Healing Hurts :: SELF-HATRED

This idea of Self-Hatred sounds strange when you think about it. 

Who is going to admit, out loud, to another person, that they hate themselves? Some will, but not most. In fact, millions of women secretly do hate themselves. 

OK, we may not hate everything about ourselves. But can you honestly say you like more about yourself that you dislike? There was a time when my answer to that question was definitely no.

Self-hate often starts in childhood with negative messages spoken or unspoken by our family of origin. The culture, media and our peers encourage this monster who whispers the negative, critical words we hear over and over in our minds. Guilt and shame top it off till we’re overwhelmed with emotions and feelings; the pain becomes so deep it’s impossible to express it in words.

Is there no relief? No release?

What we do with this insidious pain will vary.

How will you act out the negativity rolling around in your head?

For some their self-hatred takes on non-direct, often hidden behaviors like extreme risk-taking, substance abuse, eating disorders, gambling, and promiscuity. For others their self-hatred is more direct and visible with self-harm acted out by skin cutting, skin branding, hair pulling or other forms of self-injury.

What can we say to those we know and love who struggle with this increasingly popular practice? 

How can we communicate to them that they truly deserve to be loved, not just by other people, but by God and most importantly by themselves?

Let’s start by watching these two videos below. I think they have all the answers we need.

God Loves YOU!  http://youtu.be/aLHsQF131HQ

God Loves YOU!  http://youtu.be/kcpQvqEVTlk

If you are reaching for hope and help, I urge you to contact a licensed Christian counselor in your area for personal assistance in overcoming this problem. If you don’t know where to find one, contact a pastor who can help you locate an expert. All the anxiety and problems you are facing can be overcome.

HEALING HURTS :: Depression

According to the Mayo Clinic about twice as many women as men experience depression. Let’s examine a few factors that increase a woman’s risk of depression.

Puberty: emerging sexuality and identity issues; parental conflicts; school pressures
Premenstrual problems: cyclical hormones changes disrupts brain chemicals that control moods.
Pregnancy: hormonal changes affect moods; mixed feelings about pregnancy; relationship issues
Postpartum depression: anxiety, inability to care for baby, thoughts of suicide
Perimenopause and menopause: erratically fluctuating hormone levels

Aside from hormone and chemical imbalances, all too often we allow life situations and culture to send us into anxiety and depression. When life isn’t going our way we may throw an emotional temper tantrum because God isn’t doing things our way. In time the anger takes root and grows into depression.

As Christian women, how can we overcome anxiety and depression?

Give up the illusion of control.
We must realize only God has the power to control how our lives play out.

Let your emotions lead you to ask questions.
Rather than ignore the depression, face your feelings and ask, “What’s going on? Why do I feel this way?”
Turn worries into prayers.
When anxiety hits, pray! Unlike worry, prayer accomplishes something positive. 
Discipline your mind.
Think about what you’re thinking about! Instead of problems focus on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. (Phil.4:8) You can’t be depressed and do this! 
Don’t blame illness when the problem is poor choices.
Half our problems we bring on ourselves by bad decisions we’ve made. Taking responsibility for our attitudes and actions leads to maturity and healing.
Exercise discernment considering medication.
Pray for wisdom to discern emotional stress from a true medical condition.

Check to see if physical symptoms are tied to feelings.
Are you sleeping, have stomach problems, headaches, etc… See a doctor if physical symptoms continue.

Let go of what you cant change, change what you can.
Stop trying to change things that are out of your control. Let go and let God!

Look for meaning in your suffering.
Ask God to help you learn what He wants you to learn in your time of trouble, so that you can help others in the future.

Pray for the right perspective.
Ask God to show you His perspective on the situations that are troubling you. This will help you make better choices.

Forget about suicide!
More than anything else, if you are considering suicide, PLEASE TALK TO SOMEONE! Know that there is always hope. Turn to God and trust Him with your life. Things will get better.

Make time for rest and relaxation.
Overwork, lack of sleep can cause a great deal of anxiety and depression. Take time to enjoy life, play games, soak in a hot bath, walk the dogs… Whatever can help you relax… Do it! 

Change the way you talk to yourself.
We must recognize the negative recordings that play in our head. To change them, find scriptures that you can write into declarations and speak them over your life. If you don’t know any, email me and I’ll send you some!

Tap into the power of forgiveness.
Often we can forgive others, but can’t forgive ourselves. Ask God to show you any area where you need help with forgiveness. 

Draw strength from Scripture.
Most importantly, let the Truth of God’s Word refresh your mind and soul. Read, study and meditate on Scripture daily. It will make you glad!

Take a few moments and relax with this video of Darlene Zschech singing “Made Me Glad”

**Excerpts from Crosswalk.com “Overcome Anxiety and Depression” by Whitney Hopler;
MayoClinic.com “Depression in Women: Understanding the gender gap”

Copyright © Reaching Hurting Women Blog

Overwhelmed with Life

Friends, I have to apologize for my long silence.

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written a blog and even today, I’m pushing myself.

The first week in May I was diagnosed with insulin resistance or pre-diabetic.

Needless to say, after being a Curves Manager and Trainer for 2 years in Houston, I was shocked!

It seems I had let my diet slip more than I realized.

I’ve been overwhelmed and depressed; adjusting to the new diet has been extremely difficult.

All is not lost, my blood glucose isn’t out of the park-high, so that’s a good thing. If I follow the regimen I should get my numbers back down to a healthy level before too long.

My biggest challenge has been keeping my faith up and watching the words I’m confessing over myself.

For a time I’ve put aside ministry studies and research to focus on health and nutrition. One of my personal rules is: “If you have something good-share it.” So in the coming weeks I’ll be writing about the new things I’m learning.

I appreciate your prayers as I persevere back to good health.