There are many models for capturing the range of human emotion, but one that caught my eye was this highly original classification captured in the wheel of emotions. This image is the work of Robert Plutchik, a psychologist who saw emotions, as Darwin did in his groundbreaking The Expression of the Emotions in Man […]
How Lasting is the Impact of Emotional Abuse in Childhood?
I’ve worked for a long time on rebuilding self-esteem, though I’ve never been sure whether the lack of it contributed to depression or the depression killed off the self-esteem. It hardly matters. When I was a kid, that confident, robust me, sure of who he was, feeling like a whole person, apparently never made it […]
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 […]
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 […]
Depression Is a Creative Force in Human Evolution?
Some Rights Reserved by gutter at Flickr. What is it about depression that draws people to search for the benefits it brings to its lucky victims? Since I’ve been writing this blog, many writers have had great success with books and articles describing its positive role in life – giving people a creative edge, helping […]
DSM-V: Medicalizing the Human Condition?
Some Rights Reserved by pedrosimoes7 at Flickr The ongoing revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has provoked prominent psychiatrists to declare that the next version (DSM-V) is in danger of medicalizing normality. Since “normality” covers quite a few people who don’t think of themselves as mentally disordered, I thought it would […]
Is It Loneliness or Is It Depression?
It may seem strange to pose this question: is it loneliness or is it depression? After all, many people feel loneliness at the loss or weakening of close relationships because of depression, and most of us who’ve lived with the condition over a lifetime experience those broken connections as some of its worst effects. On […]
Changing Belief, Discovering Purpose in a Work Life
There is a lot to explore in the idea of changing the mindset of recovery to that of finding purpose for the future. Just as I could undo the belief in my perpetual illness, I could also undo the belief that there had been little meaning or value in what I had done in the […]