Laugh When You’re Afraid

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“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go in sane,” sings Jimmy Buffett. “Time spent laughing is time spent with the gods,” says a Japanese proverb. A sense of humor, for me, is by far the most useful weapon in my depression arsenal. Which is why Eric is panicked when I stop laughing, when my […]

Treating Chronic Depression and Anxiety With Hallucinogens and Marijuana

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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 […]

Treatment Strategies for Insomnia

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Insomnia is one of the diagnostic hallmarks of clinical depression. As many as 80 percent of persons who are depressed experience sleeplessness: interrupted sleep, difficulty falling asleep, and early morning waking. Not only does insomnia aggravate existing depression, it can also create risks for developing depression and other mood disorders. It is essential to treat […]

7 Ways to Harness Fear

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F.E.A.R – Forget everything and run. We are wired to fear, as fear has kept us alive back when we had hair on our feet, and continues to save our lives today when something threatens our existence. The almond-shaped cluster within our brain known as the amygdala, or fear center, is quite effective at sending “fight […]

Are We Medicating Normalcy?

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You’ve heard it all at dinner parties, graduations, school fundraisers, and family cookouts … At least, I have: Psychiatry is a business that is medicating every normal syndrome out there: Too shy to ask a girl to prom? Take Zoloft for Social Anxiety Disorder…. Grieving the loss of a spouse a year after he passed away? Try […]

Unclench That Fist: How to Control Anger

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Although anger is an appropriate reaction to an unjustified wrong, the emotion can easily grow out of control and disable you from your daily responsibilities. Anger increases activity in the fear center of your brain, which releases stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters. Chronic anger can hurt your adrenal glands and immune system, not to mention interrupt […]

Overcoming the 9 Types of Hopelessness

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I’ve become increasingly intrigued by the topic of hope because, if anything is going to help me climb out of the Black Hole of depression, it’s a sense of hope. In their book, “Hope in the Age of Anxiety,” psychology professors Anthony Scioli and Henry Biller discuss hope from a variety of different perspectives, combining […]

The Stupid Complex

The Stupid Complex

Nowhere in the DSM-IV does it mention “the stupid complex,” but I’m telling you it’s an epidemic these days. I used to suffer in silence. But ever since I’ve come out of the closet, I swear I find a fellow sufferer every day. At my last therapy session, I was telling her how scared I […]

Video: Unload Your Guilt!

Guilt is one of the main rivers feeding into the great lake of depression. And that’s unfortunate if you’ve been raised Catholic or Jewish. Or are prone to OCD behaviors like extreme rumination of thoughts. Soooooo ….. as usual, I have to come up with a visualization technique that allows myself to unload some of […]