Depression Articles

Robin Williams, Mental Illness Sufferer, Dead at 63 Due to Suicide

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Robin Williams, Bipolar Sufferer, Dead at 63 Due to Suicide

When a person chooses suicide, it’s hard to accept that choice.

Comedian and award-winning actor Robin Williams apparently made that choice earlier this morning. Robin Williams has long suspected to be a sufferer of either depression or bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness where the person fluctuates between episodes of extreme energy, focus and productivity (mania) and severe depression. Apparently, he was in one of the episodes of depression when he took his own life.

We mourn his loss.

On Losing Self-Blame and the Pressure to Feel Joy

Monday, August 11th, 2014

HP Love 2Imagine you had to take a 5-year-old with ADHD with you everywhere you went: to work, in the shower, to the grocery, on your run, out with friends. He was always eager to leave and get back to his Xbox at home.

On the way to the store, he’d ask, “How long is this going to take?” As soon as you put one bag of produce into your cart, he’d say, “Can we go home now?”

It’s like that with my death thoughts.

They aren’t necessarily suicidal ideations. There is no plan of action. Just an urgency to be relieved of the chronic pain I feel, a rush to get somewhere that doesn’t require so much effort to get through a day or an hour.

3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

3 Creative Ways to Combat the Blues Often, stress, disappointments, and mundane realities of everyday life plague our inner worlds so much that it’s difficult to experience positive emotions such as joy, peace, and spontaneity. Unfortunately, it becomes a vicious cycle.

The negative emotions build up even more, sapping our mental and physical energies to the point where it’s a challenge just to get through our daily routines. Our bodies become just as blunted as our spirits. Happily, though, there are three easy and inspiring activities that can help us beat the blues and increase our general well-being.

On Hating Yourself Less

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Child punishmentIn her informative yet entertaining book, “Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself,” Anneli Rufus tells this story:

Accepting his third annual Teacher of the Year award, Jeremy gazed out at an auditorium packed with wildly applauding children, parents, and colleagues. Silently he mourned. I was supposed to get my doctorate. I should be famous by now, not teaching fourth grade. I was supposed to have made earthshaking discoveries. It was expected of me. And I failed.

5 Medications or Supplements that Made Me More Depressed

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

healthtap.comThe more medications and supplements I try in an effort to minimize my symptoms of depression and anxiety, the more I realize that every edible item you place in your mouth has a risk associated with it. Even the natural ones that are supposedly made from cats’ claws, wild yams, or some organic plant. Moreover, you need to read about its potential side effects and inform yourself before you place the thing on your tongue, because chances are your doctor won’t be well-versed in all the strange reactions it could cause.

Depression in Common: Losing a Friend to the Sadness You’ve Silently Battled

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

depression-different-everyoneDepression is personal. It is this aspect of depressive thoughts that make them seem impossible to share. I let mine hold me in silence and agony for years. It had me convinced that nobody cared, nobody could or would help. It played into an overall sense of hopelessness.

I struggled for many years, reading books, going to therapy and soul searching, before I finally felt depression was a thing of my past — not something I was always just staying one step ahead of.

And then an old friend committed suicide. I had known him since childhood, during my darkest days and yet I had no idea he was struggling with depression.

6 Conditions that Feel Like Clinical Depression but Aren’t

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

2e503ef3c30738e85e847238e0c34babIf a person went to his primary care physician and complained of symptoms of fatigue, guilt, worthlessness, irritability, insomnia, decreased appetite, loss of interest in regular activities, persistent sadness, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide, I am pretty sure he would leave that office with a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and a prescription for Zoloft, Prozac, or another popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). After all, the guy has just cataloged the classic symptoms of clinical depression.

However, those same symptoms belong to a variety of other conditions that require treatments other than antidepressants and psychotherapy, the two pillars of conventional psychiatric recovery today. They may certainly look and feel like clinical depression to the outsider, but they may require just a small tweak in diet or hormones. Here are six conditions that fall under that category.

Dealing with Depression: Mindfully Turning Toward Negative Thoughts & Feelings

Monday, August 4th, 2014

depression-have-an-upsideDoes this sound familiar?

I don’t want to feel this way. When I’m anxious, I start thinking of ways I can be in control. So many little things have been bothering me lately, which only makes me madder at myself for letting them bother me. I wish I were different. When I get upset, I start thinking about what I did wrong. About what’s wrong with me.

These are all examples of aversion. “Aversion is the drive to avoid, escape, get rid of, numb out from, or destroy things we experience as unpleasant,” according to authors John Teasdale, Mark Williams and Zindel Segal in The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress.

The ‘Weakness Factor’: Men and Depression

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Men and DepressionI’ve found that it’s much easier for women to say, “I’m depressed,” than it is for men. This has more to do with what I call the “weakness factor,” in which men struggle to admit something’s wrong with them or acknowledge something they perceive as a sign of weakness.

Men get depressed just as women do. The biggest difference between the sexes is that men typically won’t admit to themselves, or anyone else, that they’re feeling down.

Asking for help? As Anthony Soprano would say, “forget about it.”

Is There a Cure for Bitterness?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

newvoices.orgThe classic poem “Desiderata” says that if you compare yourself to others you will either become vain or bitter.

I don’t worry about becoming vain, as my self-esteem is still beneath sea level. But bitterness? That one had a hold of me last weekend.

Mood Over Matter: How Emotions Can Affect Your Health

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

headachesYou’ve probably heard your share of stories like the following told by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN, on the site “Women to Women“:

A patient came in to see me describing constant heavy bleeding menorrhagia. We tried dietary changes, supplements and other purely physical approaches, with only minimal improvement. I began to probe for the emotional basis of her condition. She shared a description of her marriage to a man who did not support her emotionally and was often verbally abusive. I helped her see the connection between her relationship and her symptoms. One day a few months later, she came into my office and told me she had finally found the courage to leave the relationship. Her heavy bleeding stopped the next day, and has not returned.

Finding Your Way through Adversity

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Getting to the Good PartOn my last day of inpatient psychiatric treatment, I nervously asked the hospital’s program director if I could apply for a position there. I felt a thousand times better than the day I was brought into the system, which was in an ambulance after a suicide attempt. I felt like I could help others who had been through the same thing. I felt scared too, because if she said “No,” that meant I was being sent into the world to make my own path.

She said no. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. Apparently many people recovering from a mental illness feel that treatment is also their calling in life, but they’re simply not ready yet.

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