Can You Accept Support When You’re Depressed?

There are two sides to the problem of finding support from friends and loved ones when in the midst of depression. I discussed the risk of encountering prejudice and stigma in this post, but what happens if someone tries to offer support during a severe episode? Can you accept and appreciate it? Can you even hear it? All too often I couldn’t take in even the most loving offers of […] Read the rest»

Depressed and Waiting for Motivation to Arrive

I always keep a table reserved for motivation when I’m trying to get better, trying to work or trying to do pretty much anything. He’s supposed to be here at my command, but the idiot is always late. While waiting for the no-show, I get distracted by daydreaming, dog walking, snacking, emailing, mulling things over, sky watching, desk cleaning, web surfing and a dozen other things that suddenly demand attention. […] Read the rest»

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Sherwin Nuland: From Electroshock to Recovery

Sherwin Nuland is the best-selling author of How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter and many other books. As he says in this video, he had never before disclosed the experience behind the spiritual dimensions of his writing until presenting this talk at the TED Conference in 2001. Everyone’s reaction will differ, of course, but for me this is one of the most moving stories of recovery I’ve ever […] Read the rest»


John’s Recovery Story

A recovery story is a messy thing. It has dozens of beginnings and no final ending. Most of the conflict and drama is internal, and there’s a lot more inaction than action. The lead character hides in the shadows much of the time, so you can’t even see what’s going on. I joined up with depression around the age of 8. There are snapshots of me in the shabby brown […] Read the rest»

Healing Depression through the Emotional Brain

I’ve tried many methods for treating my own depression over the years but have most consistently relied on medication and psychotherapy. Most of the therapies I’ve tried, however, have not produced last relief from the illness. I think that’s because they often miss the emotional core of depression. Instead of taking it on directly, most therapies try to bombard it from a strategic position outside the perimeter. Mostly, they emphasize […] Read the rest»

Grief's Depression Stage

Is Your Partner’s Depression Changing You?

Over and over, I find stories online about the transformation of a loving partner, most often a man, into a depressed stranger. I know what that’s about because I have been that stranger. I went through a period of withdrawing emotionally from my wife and blaming her and just about everything else for my problems. I filled my mind with fantasies about escaping to a different life as the answer […] Read the rest»

Hoping for Your Help with the New Website

I’d like to ask your help in getting the Recover Life from Depression website ready for launching. There are several features I’ll be adding to what you see now, but the structure doesn’t depend on those elements. Before doing any more, though, I’d really appreciate your feedback, in particular, on the organization and usability of the site. At this point, there are just a handful of posts, mostly adapted from […] Read the rest»

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Martin Seligman’s Approach to Cognitive Therapy

Many people with depression believe that nothing good will ever happen for them. The norm is failure and disappointment, the exception is success, and when something good does happen, it doesn’t count. This is just the sort of inner belief and self-talk that cognitive therapy addresses, and one of its leading advocates is Martin Seligman. He explains his version of the cognitive approach, as well as the research behind it, […] Read the rest»