In this episode of the Hope + Help Podcast, Christine Chappell interviews Dr. Charles Hodges about his book, Good Mood, Bad Mood: Help and Hope for Depression and Bipolar Disorder. During the conversation, Dr. Hodges summarizes the current diagnostic criteria for depression and bipolar disorder, and describes the differences between "normal" and "disordered" sadness. He also explains why recent scientific findings pertaining to brain plasticity offer hope to those labeled with mood disorders and suggests why over-identifying with a psychological diagnosis can stunt spiritual growth. Lastly, Dr. Hodges highlights the importance of setting God-oriented goals with counselees labeled with bipolar disorder, and offers words of encouragement for sufferers feeling hopeless for meaningful life change.
If you’ve found yourself caring for a depressed teen, maybe you’re wondering what God is up to in the midst of this heartbreaking time. While we cannot know all the ways that God intends to work in your teen’s despondency, the Scriptures do tell us what his goal is for you in this season.
On this episiode of Equipping You in Grace, host Dave Jenkins and Christine Chappell discuss how to walk with a teenager through depression, how the local church can help teenagers who are depressed and minister to them, along with her mini-book, "Help! My Teen is Depressed" (Shepherd Press, 2020).
Video: Encouragements for Parents of Anxious & Depressed Teens with Joel Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
Join me, Jessica Thompson, and Joel Fitzpatrick for a Facebook LIVE conversation aimed at encouraging parents and caregivers of anxious and/or depressed teens!
This interview originally aired live on March 12, 2020. Special thanks to host and Pastor Kevin Boling for inviting me to have a conversation about my new mini-book, "Help! My Teen is Depressed."
My family and I were honored to have been invited by our Pastor, Tracy Turner, to share about our journey through depression over the last 20 years. During this pastoral interview, I share my history with depression how I resolved to fix myself by faith when I became a new believer in Christ. My husband shares some of his perspective on what the challenges were when trying to walk alongside me during my depressive seasons. We talk about the dangers of idolizing healing (both physical and spiritual), the problem with pursuing personal goals rather than God's goals, and how the Lord worked through nearly two decades of our suffering sorrows in order to act as ministers of comfort to our teenager, who unexpectedly endured an intense period of autoimmune disease and despair herself. Pastor Tracy, Brett, and I seek to illumine the importance of being willing to comfort others with the same comfort that we ourselves have been comforted by God.
The card references 8 common lies we may find ourselves listening to as we walk through seasons of sorrows, and pits them against eternal biblical truths. By providing a wealth of key Scripture references, Dr. Newheiser reminds the sorrowing to look to their identity in Christ and God's unchanging character as a means of sustaining grace.
There have been a number of guest on the show whose books (or interview topics) have revolved around offering gospel hope and help in depression/grief contexts. If you are someone walking through a season of grief/depression, or have been called to care for someone who is, these podcast episodes are sure to offer helpful biblical insights, gospel-centered comforts, and practical applications for taking next steps by faith.
It's possible to grow so accustomed to living in melancholia that it becomes a default countenance—a cave to retreat to when the pains of life feel too heavy to bear. While this reflex doesn't necessarily encumber all experiences of despondency, the solemn truth is that those who suffer from chronic sorrow run the risk of turning shadows into a refuge.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author and bible teacher Nancy Guthrie. They discuss Nancy's book, "What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)" to better understand the raw emotions people face as they experience grief, and to learn how to compassionately and confidently interact with those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Nancy shares about walking through the deaths of her two infant babies, and how grief can become a hurdle in everyday relationships. She offers some cautions about what not to say to someone who is grieving, and also suggests possible conversation starters that demonstrate a proper esteem of the loss. Additionally, Nancy observes the misguided assumptions supporters can sometimes make about grieving people, and shines a light on the pain that is felt when friends and family keep their distance. Lastly, Nancy steers listeners back to the hope of heaven through Jesus Christ, and examines why spiritual sentimentality is too flimsy to offer real hope in the midst of unbearable pain.
While Revelation 21 specifically lists death, mourning, crying, and pain as fundamental grievances believers will face, there's a shocking lack of corporate preparation to meet with such sorrows. Removing the stigma of deeply painful sadness requires the local church’s unhurried commitment to making room for it on Sunday mornings and a desire to equip leaders in one-another care.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed on The Ride Home with John & Kathy radio show regarding my article at The Gospel Coalition, "How to Talk to Your Depressed Child." For fifteen minutes, we spoke about some of the challenges and necessities of caring for a child who is walking through depression. While I would have loved to have been able to expand on certain points (and of course, I neglected to say a few things I wish I would have), I hope the interview offers some helpful insights into the incredible difficulty of the situation, and stresses the need for compassion, grace, and God's truth in the midst of a disorienting season.
As parents, we can’t take the place of medical professionals, licensed counselors, or pastoral care. A child’s depressed feelings can indicate ordinary sadness or a more serious disorder, and we’ll typically need outside help to identify the nature of our child’s struggle. But parents do have something valuable to offer: love and encouragement.
Psalm 126 is a song of hope for those held captive by present sorrows and dire affliction. It encourages those who walk with weighted steps to wait expectantly for their God. There is a special promise for those who shed tears in desperate places—the sorrow will not endure forever. God will restore us once more, and our joy will be made all the greater for having endured the tribulation by faith. When rock bottom feels like the end of us, we can trust that Christ will hold us fast—for “with him is plentiful redemption” (Psalm 130:7).
It’s imperative to remember that there are specific wellsprings of consolation and healing that God has set in place for his people which cannot be received apart from discipleship. If we continue to promote the segregation of care for despondent persons in the church, we restrict access to the promised sustaining and transforming graces God specifically supplies in the midst of their pain and suffering (1 Peter 5:10, Psalm 119:50).
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews Pastor and author Paul Tautges. They discuss Paul's brand new book, Anxiety: Knowing God’s Peace to explore how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers meaningful resources for the fight against crippling worries and fears. Paul addresses the spiritual and physical components of our anxiety, explains how it can help us reorient our hearts toward God, and offers listeners biblically-based comforts and wisdom for fighting anxiety on the spiritual battlefield. He also suggest passages of Scripture which help us to engage our anxiety, gently inviting listeners into a deeper understanding of and reliance upon God's peace.
Depression is not something new. God’s people have grappled by faith with deep pain and darkness for generations. Yet, we have become so used to seeing despondency through world-colored glasses, that we are tempted to neglect one of the most helpful resources available to sufferers: Spirit-led, one-another care. Discipleship is not some optional flabby excess in the realm of treatment options. For the follower of Jesus, discipleship is a critical lifeline of sustaining grace meant to facilitate conformity to Christ for the glory of God and the perseverance of his saints.
Drinking to drown our sorrows, contrary to the chart-topping songs, is a dangerous—potentially deadly—way to respond to seasons of excessive sadness. Alcohol won’t lay its life down for us, but it can demand we lay down our life for it.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews Pastor Erick Cobb about the Christian's experience of seemingly causeless depression. Erick shares about his personal encounters with despondency, describing some of its mysterious components, and how the Scriptures normalize our seasons of dread and darkness. He also talks about the redemptive benefits that can result from walking through depression, highlights the importance of biblical metaphor in comforting the despondent Christian, and suggests practical physical and spiritual sustaining graces for enduring the dark.
It’s true, the experience of depression is exhausting—both physically and spiritually. We find ourselves desperately feeling around for a light switch that we may finally land our fingers on a toggle. But alas, there are no quick remedies for instantly illuminating our gloom—no switch to flip, no immediate assuage of our pain. Yet, while depression is a season where our capabilities may be diminished, there are small sustaining graces to partake of which can carry us along while we wait.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/biblical counselor Alasdair Groves. They talk about his book, "Untangling Emotions," to learn more about a biblical approach to addressing our overwhelming feelings, to discover how negative emotions can actually serve redemptive purposes, and finally, to understand how the gospel of Jesus Christ frees believers to engage our emotions in fruitful ways. Alasdair also offers insights into unhelpful views on the importance of our emotions, helps listeners to understand a biblical view of the mind-body connection, and gives words of encouragement to those who feel frequently overcome by their emotional state.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker Jessica Thompson on the topic of her new book, How to Help Your Anxious Teen. During the conversation, Jessica unpacks some of the commonly overlooked factors that can contribute to our teen's anxiety, the harmful ways parents sometimes approach helping their child, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers teens and parents alike the assurance and hope needed to walk through anxiety recovery. She also explains the dangerous effects of "helicopter parenting," why today's culture has a disdain for normalcy, and the importance of fostering an environment of grace and age-appropriate transparency in our homes.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Sara Wallace on the topic anxiety in motherhood and her new book, Created to Care: God's Truth for Anxious Moms. Sara discusses God’s good design for our “mother bear” instincts, the heart struggles that take place when fear dominates our parenting, how to approach concerns over our children’s salvation, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers anxious moms the necessary resources to learn how to trust God with their children’s lives. She also highlights some of the ways moms can fall into guilt-ridden performance traps and control idolatry, offering anxious mothers words of encouragement and comfort for the weary—but priceless—privilege of raising children.
How we respond to disappointment reveals what we really trust and treasure. But there is a path forward for the dejected heart, and it involves trusting the protection and the promise of God’s providence.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker/biblical counselor Camille Cates on the topic of post-abortion trauma, unpacking some of the difficult emotional and spiritual battles that manifest in abortion’s wake, and sharing how the gospel of Jesus Christ offers real hope and help for those who seek to heal. During our conversation, Camille shares her personal testimony of horrifying tragedy and loss, recounting the path that lead her to choose to abort her unborn baby. We talk about the lie of "self-forgiveness," why coping mechanisms ultimately fall short in alleviating the grief and guilt of post-abortion trauma, and the various impacts friends, family, and church community members can have in the healing process. Camille also addresses the frequently asked question, "Will I see my aborted baby in Heaven?" and suggests practical ways to lean into God's Word for meaningful healing and spiritual peace through forgiveness in Christ.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/pastor Mark Vroegop on the topic of his new book, "Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy", learning how the God-given language of lament offers the broken-hearted hope and help for life’s sorrowful seasons. During the conversation, Pastor Mark shares his family's personal story of tragic loss, and how lament provided them—and ultimately, his church community—an outlet for their pains to be voiced while placing their trust in God. We talk about the key components of lament, heart-attitude cautions (what lament isn't), and why today's culture has such a hard time walking alongside broken-hearted people. Pastor Mark also offers practical steps for traveling by faith through grief and sorrow, as well as encouragements on how to cling to biblical hope, even when we've lost all sense of it.
Depression demands to be heard—to have a voice. Ed Welch writes, “There are times when depression is saying something and we must listen.” If we don’t take notice of the dirges despondency sings, we fail to capitalize on an important catalyst for spiritual growth.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/teacher Terry Powell on the subject of handling depression in ministry. Terry shares pieces of his life-long battle against depression with vulnerable humility, giving us a picture of God's sustaining grace for those involved in leadership positions. He offers thoughts about combatting negative self-talk, and answers the question, "Is depression a hinderance or a help to fruitful ministry?" The episode also explores the issue of suicide in pastoral ministry, and whether or not the concept of victorious Christian living can be reconciled with the believer's experience of depression.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/speaker Laura Fleetwood on the topic of panic and anxiety recovery. Laura shares details about her personal struggle with anxiety, what recovery has looked like for her, as well as the various ways God has ministered to her as she has battled on-and-off seasons of disruptive anxiety in her life. She also explains how panic and anxiety manifests itself in her physical body, and gives listeners a practical acronym designed to help us turn more quickly to Christ and his body when panic strikes.
It's by design we raise our ebenezer on the battlefields of life (1 Samuel 7:10). Maybe for you, that place is a hospital bed. Maybe it's a courtroom. Maybe it's a jail cell. Maybe it's a clinic. Maybe it's a cemetery. Believe there is no place too taboo for our Jesus, no building or circumstance can keep him away from consoling your hurt and wiping your tears. Uncomfortable places of despair may separate us from the outside world for a time, but they cannot separate us from his steadfast love (Romans 8:35-39).
Sometimes disappointment comes in the form of forced humility—the moment when we must admit we cannot fix our problems or ourselves in our own strength. Sometimes we compound our sorrows by not recognizing the season we are in, and the error only serves to make things worse.
When someone is struggling or suffering, they can sometimes be hesitant to reach out for help. But what does the Bible have to say about our neediness? Is it a character flaw or sin? This article explores some of the ways we view neediness as annoying or inconvenient, and how God's design for his people and community go against the grain of trending cultural norms.
In this episode of The Hope + Help Project, Christine Chappell interviews author/writer Lisa Appelo on the topic of learning to live with grief as a widow. Lisa talks about the day her husband suddenly passed away, how she addressed the grieving process with her seven children, some of the unexpected emotional struggles she faced, and how the body of Christ rallied around her and her family as they learned how to live without the husband and father they loved. She also shares some practical spiritual and physical care suggestions for those walking through seasons of grief.
Mental health issues can be complex in nature, and parents can run the risk of overlooking particular facets of treatment because of prejudices about underlying causes. But when we look to the Scriptures and see God serving the sorrowing with individualized, calculated affection, we see a multifaceted approach to managing mental anguish — one that acknowledges the dichotomy of man (as body and soul) and the necessity of the body of Christ.
In the premiere episode, Christine interviews author/Pastor Zack Eswine on the topic of depression. During the conversation, Zack shares some of his personal experience with despondency, wise & unwise ways to approach loved ones who are suffering, the blessing of biblical metaphor in providing a language for our sorrows, as well as comfort and clarity from the Scriptures for those walking through the seasons of darkness.
Walking through depression can be a dark, deep, lonely season of life–especially for mothers. It’s a topic I’ve written about in a number of ways, and a battle I continue to fight against by faith with every ounce of strength I am afforded by the Spirit. In this most recent video feature at Thrive Moms, […]
Mental health recovery can be a season plagued by fear and doubt. Our fears become particularly burdensome when we meditate upon the question, “Will I ever get better?” If you find yourself asking this question, I'd like to share some hard-learned encouragements from my own journey through recovery.
It's not the strength of our hope that sustains us, but the object of it. Read more about battling hopelessness in mental health recovery in this "3 Minutes of Courage" Devotional.
There was a season a few years back when the Lord made it extremely clear through a series of circumstances and struggles that it was my turn to sit on the sidelines. I remember the depression that sunk me low because my grasp on activities and service was forced loose. It was as if divine […]
Puzzling. Frustrating. Get-wrenching. When we’re waiting on God to act, those words often describe our attitude toward the delay. We may be waiting for provision of a new job; for God to woo a grown child back to faith; for Him to open the womb for a baby desperately wanted, to bless us with a […]
In Part III of this Facebook/Instagram LIVE video series, I discuss the need to leave room for mystery in the battle against some cases of depression, the importance of caregivers who are willing to go “down in the well” with the sufferer, and some of the underlying emotions and unbelief at the heart of our most desperate seasons of sorrow.
Extremes of wretchedness. Charles Spurgeon once said, “I am the subject of depressions of spirit so fearful that I hope none of you ever get to such extremes of wretchedness as I go to.” Suicidal ideations often begin in the crosshairs of extremes, where always and never intersect. The wretched “always be this way” and […]
Walking Through the Darkness is a digital download that seeks to bring biblical clarity to the issue, for sufferers and caregivers alike. The guide is a collection of resources curated by author Christine M. Chappell, who personally lives by faith with a Bipolar II diagnosis, and has battled mental health extremes for almost two decades. With helpful checklists, author commentaries, video/audio links, Scripture indexes, and a wealth of recommended books/resources, Walking Through the Darkness will equip both the afflicted and the ones walking alongside them to find biblical hope and help.