Depression Articles

Low Serotonin Levels Don’t Cause Depression

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Low Serotonin Levels Don't Cause DepressionOne of the leading myths that unfortunately still circulates about clinical depression is that it’s caused by low serotonin levels in the brain (or a “biochemical imbalance”). This is a myth because countless scientific studies have specifically examined this theory and have come back universally rejecting it.

So let’s put it to rest once and for all — low levels of serotonin in the brain don’t cause depression.

Let’s find out why.

Psychology Around the Net: September 13, 2014

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Tips for Getting to Sleep and Staying Asleep

What happens when you and your partner are on different sleep-wake schedules? Do you experience anxiety when waiting on a text reply? What about social media — how is it affecting both your brain and your body? Find out within this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Couples on Different Sleep Schedules Can Expect Conflict — and Adapt: If “[e]xperts think couples tend to have more stable sleep-wake routines and help co-regulate each other,” what happens when the two have sleep-wake schedules completely out of whack with one another?

World Suicide Prevention Day, 2014

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

World Suicide Prevention Day, 2014

Every day around the world, families and friends grieve the loss of a loved one due to suicide. Not once. Not twice.

But over 2,000 times per day someone takes their own life.

Can you imagine? If Ebola took 2,000 people’s lives per day, we’d hear a world outcry and an immediate call to action.

But since it’s just suicide, we turn a blind eye. We go on with our merry lives, and pretend it couldn’t happen to us. It couldn’t possibly happen to someone we know.

That’s how we lose so many people a day. Denial. Ignorance. Stigma. Discrimination.

Talking to Someone About Suicide

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Talking to Someone About Suicide

So you suspect a friend is grappling with thoughts of suicide. Maybe they’ve withdrawn more and isolated themselves from their normal social life. Maybe they’ve just seemed more down in the dumps and depressed. Maybe they’ve even expressed a desire or thought in passing about how things would be better without them.

What do you do?

Some people feel uncomfortable talking about these kinds of feelings. Others may feel ill-prepared or unequipped to handle someone talking to them about suicide. Others still may fear unleashing a torrent of despair from their friend, one they wouldn’t know what to do with.

Here’s how you talk to someone about suicide.

Alive in My Dreams: Grieving During Sleep

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons/Devin SmithI dreamt I was walking out of a bar because I didn’t know anyone there and everyone appeared to be leaving. Outside I saw my friend Don speaking to someone. From the steps of the bar I dove into his arms and hugged him. He hugged me back and laughed. It sounded like him. It felt like him.

He turned to leave, and I took his hand. It felt like his hand. The sky was pink and purple like the sun was setting somewhere behind us. I said, “Wait, I have to tell you something before I wake up. I love you.”

“It’s so embarrassing,” he told me, like he didn’t want to talk about his suicide.

When a Friend Struggles with Anxiety, Fear, and Depression

Monday, September 1st, 2014

When a Friend Struggles with Anxiety, Fear, and DepressionWhat do you do when someone you know has to deal with persistent fears, anxieties, or even depression? Well the first thing you need to do is to get the person to seek the services of a professional who can lead them in the right direction and give them the help they need.

In addition, here are 5 suggestions on how to help your friend cope.

Psychology Around the Net: August 30, 2014

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

workplace-mobbing-bullying-business-woman

Do you care for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease and wonder how you can better help them — and yourself — make it day by day? What about a fear of asking for advice? Ever heard of sleep drunkenness? We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Risky Situations At Work Lead Women To Feel More Anxiety Than Men, Says Study: A new study recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association found that women are more likely than men to fold under the pressure of risky situations at work and, thus, perform worse than they would during normal situations.

A Reflection on Robin Williams’ Death

Friday, August 29th, 2014

robin-williams-40I spoke with a friend several days after the shocking news that Robin Williams had committed suicide. How could this beloved actor and storied comedian, my friend wondered, not understand or care that fans around the world adored him? And why, he further inquired, wasn’t that alone reason enough to live?

Nonetheless, this person, barely able to contain his sorrow, said he thought Mr. Williams “incredibly courageous” to have carried out such a deed.

Pausing to reflect and carefully measure my words as to not offend, I told him I vehemently disagreed with his statement: Suicide was not an act of courage, I said, but rather an act of consummate desperation. 

3 Ways to Cultivate Hope

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

P2200022I’m not a mental health professional. I’m a hope builder. I feel like that, more than anything else I do on this earth, is my purpose. Because hope, when you really think about it, is the only thing you need to get better (besides lots of drugs, exercise, fish oil, probiotics, friends, self-help books, doctors, sleep, therapists, nutritionists, support groups, meditation, yoga, divine intervention, etc.). Once you stop believing in a better tomorrow, you’re in trouble.

It Must Be My Fault

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

unhappy boy in yardWhen I was a child, I was told that everything was my fault. Eventually, I believed it.

In reality, none of it was my fault. As an adult in recovery, I intellectually understand that now. But my unconscious parts are still working that out. My unconscious parts are still trying to make sense of the illogical.

I have struggled with self-worth my entire life. While I don’t see myself as capable of doing good things, I do see myself as powerful at manifesting the bad. More than likely, this comes from my understanding of the abusive adults in my childhood. I felt the same way about them. And I internalized that.

We All Need to Take it Easy Sometimes

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / Vinoth ChandarThis past few weeks has been pretty chaotic for me.

Money has been an issue, I moved to a new city, my nephew was born, I got a new writing job, I had my 29th birthday, I had to housesit for a while and on top of everything else I’ve been working myself into a tizzy over a potential relationship which may or may not work out.

All said and done, I came to the realization last night that yes, I had done it, I had overwhelmed myself wholly and completely.

When Happiness Isn’t a Choice

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

P6160020American poet T. S. Eliot wrote:

I said to my soul, be still and wait without …

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