Darkness Visible


I am used to issuing tips and advice for persons who suffer from depression. I haven’t really described my own lately, because I thought it would be too painful. But since I’ve had a few good days IN A ROW, let me try to describe it. My biggest fear, at age 42, is that I […]

How Do You Treat Empty-Nest Depression?

empty nest, smaller.jpg

Several mom friends of mine have lately come down with a bad case of “empty-nest depression”–moms who just dropped off their youngest offspring to college, or moms having difficulty keeping busy now that the youngest is in kindergarten all day. I googled the term “empty-nest depression” to see what I could find on this topic. […]

Treating Chronic Depression and Anxiety With Hallucinogens and Marijuana


Johns Hopkins just published an interesting summary of the research out today on treating mood disorders with hallucinogens. In the most recent Depression and Anxiety Health Alert, the author chronicles the history of hallucinogens and how they affect the central nervous system to release the right kind of neurotransmitters. Per Hopkins:   Hallucinogens (also called […]

Male Depression: An Interview with Peter V. Rabins, M.D.


I often focus on women’s issues with regard to depression–hormonal triggers, people-pleasing, guilt, motherhood, and so forth–because, statistically speaking, more women than men suffer from depression. However, today I focus on men’s depression, and in particular, on older men’s mood disorders. I have excerpted an interview published in the Fall 2007 issue of the “Johns Hopkins’s […]

When You Relapse

catatnoic depression

There is no word in the English language I despise more than “relapse,” because by the time I use it, I have suffered months of agonizing depression that involves the typical symptoms you check off at a psychiatrist’s office: overwhelming guilt, fantasizing about death, no energy, lots of tears, trouble sleeping, eating too much (or too little), […]

Older Adults Are Less Depressed, Study Says


This is the best news in the mental health world I’ve heard in a long time. According to a new study by the University of Michigan Health System, depression is down among older adults, especially the elderly, who have traditionally been at a higher risk for depression. The most pronounced drop in depressive symptoms occurs […]

Treatment Options for Catatonic Depression

catatnoic depression

Catatonic depression is a kind of depression marked by a loss of motor skills or constant hyperactive motor activity. Persons typically suffer from extreme negativism and intense emotional pain. They may be unable to speak due to concentrated anxiety or imitate another person’s speech or movements. Because catatonic depression is accompanied by underlying neurological, psychiatric, […]

Depressed Persons More Likely to Set Abstract Goals


New research by the University of Liverpool has found that people with depression have more generalized personal goals than non-depressed people. The study, conducted by Joanne Dickson, Ph.D., compared the lists of personal goals made by people who suffered from depression and those who didn’t. The participants listed goals that they would like to accomplish […]

6 More Ways to Manage Severe Depression

rain umbrella

In a prior blog I listed seven ways to manage depression when you can’t get out of bed. The suggestions are different than the popular tips most depression experts give for boosting your mood, which are usually written for those with mild or moderate depression, or the really lucky people who just want to feel better. I thought it […]

Understanding Deep Brain Stimulation

A real MRI/ MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiogram) of the brain vasc

Up until recently, psychiatrists and pharmacologists have concentrated on the biochemical approach to treating depression: targeting the imbalance of neurotransmitters that can be addressed with the use of antidepressants and other medications. However, some depression experts today are embracing a neurological perspective, using brain-imaging studies to target specific areas in the brain to regulate mood. […]

3 Reasons We Need Eeyores In This World

“You have to decide … Are you a Tippper or an Eeyore?” That’s one of the questions Randy Pausch, famous deceased Carnegie Mellon professor whose presentation, “The Last Lecture” went viral landing him on Oprah and a host of other afternoon and late night shows. I loved every other part of his lecture but that. […]

When Things Fall Apart


The Everyday Health link is down right now, so I thought I’d publish the whole post here. A very wise editor once gave me a simple piece of writing advice: write from where you are, not from where you want to be. In naming this blog, “Sanity Break,” my hope is that it becomes a […]