As I discussed in this earlier post, writing helps heal the depression that dominated decades of my life. That post reviewed James Pennebaker’s research, as summarized in Opening Up, but said little about how I go about writing to confront the most powerful feelings and maintain the progress I’ve made in recovery. For writing is […]
Why Writing Can Help Heal Depression – 1
The subtitle of Storied Mind used to be Writing to Recover Life from Depression, and I’ve often wondered why it is specifically that writing can help heal depression, especially when so many other approaches to treatment have failed me. When I was just starting this blog, I wrote about the fear of writing or even […]
A New Model of Mental Health Recovery
My understanding of mental health recovery came from experience with the standard treatments: psychotherapy and medication. Until the 1990s, I worked exclusively with psychiatrists for both. In that setting, I can’t recall anyone talking to me about recovery or what I wanted to get out of treatment. The assumption was that I would be in […]
Forgiveness and Escape from Depression
As many know it, forgiveness is a feeling that can’t be forced, one that often comes after a long inner struggle. I’ve lived with the need for many forms of forgiveness, and each has been important in my recovery from depression. I’ve felt the need to acknowledge hurt that I’ve caused and to ask for […]
Do You Have to Lower Your Expectations of Life to Recover?
I’ve often mentioned how crucial it has been to my recovery that I made basic changes in my work and way of living as a whole. Did I have to give up on hope and lower expectations of life in order to get better? My answer is No. But if you had asked me before […]
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 […]
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 […]
Patterns of Recovery from Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
I started learning about patterns of recovery when my mother survived two heart attacks but died twice before her death. That’s the way she saw it. Her heart stopped both times, but she fought her way back. The second heart-stopping attack occurred during an operation for a different problem. She was 94. I only learned […]