression, the mere thought of getting out of the house can seem daunting. Here is an action plan that you can begin using today.

1. Connect Intentionally

Get up and get dressed. Go outside; take a walk. Let the sun kiss your cheeks. As you walk, observe people, children, and pets.

Nod your head and say, “Hi,” on purpose. The point is not to start a conversation but to make a brief moment of connection. Stepping out of your house or apartment and intentionally speaking are two fundamental ways of changing your perception. You will see that you are not a zombie-like presence in the world.  Try this action plan daily.

2. Connect Online

Reaching out via email or some limited posting can be helpful in re-establishing contact with others. Be careful to safeguard your personal information and keep your expectations real. Start small.

3. Join a class, join a small group, or go to church.

In your community there are numerous organizations that center around a common goal. Perhaps you enjoy photography, sports, games, exercise, biking, writing, reading, poetry, animals, or genealogyThe connection with others will help relieve the pain of isolation.

4. Plan to Meet with One or More Persons.

As you connect with others, take a risk and invite one person to meet you at a local coffee shop or restaurant. When you arrive, smile, make eye contact, shake hands, and ask the person questions about his or her life. As you learn about and connect with others person, your feelings of isolation will go away.

Isolation is not your friend, but you can get trapped into being alone. Instead, embrace your responsibility to take action and push through isolation. #getagripondepression

From: Get a Grip on Depression by John Thurman pp 108-109. 

Avoid 6 Stinking Thinking Traps

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(c) 2014 John Thurman
6 Thinking Styles to Avoid

by John Thurman

Have you ever noticed how quickly your mind can get distracted? Things seem to be just fine and then out of nowhere you begin to have these intrusive, negative thoughts? Thankfully, it is a problem nearly every human being experiences from time to time.

Today, I am going to give you a quick overview of the Top Six “Stinking Thinking” patterns that I address in my book, Get a Grip on Depression. I will also give you some key questions to ask as well as practical things to do to lower the impact of these negative thinking patterns.

Here they are:

        Jumping to conclusions: Being confident about the situation despite having little or no evidence. Action Plan:Slow down: Do I have any evidence to show I have been wronged or am I jumping the gun?

        Mind Reading: Assuming you know what the other person is thinking, or expecting him or her to fully understand what you are thinking. Action Plan: Speak Up: Did I express myself fully, so the other person didn’t need to try to read my mind? Or did I ask for information from the other person rather than attempting to read his or her mind?

        Me, Me, Me: Believing you are the sole cause of every problem. Action Plan:Look outward: How did others or circumstances contribute to my current situation?

        Them, Them, Them: Believing other people or circumstances are the cause of every problem you encounter. Action Plan: Look inward: How did I control or fuel my situation?

        Always, Always, Always: The belief that adverse events are unchangeable and that you have little or no control over them. Action Plan: Grab control: What can I change? What can I influence?

        Everything, Everything, Everything: Thinking you can judge a person or your own worth, motivation, or ability on the basis of a single situation. Action Plan: Look at behavior: What specific behavior explains my situation?

 2 Corinthians 10:5 …we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (NLT)

For a more in-depth look at these patterns as well as some scriptural stories that illustrate them check out pages 77-93 in Get a Grip on Depression. Also available at Amazon and Kindle.