Noticing Your Power

The mind is naturally drawn to threats and often acts as though the world is filled with powerful dangers, this bias towards threat-seeking makes the practice of noticing your power essential. Without conscious effort we run the risk of acting in ways that are self-destructive. This is the powerful insight of psychologist Jim McCullough about people who have experienced repeated …

Shame and Guilt After Mania – Gina

Addressing Shame and Guilt After a Manic Episode I have witnessed the immense pain caused by the shame and guilt experienced by people with bipolar disorder following a manic episode.After a manic episode, most have engaged in behaviors that they regret. The resulting shame and guilt can contribute greatly to symptoms of depression that follow an episode. Understanding techniques and …

Hope and Self Efficacy – Gina

Believing you can create change in your life is the foundation for successfully making the change. Self efficacy is the sense that you can make change and thus hope and self-efficacy are intimately connected. Often people with bipolar or depression are overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness. They feel stuck and unable to manage their moods. And yet a great deal of research shows …

Blog Recommendation

A longtime reader of this blog sent us an email – “I wanted to share one of my favorite blogs. I first found out about the author and blog through his amazing article right after Robin Williams’ suicide. I feel he writes what I feel but can’t put into words on my mental health. Best, Geraldine.” http://letsqueerthingsup.com/2015/06/22/mental-health-recovery-isnt-always-daisies-puppies-and-rainbows-and-thats-ok/ Geraldine has bipolar …

Through the Looking Glass 4 – a result

…The Becks Questionnaire II business continues. What brings it alive are the questions that Dr. Black continues to ask me throughout the test until we arrive at, what for me, is an astonishing discovery… At some point Dr. Black tells me there is a store on Martha s Vineyard, a ritzy, gentrified island off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, that has …

Stigma and Depression

Robin William’s death seemed to unleash a new level of openness to discussing depression and the ways that it affects the lives of so many of us. A Nature editorial (Nature is perhaps the premier scientific journal in the world) got me thinking about next steps… What would it take to eliminate the impact of stigma, and shame, and therefore …

Wise Selfishness

Wise Selflessness– The Dalai lama says, “It is important that when pursuing our own self-interest we should be “wise selfish” and not “foolish selfish”. Being foolish selfish means pursuing our own interests in a narrow, shortsighted way. Wise selfishness means taking a broader view and recognizing that our own long-term individual interest lies in the welfare of everyone. Being wise selfish means …

Self-Esteem: A Key Aspect of Mental Health

Much has been written about the topic of “self-esteem.” Sometimes the idea almost seems like one of those “buzz” words that doesn’t really mean anything. A significant amount of research points to the development of self-esteem as a key aspect of mental health. Self-esteem builds slowly and its foundation is the sense that we are loved and valued by others. …

The Trap of Stress Disability

The other day I was asked to evaluate a fellow physician by his disability insurance company.  When I do disability assessments I take particular care, because what I say has big implications for the person I am evaluating, and I try very hard to do an extremely careful and thorough job of assessing the person’s situation. Three quarters of the …

Proactivity

Proactive behavior refers to actions taken that are forward thinking, that anticipate future problems, and are aimed at avoiding those problems. They are focused on changing the environment for the better. Proactivity contrasts with reactivity as an approach to challenges. Reactive behavior is about dealing with the crisis that is present right now. Reactivity also often is associated with a wish …

Perfectly Attuned

Today’s post revolves around a universal wish for others to be perfectly attuned to our needs, and the resulting disappointment when this is not the case. A woman we have seen for years, who has been experiencing a strong sense of disappointment and loss because her highly anxious mother was never able to really attune to her needs, told us …

Stress Free and Happy

It can be extremely difficult to lead a balanced lifestyle. When we are driven to reach a goal, it is easy to become stressed and obsessed with reaching a particular outcome.  At what point does all the stress start to have a negative impact on our personal happiness? It is great to have ambitions and to work hard to reach …

Confidence

The difference between someone who has confidence versus someone who does not, is remarkable. Confidence has the power to completely transform a person’s life. The question is, if you don’t have it already, how do you get it? Listed below are some strategies to help you believe in yourself, increase your self worth, and realize that you are worthy of …

When Your Mirror Lies

When an individual spends massive amounts of time obsessing about minor defects or even normal elements of their appearance that it begins to impair daily life, then they are said to be plagued by Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Eve Fisher tells her personal story about BDD recovery. When Eve was 16 she began looking in the mirror for long periods of …

Know Your Body

Geneen Roth talks about how infatuated she was with her imperfections while growing up. She was constantly thinking of how much better looking she would be if she didn’t have certain features. If only she could cut out all the flaws, so just her best features would remain she could be happy.  Roth tried to reach self improvement through shaming …