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»

Mysterious Roving Rocks of Racetrack Playa

The Challenge of the Ordinary

When I’m depressed, I dwell most on the failings of the past and the expected disappointments of the future, but there is also the challenge of the ordinary moments of the present. The challenge when depressed is to recognize the things I do well but unconsciously, the daily actions I’m good at but ignore when judging myself harshly. I’ve borrowed this thought, though adapting it to a different setting, from [...] Read the rest»

Gwyneth Paltrow as Sylvia Plath

My Top 5 Movies on Depression

Movies about the realities of depression aren’t usually popular or profitable. As a result, there aren’t many that probe the condition deeply and honestly. The five films in this post are the best I’ve seen for the realism and dramatic power of their stories and the excellence of acting and production. There are many more good movies I’ll write about, but these come to mind first. I hope you’ll add [...] Read the rest»

Conversation on Depression

Can Depression Make Us Better People?

Depression can collapse your life the way an earthquake can take down a city. So how could this same depression make us better people? Tom Wootton takes the idea farther than anyone else with his belief that depression can be a beautiful part of your life. Most of us haven’t imagined such a possibility but have searched for the positive side of the illness, especially after living with it for [...] Read the rest»

Wootton Depression Advantage Cover

Tom Wootton and the Depression Advantage

Tom Wootton says that a few years ago he would have screamed if anyone had said there was an advantage to depression. So, to get a bit in your face, he named his book, The Depression Advantage. And that book came after The Bipolar Advantage. I didn’t scream when I saw those titles. As I recall, there was some seething, groaning, a “not another one of those!” – but no [...] Read the rest»

Barbed wire strand

On the Other Side of Fear

Fear has a way of setting boundaries that can’t be crossed. If you do cross them, you know you’ll pay a price – a pain or terror you can’t endure. The boundary is protection. Inside it, you’re safe. I think of the anxiety I feel when moving through depression as the warning sign. You’re getting too close. Watch out. Ahead there’s panic and the touch of that terrible thing you [...] Read the rest»

Self-Acceptance and Depression

Depression is the opposite of many qualities of well-being, and one of them is self-acceptance. Until recently, I hadn’t spent much time in that inner place. Self-rejection had been much more familiar. I came to know every corner of its neighborhood. There have been many times when I felt fine with my life, but later I’d realize I had been overlooking everything too painful to face. When I added all [...] Read the rest»

Ecotherapy: Healing Depression in Wilderness and Gardens

Ecotherapy is more than a walk in the woods or watching a beautiful sunset. It’s an emerging form of treatment that can help with healing depression. It aims at restoring the connection to the natural world that is usually limited to high-speed glimpses of windshield scenery. Reconnecting to the literal earthly world is an important part of wellness, but reading a book on Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind seemed [...] Read the rest»