Anxiety and Panic

The Fear of Relapse: 5 Cognitive Tools

A reader recently wrote to me about her overwhelming fear of relapse. She said, "I'm struggling now with it, obsessing over it, and I'm so, so scared. Do I want to crawl into the hole? I fear that. But I can't. I can't."

First of all, thank you for being honest. Because so many of us know exactly how you feel. I'm there a lot of the time myself. Less than I was the...
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

5 Ways to Tackle Perfectionism

This week I have the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Russell, who writes the fantastic blog, "Practice Makes Imperfect." Since we talk about perfectionism a lot on Beyond Blue -- because it's so related to depression -- I thought she'd be a perfect guest to interrogate on this topic.

Therese: What are five ways a person can tackle perfectionism?
Michelle: Here they are ...

1. Compare yourself to others.

I know, this probably sounds surprising when the prevailing wisdom says not to....
Continue Reading

General

The 7 Laws of Boundaries

One of the classic books on how to establish better personal boundaries is "Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. This summer I brought it to the pool with me the week before our family vacations--just to help me get into better shape ... you know, given the complications of family situations--and it provoked all kinds of interesting discussions...
Continue Reading

General

Just Say No: 10 Steps to Better Boundaries

Up until recently, "No" was dirty word to me. As a stage-four people-pleaser, my vocabulary was rich with affirmatives: "yeah," "sure," "okay," "absolutely," "no problem." But my mouth just couldn't seem to form the consonant-vowel combination required to say "No," even when "Yes" was simply impossible due to time conficts or just an overdose of stress in my daily life.

I would get stuck at " alright." Which meant I was doing all kinds of things that I didn't want...
Continue Reading

A Glimpse Inside “Obsessed”: An Interview with John Tsilimparis

I'm not one to stay up and watch TV. For one, I have to practice good sleep hygiene so I can preach that message to you guys. But A&E's documentary series, "Obsessed" piqued my interest because it exposes viewers to the lives of every day folks battling OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, hoarding, and a healthy variety of phobias. The unscripted series educates the public on how one measly obsession can totally mess up a life if the biochemistry isn't controlled (of...
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Emotions and Sensitivity: An Interview with Michael Jawer

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Michael Jawer, coauthor of "The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion," which you can read about at . He is an emotion researcher and expert on "sick building syndrome" and lives in Vienna, Virginia. I found his book incredibly intriguing and comprehensive. He dabbles in every topic you have ever wondered about in relationship to depression: sensitivities to chemicals, highly-sensitive people, different types of personalities, what the brain does while...
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

The Type C Personality: Are You Susceptible to Illness?

Are you more susceptible to illness than other people? Do you have difficulty establishing proper boundaries in relationships, and communicating your needs?

You could be a Type C personality, which makes you more susceptible to illnesses, says Michael Jawer in the fascinating book he wrote with Marc Micozzi, , , called "The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion: How Feelings Link the Brain, the Body, and the Sixth Sense," which you can...
Continue Reading

Brain and Behavior

5 Ways Highly Sensitive People Can Live In an Insensitive World

The following tips are from Jenna Forrest, an empowerment coach in Durham, North Carolina who helps her highly sensitive clients to understand, refine, and embrace their sensory abilities.

1. Understand their Trait:

The sensitive must first get to know him/herself in the context of their trait. They can do this by reading books about their trait and connecting with other sensitives to share experiences. The result can be a wonderful feeling of relief...
Continue Reading

General

8 Survival Tips for the Spouse of a Terminally Ill Person: An Interview With Owen Surman, M.D.

Recently I had the honor of interviewing Owen Stanley Surman, , a practicing hospital psychiatrist known internationally for his work on psychiatric and ethical aspects of solid organ transplantation. Following the death of his wife, Dr. Surman devoted six years to writer a memoir, "The Wrong Side of an Illness: A Doctor's Love Story," which includes a deeply personal and unique view of events both tragic and transcendent. He now lives in Boston with his...
Continue Reading

Aging

What Makes Us Happy? Joshua Wolf Shenk on Happiness


In June of this year, Joshua Wolf Shenk published the fascinating essay "What Makes Us Happy?" in The Atlantic.

It was riveting.

Joshua spent about a month in the file room of the Harvard Study of Adult Development hoping to learn the secret of happiness. The project is one of the longest-running and probably the most exhaustive longitudinal studies of mental and physical well-being in history. Basically, for 72 years researchers at...
Continue Reading

Recovery From Addiction and Depression: An Interview with Vivian Eisenecher

Today I have the honor of interviewing Vivian Eisenecher, author of "Recovering Me, Discovering Joy," and a sought after speaker, mentor and writer since 1996. Her other published works include articles for "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and Woman's World. Her inspirational story has been enthusiastically received by churches, companies and corporations, national organizations and national associations. She is passionate about reducing the stigma of mental illness and substance abuse. She loves helping people meet their potential and discover joy in...
Continue Reading