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Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

August 2007 Archives

Religion and Depression: God and Key Lime Pie

posted by Beyond Blue

After Eric read the latest story about Mother Teresa’s crisis of faith, he turned to me and said, “I don’t get it. All you religious types are depressed. What came first? The depression or the religion? . . . And […]

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Mother Teresa’s Dark Night

posted by Beyond Blue

Back in 2003, Beliefnet’s Rome correspondent Father Raymond J. de Souza interviewed Brian Kolodiejchuk, the Missionary of Charity priest who is advancing Mother Teresa’s sainthood cause and the editor of the new compilation of Mother Teresa’s writings. Here are a […]

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Mother Teresa: A Prayer of Light

posted by Beyond Blue

This morning I read the following hymn in my devotional, “Magnificat.” The words could have been composed by Mother Teresa, because, like her most personal writings edited and compiled by Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C., they speak of finding the light in […]

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Feiler on Mother Teresa

posted by Beyond Blue

Fellow Beliefnet blogger and bestselling author Bruce Feiler believes that Mother Teresa’s crisis of faith makes her more human. To read his blog post about the modern saint, click here.

Mother Teresa: Hope

posted by Beyond Blue

I was moved by these words Rod Dreher wrote on his blog post about Mother Teresa: Verily, verily I say unto you, Mother Teresa of Calcutta is the patron saint for a world that has lost its ability to believe, […]

Owen Wilson: On Understanding Suicide (and Attempts)

posted by Beyond Blue

“The human heart is exquisitely fragile,” Catholic author and columnist Ron Rolheiser writes in his annual column on suicide. “Our judgments need to be gentle, our understanding deep, and our forgiveness wide.” I am grateful to reader Babs for leading […]

Owen Wilson: Media Has Gone Too Far

posted by Beyond Blue

I like what Beliefnet’s Ellen Leventry has to say about the media coverage regarding Owen Wilson’s attempted suicide. To read her blog post “Owen Wilson: Media has Gone Too Far,” click here. It begins: I am not easily offended or […]

Stars Get Depressed, Too

posted by Beyond Blue

Tony Hicks wrote an interesting article on how the public responds to reports of celebrity depression. To read his piece, “Yes, Stars Like Owen Wilson Can Hurt, Too,” click here. It begins: Shouldn’t Owen Wilson be immune to misery? He’s […]

Celebrity Depression, Spiritual Lessons (The Gallery)

posted by Beyond Blue

Click here to visit my gallery of celebrities who struggle from depression, and what spiritual lessons I’ve learned from them.

Mother Teresa: My Saint of Darkness and Hope

posted by Beyond Blue

“If I ever become a saint—I will surely be one of ‘darkness,’” Mother Teresa wrote in September of 1959. “I will continually be absent from heaven—to light the light of those in darkness on earth.” Two years earlier she wrote […]

Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith

posted by Beyond Blue

Time Magazine recently featured Mother Teresa’s crisis of faith as its cover story. Click here to read the full article by David Van Biema. It begins . . . On Dec. 11, 1979, Mother Teresa, the “Saint of the Gutters,” […]

The Saint’s Hidden Life

posted by Beyond Blue

Associated Press also covered the revelation about her dark years that the new compilation of writings, “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light,” has unearthed. You can read the story, join the Beliefnet conversation, and take a poll about feeling the […]

Optimism Vs. Hope (Again)

posted by Beyond Blue

There was an interesting dialogue on the message board of my “Optimism Versus Hope” post. Reader Larry Parker began the conversation with this differentiation between optimism and hope: Optimism is a mirage in this world (for anyone, not just those […]

Wishful Thinking and Hope

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader Babs for directing me to the Rev. Dr. Michael Foss’s commentary on wishful thinking, optimism, and hope. To download a podcast of his August 12, 2007 show dealing with this topic, click here. (Or to get to […]

Gratitude Quiz

posted by Beyond Blue

Find out how grateful you are by taking Beliefnet’s gratitude quiz (by clicking here). Do me a favor, and don’t tell me your results. Because knowing yours is higher than mine will have me in the same funk I felt […]

The Psychology of Happiness

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve mentioned psychologist Martin Seligman, author of “Authentic Happiness” (also the name of his website) and the father of positive psychology in past posts because his approach to depression and mood disorders has been helpful. Wendy Schuman of Beliefnet recently […]

When Self-Help Isn’t Helpful

posted by Beyond Blue

I was relieved to know Jane Chin, Ph.D., of Chinspirations.com agrees with my doctor that persons who are severely depressed should stay away from self-help books. On the message board on my post “What the Secret Can and Can’t Do […]

A Recipe for Happiness (Puke)

posted by Beyond Blue

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the parentheses. It’s just that I’m a realist, a grumpy one at the moment (more on David’s hour anxiety attack this morning coming this week). And I’ve never been into cooking, so I don’t believe in […]

Video: My Self-Esteem File

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve mentioned my self-esteem file in previous posts. Of all my weapons employed in the war against negative thinking, this simple exercise is among the most effective and easiest. So start one. Now. Follow these directions: 1) Get a folder […]

Buddhism and Suffering: A Tale of Death

posted by Beyond Blue

There is a Buddhist tale that the prominent meditation teacher and American Buddhist Lama Surya Das tells in his book “Letting Go of the Person I Used to Be” (I tried that, by the way, and it’s not all that […]

Choose Your Cross

posted by Beyond Blue

Along the same lines of the Buddhist tale, reader Cindy wrote the following on the message board of my “What Makes People Relapse?” post: Hello Dear Friends: I pray that each of us has better days ahead. I’d like to […]

Compassion and Prayer Requests

posted by Beyond Blue

I was moved by the post “Com+passio” by fellow Beliefnet blogger Rod Dreher, in which he writes: I’ve been reminded in the past couple of days how much intense suffering and grief we have around us. They’re going to have […]

Treatment Resistant? Read James

posted by Beyond Blue

Have you been labeled “treatment resistent”? Maybe you just haven’t found the right psychiatrist. My blogging buddy, James, wrote a great post yesterday on his process of finding the right treatment for him. He links to my post on “My […]

New Beyond Blue E-mail Sign Up

posted by Beyond Blue

Beliefnet has a cool new feature where you can sign up to receive a daily e-mail update from Beyond Blue. I have signed up for it: to remind myself what I wrote about, and to whom I owe apologies. The […]

6 Exercise Tips from My Docs

posted by Beyond Blue

Since so many Beyond Blue readers expressed the importance of exercise in their war against depression on the message board of my “Depression and Coupes” post, I thought I’d share exercise tips by Karen Swartz, M.D., one of the doctors […]

Exercise as Empowerment: Kathy Smith

posted by Beyond Blue

I don’t think workout queen Kathy Smith would have stuffed herself like I did at my sister’s farm all week. Her exercise regime is a tad different from mine, but we’re alike in this regard: exercise saved our lives! Here […]

4 Exercise Types

posted by Beyond Blue

Did you ever consider designing your workout to match your personality? You think the author of this concept has too much time on his hands? I agree with you. But interesting, nontheless. “Fine-tuning your workout based on your personal tendencies […]

Who Inspires You?

posted by Beyond Blue

Not that I want the year to be over, but Beliefnet has this cool end-of-the-year feature on the Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2007. The editors here want to know your thoughts. So be sure to check out the […]

Beyond Blue: My Depression Support Group

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s my attempt to rationalize my addiction to Beyond Blue (and maybe to the Internet): it’s my support group. Today it got the okay from my therapist. “Do you think my behavior during my week in the country when I […]

Separate for Sanity

posted by Beyond Blue

In order to be true to oneself—or (more accurately?) to avoid disaster—sometimes a person has to separate herself from those she loves in order to be able to love them (and herself) even more. I just read about that yesterday […]

Welcome to Club Depression! (Platinum Level)

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve been meaning to compile all the sentiments among you readers that thank fellow readers for being transparent (along with me), those who share their stories and wisdom on the message boards. I, of course, appreciate them. But so do […]

Don’t Play It Safe

posted by Beyond Blue

I was so inspired to read the following on reader Wendi Wright’s blog. She told me that it was all the supportive and loving messages from readers on Beyond Blue that encouraged her to write about the real her. You […]

I’m an Online Junkie

posted by Beyond Blue

It’s official. I’m not a country girl. Eight days buried in rural Cedar, Michigan, without access to high speed Internet, was just too much for my online-dependent self to bear. I’m not sure how my twin sister and I shared […]

On Silence and Listening

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader Linda who directed me to David Kuo’s blog post, “Drawing Nearer to God,” in which he writes: What strikes me over and over again about holy people is the simple persistence in doing little things – being […]

Learning to Pray (Again)

posted by Beyond Blue

My mom always tells me that when you hear something more than once, that’s God talking to you. More than a few people have asked me recently, “Do you set aside time in your day to pray or mediate?” “Yes,” […]

Prayer and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

Sr. Kathryn Hermes, a fellow depressive, writes eloquently about how to pray when you’re depressed. Click here to see Beliefnet’s gallery reprinted from her book, “Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach.” It begins this way: When you’re depressed, you may discover […]

Teresa of Avila’s Prayer

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve mentioned one of my very favorite prayers before–what is commonly referred to as St. Teresa of Avila’s Bookmark. There are very few prayers that give me peace when I’m deep in the Black Hole, and this is certainly one. […]

Beyond Blue on Yahoo

posted by Beyond Blue

Last Friday Yahoo ran a story on postpartum depression blogs out there to help moms. My blogging buddy, Katherine Stone, was featured, and she was so kind as to mention Beyond Blue as part of the story. To read the […]

Summer Vacation ’07: My Goals (Of Course)

posted by Beyond Blue

Hi Beyond Blue readers, I am on vacation today. Actually, I have been this whole week, but I was afraid that you would have abandonment issues (and find another blog that you like better) if nothing new appeared on Beyond […]

No Stress Day: Spread the Word

posted by Beyond Blue

Technically, I probably shouldn’t be blogging about “No Stress Day” while I’m on vacation. But that is the idea … to get everyone to relax more, preferably in healthy ways (massages, yoga, picnics at the park) so that they (and […]

Motherhood and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve said this in prior posts, but hopefully writing it over and over again will help me to know better how to tackle it. I hate that my depression affects my kids. Because I know it does. According to Mark […]

The Case for Family Support

posted by Beyond Blue

According to Dr. Mark Gold (who wrote “The Good News About Depression“–have I mentioned I hate that title?), a major problem in today’s society is that there is no support from extended family for depressed mothers. Gold says this: In […]

Marriage and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

Have you ever been at a wedding reception when the best man stands us and toasts his glass of champagne to the bride, who is “so much better than the last one”? An awkward silence ensues, followed by an explosion […]

Get Help for Me

posted by Beyond Blue

I write about the closest thing that Eric ever came to issuing me an ultimatum in this post, “In Sickness and in Health,” and how I went to Johns Hopkins’ Mood Disorder Clinic for him, when I was convinced nothing […]

Depression and Couples

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s an interesting article I found on the website SheKnows.com by Anne Sheffield about how depression affect couples. To read “Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples” click here. Here are some excerpts: Ask most people to conjure up […]

Mary Magdalene: Manic Depressive?

posted by Beyond Blue

My Guardian Angel Ann is a great guardian angel to my children, so, in grandparent style, she bought each of them a picture book and inscribed a message on them. She also bought Eric and me books. Mine was a […]

Kitty’s Shocking Doctor

posted by Beyond Blue

It’s not everyday that you show up to a nice swim club in Belmont, Massachusetts as someone’s guest and get to talk shock therapy with Kitty Dukakis’s doctor. My guardian angel Ann introduced me to this wonderful man as “the […]

Kitty Saved By Shock

posted by Beyond Blue

In my “Kitty’s Shocking Story” post (click here), I excerpted several paragraphs from Kitty Dukakis’ moving memoir about her battle with depression and how shock therapy treatment gave her back her life.

Shock Value

posted by Beyond Blue

There was a very informative article in the “Washington Post” on July 24 (click here to view the entire piece) about electroconvulsive therapy–how it continues to save lives, but is still controversial mostly because of the memory loss that can […]

The “Easy Way Out”?

posted by Beyond Blue

Also in the “Washington Post,” I was delighted to see the following letter to the editor regarding the Laura Zigman essay on depression I excerpted in my “The Moment She Cried Uncle” post (to read the whole essay, click here) […]

Spiritual Friendships and Angels

posted by Beyond Blue

“So let me get this straight,” a friend of a friend said to me last night. “You drove eight hours up to Boston to stay with a woman you met on an Amtrak train two years ago, and with whom […]

The Tale of the Peacemaker

posted by Beyond Blue

At time throughout my life, I have relied on my spiritual friends–Mike (my writing mentor), Ann (my guardian angel) and others–to show me who I can be if I only dust off the dirt on my the mirror. When I […]

My Story on Postpartum Progress

posted by Beyond Blue

My blogging buddy, Katherine Stone, who produces the most popular blog on postpartum depression, called “Postpartum Progress,” featured my story today. If you want some background information on how I became a platinum-level member of Club Depression, visit her site […]

Meditation 101: No Bird Nest

posted by Beyond Blue

I was sorry to see Beliefnet’s other woman blog, “Chattering Mind,” come to an end because 1) I learned much of my blogging techniques and tricks from Amy Cunningham (when Beliefnet launched Beyond Blue, my very smart editor told me […]

Increase Your Concentration

posted by Beyond Blue

In the spirit of Amy’s blog, “Chattering Mind,” I found this helpful article at dailyom.com on quieting the monkey mind. It’s been called the monkey mind – the endless chattering in your head as you jump in your mind from […]

Is Depression Like Cancer?

posted by Beyond Blue

There’s an interesting discussion on the message boards of my “Relapse: The Waiting Place” post and “What Makes People Relapse?” post about whether or not a person can fully recover from depression. Is depression like cancer … in that we […]

Depression and Brain Tumors

posted by Beyond Blue

Just yesterday I was talking to my fellow Beliefnet blogger David Kuo about the similarities between brain tumors and depression. I don’t have to worry about my growth turning malignant as much as he does, but we both agreed that […]

Optimism Versus Hope

posted by Beyond Blue

Reader Larry Parker is always posting interesting comments. I was intrigued by the distinction he makes (with Patton Dodd) between optimism and hope, and the comparison he makes between depression and cancer. He shares on the message board of “Relapse: […]

Optimism and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

In his comment, Larry highlighted some points made by Patton Dodd, who wrote Beliefnet’s “Optimism Is Depression,” (click here) about the distinction between optimism and hope. The article begins . . . Long before “The Secret” had readers talking about […]

Enough with the Gratitude!

posted by Beyond Blue

Even as I’m not very good at it, I know that gratitude is important and can help a person beat depression. Based on her research findings, University of California psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky believes that keeping a gratitude journal–taking the time […]

Quotes on Gratitude

posted by Beyond Blue

By clicking here, you’ll find some great quotes on gratitude. Among them: “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” –Meister Eckhart “Find the good – and praise it.” –Alex Haley “Gratitude is […]

Spare Me the Platitudes

posted by Beyond Blue

I was so refreshed by the candid comment of reader Margaret and so many others on my “They Just Don’t Get It” post. Margaret’s insights deserve an entire post because she hit on so many emotions that depressives feel but […]

Whining Welcome on Beyond Blue!

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Reader “?” (formerly known as Liz … are you related to Prince?) who posted this comment on the message board of my “The Carnival of Depression and Bipolar Disorder“: I went to Liz Spikol’s site [by the way, […]

Social Phobia Rears Its Head

posted by Beyond Blue

I didn’t used to have social anxiety or “phobia” back when I was drinking. Mingling came quite naturally during a good vodka buzz. But professional networking in a large room of strangers is very difficult to do stone sober. Even […]

Postpartum Progress

posted by Beyond Blue

Also at BlogHer I met a soulmate in Katherine Stone. She writes a fabulous blog on postpartum depression. In fact, it’s the most visited site on postpartum issues. Katherine spoke at a workshop I attended about blogs becoming a voice […]

Fertility Problems and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader Tina who mentioned her miscarrage as a possible trigger for her recent relapse into depression on the message board of “Relapse: The Waiting Place.” Just as depression is often triggered by a birth (postpartum depression), it happens […]

BlogHer ’07: Estrogen City

posted by Beyond Blue

If you want to visit a place so packed with estrogen that women pass out maxipads with business cards (not really) and your free tote bag is loaded with lotions, makeup, and body gels (really), plan to attend next year’s […]

What Do You Want from Me?

posted by Beyond Blue

Reflecting on what I learned at BlogHer about striking a balance between community feedback and my own story, I thought I’d turn to you, my trusted Beyond Blue readers, for direction. What do you think? Please weigh in by posting […]

Experience Project

posted by Beyond Blue

While at BlogHer I learned about the Experience Project. EP allows users to anonymously tell their life experiences and stories and connect with other users that share those same experiences. They have a great deal of content around depression and […]

Guardian Angel Reunion

posted by Beyond Blue

Dear Beyond Blue readers, I can guarantee you that you are in fact at a better place in life than I am at this moment. Because I am currently driving eight hours up to Boston in a medium-sized car with […]

Amtrak and Guardian Angels

posted by Beyond Blue

For new Beyond Blue readers, click this post, “My Guardian Angel Ann,” to read about how I met my guardian angel.

Richard’s Toolbox

posted by Beyond Blue

Reader Richard shared with me in a recent e-mail his toolbox, four ways he tries to stay sane. Some of ours overlap, but he has a different way of saying them that might help you: 1. Congruency of my faith […]

Relapse: The Waiting Place

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to an anonymous reader on my “Is It a Relapse?” post who wrote: This is a great article! However, what have you done that helped you to come out of it since? I was hoping to read on and […]

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

posted by Beyond Blue

This is perhaps the best expression of depression I can find. Of course, a children’s book. From “Oh, The Places You’ll Go,” by Dr. Seuss: I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen […]

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“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 »

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