Bench shimmering in night rain

A Stage for Anxiety

(Anxiety has dominated more of my waking hours than I care to admit, yet I’ve written relatively few posts about it. While working on the next ebook, Depression Present Tense, I came across this early post that captures a typical incident. The new book is an attempt to capture the inner feelings of depression in a mosaic of many small dramas like this one.) Anxiety is one of the fringe [...] Read the rest»

sculptured face in stone

Caught in Panic

I think of creativity as an opposite of depression. As the driver in my life that connects and communicates, it represents everything I cannot do in the midst of the illness. Yet there was a time when it led to panic. Creativity is usually discussed in connection with the arts, and the idea gets overblown into talk of visions, genius, divine inspiration and all that bluster – but it goes [...] Read the rest»

Anxiety electric arcs by-Cea 300

Mindfulness as Self-Help for Anxiety

There’s nothing like extreme anxiety to make you feel like you’re falling apart. Using a few basics of mindfulness as self-help may be a way to pull you back together. The all-embracing anxiety I’m talking about comes close to panic. It’s an explosion of fear that hits everything. Certain situations can set it off, or it can start like depression, suddenly there, perhaps from the first waking moment of the [...] Read the rest»


Depression at Work-1: Symptoms

One of the worst problems brought on by depression was its crippling effect on my work life. (I've written about it on Storied Mind.) When I finally understood that the crisis arose from the illness, I could at least get a little comfort from learning that I was not alone. And neither are you. On a given day, there are millions of people all over the globe running into trouble at work because of depression. The World Health Organization has found that it is the second most prevalent cause of lost time at work. In the US and several European countries, as many as 20 percent of office workers could be losing time right now because of depression. Many people who suddenly start losing the job skills they’ve depended on for years may have no idea that depression is the cause. Read the rest»

The Powerful Noise of Panic

Some Rights Reserved by Peter H. Rassmann Some of the most frightening moments I’ve had during long years of depression were not those of despairing mood or even suicidal thinking. Instead, they were the times of panic when I’d feel yanked into a wind tunnel, no hold on anything, air sucked out of my lungs, my body fired into emptiness. Most often that happened when I suddenly found myself at [...] Read the rest»

Growing Up with Fear and Depression

I’ve always wondered why the stories of veterans with PTSD, like those I’ve been reading for the recent posts here and at Health Central, have resonated so deeply. I have nothing close to the unimaginable violence of war in my experience, or any of the other overwhelming traumas associated with PTSD. The aftereffects, though, feel closer to what I know. Depression, after all, is depression, no matter the cause. When [...] Read the rest»

Why Writing Can Help Heal Depression – 2

Some Rights Reserved by lagiuspo at Flickr As I discussed in this earlier post, writing has helped heal the depression that dominated decades of my life. That post reviewed James Pennebaker’s research, as summarized in Opening Up, but said little about how I go about writing to confront the most powerful feelings and maintain the progress I’ve made in recovery. For writing is an important activity for sustaining my health [...] Read the rest»

Is There Comfort in Depression?

The question continues to puzzle me: How did I get over depression? That deep change began about 18 months ago, and it’s been a year since I knew for sure that something fundamental had shifted. The nemesis wasn’t after me anymore. In fact, I couldn’t find that thing anywhere near me. After so many temporary recoveries, I was cautious about saying – or even thinking – that I could finally [...] Read the rest»