Depression Articles

10 Ways to Brighten Your Winter Workdays

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

10 Ways to Brighten Your Winter WorkdaysAs a long-term transplant to New England, I was faced with a choice: spend the winters hibernating and grumbling or strategize on how to make it all work better. The “it” here is the New England weather — or these seemingly endless weeks between the holidays and springtime.

Happily, I’ve managed to brainstorm and practice a number of winter wellness tricks. You can, too.

1. Morning pages. Long before Natalie Goldberg coined the term “morning pages,” I kept a teenage personal journal. Now, in middle age, I see it as both a wellness and a creativity tool. Therapeutic, medical and wellness experts have long touted the personal, creative and professional benefits of writing down our lives and feelings.

10 Nutritional Deficiencies that May Cause Depression

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Depression and SorrowI’m not sure why more psychiatrists don’t first test for nutritional deficiencies before dispensing Zoloft or Prozac, and especially antipsychotics like Seroquel and Zyprexa. The good ones will send you to get lab work done before upping your meds or adjusting anything. Sometimes we do need antidepressants. But other times we need spinach — think of Popeye.

In addition to seeing a psychiatrist regularly, I now work with an integrative health physician who tests my nutrition levels every year. If you haven’t ever tested your nutrition levels, you might inquire with either your psychiatrist or primary care physician.

Always Err on the Side of Compassion

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

err on compassionThe best piece of marital advice I’ve ever heard came from an ex-priest, a kind and gentle man who has been married to his bride for longer than I’ve been alive.

“Always err on the side of compassion,” he told me when I called him up all upset one afternoon after my husband and I got into a fight.

I don’t even remember what the fight was about. Something stupid. But I remembered his advice and I’ve been trying to apply it not only to my marriage but to my life, in general. In fact, it has become my mantra.

Psychology Around the Net: January 31, 2015

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

beer

This week’s Psychology Around the Net will have you rethinking how you look at depression medications, constantly seeking the approval of others, and — oh, yeah — whether to have a glass of wine or beer with your dinner (seriously)!

Beer Compound Could Help Fend Off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases: We’ve all heard about the potential health benefits of wine, but new reports show the compound from hops — a flower of the hop plant used as a basic ingredient in brewing beer — could help “protect brain cells from damage — and potentially slow the development of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.”

In Times of Great Stress, Reach for the Pause Button

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

In Times of Great Stress, Reach for the Pause ButtonSo I decided to move across the country and, not surprisingly, it’s turned my whole world upside down. While I’m micromanaging every detail and packing boxes when I go to bed instead of counting sheep, my anxiety and depression think they’ve won the Super Bowl.

I’m taking this opportunity to experiment with my attitude. I want to find out whether a person can learn to be laid-back. Of course, stressful things happen to everyone, but we can change the way we handle those situations. This week, I discovered the pause button.

What Does Treatment-Resistant Really Mean?

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

3 Tips for Dealing with Anxious ThoughtsIn his book Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics author Ziad K. Abdelnour writes, “One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.”

I face that decision every day.

Twenty times a day.

Several times an hour.

That one line contains the kernel of so much of my struggle, which is why I pray the Serenity Prayer every five minutes or so:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Psychology Around the Net: January 24, 2014

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Fear

Ever wonder what makes you — and keeps you — a loyal customer? How about ways to strength train your brain? Oh, and speaking of your brain — where does all that fear and anxiety come from, anyway?

We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Fear Pinpoinited: Scientists Discover Exactly Where Anxiety Resides in the Brain: Tests on mice have helped New York’s Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory researchers pinpoint the area, or “circuit,” in the brain where “fearful memories and behavior” are controlled. Could this lead to new anxiety treatments?

Isolation and Depression During a Long Winter

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Isolation and Depression During a Long WinterWith an Arctic blast bearing down across the U.S., I know I’d like nothing more than to cozy up inside with a blanket, some tea and my warm little bulldog. Then again that’s always the thing about January. It’s not until the end of February when I’m depressed and moody that I realize I’ve been isolating myself.

Depression loves to get me alone, just like a bully. Away from my friends and family for a couple weeks and surrounded by white winter clouds, I become an easy target for doubt, boredom, self-deprecation and loneliness.

Anyone who suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) knows the pattern, but those of us with depression may not be so in tune to how the weather is affecting our mental health.

Emerging From the Other Side of Depression

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

fortressThere’s a great e-card that reads: “Dear whatever doesn’t kill me, I’m strong enough now. Thanks.” It was the second most-liked item I posted on my Facebook page. The first was a quote by William Gibson: “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, surrounded by xxxholes.”

Friedrich Nietzsche was responsible for the line, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” I’m not sure I believe that, given the long list of names of extraordinary people who ended up taking their lives in desperation. Sometimes the pain of severe depression — the hopelessness that is its constant companion — simply becomes too much to endure. Having visited the doorway to suicide for periods of time that lasted months and years, I understand that.

Why Are You Alive? The Role of Suicide Survivors

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

why-life-matters-note-suicidal-teensConsider these statistics:

One person dies from suicide every 40 seconds.

Every year, over 800,000 people die from suicide, exceeding the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death (globally) for people ages 15 to 29, the fifth leading cause of death among persons aged 30 to 49.

For each adult who died of suicide in 2012, there were over 20 others who made suicide attempts.

When Someone You Love Kills Themselves

Monday, January 19th, 2015

When Someone You Love Kills Themselves

I’m sorry. I know these words will be of empty comfort to you as you look for answers to a loved one’s suicide. But nonetheless, these words are all that I have.

I’ve trod a mile in the shoes you’re wearing. My childhood best took his own life when he was only 21. I spent many months with my grief, and still carry a small part of it around to this very day. Grief never forgets… it only mellows with time.

And I know you’ve come here to read this seeking answers. I’ll try, but I’m not sure the answers I’ll provide will be the same as the ones you want to hear.

What Suicidal Depression Feels Like

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

How Does Low Self-Esteem Negatively Affect Us?I don’t know if you have noticed, but ever since Robin Williams died, I have removed the filter from my writing that keeps me safe of jaw dropping, disappointing head gestures, and all kinds of judgments that authentic writing invites. I just really don’t care anymore what people think because lives are at stake.

If this brutal beast of an illness is strong enough to kill someone with the passion, determination, and genius of Robin Williams, than we must do everything we can to protect those who are more fragile. That means being brave and writing as honestly as I can, on a taboo subject so few people understand, even if it means getting disapproving stares from other parents at my kids’ school.

Recent Comments
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