Some might feel that medication is enough to cope with their chronic feelings of helplessness, of hopelessness.


But while people with mental illnesses take those medications, they might need some extra assistance.


This is where organizations like Christian Men’s Depression Anonymous come in.


Christian Men’s Depression Anonymous is a South Carolina-based group with a national outreach.


Members communicate via telephone.


It began earlier this year by Christian Myrtle Beach resident, Tim.


Tim, who uses just his first name to respect the privacy of other members, has had his “own experiences – good, bad and ugly – with the mental health and Christian communities,” he said.


“In the medical community, doctors sometimes treat patients as lab rats and specimens rather than human beings,” he said. “A great stigma still exists in the Christian community toward the mentally ill – just have more faith, read your Bible, counsel with your pastor, memorize Scripture, etc. All are good things, but they are not the only ways to healing.”


The group is designed around the traditional 12-step process, according to media reports.


Non-Christian men are welcomed.


However, the program is guided by a “Higher Power,” i.e. Jesus Christ.


“One in four adults experience mental illness in a given year. One in 17 live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder,” as stated by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


Treatment methods include medication and therapy.


“The choice and combination of treatment and services selected depends in most cases on the type of mental illness, the severity of symptoms, the availability of options and decisions determined by the individual, often in consultation with their health care provider and others,” the National Alliance on Mental Illness further states.


Tim was hospitalized last summer.


“After (that), I learned the best thing I could do is to become my own advocate,” he said. “It is my wish to help people with depression and teach them to be self advocates, too.”


For more information on Christian Men’s Depression Anonymous, email Tim at cmda01@aol.com or call 843-457-2473.