Renowned psychiatrist Peter Kramer once said that the opposite ofdepression isn’t happiness. It’s resilience, the ability to bounce back from tragedy, to regain a healthy sense of perspective after traumatic or stressful experiences.
In my recovery from depression andanxiety, it is calm — more than excitement or joy or contentment — that I seek. I want merely to enjoy a good night’s sleep and an evening without negative intrusive thoughts. I want to keep my heart rate down during challenging weeks, to let emotion take a back seat to rational thought, if that is even possible.
I have looked to the mentors in my life to get me there. One such mentor, psychologist and bestselling author Robert J. Wicks, has debriefed relief workers after the Rwandan massacre and has worked with physicians, nurses, and psychologists treating critically injured military personnel at Walter Reed Army Hospital.