Does Weather Affect Your Mood?

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This post is from my archives. I’m considering building an ark, because it feels as if it’s been raining for 40 days and 40 nights. In one of the wettest, coldest Mays in Maryland’s history, highly sensitive types like myself are having difficulty not getting pulled into a depressive mood that often accompanies bad weather. I […]

Do You Want to Participate in a Depression, Bipolar Disorder, or Pregnancy Research Study?

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While I was at the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Research and Education Symposium, I spoke with some of the researchers currently conducting studies for: major depression, bipolar disorder, and pregnancy. Here are more details and contact information if you are interested in participating. Being part of a study is a wonderful way of contributing toward better […]

Strength In Our Voices: Working Together to Reduce Stigma Associated With Mental Health

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We’ve come a little way in reducing the stigma that’s associated with mental illness, but not nearly far enough. Consider these results pulled from a public attitude survey in Tarrant County, Texas, conducted by the county’s Mental Health Connection and the University of North Texas in Denton to determine the community’s view of mental illness: More than 50 percent […]

10 Funny Movies That Will Help Lift Your Depression

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In his bestselling book Anatomy of an Illness, the late Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins tells how he overcame a debilitating illness (ankylosing spondylitis) by taking massive intravenous doses of Vitamin C and laughing while watching Candid Camera and various comic films. He maintains that his recovery was accelerated by self-induced bouts of laughter. Research indicates […]

Religion On the Brain

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Have you ever wandered why those shouting “Alleluia!” at church on Sunday morning seem happier and more energetic than the average person, projecting a feeling of satisfaction in their lives that you don’t get from the folks reading the paper at Starbucks on Sunday morning? I understand this well because I have used religion as […]

I’m Depressed, Not Dangerous

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I am reposting this blog because I continue to be irritated by the inaccurate association between mental illness and violence. Every time there is a tragedy like the Germanwings crash in which the murderer is suspected of (or is documented with) mental problems, my job as a health advocate who tries to educate the public […]

5 Exercises to Nurture Self-Compassion

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According to Kristin Neff, Ph.D., self-compassion expert and associate professor of human development at the University of Texas in Austin, there is physiological data supporting the claim that self-compassionate people have better emotional coping skills. In her book Self-Compassion, she explains that researchers have measured cortisol levels and heart-rate variability among participants trained to have […]