open horizon at sea

A Never-Ending Family Story Has to End

My never-ending family story has always been a hard scene in which I am very young and small and terrified. I’m staring at my parents and brother locked in combat. There may be no action, it usually flashes at me in tableau form, but there is plenty of rage, fear and hurt. There is a pause between shouts, threats, perhaps punches, hands at a throat, something grabbed and about to [...] Read the rest»

Broken Glass Window

Trying to Be Selective about Self-Acceptance

The boy took careful aim with his lever-action BB gun and fired off the first shot. The tiny pellet pierced one of the windows of the tall tree-house, and jagged cracks radiated from the pinhole it made. The house was nestled securely in the giant crook of an oak tree that stood right next to the fence dividing the two yards. His friend’s father, tall, gentle, attentive to his work, [...] Read the rest»

burning sunset in dark clouds

Does the Partner or Depression Cause the Breakup?

I’ve often described the way depression can break up close relationships, but does the illness explain everything? How responsible are depressed partners for the human cost that others pay because of what they do when they’re ill? One reader told me I’d confused her about this. First, I talked about depression taking over someone, as it had done to her husband. The angry stranger he became was the opposite of [...] Read the rest»

Depressed: When Control Is Out of Control

Why I try to understand depression, I find too few words with too many meanings. This isn’t quibbling over semantics. It’s about what you feel when living with depression and what you feel when you can finally live without it. It’s about the experience behind the words. Take the word, control. To control and to be controlling are bad. Your world is all about you, and everyone else is there [...] Read the rest»

Forgiveness and Escape from Depression

As many know it, forgiveness is a feeling that can’t be forced, one that often comes after a long inner struggle. I’ve lived with the need for many forms of forgiveness, and each has been important in my recovery from depression. I’ve felt the need to acknowledge hurt that I’ve caused and to ask for forgiveness. I’ve known the reconciliation that can come from receiving it and the pain when [...] Read the rest»

Tony Giordano’s Story of Depression and Recovery

Every person who has lived with depression has a unique story to tell, and I’ve read or listened to dozens of them since starting this blog. Rarely, though, have I found a narrative that so closely parallels my own experience as Tony Giordano’s does. It’s Not All In Your Head: Unearthing the Deep Roots of Depression has one passage after another that I could have written about my own struggle. [...] Read the rest»

On Health Central: How One Man Fights Depression

Some Rights Reserved by prudencebrown121 at Flickr My new post at Health Central talks about picking up on the early warning signs of depression. Since I tend to need a big picture to figure out what to do, I found it when forced by desperation to look closely at my own self-defeating behavior. That was a key recognition that helped me spot the emergence of depression. It may seem hard [...] Read the rest»

Relationships in Conflict: Action Against Depression

In recalling how couples I’ve encountered have dealt with conflict in their relationships, two moments come to mind. These were just glimpses, but they stand out as the extremes. Once during a visit to a Native American community in the Pacific Northwest, I went to see an elder couple at their home. What they said has faded from memory, but how they said it was completely enchanting. Their words flowed [...] Read the rest»