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Changing Core Beliefs of Depression

Getting well depends in part on changing core beliefs of depression that often begin to develop early in life. According to recent neuroscience findings, putting together a narrative about who you are is one of the most important parts of mental life. The narrative integrates many dimensions of mind: memory, emotion, thinking, sense perception, awareness, every signal that flows from the farthest reaches of the nervous system into the brain. [...] Read the rest»

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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»

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My Top Books for Understanding Depression and Recovery – 1

Every list of top books on depression is highly personal, and mine may be more so than most. I’ve left out several of the standards you’ll find in other lists, though they’ll all be included in the Resources section of this site. I’ve added others that cover far more than this illness because they’ve helped me make progress in recovery. They’ve deepened my understanding of healing and the sources of [...] Read the rest»

Has Depression Become Part of Your Identity?

I can pinpoint a moment when I came to believe that depression was not just an illness that struck from time to time but part of my identity as a person. I was talking with a friend one day about how big a problem depression had become. He thought it must be brought on by feelings that life had no meaning. I told him it wasn’t like that at all. [...] Read the rest»

Fantasies of a Perfect Future and Emotional Abuse

I’ve added two posts on emotional abusers at Health Central (here and here). In one I compared the behavior of a depressed man who acts abusively with that of a true emotional abuser. It occurred to me after writing the post that fantasies of a perfect future are important for both. As I’ve written in the Longing to Leave series, at one time fantasies of escape from my marriage seemed [...] Read the rest»

The Problem of Now in Recovery from Depression

Some Rights Reserved by monkeytime at Flickr For a long time, I found it hard to relate to the idea of living in the present moment as a method of recovery from depression. The present never seemed all that attractive when I felt smothered by its darkness. That’s the way it had been in the past, and it seemed there would be a lot more present moments like those in [...] 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»

Are You Still You When Your Partner Is Depressed?

Over and over, I find online stories about the transformation of a loving partner, most often a man, into a depressed stranger. As I’ve often written here, I have been that stranger. I’ve told several stories about what happened during that time in my life and what I’ve tried to learn from my own depressed behavior. I’ve described fantasies about becoming a new me, blaming my wife and my work [...] Read the rest»