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Finding Hope For Lasting Relief From Depression (Part 2 of 2)

Finding Hope For Lasting Relief From Depression (Part 2 of 2)

Dr. Gregory Jantz, a leading authority on mental and behavioral health, shares encouragement and help for those overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and shame associated with depression. He tells success stories from patients who’ve found hope and healing for mind, soul and body, by developing healthy habits, growing spiritually in your faith community, and taking prescribed medication when appropriate. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: May 11, 2023

Preview

Dr. Gregory Jantz: Hope comes when there’s a plan. So, we’re just gonna, every day, we’re gonna build a plan. Every day, I’m gonna feel a little more hope, ’cause I’m building a plan.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s Dr. Gregory Jantz, uh, sharing insights about depression and how you can find recovery and even joy, uh, after going through depression, and he’s with us again today on Focus on the Family. Thanks for joining us. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, I think, uh, listening last time, what really struck me, Dr. Jantz mentioned that one in four people in this country, I’m not sure about Canada and some of the other countries we air in, but here in the US, one in four people suffer from depression. That’s a lot of people.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: I mean, that’s … if you look at it, it’s gonna be over 80 million people. And so, either we will be suffering from it ourselves, or someone in our family, or someone very close to us, or many people in our circle of influence. So, our purpose here today, on day two, is to continue the discussion with Dr. Jantz, give you, uh, more firepower in battling with this issue of depression yourself, or equipping somebody, uh, to get help and to do better.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: That’s the whole goal here at Focus, and we wanna walk in that journey with you. So, get ahold of us. Don’t suffer in silence. We’re here. We wanna help. Uh, our generous donors have supplied enough resource to allow a counseling area. We’ve got, you know, 20, 22 counselors, and they can give you a call back and talk with you-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … about where you’re at, your story, pray with you, and provide additional resources to help you. So, I’m looking forward to today’s conversation.

John: Yeah, it’s gonna be good, and, uh, we’re just a phone call away. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY, or stop by the website where you can learn more about the book, uh, from Dr. Gregory Jantz, called Healing Depression for Life. Uh, again, you’ll find that at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let me note that Dr. Jantz is the founder for The Center: A Place of Hope in Edmonds Washington. It’s been recognized as a top 10 facility in the US for the treatment of depression.

Jim: Dr. Jantz, welcome back.

Dr. Jantz: So good-

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Jantz: … to be here on this topic-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: … and I’m so glad you mentioned the counselors right up from-

Jim: Uh-huh.

Dr. Jantz: … because today can be the day that a person reaches out for themselves or for a loved one, and that’s really what I want to inspire today. Take some action.

Jim: Yeah, which is so good, and even for the Christians … You know, in that space, let’s start there, there can be a lot of guilt being a Christian and suffering with depression, ’cause you can’t figure out why. If God loves me, why do I have this?

Dr. Jantz: Yeah.

Jim: Why aren’t I-

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: … whole? Why aren’t I healed?

Dr. Jantz: You may have that in your mind, I should be living the victorious life, and yet, I’m struggling.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: Well, we have some good examples in Scriptures of- of those who struggled. So, the struggle is- is real, but it’s- it’s nothing new. (laughs) So-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: But right now, we are seeing record numbers of individuals seeking help for depression-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: … like we’ve never seen before.

Jim: It’s so amazing. Your approach to this issue of depression-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … chronic stress, anxiety, you use a whole-body, a whole-person approach. I just want people to hear that philosophy-

Dr. Jantz: Oh, sure.

Jim: … that … How’s it go?

Dr. Jantz: Yeah, for us, and it was the early ’80s, okay?

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: Yes? And we began to look at traditional psychology did not have very many good answers. Can I just say that?

Jim: Sure.

Dr. Jantz: Okay. Um, but when we mix our faith and Biblical truths, uh, and we begin to look at the whole person … For example, I could be suffering from anxiety, but I may have, uh, a low thyroid. I may have hormonal issues, uh, male or female. I may have a medical issue that is contributing to my anxiety or depression.

Jim: Sure.

Dr. Jantz: Well, I could do a lot of things and be misdirected until I get those issues addressed. So, that’s why we really do believe in the whole-person approach.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: And applying God’s truths.

Jim: Yeah. It’s so good. Last time, we touched on this, and if you missed last time, go back and- and listen to it on your smartphone or get the download at our website or go to YouTube and check it out, but, uh, I didn’t get as specific on this with exercise.

Dr. Jantz: Okay.

Jim: I- I found this fascinating. There was a University of Toronto study that exi- it- it went for 26 years, and they found that exercise has about the same effect on depression as medication.

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: That … Okay, that’s a stunner.

Dr. Jantz: Oh, I know. For mild to moderate depression … Okay, we look at depression on a continuum. There’s mild depression, and we all go through some things, and after a month, we- we kinda pull out of it. But it can go to moderate, with more symptoms, to the far end, where there’s a lot of red lights going off, uh, and I feel like it’d be better if I wasn’t even alive. That’s severe depression. And so, we know for a lot of us, okay, this comes back to the basic self-care. If I do begin to apply the principles of whole-person care, and one of those is the physical side and movement and exercise. By the way, the word exercise is not necessarily a real popular word for most. (laughing) ‘Cause you always feel like I’m not doing it enough or, you know, you-

Jim: Right, you gotta go all out.

Dr. Jantz: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, I’m just saying, maybe use the word movement. Get moving again.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: Right? And to do that consistently over time, it will make a difference. Now, don’t do just that. It’s like I don’t like using the singular approach. Like, don’t think just one magic pill is gonna cure it all. Okay. I want you to keep adding and adding to the whole-person.

Jim: Hmm.

John: Hmm. Uh, Dr. Jantz, why does exercise and movement help. What-

Dr. Jantz: Oh, sure.

John: … what’s- what’s at work there?

Dr. Jantz: Okay. Couple things that happen. There’s a chemical in our brain called dopamine, and you’ve all heard of- of endorphins-

John: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jantz: … and we have, uh, these chemicals that, over time … So, our body manufactures serotonin in our- in our gut. The gut’s referred to as the second brain.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: Isn’t that-

Jim: Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Jantz: … interesting? And so, there’s a highway between the gut and the brain. It’s called the vagus nerve, and everything you make in the gut travels to the brain through the vagus nerve and supplies the brain with the chemicals it needs to feel good. Exercise, now, diet is too, but exercise is a big part of that production of those chemicals in our gut. Now, I made it really simple, but that’s what happens.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Yeah. I love in the book, you even mention 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple, and that-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … God’s spirit dwells in you.”

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: That- that … Okay, now you put more shame on me.

Dr. Jantz: (laughing)

Jim: Okay. But, I mean, that is true. There’s where Scripture lines up with science.

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: I mean, meaning, take care of the body God has given you.

John: Hmm.

Dr. Jantz: And it is amazing how resilient we really are. It really is. So, you go, well, I haven’t done this for years. It probably won’t make a difference. Well, no. Let’s make progress every day. Say, “Okay, for the next 30 days, I am going to increase my movement. I … Okay, I’ll- I’ll go out for that 20, 30-minute walk.” And keep yourself a little log, just keep a little log.

Jim: Huh.

Dr. Jantz: And begin … and then say, “Okay, I’m gonna do my water.” Okay. (laughs) Now, again, this is basic self-care, but it’s probably slid a bit in your life, and we just wanna reignite some self-care, ’cause now, you’re gonna start to feel a little better and we’re gonna start to do some other things after that.

Jim: Yeah, I so like that. You, uh, mention in the book, a woman, uh, client, you gave her the name Jean. I’m sure-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … you changed her name, but she went from a pretty depressed situation and began to exercise, and you saw amazing results.

Dr. Jantz: Well, what happens, over time … now, she also was a- a person that had a longstanding chronic stress, and you have kids with challenges, and- and you feel like, oh man, am I overwhelmed, and typically, we’re the last person to take care of, ourselves.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jantz: Right? And we’ve got to put that oxygen mask on first, remember, (laughs) so- so we can really be of help to others.

Jim: You know what, I’m just … I gotta tell ya-

Dr. Jantz: (laughs)

Jim: … I was on a plan that decompressed-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … and I put the mask on. I turned to the guy next to me. I said, “My bag’s not filling up,” and he goes, “Remember, it will not inflate.”

Dr. Jantz: (laughing)

Jim: I said, “I must have heard that a thousand times, but sure enough-

Dr. Jantz: Yeah.

Jim: … I had to ask the question.”

Dr. Jantz: Yeah.

Jim: But anyway, sorry.

Dr. Jantz: So, you-

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Jantz: So, you’ve gotta get yourself the oxygen you need-

Jim: Yes.

Dr. Jantz: … which in … we’re talking about some basic self-care, and again, don’t isolate or do it alone. Find … maybe it’s gonna be a walking companion, but begin-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: … to pair with others-

Jim: Friend.

Dr. Jantz: … who can be of support, uh, in your life, and give it the time it takes.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: You see, depression probably help- uh, happened slowly over time. And so, we’re gonna get you back. It- it will happen, uh, and if there’s things that need to be addressed physiologically in your body, or medication, we’re- we’re gonna get all that.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: Yeah.

Jim: Well, I so appreciate what you started with yesterday, which is hope.

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: Stay hopeful, and that can be hard when you’re in a pit.

Dr. Jantz: Well, and remember, hope comes when there’s a plan.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: So, we’re just gonna, every day, we’re gonna build a plan. Every day, I’m gonna feel a little more hope, ’cause I’m building a plan.

Jim: Yeah. So true. Um, sleep. Sleep plays a role. Okay. So, you know, sleep, for me, I don’t know about you, John. This has changed over my lifetime.

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: I used to sleep so fast and so long.

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: I- I had great sleep, and then, as I got older, you know, I s- I go to sleep pretty quickly, but then I wake up-

Dr. Jantz: Sure.

Jim: … like, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning, a little more restless. But speak to the sleep cycle and especially when you’re in a state of chronic stress or depression.

John: Hmm.

Dr. Jantz: Right. Uh, when we’re under these states of depression or anxiety, and what we’re finding right now is more and more, we’re waking up during the night. You’re heart’s pounding. You feel wide awake. Maybe you’re in a cold sweat, and you go, “What is going on?” Uh, and you were woken up by anxiety during the night. Your body just kind of woke you up. That’s not uncommon, but it disrupts your sleep cycles.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: So, uh, chronic stress, over time, will shorten, usually, and create very, um, fragmented sleep stages.

Jim: So, that should be an indication for you-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … if you experience that, that maybe there’s more here-

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: … that you need to check out.

Dr. Jantz: If I have a hard time falling asleep, if I’m waking up off and on through the night, and when I say off and on, if you’re waking up more than twice in a evening and not going back to sleep, that’s probably an issue.

Jim: Huh.

Dr. Jantz: So, I remember from my sleep research days, and I really became interested in sleep and mental health, and we know they do go together.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: I can create an anxious brain by improper sleep cycles-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: … or not getting enough sleep.

Jim: Yeah.

John: Hmm.

Jim: So, there. I mean, find a way to get a good night’s sleep consistently.

Dr. Jantz: And let me just say, that takes some practice.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: Sometimes we have to change our circadian rhythms by going to bed at the same time. We need to have a … what I call a good sleep hygiene-

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Jantz: … the routine of going to bed. Uh, what are we putting in our brain before we go to sleep?

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: Uh, are you on technology up to the minute you crawl in bed? You know-

John: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jantz: … I- we need to look at those things.

Jim: I’m laughing ’cause of the boys, now, tease me, ’cause I go to bed, like, 9:00 or 9:30-

Dr. Jantz: Right? Yeah.

Jim: … and I wake up about 5:30.

Dr. Jantz: Yeah.

Jim: But, uh, th- they’re like, okay, it’s dad’s bedtime. The news just ended. (laughing) So, you gotta tolerate-

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: … a little harassment, but that’s okay. That’s fine. Um, let me ask you, Greg. Uh, you speak about a guy named Peter who struggled with depression and the link between that and his technology addiction.

Dr. Jantz: Oh, yeah.

Jim: Okay. So, Focus, we get a lot of responses from parents who are dealing with technology-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … addiction with their teens, their pre-teens.

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: So, how did Peter’s story unfold and what was going on?

Dr. Jantz: Right. So, with Peter, uh, technology addiction, and that’s a word that might disturb some. You mean addiction? Well, here’s what we find. When, uh, clients come to see us, and we’re a facility where people come and stay, and one of the things we do is initially take away everything with a screen. Okay. Most of our clients, by day three, are irritable, have a little bit of sweaty palms, the heart rate’s up, and they’re saying, “You know, I forgot to send out that last email. Can I please have my whatever back?” You know, or, “I’ve gotta check something,” because our dependency on that technology is so strong. So, I actually see people with withdrawal symptoms, and they get quite irritable from their smartphones. Yes.

Jim: Oh, my.

Dr. Jantz: So, um-

Jim: I’ll give you my phone.

Dr. Jantz: (laughs) Yeah.

Jim: I could care less. (laughing)

Dr. Jantz: Uh, here’s where … uh, with our youth, we’re over-digitizing their brain.

Jim: So true.

Dr. Jantz: So, there’s a digitized brain. It becomes dull. The brain is growing and developing, for the male brain, up to about age 25. So, uh, we’ve overstimulated the brain with a lot of technology in a way that the brain wasn’t really designed for. Uh, we’ve all seen this. You’re in the restaurant, and the toddler has mom or dad’s phone or an iPad. Have you ever tried to … when they take it away from them, what happens? We have a tantrum.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: Then we just give it back to them. (laughs)

Jim: Right. Keep quiet.

Dr. Jantz: It- it’s the pacifier. Okay So, we start doing this early, and I have to tell you, as a parent, early on, I made some mistakes.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jantz: I have two sons and we probably did expose them to … I thought it’d be a lot of fun. Get ahead on some learning. So, we probably did overexpose to, uh, too much technology. We’ve got to have boundaries around this in our families and as adults.

Jim: Hmm. And we’re gonna get to those solutions in a minute.

John: Dr. Gregory Jantz is our guest today on Focus on the Family, and we’ll recommend you get a copy of his book, called Healing Depression for Life: The Personalized Approach that Offers New Hope for Lasting Relief. We have copies of that here at the ministry, and Jim mentioned earlier that we also have counselors here. If you’re struggling with depression, or you know someone who is, please give us a call today. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. And you can also learn about these resources and more at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Uh, picking up on that-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … technology, ’cause, again, so many parents are in this trap-

Dr. Jantz: It’s a big frustration.

Jim: … and we don’t know what to do-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … and it really works well on an airplane with your kids, but-

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: … how do we modulate this in a way that, um, keeps everybody in a healthy place?

Dr. Jantz: Yes. So, we need to figure out what are our family values and boundaries around technology? Your kids are younger. Um, I’m- I’m- simple things like don’t have screens in the bedrooms.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: Uh, the screens go on, uh, the charger-

Jim: Y- yes.

Dr. Jantz: … same time-

Jim: In the kitchen.

Dr. Jantz: … every night. Uh, not in their bedrooms.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: Right. Um, or you don’t have it the next day.

John: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: Uh, I’m gonna be engaged in what, uh, they’re interested in.

Jim: You know, another one, if I could add, Jean did this wonderfully-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … never at the dinner table.

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: It had to be left on the counter-

Dr. Jantz: S- so-

Jim: … the kitchen counter.

Dr. Jantz: … when you’re with somebody, really be with them.

Jim: Yeah. I found it … I thought it was really good.

Dr. Jantz: Yeah.

Jim: I was surprised we were able to pull that off.

John: Right.

Dr. Jantz: Now, there’s another thing you can add to that. If you’re, um, you can have what we call a digital dinner.

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Jantz: One …

Jim: That’d be fun.

Dr. Jantz: No, o- one night-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: … one night a week, allow them to bring their devices to the table, um, because this is their opportunity to show you, as a parent-

Jim: Oh, that’s good.

Dr. Jantz: … anything that-

Jim: The intel.

Dr. Jantz: … “Hey, what are your- what are you guys doing? What are your friends into? Hey, what’s the latest, coolest app?” Have them show you. Engage in their world briefly.

Jim: No, that- that is really good. Uh, let’s touch on the issue of medication-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … because again, this is very touchy for many people in the-

Dr. Jantz: Okay.

Jim: … in the Christian faith and, you know, again, last time we talked about it, where you have something going on with your body.

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: You have high blood pressure. You have diabetes. You have something that’s been diagnosed and you get a prescription, and you begin to use that medication to control that issue-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … with an organ of your body, your pancreas, your kidney, whatever it might be. We don’t really put much doubt into that, but when it comes to mental health-

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: … we do. We … you know, Christians feel guilty that they have to be on an antidepressant. What does that say about me? I’m not spiritual enough? The Lord doesn’t love me enough? All these things begin to spin in our minds. As a healthcare professional-

John: Hmm.

Jim: … a- what do you say to that? Let’s just play that out, that Christian that has that deep conviction that, Lord, I don’t wanna be on this. Help me. And yet, they need to be.

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: At least temporarily.

Dr. Jantz: Oh, sure. And I’m- Jim, I’m so glad you asked this question, ’cause it’s something that, uh, we really do need to understand. So, there are in the advancements have been made in medications. I’m gonna tell you, I have seen times where I know a medication, properly prescribed and used, has saved a person’s life. I know it has.

Jim: There you go.

Dr. Jantz: And it is a bridge a lot of times so that you can feel better in order to address other things you need to. It may be that in your body’s chemistry, so, some things are off. For some, it’s a short time, um, but we need to allow, uh, the gift, at times, now I’m gonna call it a gift, because I’ve seen it pull a person out of desperation and despair where they felt suicidal. I’ve seen them pull out of that and be able to function and do other things they need to do.

Jim: No, that- and it’s so important to have a- a holistic perspective on this.

Dr. Jantz: That’s right. Just make sure it’s not the only thing you do.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: If you think, “Hey, I’m just gonna take this pill. Everything’s gonna be great.” No. Do other things as well, um, because, uh, it’s not that you’re having a shortage of medication in your life. You may need that, but what else needs to be addressed?

Jim: Yeah. Well, those are always good questions and, again, sometimes people need help from professionals, a counselor, a Christian counselor, to ask those right questions.

Dr. Jantz: That’s right.

Jim: So-

Dr. Jantz: And this could be the day that you say, “Okay, I’m gonna do something now-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: … today.”

Jim: Let’s move back to your story with depression. You share how your relationship with God made a big difference in your recovery from depression. How did God’s story play out in your own depression experience?

Dr. Jantz: Well, for me, I felt like, uh, I had missed my life calling. I felt like I- I need to do something different, and I was beyond burned out. I was living with chronic stress. I was not practicing good self-care. The things I was telling my clients, again, this was years ago, um, I- I wasn’t able to do for myself.

Jim: Hmm.

Dr. Jantz: And so, for me, it had to be a confirmation from the Lord. No, I really felt I need to adjust how I’m living my life so that I can fulfill my calling.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: And once I got that clear, I’ve probably been more passionate than ever before, because I really believe that part of my calling is to help save lives.

Jim: Yeah. That’s not a bad call for everybody. Right?

Dr. Jantz: (laughs) So right.

Jim: That’s what we should all be about, and helping save people’s lives, and helping people, uh, move toward the Lord-

Dr. Jantz: I know-

Jim: … in their relationship with Him.

Dr. Jantz: … there’s a way out-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: … and for me, you know, it was the Lord, uh, dealing with things in my life that I also need to realign, and … but allowing God to speak with me, and giving the time for that healing and recovery so that I could come out stronger than ever before.

Jim: Yeah. Dr. Jantz, this is a delicate question, but I think it needs to be asked-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … and I’d love to hear your opinion on this, but sometimes church could be a very isolating place because we have expectations of ourselves and of others. It’s kinda like, “How you doing?” “Doing great. Doing fine.”

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: “Everything’s wonderful,” when it’s not. How do we, as Christians, congregated together in church and how do pastors who are listening create an environment where someone can come in and say, “Yeah, I’m not doing well,” and it’s okay to say that?

Dr. Jantz: Yes, and I … this church to be a safe place-

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: … for us to do that.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: Yeah.

Jim: That you don’t have to pretend.

Dr. Jantz: No, you don’t have to pretend. And it’s kinda like, come as you are, literally, and God may have something very special for you in that church service. Um, sometimes we go because … or we don’t go because, “I don’t feel good, nobody’s gonna understand,” and- and you keep yourself away. Or you go, “Oh, I’ll just watch online.” Well, you need to go an be there-

Jim: Participate.

Dr. Jantz: … and participate.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: There may be a word for you in worship. There may be a word for you through, uh, God speaking through the pastor-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: … but go. I want you to be with people versus the tendency to move away.

Jim: Yeah. So true. If you were to … I mean, again, if you look at the statistics, one in four people dealing with depression-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … and you’re a pastor of a church, that’s a pretty big group of people to minister to.

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: You know, over 80 million people. What would a church that is friendly toward people struggling with depression look like? What does the characteristic of the church look like?

Dr. Jantz: So, you’re gonna feel, uh, probably what I’ll call love and acceptance, um, a church where you may feel a lot of judgment. Sometimes people will describe, “Well, um, they told me there must be some hidden sin in my life. That’s why I’m suffering.” Well, you know, and the person may say, “I’ve confessed everything I know of.” Right?

Jim: Right.

Dr. Jantz: And so, there could be the misappropriation, sometimes, of- of Scripture that can be a little bit confusing, um, but a church is gonna look like a place that’s gonna receive you. They’re gonna believe in God’s healing for you. You’re gonna have people that are gonna pray with you, and here’s the key, walk alongside and be in relationship.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: So many churches have great groups you can be a part of. Get engaged.

Jim: Yeah, I love that, and I love the idea of pastors targeting this issue, ’cause, again, it’s so prevalent in the culture now, and to give them-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … uh, replace that spirit of fear with a spirit of power and boldness in Christ. That’s a good goal.

Dr. Jantz: Absolutely.

Jim: Let’s flip it on the other end. Um, how do people suffering from chronic stress and depression benefit from serving in the church-

John: Hmm.

Jim: … not taking-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … but serving?

Dr. Jantz: There reaches a point, uh, in your recovery where you will feel like, okay, it’s time for me … it- it’ll be a natural progression where I feel gratitude, I feel that, um, it’s time for me to give to others. I move from being self-absorbed. See, depression self-absorbs me. I can’t really see beyond myself. As I walk through healing, I begin to see the needs of others. I begin to have empathy towards others. I begin to want to do something to help others.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: And this is a beautiful process-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: … and you will experience gratitude. Part of gratitude is, I start to feel optimistic. I want to be of help to others, and you will be of help. What you walk through will help others.

Jim: Yeah. You know, Dr. Jantz, right at the end here, I think this is the right place to close our two-day discussion-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … and, uh, you know, again, with everything that you’ve learned, a PhD in psychology and application in your practices, and I know you own several clinics. And I mean, that’s a lot of experience that you’re getting, but when it comes down to it, um, the benefit of having faith in Christ-

Dr. Jantz: Okay.

Jim: … which is far more important than all those other things that I mentioned, with all due respect.

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: But faith in Christ being the foundation to change your life.

Dr. Jantz: It is and we know … keep the faith up, ’cause the faith is how you’re gonna be made well. Do not abandon your faith. You may feel unlovable. You may feel like God is so far away. It may not even seem like a reality, but I want to encourage you today, keep your faith and Lord Jesus, show me what I need to do to experience healing. Um, but faith will be the cornerstone for your life-long recovery.

Jim: Yeah. For that person struggling that maybe has not made that commitment, wh- they’re in your office. You’ve probably had many people like that. What does that dialogue for you sound like when you’re encouraging someone who doesn’t know the Lord to start there?

Dr. Jantz: Yes. Well, it may be, “How about just giving God a fair chance in your life?” (laughs)

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Jantz: Right?

Jim: No, it’s a good question.

Dr. Jantz: Um, you’ve tried a lot of other things. Let’s see what difference this could be, and let’s look at an opportunity where you could accept God, accept Christ into your life as an opportunity for a turning point. Let’s see. Let’s just give God a fair chance.

Jim: Yeah. I think it’s so good. I think the follow up there is those people with brokenness-

Dr. Jantz: Yes.

Jim: … that don’t know the Lord, whether it’s drug addiction, pornography, and maybe people that do know the Lord that are trapped-

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: … in these addictions too. It may be … it may be sexual issues-

Dr. Jantz: Right.

Jim: … sexual orientation issues. You know, whenever you’re in those communities talking about solutions, um, man, the Lord is for everybody, and the reach of God is long and far. Nobody is beyond His reach, no matter what your behavior. He loves you and He- He cares about you.

Dr. Jantz: And that really can be made real, and you can experience that.

Jim: Well, let’s start there. If you’re in that spot, get ahold of us. We’d love to share who Jesus is with you-

John: Hmm.

Jim: … and that’s part of our mission, here at Focus on the Family. In addition to that, we care about you and your soul and your body, (laughs) as Dr. Jantz has talked about. Uh, we wanna get his book into your hands, Healing Depression for Life, and I can’t even imagine a better equation, a better transaction for you than that one, and if you need this book get ahold of us. If you can make a gift of any amount, we’ll send it to you as our way of saying thank you for being part of the ministry. If you can’t afford it, we’ll get it into your hands and trust that others will take care of the expense of that. Point is, get help, and we do have caring Christian counselors, we’ve mentioned throughout the two days here. Get in touch with us. They will schedule a time to call you back, and they’ll hear your story, provide some insight, resources, pray with you, and hopefully get you on a path toward healing, which is our goal for you.

John: Yeah, and they can also, uh, help you connect with somebody locally in your own area. Uh, our team is available. Just give us a call, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459, or stop by our website, and that’s focusonthefamily.com/broadcast to connect with our counselors, to find out more about Dr. Jantz’s book, Healing Depression for Life, uh, to donate, and most importantly, to learn what it is to have life with Jesus Christ. Again, our number, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Dr. Jantz, thank you for being with us. It’s been really, really good. Thank you.

Dr. Jantz: I am so glad we could talk about depression, and there really is hope.

Jim: There is hope. Thank you.

John: And on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time as we, once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Healing Depression For Life Book Cover

Healing Depression for Life: The Personalized Approach that Offers New Hope for Lasting Relief

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