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Beyond Blue

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Life Is Like a Game of Candy Land

posted by Beyond Blue

  Image credit Peggy Dembicer “Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates,” said Forrest Gump in the 1994 film. Yeah, well I think it’s more like a game of Candy Land. We’ve been averaging about three games […]

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The Cracked Pot

posted by Beyond Blue

I love this tale from India, retold here by Mary Dessein. What a beautiful way of thinking about our illness, frustrating life situations, or crosses we bear. A water-bearer carries two large pots on a yoke across his shoulders up […]

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Compulsive Hoarding and 6 Tips to Help

posted by Beyond Blue

It’s been awhile since I covered the topic of compulsive hoarding, because the last time I did I posted photos of my nut collection and book pile, and the next thing I know I was contacted by Discovery Disney to […]

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Dear God: Thank You for Easter

posted by Beyond Blue

Dear God, This is just a small thank you for coming through on your promises–especially the one assuring those who “weep and mourn” (a.k.a. depressives) that they will one day smile and laugh. (That’s your third Beatitude, right?) I remembered […]

Depression: It’s Spiritually Incorrect

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve been politically incorrect for as long as I can remember. I really should wear a sign around my neck that says “I apologize if I say something offensive,” because it feels like I am eating the soles of my […]

The Clutter and Hoarding Police: I Smell an Intervention

posted by Beyond Blue

This is one of the more popular pieces from my archives. The sad truth is that I haven’t gotten any better. Look at these photos I took the other day. Now I not only hoard books. I hoard nuts as […]

Happy Birthday, Abe!

posted by Beyond Blue

On Presidents’ Day I like to celebrate the birthday of my mental health hero. On those mornings I wake up embarrassed that I have aired my dirty laundry to the world–i.e. confessed to whomever reads my blog–that I am, in […]

Lincoln’s Blueprint for Success

posted by Beyond Blue

The reason why Lincoln’s story inspires so many people comes down to hope, says Shenk, author of “Lincoln’s Melancholy.” In the Winter 2007 Issue of the John Hopkins Depression and Anxiety Bulletin, Shenk was interviewed about the incredibly thorough and […]

I, Too, Have a Dream

posted by Beyond Blue

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.: I have a dream that one day I won’t hold my breath every time I tell a person that I suffer from bipolar disorder, that I won’t feel shameful in confessing my mental […]

The First Blog Post: My Story So Far

posted by Beyond Blue

Although I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety from the moment I was induced from my mother’s womb, I officially joined the elite club in 1989, my freshman year at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, when I went by […]

My Heroes

posted by Beyond Blue

One resolution I’m making this year is to surround myself with the people I most admire and respect. So first I had to list them and what they’ve taught me. All of the following people have endured their share of […]

Depression in the 21st Century: Enter Neurobiology

posted by Beyond Blue

The more I research and read about depression, the more questions I have about this brain disease, and the more I realize I don’t know. For example, it’s difficult to wrap my brain (no pun intended) around the “circuit-board” model […]

The Good News and Bad News About Being Highly Sensitive

posted by Beyond Blue

Continuing the conversation from yesterday about being highly sensitive … Here’s an excerpt from Aron’s book, which helps to lay out the pros and cons of a being a person who should stay away from Disney World and Toys-R-Us (as […]

Are You Highly Sensitive?

posted by Beyond Blue

In my video post I mentioned Elaine Aron’s book, “The Highly Sensitive Person.” I advise all depressives to read it, because most of you are going to be highly sensitive (which is not a bad thing at all). I was […]

The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally

posted by Beyond Blue

I wrote about The Second Agreement awhile back:  It’s been one of those days where I’ve had to consult Don Miguel Ruiz’s classic book, “The Four Agreements,” and read the chapter about the second spiritual agreement: “Don’t Take Anything Personally.” […]

Recovery, Inc. and My Aunt GiGi

posted by Beyond Blue

In my video I mentioned Dr. Abraham Low’s organization, Recovery, Inc.  For those of you not familiar with Recovery, Inc., it is a somewhat old-fashioned but very effective mental health program for persons suffering from depression and other mood disorders. […]

If You Can Dream…

posted by Beyond Blue

One reason I drag my kids to Lothian, Maryland (about 20 miles south of Annapolis) once a month to visit Fr. Joe Girzone, author of the bestselling Joshua series, is so that they believe me when I tell them that […]

10 Red Flags of an Emotional Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

Jeff Herring, a marriage and family therapist, and an internationally syndicated relationship columnist (Knight-Ridder/Tribune Media Services) identifies ten warning signs of an impending emotional affair: 1) Thinking or saying, “We’re just friends.” If you have caught yourself thinking or saying, […]

Mothering When You Are Depressed

posted by Beyond Blue

As I sit down to write my Mother’s Day post, I am filled with both tears and goose bumps. Yesterday at the park I talked to a fellow preschool mom in length about her father, who left for a loaf […]

30 Ways Motherhood Is Like a Mental Illness

posted by Beyond Blue

Motherhood provides a host of useful lessons on how to live with mental illness, and vice versa. Here are just a few things the two have in common (in my opinion, of course): 1. Five years into both of them, […]

One Artist’s Way Out of (Mild) Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

In her classic book, “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity,” Julia Cameron offers readers twelve ways to recover their sense of self or inner creativity. According to this artist, nurturing one’s creative powers is a spiritual exercise–and […]

The Feast of the Annunciation: Gabriel and Directions

posted by Beyond Blue

Since today is the Feast of the Annunciation, when Mary said “yes,” I thought I’d reprint my “yes” moment, my “Saving Grace” moment. I’m directionally impaired. Always have been. When I was four, I got lost in the hallways of […]

The Third Step Prayer

posted by Beyond Blue

God, I offer myself to Thee– to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them […]

Palm Sunday: Seeing the Big Picture

posted by Beyond Blue

Twelve years ago I sat next to an Indian man at the wedding reception of Eric’s best friend. He claimed that he was trained in the art of palm reading and asked if he could read my palm. “Ahh. Very […]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

posted by Beyond Blue

Wishing you all a lucky day. Given that today is my sobriety anniversary, I’ve always liked this prayer by St. Patrick: I bind to myself God’s power to guide me,God’s might to uphold me,God’s wisdom to teach me,God’s eye to […]

Talia Mana: How Do You Move Beyond Blue?

posted by Beyond Blue

Since we crossed a big milestone this week, I thought it would be appropriate to republish my very first interview–with Talia Mana who directs the Centre for Emotional Well-Being. She wasn’t part of the “How Do You Move Beyond Blue?” […]

Just Listen

posted by Beyond Blue

I can’t count on my hand the number of times I’ve sobbed in front of a complete stranger because it’s happened more than a hundred times. But I can count the number of times I’ve been on the receiving end […]

Love the Person, Hate the Behavior

posted by Beyond Blue

“The Way I See It #199,” on my Starbucks coffee cup Saturday morning (a quote by Berkeley Breathed, the cartoonist and creator of “Opus”): “I’m not sure about people anymore. They’re responsible for some pretty nutty stuff. Individuals I’m crazy […]

And the Oscar Goes To…Us

posted by Beyond Blue

If anyone deserves an Oscar for exceptional acting, it’s a depressive. My guardian angel, Ann, told me the other day that she has spent more than half of her life pretending to be a happy person. “People have no idea […]

The Dark Ages: January and February

posted by Beyond Blue

Last January I caught Eric underneath our dry, sagging Christmas tree with a bottle of wine in his hand. “Are you feeding the tree wine?” I asked him. “If it’s as depressed as I am, it could use some,” he […]

Defining High Sensitivity–Two Facts to Remember

posted by Beyond Blue

If you tested positive as a highly sensitive person in the self-diagnosis I posted yesterday, you may benefit from knowing more about the HSP. Here’s a good start (from Elaine Aron’s book, “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When […]

Six Strategies to Calm Yourself Down

posted by Beyond Blue

Here are some physical strategies Aron mentions if you find yourself overaroused and about to have a meltdown (like I did in Toys-R-Us). She offers psychological methods, too, but I’ve found it more helpful to start with these physical suggestions. […]

When One Door Closes…

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader, Jean, who wrote the following message on my “The ‘We’ Pronoun” post: My husband died suddenly, 3 days shy of our 15th wedding anniversary. I was 36, with children aged 9 and 13. Someone at the funeral […]

Oprah at Wellesley

posted by Beyond Blue

Click here to read Oprah’s entire 1997 commencement address to the graduates of Wellesley College. For more inspiring words for graduates, check out the gallery Beliefnet put up yesterday, based on the quotes I compiled in a previous post.

Share: What Worst Things Turned Out to Be the Best?

posted by Beyond Blue

What are some of the windows God has opened in your life when a door was slammed shut?

The Zen of Potty-Training

posted by Beyond Blue

I truly believe that the techniques used by parents to potty-train an obstinate child could, if adopted by the United Nations and NATO, lead to world peace. On a micro level, they can go a far way to tame a […]

Grant Me the Serenity to Potty-Train

posted by Beyond Blue

Last time I potty-trained a kid, I relied heavily on the Serenity Prayer, which helps me with all of life’s hurdles. Click here to read an article I wrote a few years ago, when David was the one in diapers. […]

Sandy Slaga: How Do You Move Beyond Blue?

posted by Beyond Blue

A few weeks ago, I launched my series “How Do You Move Beyond Blue?” with an interview with Gretchen Rubin, a fellow blogger who is working on the “Happiness Project.” Now I bring to you the lovely and inspirational Sandy […]

Sandy: Taking a Risk in Plain View

posted by Beyond Blue

Here is one of my favorite posts of Sandy’s blog, about her struggle of whether or not to return to a law practice. Sherrie Sisk’s guest post at Susan Carter Liebel’s blog, Build a Solo Practice, LLC, spoke to me. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Depression Is Conquerable

posted by Beyond Blue

This is why I need to be in touch with people currently battling the demons of depression: they remind me of where I was, so that in the event I find myself in that massive pile of animal waste again, […]

Treatment for Depression: Some Facts

posted by Beyond Blue

I just shared my belief that depression is conquerable. But how? Here are some treatment facts, according to “The Johns Hopkins White Papers 2007: Depression and Anxiety” by Karen L. Swartz, one of the physicians who evaluated me in Spring […]

Good News For Treatment-Resistant Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

Also from “The Johns Hopkins White Papers 2007“: “If you’re on an antidepressant and it’s not working, don’t give up on it: You may need a higher dose, a longer duration of therapy, a different drug altogether, or a combination […]

Deep Brain Stimulation For Treatment-Resistant Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

Click here to read a fascinating interview on “Medscape Today” with Helen S. Mayberg, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, about her groundbreaking research into the neurophysiologic loci of depression and the benefits of […]

The Least Harmful Addiction

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Reader Peg, who posted the following comment on the “The Happy Ending” post: “My current medicine of choice for myself is smoking about ten cigarettes a day. Before I get the health lecture, I quit twice for four […]

A Dozen Addiction Zappers and Depression Busters

posted by Beyond Blue

Lest my readers think that I’m contracted by the Dark Side (sorry, watching too much “Star Wars” lately) to encourage addictive behavior and rationalize all weakness, here are a dozen addiction zappers and depression busters I use in deficient moments […]

Love Them Anyway

posted by Beyond Blue

Even as my dad’s behavior was hurtful at times, he was easy to love–he could made me laugh in the middle of an argument with a sarcastic and hilarious aside–but I can think of a few people in my life […]

P.S. On Communication

posted by Beyond Blue

The post about my dad was my third revision. In my first draft, I hurt the feelings of a family member whom I very much love. So I revised it. And then I realized that the second revision could hurt […]

Decision Um Making

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s one clue that I might be heading back into the black abyss of depression: deciding between Ranch or Italian salad dressing has taken me longer than the time it took for the table next to Eric and me to […]

A Long, Loving Look at the Real

posted by Beyond Blue

In order to make a decision, you have to perceive a situation correctly. Which is why I’m unable to deliberate when I’m depressed: I can’t see. With the amygdala and hippocampus regions of the brain suffering cell shrinkage and death–spreading […]

We Didn’t Do Our Best

posted by Beyond Blue

I know I’ve been writing a lot about the Virginia Tech tragedy, and I promise to move on very soon, but today I can’t stop thinking about it because, for me, it points to how ignorant most people are with […]

Society Versus the Law

posted by Beyond Blue

Of course, even if we had done our best to treat Cho and killers like him, we may have seen the same outcome. Because our hands would have been tied legally. That’s why everyone I know in their twenties wants […]

Smart People Get Me Thinking

posted by Beyond Blue

I sent my “Mentally Ill, Psychopath, or Evil? I Need to Know” post to a hundred or so of my closest friends. I invited my former theology professors and past and present colleagues in Catholic publishing to weigh in on […]

The Interior Castle: With a Foundation

posted by Beyond Blue

Medical intuitive and renowned author Caroline Myss and I have a few things in common: we both have studied theology, and we were both taught by nuns. But when it comes to interpreting sacred texts, like Teresa of Avila’s classic […]

An Interview with Caroline Myss

posted by Beyond Blue

Click here to read an interesting interview with Caroline Myss by Beliefnet’s Valerie Reiss. Myss talks about her new book, “Entering the Castle,” and says you don’t have to profess poverty, chastity, and obedience to live a deeply spiritual life. […]

Mentally Ill, Psychopath, or Evil? I Need to Know

posted by Beyond Blue

Was Cho Seung Hui–the shooter identified in the Virgina Tech killings–mentally ill or irreparably evil? Did he suffer from a treatable mood disorder, or was he a psychopath unable to be helped? It’s a theological, psychological, and sociological riddle–an ugly […]

The Evil/Mental Illness Debate

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s how some prominent writers and scholars weigh in on the topic of evil versus mental illness. Thanks to freelance religion writer Andrea Useem for collecting some of these on her blog, ReligionWriter.com. The “National Review Online” published these responses: […]

Prayers of Comfort

posted by Beyond Blue

This gallery of prayers offers solace, healing, and support from several world traditions. And you can post your own prayer for the lost and bereaved of Virginia Tech on Beliefnet’s prayer circle.

More from Rachel Naomi Remen

posted by Beyond Blue

Dr. Remen, who spends her life comforting sick people, wrote this in her chapter “Just Listen” (part of “Kitchen Table Wisdom“): “One of my patients told me that when she tried to tell her story people often interrupted to tell […]

What NOT to Say (Job’s Comforters)

posted by Beyond Blue

Harold Kushner explains what NOT to say to a grieving family in his classic “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” using as an illustration the story of Job (the faithful, righteous, and pious man who loses his livestock, house, […]

Words For When I’m Wordless

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m grasping for words today. What do you write the day after the deadliest shooting in U.S. history? I can barely look at the front page Washington Post photo of the wounded being carried from Norris Hall, an academic building […]

On Hope

posted by Beyond Blue

Yesterday I mentioned my wise theology professor, Keith Egan. In an article entitled “Banishing Anxiety,” he wrote the following about hope: “Hope is a call to choose life and to choose it to the full, to live vibrantly knowing that […]

God Isn’t Random

posted by Beyond Blue

The deadliest killing spree in U.S. history happened this morning: at least 32 people killed and more than two dozen others injured during the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech (according to the latest “Washington Post” story). I’m afraid to read […]

A Bad Compassion Day

posted by Beyond Blue

My hair is in place, but boy am I having a bad compassion day! This is where I went wrong: I read an op-ed entitled “Self-Help’s Slimy ‘Secret’” by Tim Watkin in the “Washington Post.” Not a smart activity given […]

Mother Teresa’s Compassion

posted by Beyond Blue

This beautiful prayer by Mother Teresa articulates for me what pure compassion looks like. If it were shorter, I’d have it memorized. (But my spiritual hard drive has very little memory–thus, the post-its and clutter around my desk.) Dear Jesus,Help […]

Healing Words for the Season

posted by Beyond Blue

Since it is now the Easter Season (according to the church year), I thought I’d mention some words spoken by the Risen Lord that help me with my anxiety and depression: “Do not be afraid.” (Matt. 28:9) “Woman, why are […]

Finding a Doctor and Getting a Second Opinion

posted by Beyond Blue

The following passage from J. Raymond DePaulo Jr.’s book, “Understanding Depression,” was helpful to me in knowing what to look for in a doctor, and when to go for a second (and third, and fourth, and fifth, and sixth, and […]

Doctors Examine Themselves

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s a great article by Barron H. Lerner, “Doctors Examine Themselves: Books Explain How Errors Happen, How Patients Can Cope,” about two new books–“Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance” by Atul Gawande, and “How Doctors Think” by Jerome Groopman–that ran […]

Reader Response: The Happy Ending

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to readers Patricia and Lanette for asking for a conclusion to my Good Friday post. I think I’ve been reading too many fairy tales to Katherine before bed, because I’m annoyed with happy endings. That’s why I left mine […]

The Psychiatric Guide to Annapolis

posted by Beyond Blue

One of my many book ideas: “The Psychiatric Guide to Annapolis: An Atlas of Shrinks in the Sailing Capital of the World.” Do you like it? My research was quite painful. Having a medical file with almost all of the […]

When the Cure Is Not Worth the Cost

posted by Beyond Blue

What do you guys think about this op-ed piece in the “New York Times” today by Maia Szalavitz? I have an opinion, but I want to hear yours first.

Time to Grow Up

posted by Beyond Blue

I fully support Katherine’s pacifier habit. Even though her preschool teachers, grandparents, and dentist say, at age three and a half, it’s definitely time to pull the plug, part of me thinks I should let her suck away on the […]

Addiction-Breaking Aphorisms

posted by Beyond Blue

Here are some addiction-breaking aphorisms that Halpern lists in his book, “How to Break Your Addiction to a Person.” They are helpful for me not only in ending dysfunctional friendships, but in trying to stop any kind of destructive habit–like […]

Henri Nouwen on a Lost Friendship

posted by Beyond Blue

Whenever I am in “Infant Time,” thinking a person, place, thing, or situation will bring peace to my restlessness, I always hear my mom saying, “No person, place, thing, or situation can disrupt your serenity. That is up to you […]

Six Things Cancer Patients Have Taught Me

posted by Beyond Blue

As a graduate student pursuing a degree in theology twelve years ago, I took a course called Systematic Theology–by far my toughest class–by a brilliant professor who was dying of bone marrow cancer. No one knew she was dying. She […]

David Kuo on Cancer

posted by Beyond Blue

I was moved by David Kuo’s blog post about cancer (and all illness), his reaction to the news about Tony Snow’s cancer returning and spreading. David, a fellow Beliefnet blogger, has battled his own illness–a brain tumor–and speaks so candidly […]

Good Friday and the Bleeding Woman

posted by Beyond Blue

Good Friday and the narrative of the Lord’s passion will always be connected to the story of the hemorrhaging woman in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) for me, because just as I yelled out to God in the […]

Holy Thursday and Friendship

posted by Beyond Blue

Back in February, I mentioned that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to surround myself with people I admire. The person on the top of my list was Mike Leach, my writing/editing partner on several books, and a dear […]

Spiritual Friendships and the Emotional Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

Last night’s dinner conversation: “I wonder if Mike and Vickie will want to go to church with me on Friday when they’re here,” I said (as I reviewed all the services at St. Mary’s for Holy Week). “But, Sweetie, you […]

My Husband, the Reluctant Catholic

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ll be on Sirius radio, on the Catholic Channel, to discuss my Beliefnet article, “My Husband, the Reluctant Catholic,” about Eric’s (forced) conversion to Catholicism. If you’re up and alert, tune in for it on Monday at 6:40 a.m.

Reader Response: Boundaries and Guilt (A Delicious Blend)

posted by Beyond Blue

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that many more people are tuning into “Beyond Blue” and posting comments on the message boards (yeah!). The bad news is that my filing methods have not yet made […]

Reader Response: ‘Til Death Do Us Part

posted by Beyond Blue

Another Reader Question: one reader asked if she should leave her husband of 30 years (did I get that right?) because he is unsupportive of her depression. (Feel free to fill in the gaps of the situation on the message […]

Who I Want to Be

posted by Beyond Blue

Question of the day: If you were a holiday letter, what would you say? (In other words, who do you want to be?) Eric’s answer: “My house is a mess, my wife stayed out of the nuthouse, and my kids […]

Reader Response: Grab the Lifeline!

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader “No Name” for his question on the message board of my “He Was Ill” post: “My last therapist (a nun) told me that “it was my purpose in life to suffer.” I don’t buy that for a […]

Reader Response: Our Growing Support Group

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to all the readers who wrote heart-felt responses to my post on the recent suicides of comedian Richard Jeni and Brad Delp, lead singer for the band “Boston.” I’m so delighted that this blog has grown into a unique […]

Celebrity Depression, Spiritual Lessons

posted by Beyond Blue

In case you missed this gallery of celebrities, here’s what I’ve learned from those public personalities who have the courage to share their mental health struggles with the world.

Reader Responses: Thank You!

posted by Beyond Blue

Wow! Have you guys read through all the comments on my “Plucking the Seeds of Anxiety” post? They were fantastic! They brought me the combined relief of two months of therapy, two bottles of Zoloft, five hard-core workouts, three weeks […]

Recovery Inc.’s Tool Box

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks so much to reader Peg, for steering me to Recovery Inc.’s Tool Box! As I mentioned in an earlier post, my great aunt GiGi, who was one of my mental health heroes, owed her life to Recovery Inc. and […]

Catch Me on Sirius

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m going to be appearing regularly on Sirius radio, on the Catholic Channel to discuss my Beyond Blue posts that have Catholic themes. I’ll let you know when my next appearance is so you can tune in.

The Dangers of Head Sex and the Emotional Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

Believe it or not, extramarital “head sex”–the emotional bond formed with a secret lover of sorts–may be worse (at least for depression) than real sex outside a marriage, according to Peggy Vaughan, author of “The Monogamy Myth” and creator of […]

Resources for the Emotional Affair

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve found several excellent articles on the topic of emotional cheating. Here are a few of them: “Is Your Crush Harmless? 7 Signs of Emotional Cheating” by Carly Young, at LifeScript.com. “Love But Don’t Touch” by Mark Teich in “Psychology […]

Breaking Up From an Emotional Affair and Moving On

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s what the hospital therapists/nurses advised Marjorie to do about her emotional affair: 1) Since the affair had crossed that hidden and tenuous line into a physical relationship (with the kissing), she should sell her portion of their engineering business, […]

Sorry, Wrong Number

posted by Beyond Blue

I dialed a number the other day, and got the following recording: “I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the […]

Jesus Had Boundaries Too

posted by Beyond Blue

Even Jesus had to erect some boundaries. In Matthew 14:13, he withdrew from the crowd in a boat. And do you really think he fled to the desert for 40 days to fast and pray? Don’t you think maybe that […]

Plucking the Seeds of Anxiety

posted by Beyond Blue

I have ten topics in mind that I want to write about right now: the value of humor, not taking things personally, the relationship between food and mood. But those are just ways to avoid what I’m really feeling at […]

Letting Go of Anxiety

posted by Beyond Blue

Bestselling Christian author Max Lucado writes about why worry is an expensive habit and how God can help us overcome it. Click here for an excerpt from his book, “Traveling Light.”

Blue Politics

posted by Beyond Blue

Is it my imagination or is the entire White House on Prozac as of late? Don’t get me wrong, with every disclosure of a prominent and successful depressive, I dance the Macarena. But I’m just wondering if by going into […]

Dogs Versus Husbands

posted by Beyond Blue

A dog has three things on a husband: he is happy eating the same meal every night, he doesn’t talk back, and he doesn’t want sex. Which is why, on the really bad days, I prefer the company of my […]

Holy Dog?

posted by Beyond Blue

Back when Mike Leach and I were compiling “I Like Being Catholic,” I remember reading a prospective essay by a man who claimed his dog had led him to God. I immediately placed it in the “reject” pile because I […]

Everything I Know I Learned From My Greyhound

posted by Beyond Blue

One study says that people choose dogs that resemble themselves. Eileen Mitchell thinks that’s a good thing. Because everything she needed to know she learned from her greyhound. Click here to read her story.

St. Pat: Patron of Sobriety

posted by Beyond Blue

How ironic that I got sober on one of the biggest drinking days of the years. As my friends cut class to drink pints of green beer and get drunk with college boys in bars near the campus of the […]

HBO’s Addiction Project Debuts

posted by Beyond Blue

HBO’s The Addiction Project, which the network calls “an unprecedented multi-platform campaign aimed at helping Americans understand addiction as a chronic but treatable brain disease,” debuts Thursday, March 15 at 9 p.m. ET with its feature film component, titled “Addiction.”

‘He Was Ill’

posted by Beyond Blue

“One only needs to have a family member or friend with a mental illness to understand that there is nothing rational, predictable, or fair about these diseases…. He was not down or blue, he was ill.” That statement was just […]

What I Can Learn From Gov. Patrick

posted by Beyond Blue

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick must have memorized Don Miguel Ruiz’s classic, “The Four Agreements“–a book introducing the wisdom of the ancient Toltec, a Mexican tribe of scientists and artists–because it appears he’s got the first agreement down: “Be Impeccable with […]

Kitty’s Shocking Story

posted by Beyond Blue

I was so moved by these excerpts that I read from Kitty Dukakis’ memoir about her battle with depression. With the help of medical journalist Larry Tye, Kitty shares how controversial shock therapy treatments saved her life.

The Price to Serve

posted by Beyond Blue

You might want to sit down for these unpleasant statistics. According to an investigation by the “Hartford Courant“: In 2005, 22 soldiers killed themselves, accounting for nearly one in five of all Army non-combat deaths. (25 in 2003.) A number […]

Rosie, My New Best Friend

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve always loved Rosie O’Donnell for her courteous and tactful wit. But now I want to hang photos of this comedian all over my desk because, as a fellow depressive gone public, she has just made my job of educating […]

Celebrity Meltdowns

posted by Beyond Blue

If you think Britney Spears is the only one breaking down in front of the camera, read this article in Psychology Today in which Art Buchwald writes candidly about his depression and introduces a few others–like Greg Louganis, Ted Turner, […]

Reader Response: I Like Being Catholic!

posted by Beyond Blue

We’ve had quite a lively discussion on the comments board of my guilt post. It appears I’m not the only one with a guilt complex. But please let me reiterate this point: I do like being Catholic! I like it […]

Play (or Listen) the Blues Away

posted by Beyond Blue

Caught in a terrible conundrum of whether I should break my diet over New York Super Fudge Chunk or Chunky Monkey at Ben and Jerry’s yesterday, I was reading the different fliers pinned to the community bulletin board inside this […]

Treating Ills with Music

posted by Beyond Blue

I found a fascinating article by William J. Cromie in Harvard University’s “Gazette” about the different studies that have been done on music to treat a variety of different illnesses. Click here to read it.

The Healing Power of Music

posted by Beyond Blue

A singer with the popular Christian band Avalon tells how he uses faith and music to get through tough times in Beliefnet’s article “It Is Well with My Soul.”

Guilt: My Confirmation Name

posted by Beyond Blue

Thank you to reader Peg, who, in addition to her remark about Recovery, Inc., posted the following comment: “As a cradle Catholic and one who was raised in a girls’ Catholic boarding school for 10 years (from ’49 to ’59), […]

A Confession About Confession

posted by Beyond Blue

“The sacrament of Reconciliation is a place to bring all of our chaos into contact with the healing love of the Lord Jesus,” writes Kathryn J. Hermes in her excellent book, “Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach.” Several people–even my therapist […]

Ten Forms of Twisted Thinking

posted by Beyond Blue

Both David Burns (bestselling author of “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” and Abraham Low (founder of Recovery, Inc.) teach techniques to analyze negative thoughts (or identify distorted thinking) so to be able to disarm and defeat them. Since Low’s […]

Generation Me Me Me

posted by Beyond Blue

There is such a thing as having too much self-esteem. I would like to have that problem, just as I would like to say, “I must have a high metabolism or something, because I just can’t seem to gain weight. […]

Ten (or Eleven) Days to Self-Esteem

posted by Beyond Blue

Each summer I pick a project. Last year’s was to develop my self-esteem. According to David Burns, that should only take ten days. But nine months later, I’m still not there. From June to August last year, this was the […]

The Real Self

posted by Beyond Blue

Abandoning your self-esteem in an act of freedom–letting go of the false ego to find the true self–is what an Indian holy man and a pioneer in the dialogue between Christianity and eastern religions named Swami Abhishiktananda (Can you imagine […]

The Hole

posted by Beyond Blue

Consider these words by Henri Nouwen: “There is a deep hole in your being, like an abyss. You will never succeed in filling that hole, because your needs are inexhaustible. You have to work around it so that gradually the […]

Go Into the Pain?

posted by Beyond Blue

Now that I have mocked the meditation of one of the most prominent Catholic theologians of our time, let me say that I adore Henri Nouwen’s stuff. Because it is so raw and real. A friend of mine told me […]

Gibran on Pain

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of pain, I love what Kahlil Gibran writes about pain in “The Prophet“: “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. “Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand […]

No Boo Hoo in the Cube?

posted by Beyond Blue

Thank God I’m self-employed, because I just read an article by Michele Himmelberg that says it’s uncool to cry at work. During the year of my depression, that would have been like saying I wasn’t allowed to pee at work. […]

Should You Tell? By Amy Joyce

posted by Beyond Blue

Awhile back, we discussed whether or not a person should disclose depression or another mood disorder to a prospective employer. Amy Joyce wrote an excellent article on this topic in the Washington Post. She discusses several things to consider before […]

Life Balance Journal

posted by Beyond Blue

Talia reprints an excerpt from her book, “The Art of Calm,” on her blog today that describes how to keep a “life balance journal.” Using the four categories of diet, recreation, nurturing, and relaxation, Talia helps people avoid burnout, depression, […]

Ten Years

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to all of you who asked about the ruling on the motorcycle accident case for which I almost served as a juror. The defendant faces a maximum of ten years in prison. I cringed when I read this statement […]

Move With the Cheese

posted by Beyond Blue

Human beings are creatures of habit, which is why Spencer Johnson sold more than ten million copies of his book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” Business executives sit down to PowerPoint presentations based on it, and depressed patients watch the “Who […]

Merton’s Cheese

posted by Beyond Blue

The Trappist monk Thomas Merton was able to articulate in beautiful language so many of my struggles as a mentally ill person stuck in destructive thoughts and patterns. The following passage from one of his letters (published in a collection […]

When Is A Lie An Act of Love?

posted by Beyond Blue

Experiments have found that ordinary people tell about two lies every ten minutes. I don’t see how that’s possible, as I’ve been alone the last hour writing this piece (oh dear, am I making it up as I go along?). […]

Rush to Judgment

posted by Beyond Blue

I couldn’t make a racist statement to get out of jury duty. It’s just not me. And my letter failed–the one explaining that I might not be an ideal candidate, given my psychiatric history in the last year. So there […]

Craig and Britney

posted by Beyond Blue

I had just finished my article about my three biggest fears in raising a daughter today–Britney, Paris, and Lindsey–when I checked out the brilliant monologue by Craig Ferguson on YouTube. He says something like this, for all of you who […]

Reader Response: Where Do You Draw the Line?

posted by Beyond Blue

We’ve had some fantastic dialogue on the comments boards of “Mind Over Broken Leg?” “He Had It Coming,” and “Hardly a Secret.” I’ve so enjoyed reading them because I struggle with where to draw the line regarding the power of […]

Are Coincidences Mini-Miracles?

posted by Beyond Blue

While we’re on the topic of spiritual communication, I have wanted to say for some time that nothing pleases me more than to read on the various message boards notes like this: “I stumbled across your post when looking for […]

Sharing a Birthday and More

posted by Beyond Blue

Up until I reached drinking age (three years after I actually quit drinking), I hated sharing my birthday. I figured my twin sister and I got half the cash in our birthday cards as our two older sisters. But now […]

Relax…Have Fun

posted by Beyond Blue

Relax…have fun. It seems like an easy enough way to prevent and relieve depression. But my last two date nights with Eric haven’t gone so well. We spent our Valentine’s Day dinner listening to the couple next to us get […]

When You Know You’re Better

posted by Beyond Blue

The date night before Valentine’s Day was the evening Eric and I almost got shot. Again, in an effort to put our worries and responsibilities aside for a moment and have fun. Psychologists advice against talking about your kids on […]

Party On

posted by Beyond Blue

Celebrations of all kinds–but preferably without druggie gunmen and nasty brides breaking up over chocolate tortes–have been known to fire up neurotransmitters in the brain and protect brain cells in the prefrontal cortex from shrinkage and death. When people sing, […]

Hardly a Secret

posted by Beyond Blue

There’s a big secret out there–“The Secret“–waiting to be discovered by all of us who want a better, easier life. Rhonda Byrne, an Australian filmmaker, has repackaged the ancient philosophy of the “law of attraction” and the power of positive […]

What Ashes Say

posted by Beyond Blue

As an adolescent I loved wearing ashes on my forehead to cover up my oily pimples. In high school, Ash Wednesday got a toast to the beginning of those two-hour Stations of the Cross on Fridays, which shortened each class […]

Be a Nobody

posted by Beyond Blue

For me Lent is about emptying–a glass, a basket, a soul–so that it can be filled up again…with wine (or sparkling cider), peeps (think Easter basket), and hope. The forty days before Easter is one big humbling exercise–where you remind […]

He Had It Coming

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m sure glad my friend Eileen isn’t asked to give many eulogies, because they’d all sound like this: “It’s a bummer he’s gone, but he had it coming to him.” An avid disciple of medical intuitive Caroline Myss, Eileen believes […]

Confessions of a Suicidal Yogi

posted by Beyond Blue

I used to attend a weekly candlelight yoga class. Every Friday evening I would seek courage in warrior pose, stability in tree pose, and peace in lotus pose. And for what seemed like eternity I wondered, “What am I doing […]

Bad Eye Sight

posted by Beyond Blue

Today I recognize how distorted my thinking was back then, and I cringe when I read it. But like an anorexic who thinks more weight loss will make her beautiful, suicidal folks are locked on death as the solution. It’s […]

A Preschool Stress-Out

posted by Beyond Blue

No need to buy a parrot when you have an inquisitive five-year-old boy. “What does ‘stressed out’ mean, Mom?” asked David the other day. “You and Dad say it all the time.” “It means…’tired,’” I answered. “Then I’m stressed out,” […]

Monkey Brains

posted by Beyond Blue

Then again, maybe we shouldn’t blame stress on technology and taxing jobs. Maybe if we weren’t fretting over 350 e-mails in our inbox, then we’d worry about something else because we have primitive, monkey brains. In “The Emotional Brain,” Joseph […]

Talia’s Blog

posted by Beyond Blue

Yeterday I mentioned Talia Mana’s blog, and now I’ll share that she just interviewed me on blogging about depression. Her website, the Centre for Emotional Well-Being, is full of interesting research, commentary, and discussions. She and I have decided to […]

Rewiring the Brain

posted by Beyond Blue

This just in from “Time” magazine: the brain can be rewired. Replacing the dogma that the adult brain is immutable, recent research in neuroscience has discovered the brain’s capacity to change in structure and function according to experience and thoughts. […]

Mind Over Broken Leg?

posted by Beyond Blue

Okay. I get all of it. The scientific evidence that we can, in fact, change our brain with our thoughts. But this very study almost killed me last year. I tried for months and months and more months to stop […]

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

posted by Beyond Blue

I want to reiterate that I am a huge supporter of mindful meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy. It’s just that they alone weren’t able to treat my depression. Here’s a great website on mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral therapy, an effective blend between mindful […]

Cupid’s Lemonade

posted by Beyond Blue

In order to move beyond their dark days, most depressives master the lesson on how to make lemonade from lemons. For Valentine’s Day, here’s a romantic tale on just that: how a friend of mine turned an embarrassing situation into […]

Back to Reality

posted by Beyond Blue

Granted, most marriages don’t start out (or if they do, they don’t stay for long) in that Disney-type “the universe has aligned now that we’ve met and as long as we’re together there is only sunshine ahead” mentality. Which is […]

A Valentine Nightmare

posted by Beyond Blue

If preschool Valentines are any measure of a mother’s performance (which they are around here), then I’m in much better shape this year than I was the morning of my first Cupid competition. Three years ago, I was a sleep-deprived, […]

How to Read the Paper

posted by Beyond Blue

Learning to read the daily newspaper as a depressive is like learning to feed the ducks in Annapolis without getting crapped on by the seagulls: it demands good timing, a certain strategy, and an obnoxiously wide hat (to shield your […]

A Girdle?

posted by Beyond Blue

This passage from Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” is where I’m going with this wide hat, container lady, Michelin Man stuff: “You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and […]

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 wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

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 measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

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 the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

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 third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

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 is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

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

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