Couple in mystic woods at sunset

Can You Be a Therapist for Your Depressed Partner?

A couple of readers have asked me to comment on whether it’s possible or advisable to try to act as a ‘therapist’ for your depressed partner. This idea came out of responses to one of the posts on relationships that has attracted the most attention on this blog: How Can You Communicate After Your Depressed Partner Leaves? The word ‘therapist’ has to go in quotes because a non-depressed partner cannot [...] 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»

power of vulnerability video

Brene Brown on the Power of Vulnerability

Brene Brown’s video on vulnerability hit me where I breathe. That simple. She touches on most of the themes – other than depression itself – that I’ve struggled with and written about for years. The big ones for me are shame, fear, the courage to step into life without knowing what to expect – the courage to be vulnerable. She weaves them into her warm and funny style of presenting [...] Read the rest»

Abstract diamond shape

Can the Mind Heal Depression?

How can we draw on the power of our own minds to heal depression? As I’ve tried to answer this question, I’ve had to rethink my beliefs about recovery. This is the first in a series of posts to describe what I’ve been learning. Like everything else I’ve been writing about here, this search starts with my need to understand how I’ve come to live well after years of losing [...] Read the rest»

No Energy to Start Recovery? Try a Little Light and Color.

Some rights reserved by Nicola since 1972 The hardest thing about recovery can be the first step. It’s an alluring thought to be done with depression, but recovery can seem as overwhelming as the illness you’re trying to end. Since you may not have any energy at all, how can you begin to follow all this advice: get active, go running, start meditating, eat all that nourishing food, change your [...] 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»

Relationships in Conflict: Depression’s Role

Depression is a natural enemy of close relationships. It helps build tension and conflict as a once-loving partner either withdraws into emotional isolation or turns angry and blaming. I suppose that’s inevitable since the loving support of a long-term relationship doesn’t fit the depressed view of an undeserving and damaged self. Nor does it fit the phase of depression that blames the partner for causing the inner pain. Either way, [...] Read the rest»

Depression Therapy: Lonely Talk in a Crowded Room

Therapy for depression usually meant talking about the world I was seeing, the thoughts I had, the pain I felt, the judgments about me I projected onto others – all me, all the time. Once, I was talking to a therapist in that way when I sensed a crowd of people filling the room. The new arrivals were not trying to interrupt but were simply listening – at least I [...] Read the rest»