Why Therapy Can Work: Ideas from Brain Research

Brain research is one of those many scientific fields that I’ll never know much about, but I find it important to get even a limited understanding of the direction of recent findings. It helps me to know, for example, that emotions are generated unconsciously through multiple brain systems before anything gets to awareness. As I wrote in the last post, that opens a different outlook on why it’s so hard […] Read the rest»

Why You Can’t Wish Depression Away

(I’ve changed the title of this post because I realize the earlier version sounded too sweeping. This post is focused on the way we can beat ourselves up for not being able to will or wish depression away at moments of greatest vulnerability to its onslaught. I didn’t mean to suggest that we can never gain any control over the problem at all through such means as cognitive therapy and […] Read the rest»

A Blog Has Ended – A Great Resource on Recovery Remains

I’d like to offer a tribute and thanks to Gianna Kali for the incredible work she has done at Beyond Meds over the last four years. She has not only created a major resource on recovery but has done so during a difficult and often debilitating withdrawal from prescription medications. Recently she announced the end of her frequent posting at the blog but leaves Beyond Meds in place. It’s one […] Read the rest»

Health Central Posts on Recovery

Some Rights Reserved by bala at Flickr Last week I published two posts at Health Central (here and here), describing the beliefs and attitudes I needed before I could begin to recover. That meant finding a mindset for recovery, but it wasn’t just a change in thinking. It went a lot deeper to the basic expectation about the kind of future I could have. This mindset evolved gradually after several […] Read the rest»

A New Model of Recovery from Mental Illness

My understanding of recovery from depression came from experience with the standard treatments: psychotherapy and medication. Until the 1990s, I worked exclusively with psychiatrists for both. In that setting, I can’t recall anyone talking to me about recovery or what I wanted to get out of treatment. The assumption was that I would be in therapy for the long-term. Whenever I brought up the idea of ending treatment, that became […] Read the rest»

Declaring Independence from Depression

Here’s one part of a post from a couple of years ago, written a few months before I knew I’d really gotten past depression. Stephany at Soulful Sepulcher had suggested that I try assuming this: I have recovered. That really got me thinking and actually proved to be a turning point. I started imagining what it would feel like to be recovered and wrote this as if it were spoken […] Read the rest»

Depressed Men Gone: The Open Door

Many women write here of the baffling strangers their depressed husbands or partners have become. Most often, they describe one of two versions of the unrecognizable men they’ve been trying to live with. One turns on his partner, blames her for the pain he feels, acts abusively and then leaves, convinced that getting away from her will solve his problems. The other type retreats into silence and isolating misery, feels […] Read the rest»