5 Kinds of Psychotherapy

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Psychotherapy has been proven effective to treat persons with mild to moderate depression, and, combined with medication, is used to treat chronic or severe mood disorders. Although most people lump all forms of psychotherapy together under the umbrella term of “counseling,” the types of talk therapy vary quite a bit, and are used to meet […]

When You Relapse

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There is no word in the English language I despise more than “relapse,” because by the time I use it, I have suffered months of agonizing depression that involves the typical symptoms you check off at a psychiatrist’s office: overwhelming guilt, fantasizing about death, no energy, lots of tears, trouble sleeping, eating too much (or too little), […]

Older Adults Are Less Depressed, Study Says

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This is the best news in the mental health world I’ve heard in a long time. According to a new study by the University of Michigan Health System, depression is down among older adults, especially the elderly, who have traditionally been at a higher risk for depression. The most pronounced drop in depressive symptoms occurs […]

7 Ways to Harness Fear

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F.E.A.R – Forget everything and run. We are wired to fear, as fear has kept us alive back when we had hair on our feet, and continues to save our lives today when something threatens our existence. The almond-shaped cluster within our brain known as the amygdala, or fear center, is quite effective at sending “fight […]

Treatment Options for Catatonic Depression

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Catatonic depression is a kind of depression marked by a loss of motor skills or constant hyperactive motor activity. Persons typically suffer from extreme negativism and intense emotional pain. They may be unable to speak due to concentrated anxiety or imitate another person’s speech or movements. Because catatonic depression is accompanied by underlying neurological, psychiatric, […]

Are We Medicating Normalcy?

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You’ve heard it all at dinner parties, graduations, school fundraisers, and family cookouts … At least, I have: Psychiatry is a business that is medicating every normal syndrome out there: Too shy to ask a girl to prom? Take Zoloft for Social Anxiety Disorder…. Grieving the loss of a spouse a year after he passed away? Try […]

Depressed Persons More Likely to Set Abstract Goals

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New research by the University of Liverpool has found that people with depression have more generalized personal goals than non-depressed people. The study, conducted by Joanne Dickson, Ph.D., compared the lists of personal goals made by people who suffered from depression and those who didn’t. The participants listed goals that they would like to accomplish […]

An Overview of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective form of therapy that aims to help a person recognize negative patterns of thought, evaluate them, and replace them with accurate or healthier ways of thinking. CBT also addresses patterns of behavior that result from distorted thinking. This kind of therapy is based on the assumption that faulty […]

On Praying Imperfectly

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In Luke’s gospel Jesus tells his disciples this parable: A widow begs a crooked judge for a just sentence against her adversary. After lots of badgering and nagging, the judge says, “Dang, Lady, I’m tired of you. I’ll send your guy to jail if you leave me alone.” The judge is afraid that if he […]

6 More Ways to Manage Severe Depression

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In a prior blog I listed seven ways to manage depression when you can’t get out of bed. The suggestions are different than the popular tips most depression experts give for boosting your mood, which are usually written for those with mild or moderate depression, or the really lucky people who just want to feel better. I thought it […]

How To Stop Worrying About Worrying

Sir Winston Churchill, who battled plenty of demons, once said, “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” Unfortunately that advice wouldn’t have been able to […]

6 Things Cancer Patients Have Taught Me

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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 kept her diagnosis to herself and, as best as she could, covering up her chemotherapy […]

Unclench That Fist: How to Control Anger

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Although anger is an appropriate reaction to an unjustified wrong, the emotion can easily grow out of control and disable you from your daily responsibilities. Anger increases activity in the fear center of your brain, which releases stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters. Chronic anger can hurt your adrenal glands and immune system, not to mention interrupt […]

Understanding Deep Brain Stimulation

A real MRI/ MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiogram) of the brain vasc

Up until recently, psychiatrists and pharmacologists have concentrated on the biochemical approach to treating depression: targeting the imbalance of neurotransmitters that can be addressed with the use of antidepressants and other medications. However, some depression experts today are embracing a neurological perspective, using brain-imaging studies to target specific areas in the brain to regulate mood. […]

3 Reasons We Need Eeyores In This World

“You have to decide … Are you a Tippper or an Eeyore?” That’s one of the questions Randy Pausch, famous deceased Carnegie Mellon professor whose presentation, “The Last Lecture” went viral landing him on Oprah and a host of other afternoon and late night shows. I loved every other part of his lecture but that. […]