Archives for Depression
It's all about feelings. When a person struggles with a sense of self and they aren't sure who they are, they aren't sure how to experience, live with, or manage their thoughts and feeling. Feelings especially can become baffling, annoying or painful. In many years working in both mental health and addiction, I've found that in general, people try drugs or alcohol, and end up abusing them, because they want to change, forget or control a feeling or feelings. Changing a feeling can be as simple as
A therapist I supervise came to me with a case: F. struggles with relationships and socializing. The sensory processing and cognitive issues she's struggled with since childhood cause her to misunderstand or miss social cues. Therefore, her responses to people's words, gestures, or tone of voice often were often wildly inappropriate and misfire. One of the biggest issues for her used to be her inability to read when someone was belittling or bullying her. Her social awkwardness made her an easy target. With the guidance of her counselor as well as support in developing a healthy response to bullying, she began to be able to assert herself and even stand up for herself, too. She learned about healthy boundaries and in cases where she used to get overly involved in other people's lives, especially people who were using and/or abusing her, she began to be able to recognize
Your thoughts and feelings are not, as some suggest, your interface with reality. They are your reality. That's why understanding that you can change your thoughts and feelings is so important, because once you believe you can change them, you give yourself the freedom to do so. Gaining mastery over your thoughts and feelings changes your life. Of course, this is easier said than done.
It’s safe to say one of the main goals of therapy is to teach you how to help yourself so you don’t actually have to be in therapy, at least not for a moment longer than necessary. If you don't have a diagnosis which requires ongoing therapy, then ask yourself:
We've blogged about the brain-gut, the microbiome, and the importance of healthy diet to brain health, which includes mental health for a while. And the effects of gut-bacteria when it comes to anxiety and autism are by now, not surprising. In the past several months, we've begun to brew kefir, something C.R. did a long time ago back in her yogurt and sourdough days. We're already pretty committed to including traditional-fermented veggies like saurkraut, kimchi, and other pickles in our diet; soaking and sprouting grains; and making sourdough breads. But kefir is in a league all by itself. Kefir is a fermented drink like beer, wine, and kombucha, but I admit,
C.R. writes: The Washington Post reports that "Over the course of nine months in 2009 and 2010, six Palo Alto teenagers committed suicide. Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 20 children and young adults killed themselves annually in Santa Clara County, where Palo Alto is located." To put these grim statistics in context, "The deaths in the city constitute two recent “suicide clusters” (multiple suicides within a short time frame); there are an average of five in the entire country each year. Having two in the same city in less than a decade is extremely rare." (Washington Post) Several teenagers have committed suicide by stepping in front of trains, jumping off roofs or overpasses, or by hanging themselves.
The news is startling. The New York Times reports: Almost 20,000 prescriptions for risperidone (commonly known as Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel) and other antipsychotic medications were written in 2014 for children 2 and younger, a 50 percent jump from 13,000 just one year before, according to the prescription data company IMS Health. Prescriptions for the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) rose 23 percent in one year, to about 83,000. Through adolescence, our brains and bodies change in ways science has only just begun to understand. But infants' brains and nervous systems change so rapidly that development can be measured not in years or months, but in weeks. How can we know with any certainty that anti-psychotic medications aren't negatively altering infants' and children's development in dramatic ways? We can't. So, why are some doctors prescribing anti-psychotic medications to babies?