Candy blogs: I am so honored today to be a host for a blog tour for Thelma Wells’ new book, “Ready to Win Over Depression“! I first heard “Mama T” many years ago at a Women of Faith Conference. She has been a blessing ever since. Her “BEE your best” motto has haunted me for years. I’m just now learning to believe it.
Below is an interview with Ms. Wells about her new book. I encourage you to take the time to read it. There are details following the interview about how you can win a copy of her book!
THELMA: Before I begin, let me first say, if you and/or a loved one are in a crisis situation and you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your local phone book.
In your introduction, you state that you’ve been there – you’ve been depressed. Tell us about that.
Yes, I have. This story is told in detail in the book; however, I had surgery several years ago and within a few days the incision split open and my intestines were exposed. This was probably by far the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. After a quick trip back to the hospital to repair the damage, I spent over a year bed-ridden, disabled, and recovering. I’m not the kind of person to lie down and take things slow, especially when it’s forced on me. Yet, in this situation I had no choice but to stop and heal. It wasn’t easy and I faced a lot of fears and I experienced situational depression during this time.
How do you define depression?
Some of us are more prone to depression than others. The influences that bring us down in our spirits can come from many sources and directions. Depression can be a complex picture. But let’s face it. The main reason we get despondent is simply because life happens. And nobody’s life is a constant procession of uplifting, rejuvenating, invigorating experiences. Everybody’s life has downers. We easily get off-balance in so many ways, and this hurts. The TV commercial that says, “Depression hurts” is true.
Does your book focus on one type of depression?
For most of us, the depression we typically encounter isn’t the severe or clinical category, medically speaking. The typical depression is situational. This doesn’t mean they’re painless or less important or harmless. Dr. Archibald D. Hart, a leading Christian psychologist and dean emeritus of the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary writes, “While these depressions are not usually as serious as the biological ones, they can be much more difficult to cope with.”
In your first chapter, you talk about “Who gets depressed?” Does depression affect certain groups of people more than others?
Every year depression strikes more than 35 million in the United States alone. We’re seeing depression with frightening regularity in ourselves, our relatives, and our friends. Dr. Harts states, “There is hardly a family today that is not touched by depression’s tentacles.” Depression affects people of all social classes, all races, and all cultures, but there’s one group that’s especially hard hit…women. Also, there is an alarming increase in children and the elderly.
What are the triggers and causes of depression?
Psychology Information Online, which includes content provided by the National Institute on Mental Health, notes that “a depressive episode” can be triggered by “a serious loss, chronic illness, relationship problems, work stress, family crisis, financial setback, or any unwelcome life change.” Sometimes depression is brought on by an underlying disease or biochemical disorder. Whatever the cause of our depression, it needs to be faced and understood realistically—and then accepted for what it truly is.
Does the Bible speak about depression?
It does in several places and we see it in the lives of David, Jeremiah, and Paul. Psalms 42 and 43 together represent the cry of a downcast soul—someone who is hurting and thirsting for God. Paul describes our loving Father as “God, who comforts the downcast” (2 Corinthians 7:6).
Christians do get depressed, but it’s a temporary state. God allows us to experience it as a means to attaining something better. Our hope and contentment are based on seeing our past and present difficulties as gifts from God to prepare us and enable us to do more for Him by sharing Christ, finding delight in God and in what He ordains.
What are the steps you outline for “doing something about it.” And why are these important?
• Get It All Out – talk to somebody about how you’re feeling. Emotionally and mentally, talking about your feelings is a healthy thing to do. Everybody needs somebody to confide in. That’s right. Everybody.
• Take Care of Yourself Physically – How healthy we are physically always impacts our mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
• Don’t be Deceived – Your emotions can fool you into questioning or not knowing what’s real or not real. Depression can cause some strange symptoms.
• You Are Your Own Captive Audience – People talk to themselves. We all do it. When we talk to ourselves, we need to watch what we’re saying. You see, when we talk to ourselves, we invoke our consciousness. And in our conscious awareness, we truly hear what we say. Our subconscious hearts it—and believes it! Then our creative self-conscious gets busy working it out…whether or not it’s true, real, positive, negative, or healthy.
Hope is a key word used throughout the book, but especially in the last chapter. What does the mystery of hope mean?
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” (Proverbs 13:12). Hope and prayer always go together. In fact, prayer is the voice of hope. When there’s hopelessness, prayer dries up and blows ways. Real hope is huge! To have a biblical hope found in Ephesians 4:1-16 is to possess “living hope.”
From page 99 to page 109, I discuss the facets of hope that we can attain when we refocus our attention from us to God. Our living hope is not in things, peoples’ opinions, positions, status, or any tangible findings of life. No, it rests upon the spiritual and emotional stability of our minds on the only wise God, our Father, who can help us in our depressed states every day. This living hope is in Jesus, the Anointed One, whose job it is to redeem us for all things that oppress us. The only hope for the world is Jesus. The only help for the world is a touch from God.
You spend a whole chapter on “Looking Outward.” Why is this important?
At the risk of bursting someone’s bubble…the world doesn’t revolve around you. I know you might have thought it did. I used to think the same thing about me. One of the best ways to deal with depression is to do something for somebody without expecting anything in return. Search for a volunteer organization, mentor a child or young person, or find someone who needs help with something and help them. Do something. That’s the key.
I have several activities available via my ministry that offer opportunities for people to connect with others. Join me on excursions across the country and to Israel studying the Word, relaxing, rejuvenating and enjoying the life God has given us. We are also launching the Ready to Win Web Cast University with a variety of experts to offer you the best in Christian instruction, study, and education. I have hand-selected several outstanding speakers that will enable you to be READY TO WIN in every situation. Both of these and more are available on my web site at http://www.ThelmaWells.com.
How is the book different from others?
This book is different from others because it gives the reader a non-threatening opportunity to ask themselves questions and answer those questions in the book as they are reading it. It is not a course of study; it is a means of helping them “get it out.” It allows them to analyze their state of being and work through it alone so that it is there personal and confidential analysis and directives for healing.
What results do you see that can come from reading this book?
The results I see from reading this book are:
• People have a handy reference at their fingertips for calling their attention to what they are facing in terms of situational depression.
• People have at their fingertips information that they can share with others who may be experiencing the same kind of depression.
• There are reminders in the book that are encouraging and inspiring that can be used as a devotional.
• There are stories that people can relate to and realize that they are not alone and there is always help.
Where can we connect with you further on this topic, or purchase a copy of this book?
I would love for them to visit my web site at www.ThelmaWells.com, browse through the various events and other resources available, as well as sign up for my mailing list.
READY TO WIN OVER DEPRESSION is also available online and at local bookstores such as, Family Christian Stores, Lifeway Christian Stores, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble Book Stores, Mardel’s, Anchor Distributors, Christianbook.com, and many other stores and vendors throughout American and the United Kingdom.
I would also like to connect with people on the new Facebook page we set up specifically for this topic at www.facebook.com/readytowinoverdepression. Or they can find me on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Thelmaw.
Again, let me say…if you or someone you know is dealing with depression, you are not crazy. God knows you’re not crazy. And He also has a perfect antidote for your depression. Nothing escapes Him, and he knows you far better than you know yourself. Isn’t that a relief and comfort?
(A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by the author in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at www.ChristianSpeakerServices.com for more information about blog tour management services.)
As comments are entered on this post, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Thelma’s book, “Ready to Win Over Depression.” I’m very excited to be able to offer this opportunity! Thelma is a well loved and respected woman of God; she has much to say to us.
Depression can rob us of the JOY Jesus offers … J esus O ffers Y ou … J.O.Y.!
Thanks for stopping by today. I would be pleased to see you here often.
18 thoughts on “Thelma Wells-Guest Interview”
Thank you Candy for hosting this interview. Being a person with both MS and Fibromyalgia I to have suffered from depression After reading the interview and comments that followed it has put a new twist on “I just hope and pray” (a phrase I use alot) as like you said Prayer gives our Hope a voice.
Thanks so much, Candy. This has been such a repetitive struggle for me and something that so many of us don’t want to admit to and don’t get help for.
Hello my friend, Deb ~ I love who you are. You have overcome so much in your life. I agree that some issues are just now starting to become “public” in Christiandom. I’m glad I’m alive in this era, to truly know freedom in Christ.
Thank you for the blog on Thelma Wells’ new book. It sounds very helpful.
The chapter that was mentioned on “Looking Outward” reminded me of Ps. 37:3 “Trust in the Lord and do good.”
And, the “You Are Your Own Captive Audience” step spoke to me in a huge way today!
Hello Jan! How wonderful to see you here! We haven’t run into each other at Walmart lately! LOL! I love the verse you shared; I’ve always known you to do good. And you’re so right about negative self talk. It DOES matter how we talk to ourselves. Jesus, may be believe the Truth of your Word rather than the lies of the world.
I love it that prayer is the voice of hope!
Yes, Jodi, without hope we don’t “feel” like praying. That stops a lot of people. But prayer gives our hope a voice; it becomes more tangible. I love that you pray for me; you are a powerful prayer warrior.
I have prayed for your grandmother today.
I love you, dear one.
Candy, years ago I had a severe battle with chronic depression, but God changed my heart and my perspective as I learned to see His gestures of love toward me. Plus, doctors have told me that because I have a neurological disease, I will be more prone to depression than most people. Knowing these things, I maintain an awareness when I start to see signs of depression creeping in. This spring, I have been battling it again. I can identify several reasons–being unemployed, the let-down after having a book come out (Satan tries to discourage me), not eating right or exercising enough, etc. So, your post was a timely reminder that I need to take care of myself and manage the things that are in my control so that the other things out of my control are not so overwhelming.
Christy ~ I always love to hear from you, my friend. As I’ve gotten to know you just a little I can see that you’re always listening for God’s voice. I love that you’re so aware of the “signs” of depression coming on. That’s always the biggest step in dealing with any issue, being aware. It’s obvious that you spend time at Jesus’ feet.
I am still reading your book, “Best Friends With God, Falling in Love with the God Who Loves You”. Katy tells me that when I’m finished with it, your blog tour will begin! I’m so excited for that!
Great interview Candy!
Such an important topic. And so often Christians feel shame when they struggle with this issue. I read this verse the other day.
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.
Thanks to Thelma for writing this book. And thanks to you for your important ministry.
Love & Prayers,
Kathleen ~ what a perfect verse to share! Thank you so much. God’s Word is the connection to God’s healing. And, you’re right, Thelma’s book is so timely. Thank you for your encouragement. Looking forward to the lunch we will have someday!
I love Thelma Wells, and her attention to this topic of depression is needed in our world!!
Depression has touched our family several times, and she is right…it hurts, but as a child of God, we can be healed, and made whole!
Thank you, Candy, for hosting Mama T. 🙂
I love that God moves his children to do His work in answer to answer to prayer. This is such an important topic. God will use Thelma’s book to do much good. Thanks for your loyal “following”, Sheila.
OMGoodness! You are a beautiful writer! What a gift you have! This is the first blog I’ve seen! I’m going to have to bookmark you girl! 🙂
Hi Lisa ~ I’m so glad you stopped by my blog, especially since it’s your first blog read! Thank you for your kind encouragement. I really enjoy blogging and doing something with all the stuff flying through my mind all the time. (although I haven’t posted as often as I should lately) You can also subscribe to the blog feed so you can always know when there is a new post.
I enjoy your FB interaction! You’re a crackup!
Crazy how this blog is the first one I’ve seen. A topic I’m dealing with at this time in my life and just now confronting it! I will have to get this book! Thank YOU for the encouragement!
You might just win a free copy, Lisa!