Beyond Blue

Infatuation“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the lyrics of a country song: without a wife, job and truck. So how do you reign in this powerful beast? Here are a few suggestions.

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When Faith Turns NeuroticWhen does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness and piety can disguise acute anxiety and depression.

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Negative PeopleOne of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we actually become like the people we surround ourselves with. We take on their qualities, even as we see they are destructive. Negative people, in particular, prevent us from making positive changes in our life. Here, then, are some suggestions on dealing with a negative friend or relative in order to preserve your sanity.

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holiday-thereseFor people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed foods, force her into social gatherings at which she’s not feeling the love, and you have what we call “holiday blues.” Some depression during the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years is inevitable. We just have to suck it up. But there are strategies to prevent you from a full-blown breakdown.

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