On Friday, February 26th, 2016 I get the honor and the privilege of being a part of an incredibly powerful event. I’ve come together with a group of individuals who have it in their heart to do something greater than themselves.
After observing our culture, it’s become apparent that a major issue exists internally among the majority. More Americans suffer from depression than from coronary heart disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. We’ve seen some very sad losses, both loving family members and friends in our local communities and among celebrities such as Dave Mirra, Robin Williams, Mindy McCready.
-It’s truly tragic that somebody dies from suicide every 12.8 minutes.
-Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, and there are more deaths from suicides than there are deaths from homicide or war.
-Over 50 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. If one includes alcoholics who are depressed, this figure rises to over 75 percent.
The silver lining to this dark cloud is depression is among the most treatable of psychiatric illnesses. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression respond positively to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms. But first, depression has to be recognized.
To go along with those tragic statistics are equally alarming numbers.
-85% of our population suffers from a poor self image.
-Low self-esteem has been linked to violent behavior, eating disorders, promiscuity, unemployment, school dropout rates, teenage pregnancy, gang activity, suicide, and low academic achievement.
-Low self-esteem is the universal common denominator among literally all people suffering from addictions to any and all mind altering substances such as alcohol, not genes.
-The report by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics says that the rate of antidepressant use in the U.S. has increased nearly 400% since 1988.
-More than 1 in 10 Americans over age 12 now takes an antidepressant, the study finds, and yet two-thirds of those with severe symptoms of depression do not take antidepressants at all.
-The drugs prescribed, are causing over 40,000 deaths per year.
Here is what we have learned: low self esteem, depression and other mental health issues are at an all time high. “Professionals” are mostly throwing drugs at the issue, which is causing even more deaths – but at the same time is not solving the problem, depression and mental health issues are continuing to rise. Numerous studies have been conducted linking social networking, television, and negative advertisements to depression, social isolation, eliciting feelings of envy, insecurity and poor self-esteem. There is a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the amount of time spent being plugged into the wrong kind of media and the likelihood of eventually being diagnosed with depression, meaning that if your TV viewing habits are excessive, you are putting yourself at greater risk of suffering from this debilitating and life-altering condition.
Want proof of this assertion? Here are three recent scientific studies published in peer-reviewed journals that provide it:
- University of Maryland sociologists looked at more than 30 years of data on the subject of self-evaluated happiness and media use, and discovered that happy people watch on average one hour less television per day than those who suffer from depression. In general, those who were the happiest watched TV for only two hours per day or less and spent a significant amount of time socializing with family and friends (study published in Social Indicator Research, 2008).
- A British study of almost 4,000 Scotland residents found that 66 percent of adults who watched two or more hours of TV each day were obese and had much higher rates of depression and anxiety. Interestingly, the correlation between depression and television viewing habits was strong enough that good exercise habits had no ameliorating effect, even though exercise is usually prescribed as a panacea for depression and other types of mood disorders (study published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2010).
- As a part of the massive US Nurses’ Health Survey, which monitored the health and behavior patterns of more than 50,000 women for 14 years, information was collected about TV watching habits and their relationship to various health disorders. Researchers reported that women who watched three or more hours of TV per day were 13 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression at some point, whereas those who exercised regularly and did not view TV excessively reduced their risk of depression by 20 percent (study published in American Journal of Epidemiology, 2011).
Depression tends to develop in response to prolonged stress or long-term exposure to emotionally trying circumstances. However, the way a person handles such situations also plays a big role in determining whether he or she will ultimately succumb to this illness, and it is clear that attempting to chase away the bad feelings by retreating into the imaginary landscapes created by television does not solve the problem and in the end will only make things worse.
The problem is that watching TV is a passive activity, and health and healing always require a proactive approach that directly addresses the source of the difficulty. Depression is defined by a gut-wrenching and utterly discouraging lack of motivation to do even the simplest things, as the pure act of living loses all of its color, flavor and intensity. It is notable that in the University of Maryland study, participants who engaged in meaningful social activity were far less likely to suffer from depression, which indicates how important the most basic pleasures in life are for all human beings. (source: https://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com/featured/is-watching-too-much-tv-making-you-depressed/)
Now that we know the sad facts, we have a responsibility to do something about it.
The event that is organized for Friday February 26th, 2016, includes live music and speakers. In one portion you get the activity and the social aspect of being around positive people and positive entertainment, and in another aspect you will get information that will empower you. Even if you’re not a part of these statistics and do not have low self esteem or depression; you can learn information on how to help your neighbors or family or friends or co workers who do suffer as well as have the opportunity to have a fun evening together with leaders who are serving their communities and leading their families in a positive direction. The music will be provided by Butler Christian Assembly; Kelly Davidhizar on keys and vocals and Thomas Davidhizar on guitar and vocals and me, A./Mac in my final hip hop performance until my son Xander grows up. The speakers include Pastor Dan Davidhizar, Rachel Kerr, and Eric and Tina Barr, and me. The talks will be centered around knowing exactly how to love yourself, overcome, have the right view on things, and to serve your neighbors. This is a really big deal because if we can become stronger individually, and we can start lifting those up around us – so much is possible. Imagine for one second what I have pictured in my mind over a dozen times: we are chained to the wall by addictions, to depression, to a poor self image, to poverty, to hurts, to all these things that are HOLDING US BACK and on this night, and every night following it THE CHAINS SNAPPING and each of us, and the chains of our loved ones snapping too!! I can hear the sound. Can you? I hope you can. I want you to have hope. I want you to feel empowered.
There are only 100 tickets available, and already almost half of them are reserved. Be sure to reserve yours right now. Visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2487251 to get all the information and to get them while they are still available.
Two things I know: You can overcome anything with the right information leading to the right thinking and applying that information into your life. This information will be shared at this event. The second thing: The quickest way to overcome Depression or feeling sorry for yourself is to do something for someone else in a way that they could never repay you.
I want to leave you with a few thoughts from somebody greater then me…
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving a greater purpose; rejoicing in hope, persevering thru trials and tribulations, devoted to positive thoughts; contributing to the needs of those doing great things, practicing hospitality.”
“For we are called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not turn your freedom in an opportunity to serve only your desires, but through love serve one another.”
“Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing”
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important then himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Look for ways to support, encourage, build up, and stimulate others.