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So much has been learned about depression in recent years that it is not overstating the case to say, truthfully and with conviction, that almost anyone suffering the pain of depression can be helped if he truly wants to be and is willing to take the necessary steps.
Even those who judge themselves to be "hopeless" can be helped. After all, hopelessness about life isn't a fact. It's merely a viewpoint. ...
While it is certainly appealing to think that "a capsule a day will forever keep the depression away," it simply isn't true, nor is it ever likely to be.
and other anti-depressant medications, although they can be effective
allies in treatment, are not a total solution in most cases. They can
provide symptom relief, help ease distress...
What they can't do is magically transform most personalities (despite the optimistic excesses of some drug advocates), teach vital coping and problem-solving skills, resolve associated personal and interpersonal issues, or erect strong protection against the recurrence of episodes.
The clinical research evidence is perfectly clear on this point: psychotherapy that emphasizes skill-building and problem resolution is not only desirable but necessary.
Michael D. Yapko, PhD. - from his book
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At first I thought what I was feeling was just exhaustion, but with it came an overriding sense of panic that I had never felt before with fatigue.
Rowan kept crying and I suddenly began to fear the moment when Chris would bring her back to me. I started to experience a sick sensation in my stomach; it was as if a vise was tightening around my chest.
Instead of the nervous anxiety that often accompanies panic, a feeling of quiet devastation overcame me. I hardly moved.
Sitting on my bed, I let out a deep, slow, guttural wail. I wasn't simply emotional or weepy like I had been told I might be.
This was something quite different. When PMS made me introspective or melancholy or when the pressures of life made me gloomy, I knew these feelings wouldn't last forever.
But this was sadness of a shockingly different magnitude. It felt as if it would never go away.
> from her book Down Came the Rain : My Journey Through Postpartum Depression -- by Brooke Shields
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Tall, Dark and Brooding:
Do You Have to Be
Depressed to Be Creative?
There's a notion that the most influential artists, writers and musicians are often plagued with depression, moodiness and other battles with internal demons.
Some people (many of them artists themselves) think that this mental friction actually fuels their creativity.
Well, according to a researcher quoted in the December 2004 issue of Fast Company magazine, that may not be true.
In Bill Breen's article, The 6 Myths of Creativity, he interviews Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School.
Over an eight-year period, Amabile and her team collected thousands of journal entries from hundreds of people working on creative projects in seven companies in the consumer products, high-tech and chemical industries.
Sure, this research isn't focused on the fine artists, music makers, aspiring writers, etc., who read this blog. But I think it's revealing and applies to creative people in all fields.
> from Bob Baker's Artist Empowerment Blog
> photo: actress and painter Ariana Richards - from painting: page 2
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We found that creativity is positively associated with joy and love and negatively associated with anger, fear, and anxiety. The entries show that people are happiest when they come up with a creative idea, but they're more likely to have a breakthrough if they were happy the day before.
There's a kind of virtuous cycle. When people are excited about their work, there's a better chance that they'll make a cognitive association that incubates overnight and shows up as a creative idea the next day. One day's happiness often predicts the next day's creativity.
Teresa M. Amabile - heads the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School.
> from article : The 6 Myths Of Creativity - by Bill Breen, Fast Company, December 2004
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Like many millions of people, I have experienced severe, clinical depression. And I think that "depression" is one of the most misleading and inadequate words in our vocabulary.
When I try to describe the experience, I find myself grasping to say what it is not. Depression is not essentially about being sad, or down, or blue, though these may be symptoms.
In the illuminating language of Andrew Solomon in this week's program, the opposite of depression is not happiness -- it is "human vitality."
It can have purely physiological origins. It may be triggered by old sadnesses grown unbearable or anger turned inward, as one saying goes. But it becomes a way of being in, and moving through, the world.
Ignatius Loyola, the 16th century founder of the Jesuit order, spoke of "desolations" -- a better word than depression, in my mind -- that "lead one toward lack of faith and leave one without hope and without love. One is completely listless, tepid, and unhappy, and feels separated from our Creator and Lord."
me, depression was not so much about being without faith or hope or
it was, rather, not being able to remember knowing those things, not
able to imagine ever experiencing them again.
After depression there is a particular solace in the voices of others.. who've been marked by this disease and lived to reflect on its contours.
When I finally began to emerge, I found a kind of comfort in the scriptural psalms of lament and imprecation -- mourning prayers, cursing prayers.
Suddenly the "pit" of which the psalmist so often writes was real to me. I also returned to the poetry of Rilke, who like many great thinkers and creators, had an intimacy with "darkness."
newsletter about her Speaking of Faith
the program Recommended Reading list includes :
The Noonday Demon - by Andrew Solomon
with Depression: A Spiritual Guide to
Light Inside the Dark: Zen, Soul, and the
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Shawn Colvin, who has battled major depressive disorder for much of her life, is sharing her experience with others through a national education campaign, Beyond the Music: Shawn Colvin Speaks Out About Depression, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline...
Colvin has suffered from major depressive disorder on and off for more than 20 years. "During the worst times, I shut the world out, refusing to get out of bed. Even the smallest tasks were overwhelming," she said. ///
"Since seeking help and getting appropriate treatment for my depression, I have felt more engaged with and closer to family and friends, and have been able to fully capture my creativity."
> GlaxoSmithKline press
release Aug 6 2004 -
knew there was something wrong with feeling sick constantly. ... I
didn't start drinking until I was in my twenties, so I'd had a number
of years where I had enjoyed myself as a semi-adult and not been sick
all the time, or inebriated. ... But the drinking in effect was an
escape.. to do with being a person having a depressive/anxiety disorder
who was trying to make myself feel better - and the drinking did it. > Shawn
Colvin / kneeling.co.uk page
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When drinking was no longer enough to numb the pain of her depression, Shawn Colvin says she started starving herself. "I was anorexic for a year. I felt powerful and in control and pretty. I think it's another response to some sort of illness that has to do with depression and obsession..." ///
Already depressed before she got pregnant, Shawn says she was hit with postpartum depression.
"Initially it was really bad," says Shawn. "Part of the way I've dealt with my depressions in the past is I've had the ability, if necessary, to just check out. There have been times when I've not shown up at work … and I knew it was going to be a big deal for me to commit to this baby, to have a baby, but I thought it was the best challenge I could offer to myself and I really could rise to it. And I feel I have."
> from the Oprah Show Depressed, Mentally Ill and Famous
> related pages :......addiction / dependency......eating disorders
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Linda Hamilton starred in the multi-million dollar Terminator blockbusters and was one of Hollywood's first female action heroes.
Away from the spotlight, however, Linda Hamilton was living a personal hell. Now, Linda, is revealing the truth behind her private battle -- a lifelong struggle with manic depression that went undiagnosed for most of her life. ...
>> more on bipolar disorder
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Like many with mental illness -- in my case a severe form of manic depression (or bipolar disorder) -- I resisted seeing a doctor for a disturbingly long period of time.
And, because when one is not ill one can in fact be quite well, I successfully wended my way through college and graduate school and subsequent clinical training.
The years were uneven -- terrifying, tumultuous, but often wonderful -- and it was only after joining the faculty of the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, when I went ravingly manic, that I was forced into treatment.
Kay Redfield Jamison - from her article Behavior
> her book: Touched
With Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and
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[His brother committed suicide when Anderson Cooper was about to start his senior year at Yale.]
Anyone who's been through a major loss like that knows how completely it affects the way you see things. It definitely made me look at myself and think about how I dealt with problems and how I thought about issues. It helped me to figure out what I was doing that was working and what wasn't, what I should do and what I should get better at doing. ...
Suicide is such an odd, taboo sort of thing, and my brother's death is still sort of a mystery, so I became interested in questions of survival, why some people survive and others don't.
Anderson Cooper ... [Interview, October 2004]
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depression and intelligence
Are smarter people more depressed? Are depressed people more submissive? And does "Star Wars" have anything to do with depression?
According to a forthcoming book on depression by Dr. James N. Herndon, the answer to all of these questions is yes.
"There's been a fundamental lack of understanding of what the feeling of depression actually means," says Dr. Herndon, with the Phoenix-based research firm, Vallis Solaris, Inc.
"In treating depression, the primary objective is to eliminate the depressed feeling. This is typically achieved with one of the many anti-depressant drugs. But the depressed mood is simply covered-up, not cured."
Dr. Herndon supervised one of the largest privately funded research studies on depression. "The results have caused me to reevaluate a lot of my assumptions about depression," he states. ...
"There seems to be a widespread belief that depressed persons are weak and ineffective. Actually, it appears that the more intelligent you are, the more you tend to create complex, negative scenarios in your mind.
"This can ultimately trigger what seems to be a kind of instinctive 'submission response' in the brain. We feel under attack, and are told by our brain to submit to the negative thoughts. It's actually a survival mechanism. But we interpret this as depression."
Results of the study suggest that our traditional concept of depression may be flawed.
"What we call depression might be better characterized as a submissive illness. This has a host of implications for the treatment of depression," Dr. Herndon believes, "especially since our research seems to show that an instinctive 'dominance response' is also active in each of us.
sort of like a built-in 'dark' side and 'light' side, each battling for
supremacy. Our tests of a depression therapy based on utilizing our
'dominant' instincts have been very encouraging."
Surprisingly, "Star Wars" played a role in Dr. Herndon's research results. "Our data revealed that 'Star Wars' fans had unexpectedly high rates of depression. The 'Star Wars' mythos apparently tends to heighten conditions of stress and disappointment, fueling an increased sense of vulnerability."
"But at least 'Star Wars' fans who are depressed can claim significantly above average intelligence," Dr. Herndon quips. [Dr. Herndon is a member of the American Psychological Association.
news story Depression
Linked to Intelligence
photos : Thomas Edison, Carrie Fisher
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