Advertisement

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

May 2007 Archives

Oprah Is Now My Friend: Her Show on Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

I hereby apologize for my anti-Oprah remarks in past posts. Until last week’s show on depression I didn’t realize all the support she offers (online chat rooms and tons of resources via her media kingdom, which starts at www.oprah.com) to […]

Advertisement

Morning Has Broken for Phil

posted by Beyond Blue

On Wednesday’s show Oprah also interviewed Phil Aronson, husband of Emme Aronson, formerly the world’s leading plus-size super model and Revlon cover girl. I think his story is important to tell too because our society often thinks of depression as […]

Advertisement

Mars and Venus in Tears: Men, Women, and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

On Oprah’s website, I found this interesting article about the difference in symptoms between women and men who suffer from depression: According to psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz, author of “Anatomy of a Secret Life,” major depression and dysthymia affect twice […]

Advertisement

Two Oprah Support Groups

posted by Beyond Blue

Oprah lists several resources on her website for people struggling with mood disorders. Two online support groups that she offers are the bipolar support group (click here), and the dealing with depression and on meds support group (click here).

Defining Major Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

For readers like “Citizen,” I think it’s important to list the symptoms of major depression covered by the DSM-IV (the current edition of the Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) published by the American Psychiatric Association. According to the DSM-IV, a […]

Complicated Grief Versus Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

In the same Johns Hopkins White Papers on Depression and Anxiety, Karen Swartz, the Director of the Affective Disorders Consultation Clinic, distinguishes between “complicated grief” (also called traumatic grief), which occurs in approximately 10 to 20 percent of bereaved persons, […]

Criteria for Depression Are Too Broad, Researchers Say

posted by Beyond Blue

Click here to read Shankar Vedantam’s entire “Washington Post” article on the new guidelines for diagnosing depression. It begins: Up to 25 percent of people in whom psychiatrists would currently diagnose depression may only be reacting normally to stressful events […]

Weight Gain and Medication: Q & A With Sanjay Gupta, M.D.

posted by Beyond Blue

Awhile back a reader asked if I would address the topic of weight gain as a side effect of medications. She feels less depressed now, but is struggling with the excess weight. In the Winter 2007 Issue of the Johns […]

Depression or Life?

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader “Citizen” who posted the following question on my “Labor Pains” post: How do you distinguish depression from ordinary feelings, if it isn’t as obvious as what you have described? Separating clinical depression from the sadness and normal […]

Pentecost: Get On Out There!

posted by Beyond Blue

The most meaningful religious holiday for me doesn’t involve a fat, jolly man sliding down a chimney, or a life-size rabbit hiding baskets of jellybeans. It’s a feast that usually gets overshadowed by Memorial Day picnics and graduation parties. The […]

The Pentecost on Sirius

posted by beyond blue

I will be discussing my interpretation of the Pentecost on Sirius radio, on the Catholic Channel, Tuesday morning at 6:40 a.m. If you’re up, tune in! Thanks to reader Wayde who said he tuned in last time!

Poor Body Image: Depression’s Evil Twin

posted by Beyond Blue

What is the worst possible question you could ask a woman with a history of an eating disorder (or any female, but especially a female with body-image issues)? I’ll give you a hint—it’s three words long and ends with an […]

It’s Time For…Name That Demon!

posted by Beyond Blue

When Ed is around, my brain abandons all logic and thinks like this: If the Chinese government won’t allow anyone with a BMI of over 40 to adopt their babies, then I should be less than half of that. Preferable […]

The Un-Diet

posted by beyond blue

Read Susan Karas’s wonderful piece, “The Un-Diet,” on how she overcame her self-consciousness about her weight by clicking here.

What Doesn’t Kill You

posted by Beyond Blue

Albert Camus once said, “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” And Carl Jung said, “There is no coming to consciousness without pain.” During the year of my depression, I would have replied, “Please shoot me then, because I never […]

Zorba the Greek and Butterflies

posted by Beyond Blue

I found this beautiful excerpt on butterflies from “Zorba the Greek” by Nikos Kazantzakis: I remember one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the back of a tree just as a butterfly was making a hole in its case […]

Labor Pains

posted by Beyond Blue

Depression is a lot like childbirth. Once you’ve climbed out of the Black Hole (i.e. are holding your newborn in your arms) you forget (at least temporarily) about all the cursing you did during the labor that got you there. […]

God Gives You Only What You Can Handle–You Think?

posted by Beyond Blue

I laughed out loud when I read reader Tammy’s remark on my “Gretchen Rubin: How Do You Move Beyond Blue?” post: “I know that God will not give me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn’t trust […]

Go Ahead, Wrestle With God

posted by Beyond Blue

I think God wants us to get mad at him. It means we’re in a living, normal relationship with him. Catholic author Ronald Rolheiser goes so far to say that wrestling with God is a form of prayer. In his […]

Love the Questions

posted by Beyond Blue

Jim McDermott, associate editor at “America” magazine, recently invited me and others (lawyers, artists, peace activists, academics, religious leaders) to contribute a piece of advice for college graduates that he published in a special education issue. This is what I […]

Advice for Graduates and Depressives

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of advice for graduates, here are a few passages from recent commencement addresses that I found especially meaningful. From them I gleaned many insights on how to live more gracefully with depression and anxiety. Toni Morrison at Wellesley College, […]

Enough About Me: On Self-Indulgence

posted by Beyond Blue

“Enough about me. What do you think about me?” Does that sound familiar? You know the type of self-absorbed person I’m talking about. And I really try not to be her. That’s precisely why I didn’t write about myself for […]

Self-Indulgence and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

I thought reader Becky made an excellent point with regard to self-indulgence and depression in her comment on the “Unrealistic Expectations: Perfection’s Trophy Wife” post: I’m having a very hard time seeing what in this post would prompt criticisms of […]

Give Up on Being Perfect

posted by Beyond Blue

In “Being Perfect,” bestselling author Anna Quindlen advises high school and college graduates to work from a clean slate … to give up on being perfect. I keep the gift book beside my computer (with Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” […]

More On the Second Agreement

posted by Beyond Blue

From Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements“: Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally…. If I see you on the street and I say, “Hey, you are so stupid,” without knowing you, it’s not about you; it’s about me. If you […]

Lean on Me and Hinei Ma Tov

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m pretty sure that I won’t get too many more opportunities to sing the “Mourner’s Kaddish Prayer” (Yit-gadal v’yit-kadash sh’mey raba…) right before the lyrics of “Moon River” (“Moon River, wider than a smile…”) and say the prayer of “Hinei […]

The “We” Pronoun

posted by Beyond Blue

Yesterday I popped in on Bill to see how he was doing. I suspect the week after the funeral is the hardest, when all the company has left, and you’re there among her dresses and jewelry and paintings and books, […]

‘Spiritually Incorrect’ on Sirius

posted by Beyond Blue

I will be discussing my post from last Friday, “Depression: It’s Spiritually Incorrect” on Sirius radio, on the Catholic Channel, Wednesday morning at 6:40 a.m. If you’re up, tune in!

Mrs. Smiley and Her Cool Flip-Flops

posted by Beyond Blue

I learned a very important lesson about jealousy driving back from J. C. Penny’s last night. David and Katherine had just picked out 15 new pairs of underwear (I’m on day three of potty training Katherine, if you hadn’t already […]

Unrealistic Expectations: Perfectionism’s Trophy Wife

posted by Beyond Blue

If perfectionism is a crippling bastard, then unrealistic expectation is his obnoxious trophy wife. The two are disgustingly inseparable, and their full-time job is manufacturing anxiety inside a depressive’s head. Take this morning’s breakfast in my household. Eric practically hyperventilated […]

On Reaching Out

posted by beyond blue

Thanks to reader TJ Muktoyuk who asked, “How do I learn to reach out for help?” TJ, as long as you don’t expect everyone to understand (I’m speaking mostly of non-depressives), I think you can reach out in a variety […]

I Move When I Meditate

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of races, triathlons, and contaminated Annapolis water, I was so relieved to read Charles Henderson’s article on how long distance running can be an important spiritual practice, because, here’s my confession: I can only meditate when I’m moving. The […]

Bishop Battles Depression–and Its Stigma

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s an excellent article written by Douglas Todd for Religion News Service about Archbishop Roussin’s depression and how he is fighting for better understanding of mental illness within religious communities. Once again, Roussin is my hero! Archbishop Raymond Roussin remembers […]

Down Came the Rain

posted by Beyond Blue

I mentioned in my “Celebrity Depression, Spiritual Lessons” gallery how Brooke Shields’ memoir, “Down Came the Rain,” gave me permission to cry all I wanted, especially in the months after I started breastfeeding Katherine, when I started to sink into […]

Gretchen Rubin: How Do You Move Beyond Blue?

posted by Beyond Blue

Gretchen Rubin and I are on the same mission: to find peace and happiness for ourselves and to spread it to others. The only difference between us, I think, is that 1) I couldn’t find the part where she has […]

Seven Tips for Making Yourself Happier

posted by Beyond Blue

Every Wednesday is Tip Day on Gretchen’s blog. I might actually start a similar feature myself, but on Tuesday’s (“Tuesday’s Tips” sounds catchy, no?). Let me know if you’d like to see a regular feature like this on Beyond Blue. […]

I Dreamed I Was a Ballerina

posted by Beyond Blue

As I read the story “I Dreamed I Was a Ballerina” by Anna Pavlova to Katherine last night, I couldn’t help but think about my dream of becoming an inspirational writer–how that dream energizes me in the face of depression, […]

Writers (and All Artists) as Ex-Suicides

posted by beyond blue

I mentioned in my “Depression–The Full Monty” post that one way of triumphing over despair is by an act of kenosis, or self-emptying. As Soren Kierkegaard would say, of becoming “transparent under God.” This is what Walker Percy means when […]

An Instruction Book for Depressives

posted by Beyond Blue

I usually read other writers’ biographies in the same way that I ride a roller coaster–with my hands over my eyes, but peeking every now and then–because I sort of want to know what’s coming next, and I sort of […]

Desiderata

posted by Beyond Blue

Here is the text of “Desiderata,” the timeless classic (found in Old St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore, which was founded in 1692, and thought to have been written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann) that hung in the laundry room of […]

Honest to God

posted by Beyond Blue

I go to confession once a month, where I sit down at the City Dock Café in Annapolis across the table from Deacon Moore (one of my older, balding male friends), and I tell him everything I’m feeling guilty about. […]

Charity Confessions

posted by Beyond Blue

Deacon Moore is the same guy who assured me that visiting my mother-in-law as often as possible with the kids, and trying to help her out when I can, qualifies as legitimate charity work–that goodwill starts at home, and sometimes […]

What If? A Doctor’s Note of Hope

posted by Beyond Blue

My heart goes out to reader Nancy, who posted the following message on my “Depression Is Conquerable” post: “I read with interest your posts about depression. I have been a long-time sufferer–since I was a child–of major depression as well […]

Find a Therapist

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of helpful mental health practitioners, I wanted to mention Beliefnet’s very cool new tool “Find a Therapist,” powered by “Psychology Today.” I hope you don’t need it (you know, I wish you peace), but if you do, there it […]

Q&A on Deep Brain Stimulation and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

I mentioned Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) the other day, but the link to the article on it required a password. Sorry about that. Here are some excerpts from an interview with Helen S. Mayberg, M.D., professor of psychiatry and neurology […]

Perfectionism: Ring the Bells

posted by Beyond Blue

I recently dragged my kids to Baltimore so that I could have lunch with an old colleague (he’s young…but we’ve known each other for 13 years) at the National Catholic Education Association convention. A gifted writer and speaker, my friend […]

“Anthem” Lyrics

posted by Beyond Blue

Here are some more of the lyrics from Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”: “The birds they sang at the break of day Start again I heard them say Don’t dwell on what has passed away or what is yet to be. Ring […]

Even Saints Aren’t Perfect

posted by Beyond Blue

I have a magnet on my refrigerator that reads “Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you’re an a—hole.” It’s a gentle but effective reminder that on those days that I manage to piss off every person around me, God […]

Depression–The Full Monty

posted by Beyond Blue

What do the Christian existential thinker Soren Kierkegaard and the movie “The Full Monty” (the 1997 flick about six unemployed steel workers who form a male striptease act) have in common? Let me tell you. Kierkegaard described despair as not […]

I Am Who Am and Repairing the World

posted by Beyond Blue

There are three words in Hebrew that mean essentially “the full monty.” They are “Ehyeh asher ehyeh,” translated as “I am who am” (or “I-shall-be that I-shall-be”), the response God gave Moses when he asked for his name. My theology […]

The Real Live Preacher’s Depression–Full Monty Style

posted by Beyond Blue

Ever since my friend helped forge the connection between Kierkegaard’s act of kenosis, or self-emptying (in my case sharing with the world my story of depression and recovery) and “The Full Monty,” I’ve been on the lookout for other flashers […]

Chris Rose’s Depression—Full Monty Style

posted by Beyond Blue

Another poignant testimony is the 4,500-word article entitled “Hell and Back” by Chris Rose, a columnist for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, who reported on the post-Katrina life, and, as a result, got sucked down the “rabbit hole” (as he […]

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an 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 ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When 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 ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One 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 ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For 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 ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.