Recover from Depression Ebook

“A Mind for Life” Ebook Is Now Available

I’m happy to announce that A Mind for Life, my ebook on recovery from depression, is now available. Unlike many recent books about how to deal with the illness, this one focuses on the inner work of change rather than medical treatments and experience with antidepressants. It may not be for everyone, but it captures the struggle I’ve had to face in overcoming internal resistance to change and in mastering [...] Read the rest»

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»

Detail of Mixed Media Painting by Choichun Leung

When Words of Depression Block My Mind

The words I hear when I’m depressed are limited, negative and decidedly lacking in color, but they can all too easily block my mind and feelings. I’m stuck on “I can’t” when I want to do something important to me. I’m either in a trance of inaction or caught in fear. Either way, I can’t think around the words to get in touch with the inner energy I need to [...] Read the rest»

Backlit flower

Finding Self-Compassion through Focusing

Focusing is one of the few methods that has helped me understand depression as I experience it, well beyond the scope of clinical descriptions. It has also given me an approach to self-compassion that is more effective than the various meditations I have tried. As Eugene Gendlin acknowledges in Focusing, his self-help version of the method he developed, some people feel they must suffer the full feelings of their problems, [...] Read the rest»

First Wind of Spring

The Alchemy of Turning Depression into Vitality

After reading about the experiences of Tom Wootton and Will, the author of the great blog, WillSpirit, I’ve been exploring whether I could find a way, as they have, of turning depression into vitality or even bliss, something positive and fulfilling. It’s been a stretch. I’ve usually thought of depression as a force that turns you against the most basic instinct of all – the instinct to survive and thrive [...] Read the rest»

dawn sky

Waking Up a Depressed Partner

I remember years ago talking with a friend about his recent divorce and remarriage and mentioning the stressful time my wife and I had been having at that time. He bluntly suggested: Well, why don’t you leave? I told him I wouldn’t do that since I thought the problems were as much on my side as hers. He looked at me quizzically and said: “Really?” – as if that were [...] Read the rest»

portrait magical thinking

Why Talking to Myself Makes Sense

I’ve tried to stop talking to myself, but I haven’t had much luck. I’m referring to the silent internal conversation that accompanies almost every waking moment when my attention is left on its own. I’ve often wondered why the talking has to keep going. Listening with Awareness As part of dealing with depression, I’ve worked a lot with the techniques of cognitive therapy, and I’ve learned some of the methods [...] Read the rest»