Depression, Not Medication, Kills Creativity

“My favorite escapes from depression are meds and writing,” says Diana Spechler in a New York Times opinion piece. “But I can’t do both at once.” Friends have been forwarding to me her columns in the “Going Off” series, which chronicles her attempt to wean off the medications she takes for depression, anxiety, and insomnia. […]

Blog Update!

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Hello, Readers! You may have noticed there are some changes to my website. Two years ago, I created a free wordpress.com blog, thereseborchardblog.com, because I couldn’t figure out how to build a website from the domain name thereseborchard.com that I had purchased. Free wordpress sites are great but they have many limitations, both in data […]

10 Diseases That Make Depression Feel Worse

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Consider these statistics: Nearly 50 percent of asthma patients suffer from symptoms of depression. At least 40 percent of persons with Parkinson’s disease experience depression, and anxiety is often reported. Forty to 65 percent of patients who have had a heart attack suffer from depression. The lifetime risk for depression in patients with multiple sclerosis […]

The Life-Saving Power of Purpose

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Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” A year ago this week I tested that theory. I’ve always been depressed. I must have emerged from my mother’s womb with an overactive amygdala and a deficient prefrontal cortex–creative brain wiring that generates panic and sadness. I was almost […]

Reduce Your Depression By Helping Someone

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Dr. Karl Menninger, the famous psychiatrist, was once asked following a lecture on mental health: “What would you advise a person to do, if that person felt a nervous breakdown coming on?” Most people thought he would say: “Consult a psychiatrist.” But he didn’t. He surprised everyone when he replied: “Leave your house, find someone […]

Is Depression Always a Disease?

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Like most mental health writers, I have compared depression to other illnesses like diabetes in the past, and stressed the biochemical aspect of mood disorders in my efforts at reducing stigma. Somehow talking about the gene G72/G30 located on chromosome 13q (that may predispose individuals to depression and bipolar disorder) makes it more legitimate, as […]

I’m Depressed, Not Dangerous

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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 about the complexity of mood disorders gets much, much harder. Why? Because the connection of depression and/or suicidal thoughts is once again […]