Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mental Hygiene

I am in therapy. Of course I am in therapy! If your life is so deep in the port-a-john that you must resort to anonyblogging under the inane pseudonym of “Mrs. Pastor,” you definitely need the services of a mental health professional.

I think a lot of people go to therapy to do what’s known as cognitive reframing – to improve mental health by adjusting the way they look at the world. It’s easy enough to misinterpret, or catastrophize, or take responsibility for things you can’t control, etc.

My therapist tells me that I have good mental hygiene. Apparently the way I interpret what is happening around me, and the way I understand my ability to influence my environment, is healthy. This has not prevented me from falling into a “major depression.”

It’s a little like going to the dentist, being praised for your excellent flossing and brushing habits, and then hearing that you have 10 cavities and raging gingivitis.

I suppose there’s only so much one person can do to cope with intractable misery. And then there’s medication.


  1. That is a good and important step. And medication isn't an evil! It's a gift if it's used properly. The fact that your situation stinks and that it sometimes nearly impossible to see the end is understandable. Fortunately, God will see you through it. I just don't know how.

    Be at peace,
    Pr. Todd Peperkorn

  2. Thanks for the encouraging words. It's good to be reminded that God sustains us for the duration. Not knowing how is exactly the problem, though. If I could see the end of the tunnel, I could put my head down and plod. The seeming endlessness of it feels overwhelming.

  3. Thank you for writing this blog. I am sorry to hear of your current situation, and pray that it will soon change for the better. I, too, am a pastor's wife( am also a pastor's kid) so my heart goes out to you and your family. I identify with you 100%.
    I have depression, and wanted to echo the words of Pr. Pepperkorn, that medication isn't evil. I have sometimes felt that because I have a "mental illness" it makes me less of a mother, wife, pastor's wife, etc. Thank you again for all of your posts, and may the Lord keep you in His tender care.

  4. Kristen,

    Thank you for commenting. All this time I've felt like I was going through something unusual, but it appears not.

    I appreciate your point about medication. I should probably revise this post. I have no moral qualms about medication; it has been a blessing for our family. I was trying to indicate the situational nature of my depression. God has given me a resilient personality, and I never would have anticipated my current mental and emotional state.

    God bless you, also. He is loving your family and your congregation through you.


Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.