An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

A link to this article, from a site and Twitter account called “Truth Over Tribe,” came through my Twitter feed today.

I don’t think I am following these guys; this was a suggestion by Twitter that appeared in my timeline. The “Truth Over Tribe” site says on their site that they are “too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.”

Okay… I’m somewhat in the same place. I’m a conservative who occasionally disagrees with other conservatives, but I sure don’t agree with many positions of progressives.

After having skimmed over some articles on this site – the site owner and author seems to be a Patrick Miller – he seems to lean left of center.

I can tell he’s left of center from some of the commentary and language he’s used – for one, in the article below, he puts his Intersectional Feminism (a left wing concept) on full display by talking about how “self care” was really started by black people, white women love it, and these days, only white woman can (financially) afford it. (Though I didn’t quote those portions of his article below, but they are over on his site.)

(Does Miller realize that left wing darling BLM (Black Lives Matter) is misleading people financially or that they spend more on transgenderism than on race related issues?)

At any rate, let’s get on to the article on this site that alarmed me, and I will provide a few excerpts, and then I will comment on them to explain why I feel this piece goes horribly wrong:

(Link):  Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness

Excerpts:

by Patrick Miller

“To be happy, you need to leave toxic people behind.” The preaching Peloton instructor continued, “I’m talking about people who take more than they give. People who don’t care about your dreams. People whose selfishness impedes your ability to do what you want to do.”

 Oh crap. She just described my two-year-old. I guess it’s time to cut him off.

This is the gospel of self-care. The notion that the most important person in my life is me, and anyone who impedes my happiness is an existential threat to my emotional and physical well-being. …

… What’s the Religion of Self Care?

Continue reading “An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful”

Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

(Link): Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

Excerpts:

The most satisfying lives are those which involve challenge, fear and struggle, says psychologist Paul Bloom

Jan 23, 2022
by Paul Bloom

The simplest theory of human nature is hedonism– – we pursue pleasure and comfort. Suffering and pain are, by their very nature, to be avoided. The spirit of this view is nicely captured in The Epic of Gilgamesh:
“Let your belly be full, enjoy yourself always by day and by night! Make merry each day, dance and play day and night… For such is the destiny of men.”

And also by the Canadian rock band Trooper: “We’re here for a good time / Not a long time / So have a good time / The sun can’t shine every day.”

…But I think hedonism is an awful theory. My latest book, The Sweet Spot: Suffering, Pleasure, and the Key to a Good Life, makes the case for a different theory of what people want.

I argue that we don’t only seek pleasure, we also want to live meaningful lives– – and this involves willingly experiencing pain, anxiety, and struggle. We see value in chosen suffering.

Continue reading “Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor”

Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

Disclaimer: All names have been changed in the post below to keep people’s identities anonymous.


One of the things I’ve noticed in the last few years is that when I’ve accepted a situation, whether something current or something from years ago that once bothered me a lot, is that it speeds up the recovery process.

I used to hold on tightly to people or dreams or hopes. In the last few years, I’ve gotten better at Letting Go.

(I’ve not arrived at perfection at this, but I have improved a lot in the last couple of years.)

Instead of constantly regretting, feeling sad or angry about a past incident, or that my life is not where I want it to be now, I’ve learned to accept my past and present, and that has definitely been good for my mental health – and I’m more able to enjoy each day as it is, instead of sitting around angry or upset that things aren’t how I had hoped or planned.

I don’t get as upset by set backs as I once did.

Continue reading “Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change”

Being Bitter and Blaming Others Can Ruin Your Health by Elizabeth Cohen

Being Bitter and Blaming Others Can Ruin Your Health by Elizabeth Cohen

(Link): Being Bitter and Blaming Others Can Ruin Your Health

Excerpts:

August 2011
By Elizabeth Cohen, Senior Medical Correspondent

…Feeling persistently resentful toward other people — the boss who fired you, the spouse who cheated on you — can indeed affect your physical health, according to a new book, “Embitterment: Societal, psychological, and clinical perspectives.”

In fact, the negative power of feeling bitter is so strong that the authors call for the creation of a new diagnosis called PTED, or post-traumatic embitterment disorder, to describe people who can’t forgive others’ transgressions against them.

“Bitterness is a nasty solvent that erodes every good thing,” says Dr. Charles Raison, associate professor of psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine and CNNHealth’s Mental Health expert doctor.

What bitterness does to your body

Feeling bitter interferes with the body’s hormonal and immune systems, according to Carsten Wrosch, an associate professor of psychology at Concordia University in Montreal and an author of a chapter in the new book.

Studies have shown that bitter, angry people have higher blood pressure and heart rate and are more likely to die of heart disease and other illnesses.

Continue reading “Being Bitter and Blaming Others Can Ruin Your Health by Elizabeth Cohen”

Clinical Depression Doesn’t Make People Incapable of Making Choices or Changes 

Clinical Depression Doesn’t Make People Incapable of Making Choices or Changes 


Follow-Up Posts:

(Link): Addendum – Mental Health and Treatment and the Goals of Mental Health Professionals

(Link): An Alarming Trend in Psychotherapy by Christine Sefein – (Woke Therapists Want You To Stay In a Victim Mindset and Miserable)


I don’t frequently feature mental health related topics on this blog, but a friend of mine recently became very angry and “blew her top” at me and basically said she wants nothing more to do with me, and this topic pertains to the reason why.

(I will be doing another blog post or two later about this friend biting my head off this past couple of weeks.
And I will repeat this in the future, but:
The irony is that this now ex friend is someone who spent about a year and a half or two years asking me on Twitter if I could befriend her on other sites and share more about myself with her.
I was hesitant to do that but eventually took a chance. She and I have never met in person – but she initially wanted to befriend me further, not vice versa!)

Despite the fact I informed this (now ex) friend a few times over the last two or three year period that I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was around age 11 by a psychiatrist,
and that this diagnosis was verified as I got older (into my 30s) by about three other psychiatrists (in a total of three different states),
this ex friend, who I shall call “Emma” (not her real name) continued to insist that there is no way I ever could have had clinical depression.

I can’t begin to describe how insensitive and obnoxious I found that.

Side note:

I was appreciative of the times this ex-friend listened to me describe my anxiety-laced concerns with her, as she did many times, and I made sure to thank her for that several times in the last few years.

I even asked this ex friend, “Emma,” a time or two that if she found my anxiety produced ruminations on the same topics crazy-making that I could back off, but she said it was okay.

But as I told her, I was fighting my anxiety to make changes in my life. I’ve not seen her fight her depression to make changes in her life.

I also told her I realize it’s not good to stay angry at people, which is why I’ve been trying to move past anger at family members of mine. I don’t think she’s willing to let go of some of her issues to move forward, though.

At any rate…

I finally politely yet directly told Emma this past week, when she once more insisted there’s no way I ever had depression, that it was not okay for her to keep denying my medical diagnosis like that.

And she has never apologized for it, and she told me this about three times over a 3 or 4 year period!

But she kept acting angry and incredulous that rather than offer her non-judgmental emotional support recently (which I had done for a few years now), that I dared to change strategy and offer her a few suggestions.

Continue reading “Clinical Depression Doesn’t Make People Incapable of Making Choices or Changes “

‘Leftover’ Is A Term Used In Many Parts of Asia For Women Who Haven’t Married By Their Mid-20s

‘Leftover’ Is A Term Used In Many Parts of Asia For Women Who Haven’t Married By Their Mid-20s

Good gravy, Chinese culture sounds just as bad as American evangelical and American conservative Christian culture: shaming and pressuring single women into getting married, then blaming them if they’re still single by age 30, 35, or older.

People should not put so much pressure on singles to marry, and shame them for being single, that it creates anxiety in them (see below) or (Link): causes some of them to commit suicide or to (Link): mutilate their bodies or to (Link): kill other people because they are single and a virgin (see also, see also)

Here’s the article about Chinese people shaming singles for being single:

(Link): For single Chinese women, the Lunar New Year can heighten anxiety and the fear of facing their families

Excerpts:

‘Leftover’ Is A Term Used In Many Parts of Asia For Women Who Haven’t Married By Their Mid-20s

(from) The Lily News
February 3, 2019

Adapted from a story by Liu Yang, Wang Yuan and The Washington Post’s Anna Fifield.

BEIJING — For many single Chinese women, questions regarding their unwed status and the pressures they face to get married are so intense that they are searching for ways to avoid their family’s badgering.

Some are asking their bosses for extra work on the Lunar New Year — China’s biggest holiday — which falls on Feb. 5 this year. Others are inventing boyfriends. Still, the pressure mounts. Hospitals are reporting a spike in young people seeking treatment for anxiety.

Continue reading “‘Leftover’ Is A Term Used In Many Parts of Asia For Women Who Haven’t Married By Their Mid-20s”

Pat Robertson’s Too-Vague Response About Unanswered Prayer and Non-Helpful Advice About Anxiety

Pat Robertson’s Too-Vague Response About Unanswered Prayer and Non-Helpful Advice About Anxiety

The episode in question:
(Link): The 700 Club – January 8, 2019

(There is a video of the program embedded on that page hosted on CBN’s / 700 Club’s site. Also, thanks to commentator Stevo below, check (Link): this page on 700 Club’s site for the video)

The portions of that video I am addressing come during the part of the show where the lady co-host reads viewer questions to Pat Robertson, and Robertson replies to them.

I do not remember at what point the question segment airs, whether it’s at the 30 minute mark or later. Unfortunately, they’ve not uploaded the same episode to their You Tube channel (not yet, perhaps they will tomorrow).

I have to rely on memory here because I’ve not re-watched the episode.

Questions were posed to Robertson about unanswered prayer and about anxiety.

And I don’t believe that Robertson did an adequate job of replying to any of the questions.

Continue reading “Pat Robertson’s Too-Vague Response About Unanswered Prayer and Non-Helpful Advice About Anxiety”

What Dating With Anxiety Taught Me About Love by K. Bishop

(Link):  What Dating With Anxiety Taught Me About Love

Excerpts:

by K Bishop

A new match notification or getting asked out by that hot-but-definitely-a-fuckboy guy you’ve exchanged a stream of witty messages with is not a reward

…Dating in the Tinder-age is particularly triggering for anyone struggling with their mental health. When the next better thing is a mere right swipe away rejection is expected, to be blocked out by seeking more matches, more dates, more distractions from the niggling sense of being not quite good enough.

Speaking to my dating-app-active friends confirms that this issue isn’t just for the perpetually anxious.

Continue reading “What Dating With Anxiety Taught Me About Love by K. Bishop”

Dating And Sex: Men Who Find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment

Dating And Sex: Men Who Find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment

This doesn’t sound like something women would like – the article says this drug or hormone or whatever it is –  causes males to be even more persistent towards females, and that it does so in part by lowering their anxiety or inhibitions.

Oh no. The world is already filled with over-confident, dweeby, too-persistent men who don’t take hints from women we are NOT interested in them romantically or sexually and want them to stop hitting on us or trying to flirt with us out in public, at school, or at jobs.

(Link): Dating And Sex: Men Who find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment

Researchers have identified a hormone that can embolden men sexually and make them less anxious about pursuing women.

Continue reading “Dating And Sex: Men Who Find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment”

Charles Stanley Kind of Blows it on Suicide Sermon – Also blows it on Anxiety Sermon

Charles Stanley Kind of Blows it on Suicide Sermon – and Anxiety

(Edited to add: I was writing this blog page as I was watching the sermon on television)

(Another edit:, dated Jan 2015: There is another edit below where I briefly discuss Stanley’s awful sermon about Anxiety.)

============================

Edit 2. // Dec 27, 2014. 

Tonight, Charles Stanley’s show is re-running an older sermon on suicide. It might be the same one I critique below, and it’s called “The Impact of Suicide on Believers.”

Stanley’s show aired a few snippets from the episode before the sermon itself airs in full, and it sounds rather victim-blaming.

Stanley tells people on this episode that if they take their own life, they “short circuit” God’s plan for their life, and they may therefore not get whatever rewards in the afterlife that God had intended for them.

Listen, someone whose depression is at such a low point they are contemplating suicide are in such emotional pain, the are not going to care AT ALL about heavenly rewards, or if they are disappointing God. Stanley just doesn’t get it.

——————-

Stanley’s sermon on TV tonight is about suicide. You can probably find video of this sermon on You Tube (aired August 3, 2013, “In Touch” program – if it’s not on You Tube now, wait a few weeks, you can probably find it later; EDIT, Sept 2013: I think I have found the episode, I have embedded it below, please scroll down to view that video). I am blogging this as I am watching the show.

Stanley said suicide is ingratitude towards God and it is usurping God’s authority in the person’s life – both interpretations sound pretty insensitive to me.

But then, Stanley has been an insensitive butthead towards Christians who suffer from anxiety, too, so I guess I should not be surprised his views on suicide are similarly insensitive.

Stanley is saying God permits times of pain and loneliness in your life to teach you lessons. A person who is suicidal is not going to find that a reason to go on, but to end things quicker.

Oh no. Stanley is quoting one of my most disliked Bible verses: Romans 8:28. One of the most over-used Bible verses parroted at hurting Christians. It has become an empty cliche’.

Stanley says taking your life is an expression of selfishness.

News flash: when someone is in such deep pain they are toying with killing themselves, they don’t much frame it in terms of “how is my death going to affect person A, B, C,” which is in part what Stanley means by it “being selfish.”

Oh please. Stanley just said if you are a Christian and kill yourself, this hurts your testimony to Non Christians because they will think, “If Jesus could not help you, what makes you think he could help me?”

That is insensitive of Stanley. He’s showing more concern for regular people than the person watching his show who may be suicidal right now.

Stanley said, “without Jesus as your Savior, you’re not going to make it.” I’m not sure what he meant by that; if he meant is in regards to suicide: he is wrong.

Even Christians commit suicide. I had a Christian friend who committed suicide several years ago. “Knowing Jesus” is not a guarantee that a person can, or will, be able to resist suicide.

Jesus does not magically heal or help every single person with a problem. Prayers go unanswered. It’s wrong to shame Christians out of suicide by telling them, “Think about what kind of witness you’re giving to Non Christians with that.”

I think Stanley is at the end of the sermon and will be answering viewer e-mails in a minute.

All in all, that was a downer sermon. I can’t imagine many suicidal Christians finding solace or hope in it.

I can only assume Stanley gave this sermon because Rick Warren’s son killed himself a few months ago, and the SBC has been putting pressure on SBs to speak out about mental health.

Southern Baptists SUCK at stuff like this. SBs totally SUCK at offering comfort and hope to people. Their standard, automatic response is to condemn, judge and be legalistic. The less SBs say about suicide and other sensitive topics the better, since they are usually incapable of showing compassion.

—–Edit 4, Jan 3, 2015.—–

ANXIETY SERMON

Tonight, TBN is re-airing a Charles Stanley sermon about anxiety. I don’t wish to spend very long on this.

Stanley’s sermon on anxiety is just as insensitive and victim-blaming as his one on depression and suicide. (By the way, it’s quite common for people who have depression to also have anxiety.)

One thing he said is that “anxiety is a choice.” No, it’s not – not for all people in all situations. Some people who have anxiety have it due to biological reasons, not due to “choice” or a lack of faith in Jesus.

Some people, both Christian and Non, have to take medication to cope with anxiety. To shame people for having anxiety or attribute it to lack of faith is very insensitive and is not helpful, nor is it even always accurate.

If you are a Christian struggling with depression or anxiety, please seek professional, medical help – do not be guilt tripped or shamed out of seeing a secular pyschologist, or a psychiatrist or from taking anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications by Charles Stanley or any other preacher, church, denomination or well-meaning Christian lay person!

You are no more a spiritual failure for taking doctor prescribed medications for anxiety or depression than you are when you take Tylenol for a headache, Visine eye drops for itchy eyes, or Pepto Bismol for an upset stomach.

You deserve to be treated with compassion for your struggle with anxiety, not condemned over it or told you’re not trusting God hard enough or whatever. Part of that compassion means acknowledging that faith alone cannot always conquer conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc, and sometimes these things need medications or therapy.

VIDEO: In Touch episode where Charles Stanley discusses suicide:
I found parts of this sermon insensitive, and it does not truly understand the emotional pain people with depression and suicidal ideation are in.

Stanley attempts to shame or guilt those with suicidal ideation into staying alive. That is not compassionate and completely misunderstands how depressed people think.

(Edit 2. The original video about suicide was removed from You Tube. I am not sure if this one I replaced it with is the same exact one; he has given two or three sermons about suicide before. I assume this is the same one, but it might not be. Should this video be pulled, simply go to You Tube and type in “Charles Stanley suicide” and you should be able to find another copy):

(Edit 3, July 2014. Good gravy. This is the second or third Charles Stanley video on sucide that has been removed due to “copyright violation.” Does Stanley’s church run around ordering people to yank his videos? Let me see if I can find another copy – again, I am not sure if this is the same exact sermon I was reviewing above, because he has done two or three sermons on suicide, if I am not mistaken):

——————————————

From The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Or visit their page if you are having thoughts of suicide:

(Link): I Am Struggling

Another resource:

(Link): National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Related posts this blog:

(Link):  How Laypersons Can Minister to Depressed / Suicidal People

(Link): Over 50 Percent of Christians Believe Prayer, Bible Reading Alone Can Cure Mental Illness (article) – In Other Words Half of Christians are Ignorant Idiots Regarding Mental Illness

(Link): Being Bitter and Blaming Others Can Ruin Your Health by Elizabeth Cohen

(Link): Choosing Sadness: The Irony of Depression – article from APS – by Wray Herbert

(Link): Bayless Conley and Depression – Sorry, dude, but depression can’t be cured by will power & sometimes not even by faith

(Link): The Gospel Doesn’t Deliver People From Depression – brief critique of Chris Rosebrough’s comments / Chuck Collins blog