$5 x 200 = hope for a lot of people

Dear Readers,   As some of you may know, I created Beyond Blue Foundation last year, a registered 501c3 public charity (all contributions are tax deductible), that provides support to persons with chronic mood disorders. In the 10 years I’ve spent writing and researching mental health issues, I have received thousands of emails and letters from […]

Does Crying Make You More Depressed?

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“Live to the point of tears,” said Camus. That’s not so hard if you have treatment-resistant depression or any kind of chronic mood disorder. You learn to take Kleenex with you wherever you go. In the middle of a depressive episode, especially, it happens as naturally as sneezing or blowing your nose. Two or three […]

Seriously Excuse Eddie’s Stinky Socks: My Mental-Health Order of Operations

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Last night, I helped my daughter with a math problem: 6 + 8 x 4 % (4 + 3 – 7) – 3 x 4 Her lesson was on the Order of Operations. You know, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.” First you tackle the parentheses, then the exponents. Then you do multiplication and division. […]

Uncovering Happiness: A Mindfulness Expert’s Guide to Breaking Bad Moods

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Six years ago a fellow blogger, Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. of PsychCentral.com (“Mindfulness and Psychotherapy”) introduced me to the concept of mindfulness. A clinical psychologist and bestselling author, he familiarized me with the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program I participated in (at our local hospital, with a certified instructor). Elisha opened […]

Stigma: It’s Okay to Snap

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Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the word “snap” as: to grasp at something eagerly; make a pounce or snatch; to bark out irritable or peevish retorts; to undergo a sudden and rapid change. I wanted to make sure that is, in fact, what happened yesterday toward the end of my run at the Naval Academy. My […]

8 Ways to Beat Insomnia

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There is nothing that has as powerful and lasting impact on mood as sleep. Sleep disruption messes with circadian rhythms, the 24-hour clock system wired into our brain that governs fluctuations in body temperature and the secretion of several hormones. While there has always been some data to suggest that sleep deprivation may increase a […]

Is It Guilt or Shame?

Child punishment

I started this column about guilt—why it stalks me. Why, no matter how hard I try to be a good girl, I can’t get rid of the knot in my stomach that says I’ve been busted, just like I was with a bottle of vodka at band camp in high school. However, upon doing a […]

‘Why Are You Alive?’ The Role of Suicide Survivors

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Consider these statistics: One person dies from suicide every 40 seconds. Every year, over 800,000 people die from suicide, exceeding the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined. Suicide is the second leading cause of death (globally) for people ages 15 – 29, the fifth leading cause of death among persons aged 30 […]

On Hating Yourself Less

Child punishment

In her informative yet entertaining book, “Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself,” Anneli Rufus tells this story: Accepting his third annual Teacher of the Year award, Jeremy gazed out at an auditorium packed with wildly applauding children, parents, and colleagues. Silently he mourned. I was supposed to get my doctorate. I should be famous by […]