Vulnerability – Nancy

Vulnerability!  If your first response is “Ummm, no, thanks”, you’re not alone.  Vulnerability sounds like something we want to get away from, not something to cultivate.  Yet researcher Dr. Brené Brown of the University of Houston has done considerable study of this topic and her findings are that being or becoming vulnerable to risk, to emotional upset, to shame and …

Learned helplessness – Nancy

“What’s the use”.  “It won’t work anyway”.  Do you find yourself thinking hopelessly and helplessly about your own situation, unable to find any constructive steps to take to move forward? Learned helplessness is what psychologists call it when a patient believes strongly that no action they can possibly take will make their situation better.  It’s the “dark side” – or …

Smartphones and Depression – the Story Continues

Moodsurfing has reported on several studies and programs in the past that attempt to use smartphone data to improve mental health.  Now, an AP report from early January updates some of this research. Smartphone users generate a huge amount of data, which, if correctly analyzed, could provide life saving information about early onset of depression, warning signs for a manic …

stigma in mental illness

Stigma in Mental Illness – Nancy

An interesting opinion piece in the New York Times this past week highlights unintended consequences of the ways in which we talk about mental illness and the strategies we use to reduce stigma around it. Dr. Lisa Pryor, a mental health care practitioner in Australia comments that increasing discussion, publicity and stigma reduction around “moderate” mental illnesses like anxiety and …

Breastfeeding and Mood – Nancy

A young mother noticed a relationship between breastfeeding and mood. as she begins to wean her son from breast-feeding she is experiencing a return of occasional irritability which disappeared towards the end of her pregnancy. We know that there is a strong effect of breast-feeding on many hormone levels and thought we would check into the literature. What does the …

Returning to Work

Returning to work after a period of increased symptoms of depression or bipolar can seem daunting. And, indeed, there are major challenges to be dealt with. If you are returning to work, you are in a happy minority of people with bipolar or recurrent depression. Congratulate yourself! Or at least that is what the, admittedly incomplete, evidence suggests. Trying to …

Clutter Stress Depression

My post about getting things done sparked a lively interest and a bit of controversy. One of the careful readers of this site sent me a link to an article about clutter causing stress, particularly in women. New study shows a link between depression and the amount of stuff in your home. Interesting. I was curious that I didn’t know …