Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Brainfood

You are what you eat?

Maybe so.

In the everlasting quest for mind health, there is a growling connection to body health. Body health entails more than feverishly pumping weights at your local gym; it means consuming heart-healthy and, more importantly, mind-healthy foods.

“Mind-healthy foods? What are those?” you ask.
Continue Reading

Bipolar

Feeling Sad? Get in Touch with the Holidays

My great grandmother who lived to be 102 said the best medicine for unhappiness was to get busy. When Gram lost her mojo, she’d ironed, washed windows and made beds.

People often get depressed around major holidays. They might miss deceased loved ones. They might long for the fun and excitement of the holidays of their youth. They might be alone. They might be affected by the fall/winter darkness. If you’re struggling with major depression, see a doctor. But if you’re just a little unhappy, I have a fix that might work for you.
Continue Reading

Depression

Can Life’s Comforts Can Make You More Depressed?

As a late teenager, I went through a bout of depression where I could sleep 24-hours straight, waking up only to use the bathroom. I had a stable circle of friends, was respected in school by peers and teachers and was active in many school organizations and was loved by my family.

Like anyone who experiences depression, the feeling of depression is exhausting and depleting and doesn’t turn off like a light switch. It was a long journey to unravel all the internal pain and like a bad memory, the feeling doesn’t just go away. I’m now in my 30’s and I feel that a lot of my depression stems from comparing my life to others. My ego often gets in the way of my own happiness, but I use small things to remind myself that I have joyous things and experiences in my life to celebrate.
Continue Reading

Interview

On Retreat with B. Alan Wallace Part Two: I’m Exhausted — Why is That?

This article is Part Two in a series, click to read Part One: "Getting Mindfulness Right: Expert B. Alan Wallace Explains Where We Are Going Wrong."
B. Alan Wallace made a big statement during the retreat -- that he hardly ever feels exhausted. He has a demanding schedule by any standard, traveling the world teaching, speaking and collaborating on significant issues -- but without exhaustion.

This immediately had my full attention: how did he explain this? In my late teens and early twenties my mother would light heartedly end my sentences for me when she asked me how I was -- because I would often answer "absolutely exhausted." What could I learn?
Continue Reading

Borderline Personality

A Letter to My Borderline Brain

Dear Borderline brain,

I know you want to go to the hospital. I know. But you are okay, you are not in crisis, and you do NOT need to be there. There will be times that you do. You remember the boy who cried wolf? This is important. Are you listening to me? It’s nice to have people take care of you, but please remember that people ARE taking care of you. Your therapist and your psychiatrist and your nutritionist and your outpatient program leader are always on your team. They are not going anywhere.
Continue Reading

Habits

Getting Mindfulness Right: Expert B. Alan Wallace Explains Where We Are Going Wrong

How many of us found our inner self critic was triggered by this headline?

When I first heard that long time mindfulness teacher and former Tibetan Buddhist monk, B. Alan Wallace who was ordained by the Dalai Lama, with degrees in physics, the philosophy of science and religious studies was leading a retreat on “getting mindfulness right” in my home town of Melbourne I immediately wondered -- what was I doing wrong? Cue my self critic!
Continue Reading

General

How to Reject Rejection: Ice Cream Not Included

“It’s not you; it's me,” she coos. You grimace, swallowing the bitter words.

From romance to career advancement, rejection is a cold, cruel mistress. It pierces our identity, plunging us into a well of despair. We question our value, lamenting life’s unfairness. Even cruelty. Some people internalize its pain while others lash out on an unsuspecting family member or significant other.

The common denominator: You were wronged. And it hurts.

But instead of sulking or scowling, here are strategies to compartmentalize rejection for what it is: a temporary setback.
Continue Reading

Depression

5 Self-Care Tips During Recovery from a Suicide Attempt

When the police and paramedics opened the door, they pushed through the lounger, the kitchen and coffee tables, and found my body there, in the hotel room. I was lying on my back, covered in vomit. There was vomit on the bed, on the floor, and it had projected up the wall behind me and covered a massive picture that hung behind the bed. Those who found me thought it was a murder scene. Apparently the pink Benadryl pills, along with the tens of thousands of other milligrams of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications I took, made it look like blood. They thought I was dead and I should have been. I wanted to be. I had been unconscious nearly twelve hours.
Continue Reading

Aging

On Confidence

There are several reasons my confidence quotient is low.

1. I've been battling breast cancer. And this beast can really take it out of you. Not knowing if I'm going to live or die kind of zaps the ole confidence, I must say. Yesterday, I saw my oncologist for my three-month check-up. She gave me a clean bill of health, but I still have my doubts. I can't help but imagine that the cancer cells are still there, lurking until the next time I think I'm just so exhausted from the whole cancer experience that everything about me is low -- my outlook, my physical energy level, my cognitive ability, and especially, my confidence.
Continue Reading

Friends

Why Am I Uncomfortable Getting Close to People?

Many of us are hesitant to get emotionally close to others. Getting close means sharing feelings, thoughts, wishes and dreads. Getting close means sharing your true self, flaws and all, with someone else who totally accepts us.

Many people, who are hesitant to get close to others, wish they were not hesitant. They yearn for intimacy. They yearn to be known. And, they feel lonely.

But, closeness can be uncomfortable  --  not only mentally but physically as well.
Continue Reading