Love After Love

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I was moved by this poem by Derek Walcott, and thought I’d share it with you. The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger […]

Selena Gomez: The Lupus-Depression Connection

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Twenty-four-year-old pop star Selena Gomez will be taking time off from her Revival world tour to take care of herself after experiencing some depression and anxiety related to her diagnosis with lupus. She explained to People magazine recently that “anxiety, panic attacks, and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.” A year ago, the singer and actress […]

The Four Best Supplements for Depression

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The American Journal of Psychiatry has just published a meta-analyses of supplements, or nutraceuticals, that, used in adjunction to antidepressants, have evidence of reducing depressive symptoms. The primary positive results were found with SAMe (adenosylmethionine) methylfolate, omega 3 (primarily EPA or ethyl-EPA), and vitamin D. Positive isolated studies were found for creatine, folinic acid, and […]

Why We Need to Keep Playing

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In recent months, physical, playful activity has been the only way out of painful ruminations for me, providing a temporary respite from debilitating depression. Its transformative power is surprising to me for its ability to help me manage my emotions. Evolutionary biologist and animal behavioral specialist Marc Bekoff, PhD, once said that “play is training for the unexpected.” And […]

Why Real Love Is Hard Work

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This post is from my archives. A month into our relationship, my now-husband asked me, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I didn’t hesitate. “As a nun in a third-world country doing missionary work,” I said. “Interesting.” Somewhere around that time I also told him it would be five years before I slept […]

Mission: Joy

Mission Joy

“Joy does not simply happen to us,” wrote spiritual author Henri Nouwen. “We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” I find choosing joy and trying to experience joy to be among the most difficult tasks when you are depressed. And yet it is critical to try to reconnect with those persons, places, […]

10 Summer Depression Busters

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There are four distinct types of people when it comes to weather and mood, according to a study published in Emotion in 2011. Summer Lovers (better mood with warmer and sunnier weather) Unaffected (weak associations between weather and mood) Summer Haters (worse mood with warmer and sunnier weather) Rain Haters (particularly bad mood on rainy days) Although my mood […]

Does Weather Affect Your Mood?

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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 am clearly affected by rain — […]

9 Commencement Quotes That Will Inspire You

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It’s that time of year again, when esteemed politicians, bestselling novelists, famous actresses, and luminaries of all kinds address graduating seniors and dole out advice for heading into the real world. I like to read commencement speeches from past years, because I find that much of their wisdom speaks to navigating through the challenges of depression […]

Design a Self-Care Prescription for Depression

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As a therapist, Mary Pipher, Ph.D., designed “healing packages” for her patients: activities, resources, and comforts to help them recover from trauma. Then, after her book Reviving Ophelia became a runaway bestseller, she herself suffered from an episode of major depression and designed a healing package for herself. “The essence of my personal healing package,” she describes […]

How to Survive Suicidal Thoughts

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The standard advice you’ll hear if you express suicidal thoughts is to call a suicide hotline or check yourself into the hospital. Trained volunteers, such as those at The Samaritans, provide an invaluable service to severely depressed people who call or email them in desperation. But for some of us, suicidal thoughts can be present for many months or […]