Some of you who read my blogs and books know that I’ve battled depression and anxiety as part of my near decade and a half battle with Lyme disease, mold illness and environmental toxicity. And if you have also battled Lyme disease, mold illness or another chronic neurological condition, you know how horrific and debilitating the mental-emotional symptoms of such can be.
Throughout my long journey with chronic Lyme disease, depression and anxiety have been two of the most crippling symptoms I’ve experienced, along with insomnia. I’ve had many other symptoms to contend with along the way—but these were for me, among the most difficult to live with. I wish I had known 14 years ago (when I first became really ill), what I know now about how to heal from the mental-emotional manifestations of neurological disease, as I believe I would have healed much faster, but I’m thankful because I can now share with others the tools that have helped me most over the years. It is my hope that in doing so, it will shorten the treatment runway for many people.
To that end, I’ve written a book that is a compilation of my near decade and a half of experience healing the spirit, soul and body from depression in neurological disease, called Healthy, Happy and Free: Spirit-Soul-Body Solutions for Healing from Depression. It is based on my personal healing journey, interviews with many dozens of doctors, medical research, and conversations with God and many others with Lyme disease who battle depression, anxiety and other mental-emotional issues that have to do with chronic illness.
I wrote this book because I felt like the challenges that people with neurological disease face are unique, and not easily solved with an antidepressant, counseling or the traditional advice that’s typically given to those with depression. And I wanted people to know that if I could do it, then they can, too. I had numerous challenges that made healing feel insurmountable—at times, I wondered if I would ever overcome depression and the crippling fear that comes along with disease and the challenging life circumstances it creates, but with time, much prayer, research, and work with some brilliant doctors and healers, I did! Believe me, you can, too.
What I discovered during my journey is that most resources on depression leave people struggling because they only address one aspect of the person: the body, soul or spirit. Yet depression, even in neurological disease, isn’t usually just caused by infections, such as mold or Borrelia. It is caused by other environmental factors such as chemical toxins, a poor diet, and an unhealthy lifestyle. It is also caused by long-ago and current traumas, unhealthy relationships and separation from God. Commonly, multiple factors combine to cause the mental-emotional conditions involved in Lyme and other neurological conditions.
Therefore, Healthy, Happy and Free provides a powerful, top-down approach to recovery, with spiritual wellness and relationship with God as the foundation, followed by tools that heal the body and soul, such as natural medicine, nutrition, hormone replacement therapy, brain training, lifestyle strategies for healing, and tips for discovering and living out God’s purpose and plan for your life. While it is written from a Christian perspective, I believe that people of all faiths will find nuggets of wisdom and practical help in this book. Read it, and take hold of and apply to your life those tools that resonate with you. Chances are, you’ll find something that will help you here.
If you battle depression or anxiety, it’s important to get healed from these things because it will accelerate your healing on all levels. When your mind and your mood function well, everything else works better. Your spirit, mind and brain control the rest of your body, so healing your heart, mind, beliefs, thoughts and emotions will do more to heal you than any drug or treatment. That’s another reason why I wrote this book! And, when you have hope and optimism, you can begin to “see the forest for the trees,” identify opportunities for healing, healthy relationships and living out your life’s purpose, and begin to operate out of wholeness, rather than fear, or a sickness or hopelessness-based mindset.
Healthy, Happy and Free provides new hope and practical solutions to people who have not found it through their relationship with God, the church, counselors or medical doctors. It also helps readers to connect with God and cultivate a more intimate relationship with Him. You can expect to be healed and made whole, have a greater knowledge of God’s love for you, experience greater prosperity of soul, and have an increased awareness of your calling and purpose in life.
Some tools and topics shared in this book include:
A top-down approach to healing. Your spirit is in charge of your soul and body, and you can be made whole on all three levels when your spirit is strong and intimately connected to a loving God who wants you to be fully healed.
How to cultivate a deep relationship with God, and get past roadblocks that have kept you from knowing Him and His love for you
Why God always wants you healed, how He will work with you to help you heal and how you can be divinely healed by His Spirit
Strategies for removing harmful beliefs, thoughts and behaviors that keep you sick and sad, and replacing them with God’s loving truths
Natural anti-depressants and other nutrients that restore your body’s chemistry, rather than just masking symptoms as drugs do
Medical treatments that address the biological causes of depression, such as infections and environmental toxins
Tips for living a balanced life and being in life-giving relationships
A 7-day plan for living out the principles outlined in the book
Following is a more detailed overview of the book:
Chapter One – Depression: A Spirit-Soul-Body Disorder
1. What causes depression and why there's hope for you
2. The hierarchy of healing: spirit-soul-body
3. My story of overcoming depression
Depression is a spirit-soul-body disorder that often must be addressed on multiple levels, because it can be caused by many factors, including separation from God, emotional trauma, and environmental toxins and infections. Yet when you develop a strong relationship with God as the foundation and cornerstone for wellness, sometimes, you can be made whole by His Spirit alone, or be more easily healed using the other resources that He has provided for your wellness. I share my own story of healing from depression here and the massive battle that I overcame in the hopes that my story will inspire you to believe that you too, can be healed.
Chapter Two- Get to Know the God Who Loves You Just As You Are
1. Why God loves you just as you are
2. How to discover who He is in you and who you are in Him
3. Tips for cultivating intimacy with God
4. The power of praise and worship
5. How to focus on God and His solutions
Knowing who and what God created you to be, and how you can live out of the power of His Spirit, while developing an intimate relationship with Him, will enable you to be healed and live a victorious life. This chapter tells you how to do that, and how to get past any roadblocks that may have held you back from knowing and receiving His love.
Chapter Three - Receive Divine Healing Because He’s Already Said Yes
1. Why healing is in the Atonement
2. How to receive divine healing
3. Historical and Biblical proof that Jesus still heals supernaturally today and desires to heal all who come to Him
4. Remove roadblocks to receiving a miracle
5. How to cooperate with God for your healing
When Jesus Christ died on the Cross, over 2000 years ago, He was made an atoning sacrifice for not just your sins, but also sicknesses, including depression. When you understand the Biblical basis for this, you can be set free from depression by faith in Jesus Christ alone. If you have been prayed for many times and yet not received healing, this chapter explains how you can cooperate with God to receive the healing that Jesus died for. God uses tools in both the supernatural and natural realms to heal, yet regardless of the tools He uses, He wants you to be well!
Chapter Four – Find Healing for Your Soul
1. Forgive yourself and others
2. Replace harmful beliefs and thoughts with God's
3. Say good-bye to performance and perfectionism
4. Eliminate bitter-root judgments and expectations
5. Remove poverty thinking
Trauma can create lie-based beliefs, behaviors and thought patterns that must be uprooted and dismantled in order for you to walk in the fullness of life that God has intended for you. Here you will find simple but powerful tools for replacing any lie-based beliefs, thoughts and behaviors with life-giving ones. As well, you will discover how to forgive others, remove bitter root judgments and expectations, performance-orientation, perfectionism, a poverty spirit and other attitudes that foster depression and chronic illness.
Chapter Five – Discover Your Life’s Purpose
1. Find joy in serving others and in surrendering your life to God
2. How to discover what God created you to do and be for His Kingdom
God created you to love and serve others, as you love and serve Him. He designed you with a unique purpose and once you know what that is and begin to live it out, you can experience a higher level of freedom from all that ails you. In this chapter, you will discover how to use your gifts and talents for God’s Kingdom, even if you’re sick or feel ill-equipped, and in so doing, fulfill your purpose and mission in life, and experience greater wellbeing on all levels.
Chapter Six – Cultivate a Lifestyle that Fosters Wellness
1. Do something that you love daily
2. Be renewed by the power of sunshine, movement and nature
3. Get out of isolation and get connected
4. Balance your life with rest and recreation
5. Find life-giving relationships
A balanced life that includes work, rest, recreation and healthy relationships, encourages a balanced mind and body. This chapter provides some basic, yet important lifestyle tips for cultivating health and wholeness, even when you’re struggling with a chronic condition. Isolation is a common stronghold of depression and chronic illness that must be demolished in order for healing to occur, and here I share some tips for doing that, as well.
Chapter Seven – Heal with Life-Giving Foods
1. Why your food may be making you sick
2. Discover life-giving foods created by God for your good
3. How to create a diet plan to restore your brain and body
Our food is contaminated with chemicals and other pollutants, which many doctors are now finding to be a major cause of depression and disease in people. Diet factors powerfully into mood, so choosing the right kinds of foods that foster wellness and a balanced mood is essential for recovery from depression. Here, you will learn some fast and easy tips for creating a diet plan that will help to heal your brain and body.
Chapter Eight – Balance Your Brain and Body with Anti-Depressant Nutrients
1. How hormone, nutrient and neurotransmitter imbalances cause depression
2. Replenish your body with nutrients and supplements that support a healthy mood and mental function
Nutrient and hormonal imbalances are a major cause of depression, especially in peri-menopausal and menopausal women, and the chronically ill. By giving your body the proper nutrients, amino acids and bio-identical hormones that it needs for recovery, you can heal more fully from depression caused by a myriad of biochemical issues. Natural anti-depressants provide a better solution than drugs, which only mask symptoms, rather than heal the underlying causes of the condition.
Chapter Nine – Recover by Removing Infections, Toxins and Inflammation
1. How infections and environmental toxins cause depression
2. Solutions for diagnosing and treating infections and toxins
3. Put out the fire of inflammation
4. Heal your gut for a happier you
Subclinical chronic infections and environmental toxins are an overlooked cause of depression, yet common in today’s toxic world. Discover what toxins and infections, such as Candida, mold illness and Lyme disease, may be causing or contributing to your depression, along with some things that you can do to remove these, as well as the mood-altering inflammation that they cause.
Chapter Ten – Putting It all Together: A Sample 7-Day Plan for Wellness
1. Do one thing first. Spend time with God.
2. How to prioritize solutions
3. A sample 7-day plan for wellness
Here, you will find a roadmap for pulling together everything that you’ve learned in this book, along with a sample 7-day plan for wellness, along with some tips for prioritizing solutions. It includes activities to do daily, such as spending time with God and in His Word, taking a walk in the sunshine, or pursuing a hobby that brings you joy and peace.