Could Depression Be an Allergic Reaction?

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Most people are still locked into the theory that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain – a shortage of feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin that deliver messages from one neuron to another. That explanation works well for public consumption because it’s simple and it makes for great pharmaceutical commercials. But depression is […]

10 Ways to Curb Mania and Hypomania

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Bipolar disorder is one of the most difficult illnesses to treat because by addressing the depression part of the condition, you can inadvertently trigger mania or hypomania. Even in Bipolar II, where the hypomania is less destabilizing than the often-psychotic manic episodes of Bipolar I, persons often suffer from a debilitating depression that can’t be […]

10 Quick Ways to Calm Down

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As a highly-sensitive person (as defined by Elaine Aron in her bestseller The Highly Sensitive Person), it’s easy for me to become overwhelmed, or over-aroused (not in a sexual way—not on antidepressants). I have been compiling ways to calm down over the years. I learned some in Aron’s book, some as part of the mindfulness-based […]

Aromatherapy: A Natural Depression Remedy

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For nearly 6,000 years essential oils have been used for therapeutic purposes. A number of ancient civilizations including the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used them for cosmetics and perfumes as well as for rituals and spiritual reasons. Oils are documented by the Greek physician and botanist Pedanius Dioscorides in the first century in […]

With Depression, Nothing Is Permanent

Robert J. Wicks, psychologist and bestselling author of Riding the Dragon, recently told me a story about impermanence: A psychiatrist (Epstein) went to Thailand with some colleagues to meet a well-known Buddhist sage.  As they were about to leave they asked if he had a final message for them. He was drinking a glass of […]

Should You Have Kids If You’re Depressed?

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“Were you frightened to have children with your history of suicidal depression?” a young woman asked me the other day. “Did you have to stop medication while you were pregnant?” In the last ten years writing about mental health issues, these two questions keep surfacing, especially among young women who dream of pushing a baby […]