Archives for Depression - Page 2

Anxiety and Worry

Exercise Instead of Medication



Exercise can be just as effective against depression as medication, especially in mild to moderate cases. Study after study has come to this conclusion, and it can even help with major depression and to prevent reoccurring episodes of it.

Many alternative health professionals talk about how "food is medicine;" now, the corresponding view is "exercise is medicine." A recent news item claiming that exercise is more crucial in managing diabetes than food, is an example of...
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Worry

How To Get Yourself To Meditate



We know that meditation is beneficial. It's hard nowadays to escape the ever present pictures of the smiling Buddha, and the articles praising meditations efficacy, reaching from calming the mind to lowering blood pressure.

But how do we get ourselves to fit yet another chore that's "good for you" into our schedule?

There are no easy answers, because if you want to turn a blind eye, you will. Just like with going to the gym....
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Worry

How To Lose Your Inner Critic



It's bad enough feeling anxious or depressed. But what makes the emotional pain so much worse, is that we can't just accept what it going on inside our minds. We have to criticize ourselves for being afraid, angry, jealous and so on. That's what really brings us down: the inner critic.

Let's say something went wrong at work. One of your clients decided to go with another firm and you feel directly...
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Worry

How To Deal With Shyness And Social Anxiety



Lots of people are shy. I am, kind of. It doesn't come out as much, now that I don't go to loud parties and crowded bars anymore. I prefer lunch dates and small dinner parties, and my social needs are fully met by being in quieter and smaller settings.

A big part of why people suffer so much around others is because they feel they should abide by certain social standards. Sometimes they're not even aware that they...
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Worry

Taking On Other People’s Opinions



One of my clients came in the other day and was quite upset. About herself.

"Why can't I just stick to my guns?" she asked aghast.

It's something that happens to her quite frequently. She thinks she has an opinion about something, but as soon as someone else explains why they think differently, she sways over to the other side.

"It bothers me that I am so understanding" she concluded.

Indeed,...
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Worry

Letting Go

Letting go isn't easy. Our tendency is to hold on to our hurt, our convictions, our attachments, and our belief that we are right.
Recently, one of my patients insisted that her boyfriend be able to read her every desire from her eyes. As she contemplated what it would be like to let go of this habit, she asked a question that gets to the heart of letting go: "Do you want to...
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Worry

Stop Worrying About What Others Think

We all do it to some extent.

"What if my boss saw me do xyz and starts thinking less of me?"

"My brother-in-law made a snide remark about our cousin, what if he talks badly about me as well?"

"I overheard my mom saying I look fat in that dress, I feel terrible."

Other people's opinions can wreak havoc on our self esteem. We take their judgements at face value and allow a careless remark to torture us for a long...
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Worry

Reframing How To Look At Exercise

One of my patients came in this week in full workout gear, having biked from his home to my office. He smiled and relayed a message he got from a friend who is a psychiatrist: Instead of taking an SSRI-antidepressant, he recommended working out three times a week.

The effects, said the specialist, would be the same in cases of mild to moderate anxiety and depression.

The message concurs with a recent New York Times article about how to motivate people to exercise. Most of us know first hand that the threats of weight gain and heart disease don't do much to get us moving.

But as soon as mental health and happiness is addressed, people seem to pay attention.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Worry

Why Separate Beds Can Improve Your Marriage

Despite all the online manuals about "10 ways improve your night's rest," and so on, sleep is an under-researched topic.  Writer David K. Randall is now trying to close the gap with his new book "Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep."

In one chapter he focuses solely on the strange history of the bed, and how it influences relationships.

Sleep is a highly underestimated factor in a person's day-to-day well being. When we aren't rested, our capacity to contain frustration goes out the window. We get irritated, testy and blow every minor incident out of proportion.

It's a bit like the infamous low blood sugar phenomena that most women will immediately recognize. When basic needs like sleep or nourishment aren't met, the stress levels go up dramatically.

(On a side note: most temper tantrums in children go back to low blood sugar. I guess we as adults aren't all that much more advanced...)
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Worry

Internet Addiction And Loneliness

The use of the internet is pervasive in our culture. So much that the American Psychiatric Association is recommending further research on the condition called "Internet Use Disorder" in the upcoming diagnostic manual DSM V.

The disorder primarily refers to Internet gaming, however, it does include the criteria of "withdrawal symptoms when internet is taken away." Sound familiar?

Addiction is not the only mental health condition that the internet can trigger. The other one is depression.

A recent article in the Scientific American suggests that people who rapidly move around on dozens of websites, engaging in fleeting contact, are most likely to get depressed:
"Peer-to-peer file sharing, heavy emailing and chatting online, and a tendency to quickly switch between multiple websites and other online resources all predict a greater propensity to experience symptoms of depression. Quickly switching between websites may reflect anhedonia (a decreased ability to experience emotions), as people desperately seek for emotional stimulation. Similarly, excessive emailing and chatting may signify a relative lack of strong face-to-face relationships, as people strive to maintain contact either with faraway friends or new people met online."
It is the depth of emotion that is seen as critical for normal affect. The enormous amount of distraction that's offered online seduces us into paying less and less attention towards a single topic -- or people, for that matter.
Continue Reading