This is the second in a series of posts about depression. You can read “Understanding Depression: A Woe That Is Wisdom” here.
If you grapple with periods of depression, then you know that one of the most insidious symptoms of this often persistent mood-disorder is the feeling of being isolated. At such lonely times it can be difficult to remember that we are not alone in our suffering. According to The World Health Organization, about 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In this country, one in six individuals will experience some degree of depression or chronic anxiety sometime in their lives. More
There is a woe that is wisdom, a woe that is madness—Herman Melville
From the moment I was born, depression began to weave itself into the fabric of my life. Alone and frightened by the responsibilities of a new baby, my emotionally fragile mother sank into a black hole from which she only occasionally emerged. At a very young age, I threw myself into trying to understand the enigmatic forces that had taken my mother from me and that threatened to debilitate me as well. More
I have spent much of my life coming to terms with a deep and abiding insecurity. My fears come out to greet me most every day. Sometimes they merely wave at me from the periphery; at other times they rush at me with the fearsomeness of a gale storm. Still, over the years I have managed to engage life with more than a modicum of passion. I have charted my own course, taking great risks when necessary. I have also wasted precious time stuck in anxious worry or fierce resistance, holding back from life because I feared what might happen if . . . More
This is part 3 in a three-part series that explores the difference between healing and curing. You can read “Illness As A Teacher” here. Read Part 2, “My Adventures With Chronic Pain” here.
It is both frustrating and frightening when our bodies lose their resilience. Sometimes this process unfolds naturally over decades, but other times we may feel blind-sided by the sudden on-set of a debilitating affliction or an accident. Practicing the following strategies with some measure of consistency will help you restore a sense of control and well-being.
1. Embrace mystery.
In an effort to gain control over the fact of illness you may ask yourself questions. Why did this happen? Why did this happen to me? Did I do something to deserve or cause it? It is normal to wonder if you are culpable when bad things happen. It is, of course, important to make adjustments in your life style and habits if they strain and undermine your immune system. But illness remains one of the greatest mysteries of life; in many cases there are no clear answers. More
In recent months, I’ve encountered more and more people inquiring about my counseling and creativity services who struggle either with chronic pain or illness, or with a psychological complaint for which no clear medical solutions exist.
Typically, these individuals have been making the rounds, consulting with a variety of traditional and nontraditional physicians, sometimes for years, with little or no improvement in their condition. More