Depression Articles

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.

The Hyperbole of Blood Tests & Biomarkers for Depression

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

The Hyperbole of Blood Tests & Biomarkers for DepressionMainstream media love to highlight anytime a researcher suggests we’re on the cusp of developing a blood test, saliva test, or brain scan to “properly” diagnose depression. This is seemingly driven by a never-ending belief that the only way to legitimize mental illness is if we create a medical lab test for it. Nevermind the fact that there are dozens (if not hundreds) of medical diseases that have no single lab test to diagnose them.

Somehow, an MRI will magically make depression acceptable to society. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The latest twist on these tests is a biomarker or blood test that will let us know which treatments may work best for depression. Naturally, such tests raise as many questions as they may answer — and make the process of getting an accurate diagnosis for depression vastly more expensive and complicated.

Psychology Around the Net: January 10, 2015

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Healing My Inner Child

Happy Saturday, readers!

As cliche as it might sound, we can’t help but think of new beginnings when we think of a new year, and what better way to welcome new beginnings than by keeping up with all the new mental health news, research, and even opinions as we launch into 2015?

After all, we want to stay as healthy and informed as possible!

This week’s Psychology Around the Net features research related to pets and their owners’ personalities, gut bacteria and how it relates to anxiety, how childhood guilt can affect adult mental health issues, and more.

Partner Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder? 10 Truths You Need to Know

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Therapist listening to the couple sit on the couch in front of h

I was 18 years old, pregnant, scared and lonely when I met my now husband. We became best friends and two years later, he married and had a baby. Fast forward six years, we were madly in love and engaged, then married.

One year after that, my husband came home after work, sat down at the kitchen table and told me he wanted a divorce. I refused. Not very nicely.

A few months after that, he was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, and our marriage was in for a hell of a ride. Ten years later, I’ve had a book published about our marriage, a lot of sleepless nights, and a heck of a lot of a lessons learned about loving someone with bipolar disorder. Here’s a few biggies:

3 Steps to Empower Yourself Using Your Own Anger

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Consequences of Emotional AbuseDo you struggle with with releasing anger and forgiving?

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” -Buddah

Rare is the individual who doesn’t have feelings of anger or disappointment towards some member or members of their family. After all, we’re all human, imperfect and limited in our perspectives.

Turning Down an Invitation from Misery

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

optimism_vs_pessimismIn the new year, I will be embarking on a new chapter in my life. My husband and I will be moving from New York to California. As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, this should be the perfect opportunity to use some of the coping strategies I’ve learned in therapy. But I’ve already hit a snag and I haven’t even begun packing: No one seems to be happy for me.

My oldest friends, all of whom I’ve known since I was a teenager, don’t have one good thing to say about our big move.

When I say, “I’m moving to L.A.,” people seem to think I’m asking them, “What do you think of Los Angeles?”

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