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 […]

How to Design a Self-Care Prescription for Depression

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As a clinical psychologist, Mary Pipher, PhD, designed “healing packages” for her patients: activities, resources, and comforts to help them recover from trauma. Then, after Dr. Pipher’s book Reviving Ophelia became a runaway best-seller, she herself suffered from an episode of major depression and designed a healing package of her own. “The essence of my personal healing package,” […]

How Yoga Helps with Depression, Anxiety, and Addiction

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Aerobic movement of any kind helps to relieve depression and anxiety by boosting our brain’s dopamine levels and providing endorphins. But some types of exercises are superior for healing chronic conditions, mood disorders, and addiction. Yoga’s therapeutic benefits have been studied in recent decades, with much of the research being in randomized controlled trials — […]

How to Handle a Depression Relapse

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For anyone who has ever been debilitated by severe depression, there is nothing more frightening than the feeling that you’re relapsing into another episode. We chalk up the first few days of angst to a bad stretch and hope it gets better from there. But by the time we’ve hit six weeks of crying spells and the […]

10 Ways to Fight Off the Winter Blues

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  People with Season Affective Disorder (SAD) or the clinical version of the winter blues aren’t the only ones who struggle with the shorter days, colder weather, and the general blah of the winter season. Less sunlight can affect our circadian rhythm, the body’s biological clock that governs certain brain wave activity and hormone production. […]

7 Ways to Ease Holiday Depression

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Yesterday I published last year’s holiday blues piece. Here is this year’s …  For highly-sensitive folks and people predisposed to sadness, the holidays create a perfect storm for depression. There’s the added stress of holiday shopping, decorating, and parties — not to mention dealing with strained family relations; snowball and gingerbread cookies seem to stalk […]

9 Ways to Promote Gratitude In Your Life

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In preparation for the Thanksgiving Holiday! Gratitude is good for us every way you look at it. According to Sonja Lyubomirsky at the University of California, Riverside, it boosts our happiness levels in a number of ways: by promoting the savoring of positive life experiences; by bolstering self-worth and self-esteem and helping to cope with […]