A collaboration for clergy health and wellness. by Bethann Witcher Cottrell, PhD
The physical and mental health of Clergy in North America has reached a crisis point.
Personality issues of some clergy
Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership. Grand Rapids, MI Baker Books, 1997. by Gary L. McIntosh & Samuel D. Rima, Sr.
i. The Compulsive Leader
ii. The Narcissistic Leader
iii. The Paranoid Leader
iv. The Codependent Leader
v. The Passive-Aggressive Leader
Healers: Harmed & Harmful. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994. by Conrad Weiser
A psychologist and Administrator Systems Therapy and Consultation Services in Allentown, PA, Dr. Conrad has written a very helpful book from his twenty years of experience with clergy and churches. What he has to say about clergy who are narcissistic, compulsive, depressed, dependent, or borderline and helping them is very valuable.
Behind the Masks: Personality Disorders in Religious Behavior by Wayne Oats
Behind the Masks: Personality Disorders in the Church by C. Marvin Pate and Sheryl Lynn Pate
The Minister’s Own Mental Health. Great Nack, NY: Channel Press, Inc., 1955. by Wayne Oates
Although this book is old, it contains classic insights that bear repeating today.
Experience with depression and anxiety opened former Presbyterian pastor George Jacobs' eyes to the needs of "exhausted and burned-out" clergy.
DEAR CHURCH! WE QUIT! Marriage and Ministry Depression. by Dr. Paddy Ducklow
Depressed, Stressed, And Burned Out: What’s Going On In My Life? by Archibald D. Hart
One of the leading experts on stress, depression, and burnout gives insight into the nature of this compassion fatigue and how a pastor can turn this traumatic and life-threatening experience into discovering what God wants to do in his life.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America "Ministerial Health and Wellness 2002" study, conducted by the Division for Ministry and Board of Pensions, found that during a one-year period, 16 percent of male clergy and 24 percent of female clergy suffered from depression compared to 6 percent of U.S. men and 12 percent of U.S. women.
Wounded Heroes Southern Baptists address depression in Clergy.
Male hormone found to have cardiovascular benefits.
American Sleep Apnea Association
Sleep Apnea can inhibit the production of testosterone in men.
Testosterone drives away the blues: May provide relief for some male depression. by William J. Cromie Harvard Gazette Staff
DCC is a national center focusing on self-care, personal assessment, and leadership skills for clergy and church professionals.
Southern Baptist ministers developed a program to address the toll of depression in their ranks.
Many conservative Christians consider depression to be evidence that a person is "not right with God." Yet an estimated one third of the staff and clergy of the 62,000 Southern Baptist churches suffer from depression because their jobs are so demanding. Their problems have historically been hidden or ignored by their denomination but that is now changing. The Southern Baptist Convention created an outreach program to help these troubled pastors.
Longevity and success in ministry does not guarantee that pastors will not suffer from clinical depression. Two successful pastors share their journey and how, with the help of family and medical professionals, they came out of the dark and survived.
A pastor does not experience clinical depression alone; it also affects his family. Two ministry wives share their thoughts and experiences as they walked alongside their husbands and their battles with depression.
The Face of Depression. by Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder
The Pastors Wife: Beating The Ministry Blahs. by Gabrielle Rienas
Whether she has a personal call to ministry or not, the minister's wife is called to support her husband. But what should she do when the expectations of ministry seem overwhelming and her husband isn't coping? Find out how to navigate the storms of ministry and bring healing and hope to the parsonage.
Mental Illness is the leading cause of clergy going on disability.
by John M. Crowe
The chances of becoming disabled are probably greater than clergy realize. Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 3-in-10 chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.
The executive director Pension, Inc. for the Virginia Conference of the UMC stated the following in a June 22, 2006 UM News article.
The clergy population as a whole consumes a tremendous amount of mental health benefits. The health insurance industry has walked away from clergy because of that. They say ‘we can’t handle you any more. You’re too expensive.
According to A collaboration for clergy health and wellness. by Bethann Witcher Cottrell, PhD. The physical and mental health of Clergy in North America has reached a crisis point.
During the time of the previous generation of United Methodist clergy, we were in the top five healthiest profession in the US. This generation of UM clergy are now in the bottom five least healthy. For example, UM clergy are 20% heavier than the general population.
Also, in a large 2001 Duke Divinity School study, 76 percent of the clergy were found to be overweight or obese. Ten percent were found to be clinically depressed and forty percent depressed some of the time or worn out most of the time. HealthFlex, a managed-care health plan offered by the UMC's General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, reports that clergy are overweight, have high blood pressure and stress and depression levels higher than the general population.
"Mental health problems including chemical dependency are the leading cause of disability in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America health plan, accounting for one-third of the 300 rosterd [ministers on disability]." Despite studies suggesting a stable rate of depression in the general population, the ELCA health plan shows more clinic visits and prescriptions to treat depression.
The "Ministerial Health and Wellness 2002" study, conducted by the Division for Ministry and Board of Pensions, found that during a one-year period, 16 percent of male clergy and 24 percent of female clergy suffered from depression compared to 6 percent of U.S. men and 12 percent of U.S. women.
A September 28, 1999 article, “Wounded Healers” wrote about Southern Baptist Clergy. It reported that, “Many conservative Christians consider depression to be evidence that a person is "not right with God." Yet an estimated one third of the staff and clergy of the 62,000 Southern Baptist churches suffer from depression because their jobs are so demanding. Their problems have historically been hidden or ignored by their denomination but that is now changing. The Southern Baptist Convention created an outreach program to help these troubled pastors.”
An article from the October 30, 2000 of the Charisma Online News Service said that many pastors carry the secret burden of depression.