powerful dog

Mind Over Pit Bull and Depression

After a family-rich Thanksgiving week, I was hard at work Sunday morning writing a post on the placebo effect when my wife and I decided to take a refreshing walk with our two dogs. We didn’t know it, but we were on our way this foggy morning to a head-to-head confrontation with a stray pit bull. When it was over and I’d had time to catch my breath, I was […] Read the rest»

Abstract diamond shape

Can the Mind Heal Depression?

How can we draw on the power of our own minds to heal depression? As I’ve tried to answer this question, I’ve had to rethink my beliefs about recovery. This is the first in a series of posts to describe what I’ve been learning. Like everything else I’ve been writing about here, this search starts with my need to understand how I’ve come to live well after years of losing […] Read the rest»

Divided Brain Still

The Divided Brain

With the aid of rapid-fire animation, this video on the divided brain illustrates part of a lecture by psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist, author of The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. McGilchrist describes the right and left sides of the brain as helping us navigate two different dimensions of experience but not according to the oversimplified older model of analytical versus intuitive capabilities. […] Read the rest»

Gwyneth Paltrow as Sylvia Plath

My Top 5 Movies on Depression

Movies about the realities of depression aren’t usually popular or profitable. As a result, there aren’t many that probe the condition deeply and honestly. The five films in this post are the best I’ve seen for the realism and dramatic power of their stories and the excellence of acting and production. There are many more good movies I’ll write about, but these come to mind first. Here are several additional […] Read the rest»

Conversation on Depression

Can Depression Make Us Better People?

Depression can collapse your life the way an earthquake can take down a city. So how could this same depression make us better people? Tom Wootton takes the idea farther than anyone else with his belief that depression can be a beautiful part of your life. Most of us haven’t imagined such a possibility but have searched for the positive side of the illness, especially after living with it for […] Read the rest»

Wootton Depression Advantage Cover

Tom Wootton and the Depression Advantage

Tom Wootton says that a few years ago he would have screamed if anyone had said there was an advantage to depression. So, to get a bit in your face, he named his book, The Depression Advantage. And that book came after The Bipolar Advantage. I didn’t scream when I saw those titles. As I recall, there was some seething, groaning, a “not another one of those!” – but no […] Read the rest»