Archives for Depression


The Deeper Meaning Of Blame Vs. Punishment In The Brain

C. R. writes: A recent study from Vanderbilt University seems to show that blame and punishment are decided by two different parts of the brain:
Juries in criminal cases typically decide if someone is guilty, then a judge determines a suitable level of punishment. New research confirms that these two separate assessments of guilt and punishment -- though related -- are calculated in different parts of the brain. In fact, researchers have found that they can disrupt and change one decision without affecting the other.
—Vanderbilt University. "How your brain decides blame and punishment, and how it can be changed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2015.
This is both fascinating and timely!

Ten Important Days
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Can The Effects Of Trauma Be Passed Down Generation To Generation?

Trauma Can Change Us

There is no doubt trauma changes us. When I (C.R.) was beginning graduate studies, my main focus was on what I call "legacy trauma."

Personal interviews and experience has shown me that the children of those who are not spiritually and emotionally healed from traumatic experiences seem to be likely to pass down a legacy of trauma through the generations. This legacy affects every aspect of their children's and grandchildren's lives, from how they respond to positive or negative "news" to how they show their love for each other.

I've seen this primarily with families of Holocaust survivors and this was to be my main research, but certainly other traumatic, national and personal events (my focus was on national, ethnic, etc.), from war in places like Sudan and Syria, to the Japanese earthquakes, to the Ring of Fire Tsunami, appears to leave survivors with a broad range of reactions, ranging from feelings of helplessness to developing suddenly acquired but abiding belief in God.

But are there actual physiological changes that lead to a genetic legacy?
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Do You Really Need To Talk About Your Past?

Does therapy absolutely require you to "talk about your past?" Do you need to "go down that road?"

My answer, adapted from Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On, may surprise you.

Your therapist will, beginning from the very first session, evaluate how you cope with problems and challenges. Where your coping skills aren’t as strong as they might be, a good therapist will teach you how to strengthen them. I believe that generally, only then, should your therapist ask your permission to go ahead and explore important events in your past.
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Just as some medical doctors aren’t in tune with the importance of recommending psychotherapeutic evaluations, some psychotherapists aren’t aware of the importance of recommending medical evaluations.

Sadly, I would say this is often the case. Illnesses that should be treated medically can sometimes masquerade as emotional problems.

For example, a condition such as mitral- valve prolapse (a common disorder where the valve between the heart's heart’s left upper chamber and the left lower chamber doesn't doesn’t close properly) can cause symptoms of anxiety, including heart palpitations.
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The Summertime Blahs & Blues

For many of us, summer is the time we feel the most upbeat. For those with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), the long days packed with sunshine can offer blessed relief from depression and low energy.

Outdoor walks and other activities and a more relaxed approach to time are things both of us really look forward to and enjoy.

But for some, the summertime is emotionally difficult. The very things that make summer appealing to one person, make it seem negative to another. You can end up with the blahs or even the blues. Here are a few, plus some quick fixes:
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