Advertisement

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Bio

The “Astronut”

posted by Beyond Blue

Sometimes the headlines can work to your advantage. Take the bizarre story about the astronaut love triangle. After reading how Lisa Nowak (a Naval Academy grad) drove cross-country in diapers, I thought to myself, maybe I’m more normal than I […]

Advertisement

An Inconvenient, Depressing Truth

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve never been so excited to freeze my buns off. Ever since the temperatures dropped into the single digits (with wind chill) a few days ago, I’ve been dancing around the house in my Irish wool sweater singing, “We’re not […]

Advertisement

Robertson and Global Warming

posted by Beyond Blue

By the way, Pat Robertson says he now believes in global warming.

Advertisement

Reader Response: Beyond Despair

posted by Beyond Blue

My heart bleeds for reader Kate after reading her despondent comments on this post. You say that no one could understand your despair. I have no doubt you feel completely alone in your battle. But I’m pretty sure a few […]

Honey, I Think It’s Time!

posted by Beyond Blue

I wish psychiatrists sent depressives home with instructions on when to go to the hospital similar to the ones obstetricians give to pregnant women once they reach 37 weeks of gestation: when your contractions last for a minute each and […]

Some Symptoms or Signs to Look For

posted by Beyond Blue

Here is what J. Raymond DePaulo Jr., M.D. says about hospitalization in his book, “Understanding Depression“: “The need for hospitalization arises if a person is endangered because he or she is suicidal, or so paranoid or so irritable that he […]

Reader Response: Should He Tell?

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to reader Rich for his question about how much to disclose about mental health in a job interview. If he’s going for a position in a psychiatric unit, he asked, is it okay to tell them about the mental […]

Jury Duty

posted by Beyond Blue

Maybe the general public (and especially the U.S. government) isn’t as wigged out by mental illness as I thought. Surely a letter to the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County stating that I had been hospitalized within the year for […]

Not Just a Fever

posted by Beyond Blue

Two boys went to bed with fevers last night. One is dead. The other is my David. I have to wonder if the guardian angels are vacationing in Florida this month, because too many little guys have fallen asleep for […]

When Crap Befalls Decent Folk

posted by Beyond Blue

Whenever I hear of a story like I did today about the seven-year-old dying in his sleep, I always go back to Harold Kushner’s classic “When Bad Things Happen To Good People.” Now, remind me again, good Rabbi, why does […]

Prayers on the Death of a Child

posted by Beyond Blue

At the Burial of a Child O God, whose beloved Son did take little children into his arms and bless them: Give us grace, we beseech thee, to entrust this child ___ to thy never-failing care and love, and bring […]

Approval Ratings

posted by Beyond Blue

One of the unfortunate things about “coming out” as a depressive is that any enemy in your past can rightfully say, “Aha! See? I knew she was crazy.” I was not well liked at my first job out of school. […]

God Places

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m a pilgrimage kind of gal. Throughout my life, I’ve flocked to places marked with divine fingerprints: Lourdes, France, where the muddy hole Bernadette Soubirous dug 150 years ago became a river of healing waters; Mexico City, home to the […]

Mother of Sorrows

posted by Beyond Blue

One Bible verse disturbs me more than any other. It’s not the one telling me to sell my laptop computer and king-size bed because “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for […]

Your Sorrow Is My Sorrow

posted by Beyond Blue

The following passage is from one of my favorite authors, Joyce Rupp, in her book “Your Sorrow Is My Sorrow,” about the seven sorrows of Mary: “Our Simeon messages are invitations to live each day gratefully and to enter each […]

I Pray For Dawn

posted by Beyond Blue

If I counted up all the minutes I’ve spent staring into a flame, I wonder how many years of my life that would be. Certainly more than the hours I’ve spent brushing my teeth or combing my hair. It would […]

Staying Well When You’re Sick

posted by Beyond Blue

“A family that vomits together stays together.” That’s a modification from Father Peyton’s famous line–“A family that prays together stays together”–and sums up our Thanksgiving two years ago, when the whole family (parents and both little virus transporters) caught a […]

My 12-Step Program

posted by Beyond Blue

“What did you do to get well?” a good friend of mine, who is currently wrestling the demons of depression, asked me the other day. I paused before replying. How do I tell her the truth? That I worked at […]

Dear God

posted by Beyond Blue

Dear God, It’s me, Therese (not Margaret). I hate to be a white, whiny, ungrateful pest (I’ve been called that before). Really, I do. But I’m feeling a bit like Job (you know, from your instruction book, the Bible). First […]

Beyond Blue Balls

posted by Beyond Blue

Eric wants to call this blog “Beyond Blue Balls.” That’s his way of saying two things: I’m working too much at night, and I’m not meeting his physical needs. If he compared notes with other husbands of sleep-deprived mothers, he […]

Reclaiming Desire

posted by Beyond Blue

Eric strongly suggested I order of copy a “Reclaiming Desire: Four Keys to Finding Your Lost Libido,” written by Andrew Goldstein, M.D., and Marianne Brandon, Ph.D., cofounders of the Sexual Wellness Center here in Annapolis, Maryland (I can’t use the […]

Open Your Heart and Mind

posted by Beyond Blue

Try to find your mojo as you listen to this meditation by Gina Ogden, author of “The Heart and Soul of Sex: Making the ISIS Connection.”

Depression Is a Disease

posted by Beyond Blue

If I collected a nickel for every uninformed statement I’ve heard about mental illness, I could afford my own psych ward–an entire wing of a hospital. Here are some of my favorites: “People with mental illness are not the only […]

The Pit

posted by Beyond Blue

While we’re on the topic of brain anatomy, have I mentioned my tumor? It’s a benign growth in my pituitary gland. Be careful what you pray for. During the year of my depression, I got down on my knees every […]

You Go Girl

posted by Beyond Blue

Maybe it’s because I’m mentally ill myself that I find the behavior of “American Idol’s” contestants perfectly normal. Even if the early audition crowd does suck–if they are “humiliations set to music” (according to a “Washington Post” article)–more power to […]

You Sort of Complete Me

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s a Newsweek interview with Jennifer Crocker, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan who focuses on self-esteem issues, regarding the treatment of contestants on “American Idol.” She believes that the judges’ criticism “can hurt people’s self-esteem temporarily […]

Art Buchwald: A Blues Brother

posted by Beyond Blue

Last Wednesday a friend of mine died. He was one of the most successful newspaper columnists of his time, the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, and a comic genius. But I appreciated Art Buchwald most as one of the three […]

In Art’s Words

posted by Beyond Blue

Art Buchwald wrote the following as an introduction to a fantastic article in “Psychology Today” (Nov, 1999) called “Celebrity Meltdown: Famous, Important People Who Have Suffered Depression.” “I had two depressions, one in 1963 and the other in 1987–the first […]

In Good Company

posted by Beyond Blue

We’re in good company! Here’s just a preliminary list of famous people who have struggled with mental disorders. Even more are found in the same “Psychology Today” article for which Art Buchwald wrote an introduction. H-HospitalizedSA-Suicide AttemptS-Suicide Public Figures Barbara […]

Are We Geniuses?

posted by Beyond Blue

In her introduction to “Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament,” psychologist and writer Kay Redfield Jamison writes this: “‘We of the craft are all crazy’ remarked Lord Byron about himself and his fellow poets. ‘Some are affected […]

Lies, Lies, Lies

posted by Beyond Blue

I always knew that a person had to be without disabilities to work (I’m self-employed) or have health-insurance coverage (I’m on Eric’s company plan). But I was reminded today–while renewing my driver’s license–that you also need to be perfect in […]

Year of the Pig

posted by Beyond Blue

According to the Chinese calendar, 2007 is (quite fittingly) the Year of the Pig. This Communist country is getting quite picky with who is allowed to adopt their babies. All persons taking antidepressants are out. But don’t feel bad, fellow […]

God Doesn’t Use Labels

posted by Beyond Blue

I try not to worry too much about discriminations and uninformed labels here on earth because I know the Kingdom of God is stereotype-free. I was reminded of that as I sang the beautiful lyrics to “One Bread, One Body,” […]

Abusive Relationships and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to a reader, Jennifer, for her comment on how Eric’s intolerance for clutter could be seen as controlling. It made me think of the correlation between abusive relationships and depression. While I’m happy to report that my marriage is […]

In Sickness and In Health

posted by Beyond Blue

Yesterday a friend e-mailed me this: “On Wednesday, I will leave my husband of twelve years. He is a depressive. He uses prescribed medication and has available to him a phalanx of good therapists. But he also self-medicates with alcohol. […]

Depression and Couples

posted by Beyond Blue

I found this interesting article on how depression affects couples: “Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples.”

St. Peter’s Tool

posted by Beyond Blue

Clearing clutter has got to be the number one tool used by God’s watchdog of the pearly gates (St. Peter) to distinguish the advanced souls on earth–the Dalai Lamas with absolutely no attachment to material objects–from their infant brother and […]

Feng Shui or Not

posted by Beyond Blue

Even if I fail to effectively de-clutter my home, I’m good at reading about de-cluttering. Two books have been helpful in teaching me what this agonizing task has got to do with mental and spiritual health. In “Make Room for […]

The Right to Dream

posted by Beyond Blue

It doesn’t take much to get this mortal second-guessing herself. One harsh message on the comment board will do it. An African-American woman was offended that I used Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sentiments as a launching pad for my own […]

Show Up With Flowers

posted by Beyond Blue

I stayed relatively silent about my depression for two decades because I felt I had no right to complain. Two million children in Africa die a year from Malaria. That’s suffering. Mothers risk their lives to give birth in war-torn […]

On “Coming Out”

posted by Beyond Blue

From my original blog, in case you missed it: I haven’t always been so candid about my depression and anxiety. A year ago, while in the eye of the storm, I bailed on delivering the keynote address to a large […]

Yes Moments

posted by Beyond Blue

On “yes” moments, the Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjold wrote this in “Markings“: I don’t know Who–or what–put the question. I don’t know when it was put. I don’t even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer Yes to […]

God the Evergreen

posted by Beyond Blue

Our Christmas tree is now on the curb with the rest of the 33 million trees Americans bought this year (according to the National Christmas Tree Association). I’m feeling guilty of course (don’t all depressives?) for not being a better […]

The Heart of It All

posted by Beyond Blue

Now that the Santas and stockings have disappeared to the North Pole along with the holly-jolly tunes and the Salvation Army bells, commercial-savvy marketers reach out in desperation for some holiday or other excuse to make us buy, buy, buy. […]

Seeing With the Heart

posted by Beyond Blue

One of my all time favorite quotes is from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince“: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Use Your Words

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m always telling David and Katherine to use their words (instead of whining and screaming), but I’m often afraid to use them myself. Unlike Eric, who vocalizes a resentment before it’s had time to fester and start a family, I […]

More Words

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of using my words, I remember the first time after my big breakdown that I made a conscious effort to voice my frustration. I had just graduated from the hospital outpatient program with the lessons on effective communication fresh […]

The Solar Powered Person

posted by Beyond Blue

I have a friend who refers to his other half as his “solar-powered wife.” This sunshine-dependent woman has learned (the hard way of course) that she is a “high-intensity light” human being, a living organism that functions best when exposed […]

My Epiphany on Epiphany Sunday

posted by Beyond Blue

An epiphany can mean several things: an “Aha!” moment after relentless searching and study, the first time you see something (or someone) in its natural form, or the Christian feast commemorating the visit and adoration of the Christ Child by […]

Artist Quotes

posted by Beyond Blue

Here are some cool quotes from “The Artist’s Way:” I myself do nothing. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all through me.–William Blake God becomes an activity in our consciousness.–Joel S. Goldsmith Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over […]

One Day At Another Time

posted by Beyond Blue

Talking to my mom is like reading a chapter of the Big Book (the 12-step Bible). I vented to her yesterday about a spat I had with an in-law. All I wanted her to say was, “You are right. On […]

Anyway

posted by Beyond Blue

“Loving them when you don’t like them” is especially useful to remember when doing such maternal tasks as potty-training a stubborn three-year-old, or dragging two oppositional kids through the grocery store. It can work when dealing with explosive personalities within […]

Grant Me the Serenity

posted by Beyond Blue

The poem “Anyway” is basically an elaboration of the Serenity Prayer, which I say all the time. In “Parenthood and the Serenity Prayer” I explain how I used it to potty train, or at least attempt to potty train, David […]

Don’t Go There

posted by Beyond Blue

When I simply can’t be benevolent to friends and family, I at least avoid trigger points. For example, sometime in November I told Eric that I would not be walking through the automatic doors of the Annapolis Westfield Mall from […]

Start at Home

posted by Beyond Blue

Any buzz I had going from my HappyLite was definitely killed by Fr. Dave’s holiday e-mail. A missionary who travels all around the world, his annual update read a little like a “State of the World” address. And if you’ve […]

Top Ten Unusual Ways to Give

posted by Beyond Blue

While we’re on the topic, here’s a great piece on the “Top Ten Unusual Ways to Give.”

Losing Yourself the Right Way

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of charity, here is a story from my old blog, in case you missed it: Ghandi once wrote that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” The “happy doctors,” scholars who […]

New Moms At Risk

posted by Beyond Blue

New moms are at risk for developing serious mental illness–not only the postpartum depression commonly understood, thanks to the advocacy of Brooke Shields and her memoir “Down Came the Rain,” but also schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Last month, Danish researchers […]

Two Great Resources for Women

posted by Beyond Blue

Depression affects women almost twice as often as men, with about one in four women suffering from it in her lifetime. While depression may strike at any time, studies show that women are particularly vulnerable during their childbearing years. Two […]

How Did You Do?

posted by Beyond Blue

I think I overshot on last year’s New Year’s resolutions. Did I really think I could achieve a dozen goals? Here’s how I did: 1. Commit to a charity (happened–if driving my mom-in-law around one day a week qualifies.) 2. […]

Resolutions That Stick

posted by Beyond Blue

Check it out: In her Beliefnet article “Resolutions That Stick,” M.J. Ryan gives us some pointers on how to follow through with this year’s goals.

And for 2007…

posted by Beyond Blue

For 2007, my only resolution is to become more close-minded. I suffer far less when I detach myself from everyone’s opinion of my health, my parenting, and my faith. Had I not been so open-minded–trying every and all suggestions thrown […]

The Four Food Groups

posted by Beyond Blue

Yesterday David cried for two hours because the state of Maine didn’t say anything as he assembled his talking puzzle of the United States. “It’s not working!” he screamed as he threw the first thirteen colonies across the room. “What […]

Potatoes and Prozac

posted by Beyond Blue

In her national bestseller “Potatoes Not Prozac,” Kathleen DesMaisons offers a seven-step dietary plan for sugar-sensitive people like me. I’ve tried to implement her suggestions into my diet because, as a recovering drunk and depressive, sugar can throw me into […]

You Are What You Eat

posted by Beyond Blue

I found this article, “Mental Health: You Are What You Eat,” on the BBC website. It offers some ways to eat your way to mental health. It’s important to note, however, that severe depression needs to be treated medically. A […]

The Body in Simple Language

posted by Beyond Blue

I finally found a book on the human body I can understand! Last night I wanted to read Katherine the story of Baby Jesus again to squeeze the most religion out of these days around Christmas since I fall short […]

Miracle of the Poinsettia

posted by Beyond Blue

Every year for Christmas I send poinsettias to a few special people in my life, and I buy a few for our home (which die quickly because I forget to water them). I always think about the legend of this […]

My Self-Esteem File

posted by Beyond Blue

I tell the story of the poinsettia because it describes what has happened to me with “Beyond Blue.” At the low point of my depression, I was convinced that I had absolutely nothing to offer the world: that my husband […]

Warm Fuzzies

posted by Beyond Blue

Here are a few of those warm fuzzies you’ve been kind enough to post on this blog. Let’s keep sharing with each other: Some days I feel there is no hope for me. But then I read your article and […]

There’s Something About Mary

posted by Beyond Blue

I think about Mary often this time of year. More than usual, which is a lot. Mary loves desperate people–the ones who have already tried Jesus and, for whatever reason, didn’t get results. That’s how my mom explained it when […]

No One Left Unaided

posted by Beyond Blue

I have prayed the Memorare every day since my mom (and others) told me to go to Mary with my depression. It’s clear from the words of this prayer that Mary hears all pleas, but especially those uttered in desperation: […]

Mary for Non-Catholics

posted by Beyond Blue

I love how Anne Lamott describes her devotion to Mary in “Plan B“: “You’re not supposed to love Mary so much, if you’re not Catholic, but I do. I wear a picture of her inside a gold oval frame, on […]

On Santa Claus and Right Brains

posted by Beyond Blue

I almost blew it today. I almost told David there was no Santa Claus, or Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny. The practical, cynical, depressed side of my brain (the left) challenged the creative, optimistic, slightly manic side (the right) to […]

Yes, Depressives, There Is a Santa Claus

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s the full text of “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus,” which articulates for me why we have to believe, love, and hope even when our cynical and depressed brains don’t want to: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa […]

Believe Without Seeing

posted by Beyond Blue

All the Christmas movies–from the classic “Miracle on 34th Street” to “The Year Without a Santa Claus” preach a common message: faith is about believing without seeing. In our family favorite, “Elf,” Santa’s sleigh, fueled by Christmas spirit, crashes into […]

Let There Be Light!

posted by Beyond Blue

Today is the winter solstice, which means Annapolis only gets 9 ½ hours of light between sunrise and sunset–and the night is longer than any other time of the year. If you think of the seasons as a ride on […]

The Dark Night

posted by Beyond Blue

It’s probably no coincidence that I chose the poem “The Dark Night” composed by Carmelite mystic John of the Cross as the topic of my senior thesis back when I was a religious studies major in college. The poem is […]

O Holy Night!

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of beautiful verses, I wept today, like I always do, when I heard my very favorite Christmas song, “O Holy Night.” The combination of its gorgeous lyrics and affective melody seep into the hardened parts of my heart in […]

Lights in the Sky

posted by Beyond Blue

After I informed my college roommate and good friend that her goddaughter, my daughter, had been demoted from an angel to a star in the Christmas pageant, this is what she wrote back: “Please tell my goddaughter that a star […]

One Gingerbread House at a Time

posted by Beyond Blue

You sure do learn a lot about a person’s personality and temperament when you assemble a gingerbread house. And even more when you make 14 of them. I’m thinking about patenting this activity as a tool for diagnosing the different […]

Drivers Wanted

posted by Beyond Blue

My old self is definitely back, because only she would be foolish enough to volunteer to organize David’s Christmas party. I’m investing in life again, which is truly a miracle. Last year I missed the Christmas party because I was […]

Jingle Bell Rock

posted by Beyond Blue

Now here’s an image worth a holiday chuckle: a dozen naked women in the gym locker room rushing to get their pants on to the tune of “Jingle Bells.” “I wish they would just kill the music,” one woman says, […]

Be Not Afraid

posted by Beyond Blue

Three-year-old Katherine was demoted from an angel to a star in her preschool Christmas pageant. It called to mind the pangs of devastation I felt in the fifth grade when I lost out to Marci Simons for the part of […]

An Angel a Day

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of angels, I received a care package from my guardian angel today (the woman I met on a train–see next post). For Christmas my angel gave to me: $90 to get a massage (since she apparently reads this blog […]

My Guardian Angel Ann

posted by Beyond Blue

I met my guardian angel on a train from New York City to Baltimore, a train I had to sneak onto because of an Amtrak strike. With people standing in the bathroom, in the café car, and in the aisles, […]

Why This Blog

posted by Beyond Blue

Because it has been two months since my last posts, here’s a refresher on why I’m writing this blog: Some people are born with smooth lines; others have jagged edges. Some find contentment in a cup of tea, others stay […]

The Color Purple

posted by Beyond Blue

There is a reason violet follows blue in a rainbow. At the heart of depression’s “blues” is a time of waiting–symbolized by the color purple during Advent, the liturgical season preceding Christmas. It’s appropriate, then, that Beliefnet is launching a […]

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.