New Spouse by Friday

I’ve been working with a very successful attorney who has been struggling to find a way of staying in his marriage for a couple of years. The heart of the problem is that his wife had a serious health problem (which is now resolved), but through the process of dealing with this health problem she  became depressed and discouraged about her health and …

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is a plant which has been shown in many well controlled clinical trials to be more effective than placebo in treating mild to moderate depression (not transient sadness). In fact the evidence supporting its effectiveness is better than the evidence supporting the effectiveness of some FDA approved anti-depressants.  It does not, in our experience, work as well …

Small Rewards

A young woman who was scheduled to go on a big trek in the Himalayas was not doing the training she needed to in order to have a good experience. She had been depressed for the last few months and this was probably a manifestation of that mood. She told me that she felt she “should be doing much more.” …

Fish Oil Update

Since so many people with bipolar and depression take fish oil we thought we would pass on some information in a summary form from Consumer Labs. The full information is available if you subscribe. Consumer Labs is the only source of reliable information about supplements (the only place that does any testing) and if you take supplements we strongly encourage …

WorkSurfing

The New York Times recently published an intriguing article entitled “Relax, You Will Be More Effective.” It arrived at just the right time. Preparing for an upcoming vacation had made me particularly hectic. And then, while I was on vacation and writing this post, I got a blog post from MoodScope which was devoted to the importance of taking regular …

Be Helpful

We love today’s post from Just One Thing! (And yes, we have had several references to this site in the last few days… but he is starting the year by reviewing the best ideas on his site). And we felt compelled to put this post up today when we checked our email and found that today’s blog post from the …

Mary Poppins: Overcoming the Winter Months

What I most want to have available to me in the long winter months, to help me with my patients with bipolar and depression, is access to someone a lot like Mary Poppins. You may remember that Mary, played by Julie Andrews, was the incredibly cheerful nanny who transformed the unhappy and dysfunctional lives of the family she joined. What …

Silver Linings

We have heard interesting rumors about the new movie “Silver Linings Playbook” that is supposed to address some of the issues involved in living with moods in a way that avoids stigma. Last week we got this from the American Psychiatric Association News – “It has been a long time since a Hollywood movie actually seemed like it could help people suffering …

Something Fishy

Journal Watch (which is published by the very well respected New England Journal of Medicine) recently reviewed the evidence about omega – 3 fatty acids and depression. The editors concluded that fish oil can be helpful but the key to effectiveness is the amount of one of the two fatty acids that are the primary ingredients in fish oil. The …

Traveling

Traveling can be exciting, but it can also be very stressful. It is particularly important for people living with moods to do prepare for travel before they leave. A surprisingly high percentage of serious mood catastrophes, in our experience, happen during trips. And they are almost always preventable. First, if your traveling to some place without good medical care, it’s a …

ACT

The “hot” thing in the therapy world these days is something called ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). The radical notion behind ACT is that therapy should not be primarily about reducing symptoms (like depression) but rather increasing our ability to have a valued life (a life that is based on our deepest values) even though we have symptoms. And, by …

All About Happy: Resources

What makes us happy? How can we have more happiness? Is happiness just the absence of sadness and depression? These are some of the questions that are addressed in an entertaining, informative and inspiring movie called “.” Some ideas we saw – 50% of our happiness is determined by genes, 10% is related to life circumstances (financial situation, what country …

Starting a Forum

We have finally gotten started with our online forum. This is a place where frequent visitors and subscribers can ask questions, make suggestions, offer advice, share wisdom, etcetera, related to living creatively with moods. We want this forum to be lively, positive, candid and meaningful. To that end we can promise that we will give top priority to answering questions …

Unemployment

What to do when you suddenly find yourself unemployed? Over the years, we’ve helped a bunch of folks through the challenge of unemployment. Those who have been the most successful have paid attention to a few factors: 1. Maintaining a Routine. One of the easiest ways to get in to trouble when you suddenly find yourself unemployed is to take …

Healthy Pleasures

Sometimes we can be so overwhelmed, or so depressed, that we forget what it is that gives, or used to give, us pleasure. This list is adapted from Peter Lewinsohn’s Pleasant Events Schedule. You won’t enjoy many of these things, but you should find a number that are somewhat pleasurable (or would have been if you were not depressed) and …