Black, Male & Depressed – MHC Interview

An interview with two Black Christian men sharing their experiences of depression

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Being male is often associated with having physical and emotional strength. Although many men do possess these attributes, these attributes are often mistaken for indestructibility. In 2013, 78% percent of people who committed suicide were male and 22% were female (1). An even more nuanced glance is needed when statistics show that in the UK, young African Caribbean men are one of the most overrepresented BME groups in inpatient mental health services in the country (2). This is in juxtaposition to the lack of understanding/discussion about mental health in the black community.  We can’t ignore these statistics, something is going wrong and in order to provide solutions we first need to understand the problem further.

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On the brink of promise…

dont-give-upHebrews 11: 8-12 By faith Abraham, when he was called [by God], obeyed by going to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as a foreigner in the promised land, as in a strange land, living in tents [as nomads] with Isaac and Jacob, who were fellow heirs of the same promise. 10 For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has foundations, [an eternal, heavenly city] whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received the ability to conceive [a child], even [when she was long] past the normal age for it, because she considered Him who had given her the promise to be reliable and true [to His word]. 12 So from one man, though he was [physically] as good as dead, were born as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand on the seashore.

Many of you experienced a tremendous amount of pressure in 2018. The workload increased and you wondered whether you could handle it all. At times, you even felt like it was unmanageable and felt tempted to pull back. There might have even been a temptation to withdraw from the responsibility and people you have been called to. Sometimes, when you’re carrying a weight that’s heavier than what you’ve carried before you can be tempted to give up. Continue reading “On the brink of promise…”

#Shift || When a Caterpillar turns into a Butterfly Pt. 2

In my previous post, I discussed the first and second stages of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. I ended my last post with the caterpillar shedding its skin until the caterpillar’s skin comes off for the final time. Under this old skin, is a hard protective layer and this layer is called a Chrysalis.

Butterfly cycle

Chrysalis: What is it?

Chrysalis (pronounced Kry-sah-lis) comes from the Greek word ‘khrusallis’ which derives from ‘khrusos’ meaning gold (harūz’ in Hebrew). Continue reading “#Shift || When a Caterpillar turns into a Butterfly Pt. 2”

#Shift || When a Caterpillar turns into a Butterfly Pt. 1

Butterfly to CaterpillarRecently I’ve found myself meditating on the process that a caterpillar takes to become a butterfly. I mean… isn’t it fascinating? A creature that had to roll and heave in order to move, months later is able to take flight above the branches it used to struggle on.

I believe that for many, their season of flying is nearing. They’ve had their caterpillar season and they are dreaming of their flight. The Lord has spoken about what the nature of their flight will look like, what colour their wings will be and how He will change their surroundings according to their new Continue reading “#Shift || When a Caterpillar turns into a Butterfly Pt. 1”

#Shift || From the Wilderness to Eden

 

Beautiful Forest

Isaiah 51: 3b He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord

We cannot dictate when God puts us into a wilderness season but what we can dictate is how long we spend in the Wilderness season. Our obedience can allow us to move with the perfect timing of God whereas our disobedience can delay our process (Exodus 16:35).

God’s desire is not for us to live in the Wilderness. God intentionally made the Garden of Eden and put man there to dwell (Genesis 2:4) . Eden was meant to be man’s habitation on earth and man was simply suppose to Continue reading “#Shift || From the Wilderness to Eden”

The Valentine after the break-up

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For some, Valentine can be a rough period for various reasons. It can make people feel inadequate for not being in a relationship. It can lead people to want to compromise and spend the day with someone they see no future with just to escape loneliness (if you are struggling with that click here). Alongside this, it can be painful for those experiencing their first Valentine’s after a break-up. This, of course, is dependent on the circumstance of the break-up. However, if you are currently in the process of moving on from a breakup and adjusting to life without a significant other – it can be particularly difficult.

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The pain of 2017; The glory of 2018

 

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My mum often crushes pepper and spices. She likes to use a mixture of ingredients and crush them together by hand instead of using the blender. She argues that the pressure placed when she crushes the spices again and again together in a wooden pot is what truly gets all the juices out. The blender works… to some extent but nothing can replace the crushing of strong hands.
So as it is in the natural, it often is in the spiritual and 2017 for myself and I believe for many of you, was a crushing year. It was a year where the pressure applied to you was more than you’ve ever known. I’m referring to the kind of pressure that forces you to change in order to withstand it and brings out both the good and bad juices in you.

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Don’t fall in love with your jail cell

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So you were told that you could be free from bondage – and you believed it. You got the scriptures and you started to fight only to find out that the thing isn’t budging or it seems to be getting even worse. Maybe you’ve been trying to fight a pornography addiction for a while but now that you’re trying to be direct with it, the temptation is getting worse. Perhaps your situation is one related to mental health but the more you desired freedom, the more the sporadic thoughts, panic attacks and heaviness. So after a period of trying to break free, you began to stop and accept your situation. You began to plan how you would live life bound. You began to think about how you could make yourself comfortable in your jail cell. But guess what, it doesn’t matter if you add a TV, if you add a sofa or if you change the bed, you are still behind bars when the Lord has declared you free. Don’t try to renovate a place that God has called you out of.

You could be in a place of depression, anxiety, Continue reading “Don’t fall in love with your jail cell”

Why 2017 no longer scares me

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I have something to confess. A few months ago, I was scared to enter 2017. I don’t know how 2016 was for you but for me, I know it was a trying year. It has been a year where the unexpected happened. One of my immediate family members was diagnosed with cancer and then later cleared (glory to God), I spent my birthday this year in a hospital, depression tried to knock on my door numerous times, lost some friends on the way and experienced rejection in a new way. Whilst 2016 did have some great times, it came with unexpected circumstances and in addition to this, certain things which I was believing for didn’t come to pass.

Has He forgotten me?

As I got to around September this year, I began to really reflect on the last few years of my life and how they’ve been. I began to think about how different 2016 had been in comparison to how I thought it would be and then I began to consider if 2017 would be Continue reading “Why 2017 no longer scares me”

Purposeful pain

Romans 8:28- And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

The account of what happened to Joseph in the Bible is a very well known one. Joseph was the second to youngest of his siblings and was greatly loved by his father. His brothers were jealous of the relationship he had with his father and thus sold him into slavery. Initially, he was put in a position of authority under Potiphar however Potiphar’s wife got him arrested by falsely accusing him of trying to sleep with her. This caused Joseph to be put into prison but God gave him the ability to interpret dreams. It was this gift that eventually brought him before Pharaoh who then brought him out of prison and gave him the position of being second in command under Pharaoh.

Joseph spent around 13 years in prison altogether. Can you imagine being sold into slavery at the hands of your brothers and the thing is, most of his brothers initially wanted him dead. Joseph was extremely mistreated but his perspective on his mistreatment and pain is what stands out to me.

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