I had a comment on a post at Health Central that described an experience the writer called dissociative. During a therapy session she had become so remote that she couldn’t focus on the discussion or even remember in mid-sentence what she’d been saying. She wasn’t fully present and couldn’t bring herself to come back into […]
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 […]
Compassion for a Burned Man
I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary that evening, but I wound up in the hospital with a burned hand and, at least in retrospect, a little insight about compassion. It started after work one day when I had just sat down at the kitchen table with a glass of water to stare at […]
Getting to Work When Depressed
Simply getting to work when you’re depressed can feel like an impossible task. Dealing with people in the workplace and doing the most basic parts of the job seem to take more energy than you have. The routine becomes hard labor, and the stress and depression feed off each other. Over the past year, several […]
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 […]
How Depression Spreads
Depression spreads through the closest relationships almost like a communicable disease. I learned the hard way that the illness didn’t happen to me alone. It happened to my children, my friends, and most of all to my wife. The pull of depression took me away from her and everyone else. I often felt I was […]
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 […]
Finding Safe Haven from Childhood Fear
A psychiatrist friend once summarized a basic tendency he saw in children from their earliest years. He said that a child could grow up either trusting the people and world he lived in or feeling insecure and uncertain about them. A child would either feel safe or unsafe, and a lot depended on this basic […]