MOVE Conference 2012 Reflection


The MOVE conference took place in november, just before the holidays.  There were two speakers and both were licensed mental health counselors - holding licenses in Florida, Oregon and Washington.  These therapists shared their insight and helped us understand many key concepts including depression; anxiety; suicide and self-harm.  I The main importance was that all these things are different and they can’t be generalized.  This is due to the amount of difference in between an injury and an addiction and other disorders.  We learned that everything has different issues and symptoms. 

            I learned that suicidal people don’t want to be suicidal, they believe they have to.  I feel like this can be applied to so many people struggling with mental illnesses because I don’t believe they ever would want to have their illnss with them for the rest of their lives.  This process of suffering and pain usually is a part of a cycle that includes shame, isolation, promise and break of promise due to craving.  This cycle rotates and rotates, which only worsens the issue and makes it much more difficult to move forward.  We learned that antidepressants are being pushed more that they should and that the reason why they usually don’t work, is that they are prescribed by doctors, not psychiatrists.  But the other situation is that many patients take the medicine without any sort of supplement.  Depression and anxiety need to be looked at by a psychiatrist or psychologist as well as finding counseling.  Someone with depression needs counseling AND medicine, not just one or the other most of the time.  Thi is something that for some reason, our society is not doing right these days.

            Many of these things seriously impacted me as a psychology major and as someone who has suffered with depression and anxiety.  I discovered that personally the most important thing was the notion that people who are ______  (Sucidal, depressed, self-harming, overeating, binging, drinking, smoking) don’t want to usually, they simply feel that that is their ONLY WAY out of whatever they’re running from.  Especially when I’ve sat in churches that agree that suicidal people want to die or are choosing to take their life early, when in reality they may not even have control over it or know that something is consuming them.  It’s definitely not a physical or worldly thing, in my opinion. i believe it is one of the most powerful tools we allow the enemy to have, is our emotions, our depression or sadness.  He sees an area in our life that we are struggling to deal with and he takes hold of it.  I believe and pray against that.  I know that God does not want that for his children. 

Specifically on my heart are those who feel depressed and weary but feel like they can’t be honest about that or admit it - students in the church; at George Fox; at Linfield; at Multnomah; at private universities and churches specifically.  Because for so many of them, showing weakness means they lose their leadership positions or their reputation or their grades or their significant other.  People in private schools and churches don’t believe it’s ok to not be ok.  This NEEDS TO CHANGE.  Cue WeAreHope - an on-campus group trying to grow and get established on Fox’s community as a place, a group of people willing to listen, willing to be, willing to show brokenness without fear or shame or condemnation.  This group is a support group for depression and anxiety but at a deeper, more spiritual level, iti is a place where people can admit their brokenness and support each other through that time of hopelessness, as a reminder that there is hope and that they are not alone. This is why I attended this conference - to see this happen on George Fox campus.  Thank you ASC for letting me attend and I pray that this truly does come to fruition and benefits the students and staff at Fox in the near future.

- David Morales Brooks