Treating Anxiety – An Update by Kelsey

Treating anxiety is an important part of working with people with depression or bipolar. This update focuses on changes that have taken place in the field in the last five years that might be relevant to many people dealing with depression and anxiety. Imagine that you are taking a nice, peaceful walk in the woods. It is a lovely, warm, clear …

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 …

Accepting Uncertainty

We are often trapped more by what we think about how things should be, or “have to be,” than by the reality of the challenges we face.  This week I have been noticing how often the phrase “I can’t stand.XX” precedes a statement that is quite obviously not true.  Someone who has been living with the uncertainty of multiple sclerosis for …

Being Busy is an Antidote to the Terror of Being Alone

My attention was captured when I read an article that suggested that there was a common human experience that many people in our busy worlds find so disturbing that they voluntarily give themselves electric shocks in order to distract themselves from feeling it. No Time to Think. Nowadays, people can keep negative thoughts at bay with a frenzy of activity. …

Hypomania and Sensory Experience

More than a decade ago, Dr. Suzanne Black, who occasionally writes posts on this blog, got me interested in the sensory experiences associated with hypomania.In our Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the only reference to these is under the heading of “distractibility.” And, indeed, sometimes people who are experiencing intense and profound sensory experiences everywhere they look and listen, may have trouble …

Seeing the Other – Kelsey

“I see you.” That is one of the many profound concepts in one of my favorite movies, Avatar. “I see you.” For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, “I see you,” is the greeting of the Na’Vi, which expresses a sense of being aware of being seen by another.* Whoa. To be seen by another person. To feel …

Training Your Brain – by Lyndsey

I’m an avid animal lover in general, and dog lover in specific. I take a lot of life’s cues from dogs because they are such happy creatures.  They greet every day with joy, rarely obsess and generally live in the moment, which seems to make them content. And I want that. I was listening to the Dog Whisperer give advice …

Mood Swings – What Causes Them?

What causes mood swings? What do we think about when someone says their mood has been “up and down?”Among the most common causes of mood shifts are the following: A mood disorder such as bipolar, or an atypical depression. Bipolar as a cause is obvious, but an atypical depression can also be associated with mood swings. In the case of bipolar …

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Procrastination may be related to impulsive decision making. This somewhat surprising finding is based on a large study of twins. Most modern explanations of procrastination have focused on avoidance and aversion. You put off things because you are afraid of some negative consequence (doing badly, not meeting your standards, etcetera), in other words, you are avoiding a bad outcome. More recent studies have suggested that …

Managing Tasks without Pain

A young woman who is attending architecture school mentioned a sudden dip in mood that happened the previous evening.   She told me that this had to do with a day of working very hard to try to get tasks accomplished, and the anger and frustration at the end of the day when she hadn’t done as much as she wanted to, …