Varieties of Depression

Many diagnosable conditions are forms of depression. Postpartum depression affects new mothers; bipolar disorder (colloquially known as manic depression), involves episodes of sadness and anxiety mixed with manic "highs."

Seasonal depression affects people only in the winter months, while dysthymia is mild depression. Suicidal thoughts often coincide with depressive episodes, which is why it's important to be aware of the signs if you or a loved one experiences chronic mood disturbances.

Recent Posts on Depression

Brutal Weather, Depressed Mood, What We Can Do About It

Our cruel winter in the Northeast took a greater toll on us than has been recognized. I know it took a toll on me and it took its toll on my patients. I could feel the effects of day after day without sunlight --cold weather, snow, rain and cloudiness --on my mood. Like my patients, I felt slightly depressed; had less energy than usual, and wanted to sleep more.

Is Crying Really Good for You?

By Temma Ehrenfeld on May 05, 2015 in Open Gently
Weeping may not make you feel better, if you're alone, depressed, or don't get a soothing response.

5 Warning Signs of Mental Health Risk

The American Psychological Association, with help from First Lady Michelle Obama, has launched a campaign to encourage troubled Americans to seek care for mental health problems. What are the warning signs?

Gender Pathology

If we constructed a society in which life’s roles were as bifurcated by ear lobes as they are in our culture by genitals, then the first thing parents and grandparents would want to know at birth would be attached or unattached, not boy or girl.

Journaling Clears Out the Bad, Builds Up the Good

By Jason Powers M.D. on May 03, 2015 in Beyond Abstinence
Multiple studies show that disclosing emotions through journaling is therapeutic, which is why I encourage my patients to write for their own benefit and consumption.

Mechanics of the Placebo Effect

A look at how the placebo effect works

Mental Health Awareness

The month of May celebrates mental health

There's a Hidden Dark Side to Being an Entrepreneur

The hidden secret among many entrepreneurs is the psychological price they pay for their choices. The demands of business ownership may place entrepreneurs at a higher risk of specific mental health problems.

Peak Experiences, Disillusionment, and the Joy of Simplicity

Having a once-in-a-lifetime peak experience can trigger an unexpected sense of disillusionment. What is the antidote for feeling dissatisfied after a peak experience like getting married, graduation, or visiting a dream destination? This blog post offers a few clues.

How Social You Are in College Predicts Loneliness at Midlife

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
Can we predict who might be at risk for becoming lonely later in life?

Happiness With Life 8: Practice Breakthrough, Not Breakdown

In addition to filling your life with pleasurable and happy moments, how you respond to life’s hardships and hassles also goes a long way toward you leading a happy life. Learn how to make lemonade out of lemons by adopting a Breakthrough rather than a Breakdown way of approaching life.

A Social Network for Depression

It's become more common to question the good of technology we use every day. Are we glued to our devices to the detriment of our real-life relationships? Does our scrolling through Facebook help us feel more connected, or feel worse about our own lives?

The Gut-Wrenching Confusion of an Epic Breakup

By Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. on April 29, 2015 in Me Before We
After a stormy relationship, you can think you’re OK, you're feeling stable, but then you plunge right back into confusion, disgust, and fear all over again.

Inner Selves: Calming the Demons

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on April 29, 2015 in Fixing Families
We all have inner voices that criticize or make us anxious or simply make us feel bad, but can control our lives. Some tips for pushing back.

Suicide Alert: The Spring Season Can Be Deadly

Suicide Alert: Springtime can be a deadly season.

Why Loneliness Hurts So Much

Just we feel hunger when we haven't enough food, we feel affection hunger when our needs for connection go unmet. Close relationships aren’t a luxury, but a necessity. The need for social connection is innate, just like the need for food, sleep, and air.

Why Warm Weather and Hot Tubs Make Us Happy

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on April 28, 2015 in Minding the Body
Feeling warmer physically leads to feeling better emotionally - a conversation with researcher Christopher Lowry.

The Coming Battle over Serotonin and Depression

There was never any valid scientific evidence showing clinical depression was associated with lowered levels of serotonin: It was all smoke and mirrors. But such is the power of Big Pharma – and such is the power of a good story – that many academics bought into it, and careers were built on the concept of lowered serotonin causing depression.

Mindfulness Versus Antidepressants: Which Works Best?

Antidepressants don’t suit everyone, and side effects are common. Could mindfulness-based cognitive therapy be a viable alternative?

5 Steps to End a Toxic Relationship

By Rosemary K.M. Sword on April 27, 2015 in The Time Cure
The tendency to unconsciously seek out toxic relationships frequently starts with past negative experiences when we are children and might carry on throughout our lives. They can become so deeply ingrained in the way we think and feel that we don’t realize we are steeped in toxicity...

Three Things We Can Do to Prepare for Life Changes

It really comes down to a very simple concept, the concept is attachment. We want things when things are going well to stay the same, we don’t want them to change, but life does change even though we wanted it to stay the same. Life continues to change no matter how wonderful it’s going.

How Trying to Make Everyone Happy Can Make You Miserable

By Kristi Pikiewicz PhD on April 24, 2015 in Meaningful You
Do you bend over backwards to make everyone else happy? Then why are you so lonely? Here's why being a people pleaser is a losing long-term strategy.

The Shocking Truth about ECT

By Julie K Hersh on April 24, 2015 in Struck By Living
Should the media be reporting on medical treatments when they lack the time and expertise to fully present information?

The Most Important Thing To Know During Bipolar Episodes

By Tom Wootton on April 23, 2015 in Bipolar Advantage
There is one specialized type of knowledge that trumps all of the others during states of mania and depression, knowing how to function while in the state. While all the other types of knowledge are interesting, knowing how to function can literally be the difference between life and death.

Women and Mental Illness

A host of factors may contribute to the higher prevalence of mental illness in women. In this post, we explore many of these.

10 Ways Mindfulness and Meditation Promote Well-Being

This post includes a "Top Ten" list of ways that mindfulness and meditation promote well-being based on the latest scientific research.

4 Lifestyle Changes That Will Boost Your Mental Health

When we seek help for a mental health condition, we can expect to hear about various medications and treatment options, but what’s often missing from the conversation is any talk of lifestyle changes.

Analyzing Analysts

In Shrinks, Jeffrey Lieberman reviews psychiatry's "tumultuous history," and its current emphasis on the medical treatment of mental illnesses. He maintains that psychiatry fares best when it avoids the extremes of reductionist neurobiology and the psychodynamic element in existential disease. That said, Shrinks does not address important questions about talk therapy.

5 Ways to Know When to Leave the Relationship

You don't want to go home anymore. You don't look forward to seeing or being in the actual company of the person with whom you are intimately involved. You prefer the idea of the relationship to the reality of it; you have an idealized image of the beloved that is far enough removed from the everyday, authentic person that being in his or her presence undermines, erodes an