Introducing Leveraging Adversity

by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Introducing Leveraging Adversity

There’s no getting around it — life is full of adversity. What you do with that adversity, however, is what matters. Some people seem to be able to bounce back pretty quickly, while others seem to get mired in the experience.

So how can you be one of those people who is more resilient, who can bounce back after a trauma or life event that throws you for a loop?

That’s what our newest blog, Leveraging Adversity with Claire Dorotik-Nana LMFT, will help you learn.

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Is Depression an Addiction?

by Therese J. Borchard

photomedic.netOne of the chapters of my memoir, Beyond Blue, is called “The Least Harmful Addiction.” I explain that willpower is, regrettably, a finite thing. We have a limited amount, so we must preserve it for the most harmful addictions we have (i.e., when desperate, we should inhale chocolate truffles over getting wasted on vodka). In that chapter, I list all my vices in order of most threatening to least threatening: depression, alcoholism, toxic relationships, workaholism, nicotine, sugar, and caffeine.

Someone in Group Beyond Blue, the online support group I moderate, was reading my book and was confused why I would list depression among my addictions. “Is depression really an addiction?” she asked. Her query inspired an interesting conversation in the group.


Best of Our Blogs: September 19, 2014

by Brandi-Ann Uyemura, M.A.
Best of Our Blogs

At the heart of every issue lies a painful truth.

It’s the reason why an impersonal comment can devastate you.

It’s why you ruminate over a conversation you had with a friend.

It explains why you can’t let go of a transgression, are sensitive to any slights and can’t seem to shake off criticism.

Early on you got the message that you’re not a good person and nothing you ever do will be good enough.

Sensitive folks are especially vulnerable to it. Rooted in every external hurt is the internal belief that there is something profoundly wrong with who you are.

It explains why we don’t do the things necessary to care for ourselves. We’re so busy trying to prove we’re worthy that we miss the boat when it comes to truly living our lives.

One way that we worsen our situation is through self-judgment for what we feel or don’t feel. Whether you believe you’re too sensitive or emotionless, our posts this week teach us that to start the process of self-healing we need to embrace what we’re feeling right now.

Eventually, when we learn to find the beauty in all of our emotions, we will realize guilt and shame for how we feel is unnecessary. We’re all good enough and we’re doing the best that we can.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}


New Study Examines the Effects of Prayer on Mental Health

by Traci Pedersen


Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening. — Mahatma Gandhi

What are your deepest beliefs regarding the nature of God? When you pray, do you talk to a loving, protective and easily accessible God? Or does God feel strangely distant and unreachable? Perhaps a disciplinarian? A new study says that your beliefs about the “character” of God determine the effects of prayer on your mental health.


Better is Not Well: Consumer-Clinician Collaboration to Raise Treatment Expectations

by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Better is Not Well: Consumer-Clinician Collaboration to Raise Treatment Expectations

Our friends over at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) will host an interactive panel discussion between peers and clinicians on raising expectations for the treatment of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. We invite you to join them for this free, live web-stream broadcast of the event.

The interactive panel is a live event that will be broadcast on the DBSA website on September 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm ET (2:30 PT). Click through to learn more about this free event.


When Your Partner Has Difficulty Expressing Emotion

by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

When Your Partner Has Difficulty Expressing EmotionWhen partners aren’t able to express their emotions, it can erode the relationship. Emotions give us important information that we can use to better understand our needs, priorities and limits. We can use emotions to set boundaries and make decisions.

“If you’re not authentically experiencing, expressing, and learning from your emotions, then that erodes trust, security, intimacy and closeness,” said Jared DeFife, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and relationship coach in Atlanta, Ga.


Movie Music and Theory of Mind

by Dave and Greta Munger

Flickr Creative Commons / anyjazz65Movie music can have a huge impact on our perception of a film. Ever since the days of “silent” movies, filmmakers have recognized that music enhances the movie-going experience.

The earliest movies were shown in halls with live accompanists playing pianos and organs. Some films were even accompanied with full live orchestras. Why would movie companies go to such expense, if not to make viewers enjoy the film more?


What My Cancer Scare Taught Me about Love and Dating

by Lisa Shultz


Sometimes it takes an extreme situation to see there is love right in front of you.

Have you ever suddenly had a change of health that put a halt to your desire to date? A dramatic unexpected diagnosis can quickly change your dating goals or even obliterate them temporarily. You may need surgery or treatment that will be the focus of your life for a while.

That is what happened to me recently. I experienced an interruption in dating while I focused on my health.


Helping Children Avoid Depression

by Angelica Shiels, PsyD

Helping Children Avoid DepressionToday’s children are at a higher risk for depression than any previous generation. Almost one in 10 children will experience a major depressive episode by the time they are 14 years old, and almost one in five will experience a major depressive episode before graduating from high school. The good news is, there is apparently something that parents and educators can do to decrease the likelihood that children will succumb to this statistic.


The Many Factors that Trigger Depression

by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

The Many Factors That Trigger Depression Depression is a debilitating, devastating illness. In Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, author William Styron perfectly captures the pain of depression:

“The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come — not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying — or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity — but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one’s bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes.”


Passing it On: Parenthood & Mental Illness

by Karren Johnson, MA

Passing it On“Aren’t you afraid he will get your disease?”

This question was uttered by a colleague at a department picnic this past summer when I was still working as a college instructor. This colleague had known me for a few years. She had known me when I was still adamantly not going to have children. She knew of my diagnoses. This was the first time she had seen me since I had given birth, and the first time she met my son, who had just turned one year old.

She chose to ask a question about my fear of passing on my psychiatric illnesses.Not a question concerning the million other things that happens with new motherhood — a question of genetic loading.


Taking Care of Mothers: A Necessity, Not a Luxury

by Kellie Edwards

Taking Care of Mothers: A Necessity not a Luxury

“Be still and heal.”

 – Thich Nhat Hanh,

Vietnamese monk

How that insight could have helped me as a new mom … if I’d had even an inkling of the value of being still.

No one prepared me for the unrelenting demands of motherhood. The realities of a 24/7 responsibility that left no time for myself. That lonely time after the front door closed behind my husband each morning, and I felt like I had to cope and should be happy about it.


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