A Saved Wretch

A personal blog

Mental Health

Unhelpful thinking styles

The information here is consolidated from half a dozen documents from various sources that I have found over the years as I’ve learned about depression and how to battle it. People experiencing depression or anxiety (or both) often have automatic ways of thinking which can exacerbate the emotional state. Because these thinking styles are automatic they can be difficult to change, but simply identifying when they occur is a good […]

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Serotonin and depression

This post is an attempt at summarising and explaining a paper called 5-HT and depression: is the glass half full? Authored by Trevor Sharp and Philip J. Cowen which was published in Current Opinion in Pharmacology, 2011 volume 11 pages 45–51. The theory that abnormally low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin (also called 5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) can cause depression is now 50 years old. The theory arose when it was noticed […]

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I don’t want to know the future

The notebook I’m currently using for writing has some notes in the back of it written in mid-2008 when I was trying to find a way forward from being in a state of burnout. Looking back on the almost ten years since then I’ve come a long way, yet am now glad I could not see much of the path ahead at the time. In June 2008 I applied for […]

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Practical biblical advice for despair

Elijah is one of the outstanding characters of the Old Testament. His epic contest with the false prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel is the high point of his career (see 1 Kings chapter 18). But Jezebel cuts short any celebration of victory, threatening Elijah with death when she catches him. So he runs for his life. I can understand that, I’d skip the country too. He also becomes quite […]

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Screen free time

A second goal I am making in my attempt to be a better version of myself is to avoid electronic devices for an hour before bed. There is evidence that the light from certain types of screens such as LCD computer screens and mobile phones can suppress melatonin release in humans, causing difficulty falling asleep for some people. I’m not sure that this is a significant problem for me, but I do […]

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Baby steps

In these early stages of my journey to living a better life, I am setting small goals that I hope will be easily attainable while providing big payoffs over time.One of these goals is to read 5 chapters of the Bible each day. This is enough to get me through the entire Bible in one year even if I skip the odd day. Also, I’ve done it before so know […]

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Rock bottom

In 2014 I hit rock bottom. In just one year I dug myself into a huge credit card debt, gained 10 Kg of excess weight, was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in a suicidal state, and almost ruined my marriage. Not my best effort. Fortunately my depression has improved and my wife is graciously giving me a chance to make things better. I urgently need to change how I “do life”. This year my […]

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Do not be afraid

2014 was a dark year for me, by God’s grace and with a lot of support from my wife and kids I lived through an awful valley of depression. Thankfully, I am now doing OK, but the experience has caused me to reconsider some of what I read in the Bible in a new light. One such thing is the exhortation to not fear: Be strong and courageous. Do not […]

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