Depression Diagnosis – 2: What Does It Mean to You?

Once you have a depression diagnosis, what does it mean to you? I’ve heard a lot of reactions, ranging from a feeling of comfort to dismay to a shrug of the shoulders. A diagnosis is simply a name given to a set of symptoms, but it's usually wrapped inside a number of messages, whether spoken or implied. Your response could depend on a specific message that’s delivered with the diagnosis. Given the authority of psychiatrists and other physicians, it’s easy to confuse the two. Read the rest»

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Depression Diagnosis – 1: The Person or the Disorder?

A depression diagnosis usually marks a turning point in your experience of the illness. Up to that point, you may have downplayed the seriousness of mood problems, or you may have been less aware of feelings and focused instead on pain or insomnia or some other physical symptom. When things get so bad that you can’t lead the life you’re used to, then you know you need help but may still have no idea what the cause is. So you head for the doctor’s office - whether it’s your primary care physician or a psychiatrist - and hope they’ll be able to tell you what’s wrong and do something about it. Read the rest»

Recovery from Depression: the Power of Expectation

Recovery from depression depends in part on what you believe is possible for the future. If you are to recover at all, you have to take action at some point. It could be a series of small steps about your daily routine – eating breakfast, walking out the door to get fresh air and natural light, making a point of talking to someone each day. Or it could be much […] Read the rest»

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My Top Books for Understanding Depression and Recovery – 2

Understanding depression and getting serious about recovery take a lot of searching. Reading is one of easiest tools to use, and the classic books in this highly personal list may help you get started. They have opened my mind to dimensions of healing I had never before paid much attention to. In particular, the five books I describe in this post have sharpened my sense of what life could be […] Read the rest»

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My Top Books for Understanding Depression and Recovery – 1

Every list of top books on depression is highly personal, and mine may be more so than most. I’ve left out several of the standards you’ll find in other lists, though they’ll all be included in the Resources section of this site. I’ve added others that cover far more than this illness because they’ve helped me make progress in recovery. They’ve deepened my understanding of healing and the sources of […] Read the rest»

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How Well-Being Therapy Works

The need for an innovative treatment like Well-Being Therapy hits you hard when you learn a bit about relapse. It happens – a lot. In fact, the majority of people who recover from depression will relapse in the months or perhaps years following the end of symptoms. Medications don’t prevent it, neither does cognitive behavioral therapy, and those are the frontline treatments now in use to maintain recovery. They have […] Read the rest»

Psychological Flexibility, Well-Being and Doubts about Recovery

I’ve been wondering about this. How could it be that I have recovered from depression but still deal with symptoms almost every day? Can both things be true? Recently I’ve come across new ways of thinking about well-being and psychological flexibility that help explain this paradox. Finding these ideas couldn’t be more timely because doubts about recovery have been more frequent than ever. It’s discouraging to have to keep dealing […] Read the rest»

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6 Dimensions of Psychological Well-Being

Recovery should aim at restoring psychological well-being as well as ending the symptoms of depression. Naturally, you get into treatment to stop the pain of those symptoms. It’s a huge achievement if the treatment works, and you can keep depression from ruining your life. But so many people relapse after initially getting better that full recovery has to mean more than focusing on what’s wrong. It should also move you […] Read the rest»