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Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

Don’t Take it Personally

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Is it about you?
The Practice
Don’t take it personally.
Why?

Here’s an updated parable from the ancient Taoist teacher, Chuang-Tzu: Imagine that you are floating in a canoe on a slow-moving river, having a Sunday picnic with a friend. Suddenly there is a loud thump on the side of the canoe, and it rolls over. You come up sputtering, and what do you see? Somebody has snuck up on your canoe, flipped it over for a joke, and is laughing at you. How do you feel?

OK. Now imagine the exact same situation again: the picnic in a canoe, loud thump, dumped into the river, coming up sputtering, and what do you see? A large submerged log has drifted downstream and bumped into your canoe. This time, how do you feel?

The facts are the same in each case: cold and wet, picnic ruined. But when you feel personally picked on, everything feels worse. The thing is, most of what bumps into us in life – including emotional reactions from others, traffic jams, illness, or mistreatment at work – is like an impersonal log put in motion by 10,000 causes upstream. (more…)

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Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory

Confronting the Negativity Bias

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

My previous post used the example of Stephen Colbert’s satirical “March to Keep Fear Alive” as a timely illustration of a larger point: humans evolved to be fearful — since that helped keep our ancestors alive — so we are very vulnerable to being frightened and even intimidated by threats, both real ones and “paper tigers.” With this march, Colbert is obviously mocking those who play on fear, since we certainly don’t need any new reminders to keep fear alive.

Some Background
This vulnerability to feeling threatened has effects at many levels, ranging from individuals, couples, and families, to schoolyards, organizations and nations. Whether it’s an individual who worries about the consequences of speaking up at work or in a close relationship, a family cowed by a scary parent, a business fixated on threats instead of opportunities, or a country that’s routinely told it’s under “Threat Level Orange,” it’s the same human brain that reacts in all cases.

Therefore, understanding how your brain became so vigilant and wary, and so easily hijacked by alarm, is the first step toward gaining more control over that ancient circuitry. (more…)

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Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory

Top 3 Enemies of Depression

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

(Excerpt from Fall Newsletter 2010)

In addition to talk therapy, there are powerful yet simple things that you can do to help yourself heal from depression.

Inspired by Dr. Robert Hedaya’s book on dealing with the side effects of medication, The Anti-Depressant Survival Program, here are three ways to combat depression, whether you’re on anti-depressants or not.

1. Good Nutrition. A diet rich in protein, low on the glycemic scale (e.g., barley, grapefruit and yogurt) and high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and good fats, like omega 3s, will help stabilize your mood. Protein is essential for the production of neurotransmitters that regulate mood, and foods low on the glycemic scale help stabilize your blood sugar, reducing fatigue, unhealthy weight gain and mood swings.

(more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

When Depression is Mild

Monday, December 21st, 2009 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

At some time, nearly every person experiences feelings of depression—sadness, discouragement, the blues. These are common, normal feelings that come and go—mild depressions that can be seasonal or event-related.

Depression becomes an illness when symptoms intensify and persist over an extended period of time.

Depression can be treated; however, nearly two-thirds of depressed people don’t get appropriate treatment.
(more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

The pathologizing of a culture

Monday, September 21st, 2009 by Mel Schwartz, LCSW

A young woman in her mid-twenties recently came in for her first visit with me. Three months earlier she had experienced her first bout of anxiety and it had become more acute thereafter. She went on to explain that she had been seeing a psychiatrist who had prescribed four different psychotropic medications, simultaneously. Complaining of a blurred and disconnected feeling, she offered that she was uncertain as to whether the cause was physical, emotional and psychological—or a symptom of the gross invasion of this massive drugging.
(more…)

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Mel Schwartz is a psychotherapist with offices in Westport Ct and NYC. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory or his website. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Depression Doesn’t Lie

Monday, April 20th, 2009 by Dr. Terry Tempinski

One of the things I continue to be impressed with despite my 30 years of practice is how harsh we are toward ourselves when we are struggling in some way emotionally. It is really striking when you stop to think about it. Our response to our struggles is much kinder and wiser when we encounter physical problems. When we have a toothache, we swiftly get ourselves in to see the dentist. A bad cold? We try to get some antibiotics, drink fluids, and lay low. But depressed? Oh my!?!

I am well aware that no one goes to see a psychologist without many months of trying to overcome whatever is bothering them. This makes sense; we all try to forage ahead when the going gets tough. But unfortunately, when things do not improve, we are often not our own best friend. Here are some examples of the things I hear again and again:

I really have no reason to be depressed.
The reasons for my unhappiness are not going to change, so how can I feel any better?
Others have problems way worse than mine.
How can psychotherapy help anyway?
Therapy is for those who have failed and are weak.

(more…)

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Dr. Tempinski is a clinical psychologist with more than 25 years experience treating adult individuals. She is fully licensed in the state of Michigan. Her solo private practice has been designed with the goal of maximizing client confidentiality. Dr. Tempinski works with the philosophy that most emotional difficulties stem from inner turmoil that can be understood and resolved. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory

Overcoming Anxiety & Depression

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 by Mel Schwartz, LCSW

A newly referred client came into my office some months ago and shared with me that she had struggled with anxiety her entire adult life. She had been in therapy with the same person for well over six years and had made little progress. I inquired as to what she had learned from their work together. If I actually had hair on the back of my neck, it no doubt would have stood straight up upon hearing her response. “He told me the best that we could do we be to try and manage my anxiety,” she offered. So many mental health professionals are literally trained to believe that matters of anxiety and depression can at best be managed, and often with the associated medication to achieve the lessening of symptoms. This speaks to their mindset of pathology and the absence of a deeper understanding of the relationship between thought and anxiety or depression. The limitations of such a worldview are limiting and produce a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.

(more…)

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Mel Schwartz is a psychotherapist with offices in Westport Ct and NYC. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory or his website. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.