Presentation of counseling regarding truth?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Benjamin, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    I’m looking for Christian advice on how I might council better in this type situation:

    My older sister at only 49 is having major health problems that in my opinion are due almost entirely to being obese. Petite-5ft 1in 110lbs first half of her life, small boned but now probably 240 or more. Many bone problems, back, shoulder, knee surgery, mini strokes, diabetes, digestion, and the list goes on, but now heart also.

    For a short break down of other factors I must consider; she suffers from depression, gets loving attention for her ailments, cries about her suffering, has many excuses why she can’t exercise and lose weight or even start, denial of cause, she is saved but has lived a hard disappointing life, basically feels it is the hand she’s been dealt. Just got a big lecture yesterday from the doctor confirming the weight issue, vented to me how insensitive he was and now I’m in hot water for telling her it’s the truth.

    My problem with counseling is that I can be very frank. She only wants sympathy and love-and I tell her I love her but sometimes love means truth and correction not just hugs.

    I’ve told her about glorifying the body, that Satan is lying to her that she can’t do it, that she needs to love herself and that being hard she also needs to consider she loves her children and how selfish it is leave them prematurely. We’ve discussed asking and allowing the HS to work in her life, putting aside the lies and handing in to God and agree it’s hard in this sin cursed world.

    I take a lot of heat from family for dare mentioning weight to her. BUT I KNOW it’s killing her. As for me, if a woman asks me to critique whether she looks fat in a dress, and she does, well, again more heat so why do they ask? If I go to someone’s new home I might complement the design or quality of windows, but when I point out a crooked wall, boy does my wife get mad. Aren’t I just being truthful? What am I to do? What am I doing wrong?
     
  2. Johnv

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    The biggest red flag I saw was that she suffers from depression. First and foremost, before she can get her weight under control, she must get her depression under control.

    Clinical depression is a real and serious medical condition. It cannot be "thought" or "prayed" away. It must be disagnosed and dealt with like any other medical condition, and she will likely have to adhere to a strict regimen of treatment her entire life.

    The other things you mentioned, most notably her overall health and weight, are common aftereffects of depression. She must first combat her depression, and then she will have the strength to combat her weight issue. This can take years and years, but you've got to start somewhere. But unfortunately, combating the weight issue sans the depression issue will result in failure in the weight area.
     
  3. El_Guero

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    Benjamin,

    Start walking with her each morning. You will both be heathier, and you will give the attention she needs ...
     
  4. bapmom

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    I think Johnv and El Guero said it very well.

    Can I speak to the other part of your post? From a lady's point of view? Regarding pointing out problem areas, you have to have the relationship there in order to do that. You mentioned going into someone's house and after complimenting the design of the house you'd mention a crooked wall. While honesty is a good thing, COMPLETE unequivocal honesty is not always necessary. You can compliment someone's nice new windows without pointing out the flaking paint or the fact that the floor isn't totally straight, without it being lying. And to point out someone's flaws is never something they want. If you can, it is always better to overlook the shortcomings of someone's house or yard, or even their personality.....unless they ask.

    However, she's your sister, she knows you love her, and you are willing to be there for her. With your sister you have the kind of relationship that I think you can be this honest with her. Id do what Johnv said, and help her get some medical help for depression. And the walking is an excellent idea, too.
     
  5. buckster75

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    Would i do something that might make someone never speak to me again and hurt them? If it would save their life, yes. Tough love is harder to give in many cases. But as John said this depression thing must addressed.
     
  6. TexasSky

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    My mother used to say the only justifiable criticism is constructive.

    Your sister probably knows she is over weight. She probably knows it is killing her. She probably has tried to solve the problem. She probably feels over whelmed by it.

    So, having her brother talk to her like she doesn't know these things, probably just increases her sense of failure, lowers her self-esteem and makes her depression worse, which then creates a greater obesity issue.

    As to the crooked walls. There is a difference in honesty and in rudeness. Unless you are saying, "I noticed that the wall seems to lean, I can help you fix that," you should keep your thoughts to yourself.
     
  7. Marcia

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    I think it's near impossible to counsel a family member. You can be her friend and be moral support, but she needs a more objective person to counsel her.
     
  8. TexasSky

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    Marcia,

    That is a good point. It is actually against the ethic codes to try to serve as counselor to relatives if you are a professional psychologist.
     
  9. Benjamin

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    Johnv

    She will admit depression but is against taking the medications. She did try them for a while a few years ago. I’m not sure how convincing I could be for her to get medical treatment her knowing my naturalist attitude and spite against drugs.

    El_Guero

    She lives too far away to make walking on a regular schedule practical, I might see if I could talk her into to going on a walk though and discuss things like one step at a time.

    Bapmom

    Your right it’s not necessary I point out the bad, guess I need to retrain myself.

    Buckster

    I take a lot of heat, but agree and someone needs to be direct.

    TexasSky

    I will have to consider what your mother told you, “only justifiable criticism is constructive” and stop to think wants justifiable before opening my mouth.

    In the rest of your post you sound just like my wife who majored in social rehabilitation, hence she married me, LOL.

    Problem is she would have me just give her a hug and shut up, and I feel that that hug is a hug goodbye.

    Marcia

    Agreed I’m not the right person for the job, but seem to be the only one that recognizes the seriousness of the problem enough to take action.
     
  10. Priscilla Ann

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    Benjamin:

    I sympathize with your concerns for your sister. I have had personal experience with both an eating disorder and depression. I would suggest several things:

    She should see an internist who is knowledgable about weight/food issues. He should be able to recommend a good dietician who can help her with a food plan. If she is not seeing a professional about her depression, she needs to do so. It would be helpful if the internist, dietician and counselor could work as a team in addressing her problems.

    I suffered with an eating disorder and depression from the time I was 20 years old until I was 32 years old. The above approach worked wonders for me. It was hard work, but my internist, dietician, and a wonderful psychologist helped me recover. It was also helpful for me to join a support group with others who were going through the same experience. I have not had a recurrance of depression or food issues for 15 years.

    I pray that your sister will find help. Depression and food issues do not have to ruin a person's life.

    God Bless!

    PA
     
  11. Johnv

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    This may be a hurdle that she needs to overcome. Most often, clinical depression is a chemical imbalance, and the taking of medications to correct that imbalance may well be the only or most effective method of treating her illness. Believe me, I'm not in favor of popping a pill at the first sign of trouble, but I'm in favor of doing so when it is necessary. In the case of clinical depression, it is often necessary. Whatever treatment is required, it is imperitive that she seek continuous and regular treatment under the care of a physician. No one should decide how to treat themselves. There's an old saying: He who treats himself has a fool for a patient. As one who is often guilty of this, I can tell you it's very true.
     
  12. Gold Dragon

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    Has she checked out naturopathic medicine? While some extreme ones are a little cuckcoo, there are many legitimate naturopaths who have studied things like herbal or eastern (ie chinese) medicines that are generally more "natural" and have historically worked as alternatives to western medicine in some cases. Although naturopathic medicine also comes with its problems too of lack of good regulatory bodies.
     
  13. Benjamin

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    You guys certainly have me putting more consideration into the depression side of this issue. I will say one thing about it, I would rather see her talking too much and a little overly busy than sick and helpless.

    I feel I’ve about exhausted everything I could say to her, but thinking about a new approach. One thing that baffles me is that she denies the problems are caused by the weight, that is very frustrating for me to hear. Another thought now is looking into to hiring a qualified specialist that would be persistent and truly knows how to deal with the situation. Maybe do some interviews discussing the situation, pay for some sessions and set up the appointment. I think I will need someone able to manage the whole process.
     
  14. Benjamin

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    Has she checked out naturopathic medicine? While some extreme ones are a little cuckcoo, there are many legitimate naturopaths who have studied things like herbal or eastern (ie chinese) medicines that are generally more "natural" and have historically worked as alternatives to western medicine in some cases. Although naturopathic medicine also comes with its problems too of lack of good regulatory bodies. </font>[/QUOTE]I think that may be another thing that could help and worth carefully checking into, but the lack of motivation is the first hill to get over for now.
     
  15. tschau

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    I do not want to be cruel, but could depression be the excuse to do nothing to improve her health?

    In what way does she benefit from all these health/medical problems?
    Does she need for her ailments to get loving attention?
     
  16. Gold Dragon

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    I wouldn't automatically assume this is the case. As Johnv mentioned, obesity is often a symptom of depression and not necessarily a cause. Something to keep in mind.
     
  17. Johnv

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    If this is a case of clinical depression, it is a serious and controlling condition that can and often does impede a person's well-being in other areas. If it's a case of a person simply feeling depressed, as we all do from time to time, you may ahve a point. But this doesn't appear to the be the case here. I knew one specific person who had exactly the kind of depression described here. It was a serious clinical depression that required medication (sometimes it cd does, and sometimes it doesn't). Once this woman got her depression under control, she became more active and outgoing, and eventually became a member of the same gym that I was a member of. She eventually went on to go from a size 22 to a size 12.
     
  18. StraightAndNarrow

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    Does she take drugs for her Diabetes? What about the heart problem? If so, she's not on a "naturalist" path already. Medication for depression is no different.
     
  19. Benjamin

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    She’s got bags of pills for everything. Why she ignores taking the drugs for depression is a mystery to me. She seems to want to treat the symptoms instead of the causes that got her there. It is so illogical to me. She had my nieces carrying around bags of allergy medicines and would give them decongestants at the first sign on a sniffle from very young. Claimed they were allergic to everything from grass to air. Both of them came down with asthma, one has hip and weight problems already caused by steroids. The other after listening to me and after having many battles with her mother has stopped taking the medications including antibiotics at every turn, no longer has asthma attacks and rarely gets ill anymore. She sides with me completely.

    If my kids got a sniffle after being outside, I would roll them in the grass! If they started getting overweight duh, I would know it was because they were eating too much and the wrong things and put them on a proper diet and exercise. Bluntly being overweight would not be aloud in my home. How on earth do you build an immune system up if you don’t give it a chance to work? At this point in her life I would say, YES take the Prozac, but don’t think it’s the root of the problem, just treating another symptom.
     

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