Healing Garden

The Healing Garden

  There is a healing garden at my house, thanks to my partner in life. She is an artist who works in many media. She fills the space around us, inside and outside our home, with beautiful things. Her gardens crowd with daily works-in-progress as she adds one more spot of life to a year-round creation. It unfolds in time as the season and color for one group of living […] Read the rest»

Andrea Mantegna Presentation at the Temple (Detail)

The Quiet Crisis of Chronic Depression

Chronic depression, also known as dysthymia, is supposed to be a milder but longer lasting form of the illness than the more episodic and severe variety known as major depressive disorder. Yet I have come to believe that no form of diagnosable depression should be called “mild.” My concern is not about the accuracy of these terms according to a standard measurement scale. I worry about the effect that words […] Read the rest»

Michelangelo fresco detail

Self-Starting When You Are Depressed

How can you activate yourself to get anything done when you’re depressed? Several readers have asked about this basic need to keep functioning when your mood, mind and body do not want to cooperate. It’s not only about work. It’s about pushing through all the resistance of depression to do your life – to be present in relationships, to cook a meal, to talk to a friend, and especially to […] Read the rest»

Brown's Great Pain Reliever

Moving from Pain to Recovery

I have learned a lot about recovering from depression by studying methods for dealing with chronic pain. Now I have had a chance to turn this around. How can my skills in dealing with depression help me manage post-operative pain? Unfortunately, I have had more time than I had hoped to find out. As planned, I had major surgery on July 5th for correcting problems caused by lumbar stenosis and […] Read the rest»

Neuron Pattern

Limping Along with Chronic Pain

I want to thank the many of you who kindly offered support and sympathy in response to the recent newsletter about my problem with chronic pain. My case of lumbar spinal stenosis sometimes gives me an aching back but more commonly either weakens or sends a lot of sharp pain down my right leg. This time it happens to be an especially disabling pain that just won’t go away. I […] Read the rest»

Disreality Illusion

The Loss of Feeling in Depressed Partners

Living with depressed partners can mean living without the feelings of love that are at the heart of every relationship. What is it about depression that could turn intimate companions into cold and blaming strangers? Readers ask about this over and over as their partners start blaming them for their own unhappiness and want out of the relationship. How could the person they most loved and trusted suddenly turn on […] Read the rest»

Child looking out window at rain

How Does Depression Affect Your Children?

A reader asked me recently about how his depression might affect his children. He knew he had put his wife through hell and didn’t want to have the same thing happen to their kids. He was even wondering if there were parents who had thought about not getting married and not having children because of the harm they might cause. When I find other parents talking about this online, they’re […] Read the rest»

Living with Depressed Partner

Living with a Depressed Partner

Several readers have asked about the best ways to respond to warning signs and symptoms of depression in their partners. The illness tends to separate two people in many ways, so the question always arises: What can I, the well partner, do when the symptoms start to push us apart? I think the first thing is to have realistic expectations about anything you do or say. You can’t prevent depression […] Read the rest»