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»

Changing Memory

Achieving Profound Change with Coherence Therapy

Psychotherapists can help us make breakthroughs in dealing with depression, but often the insights gained during a session don’t lead to permanent change. Why is it that we can’t always put the new insight into daily use and sometimes forget it as soon as we’re out of the room? That’s the problem that a new approach, called coherence therapy, tries to solve. Like the work that led to focusing oriented [...] Read the rest»

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»

Ptolemy Map of Universe

Mapping Recovery-5: Does Your Life Support Depression?

Mapping the full scope of your depression requires a searching look beyond symptoms to include the way you’re living your life as a whole. When tracking symptoms, the focus is on what’s wrong, what you can no longer do. Following daily life means focusing on what you do, the specific actions you take in response to the situations you run into. By following your daily actions, it's easier to spot the patterns of depression's impact on the way you're living. You can see more clearly when the illness seems to drive everything you do and when you feel have some room to maneuver. Those are the openings for change that let you begin a recovery process. Read the rest»

What Comes After Recovery from Depression?

In response to a recent post, Clinically Clueless commented that, for her, recovery was a process, not a destination. She needed to keep aware of it, like those recovering from addiction, in order to catch the signs of relapse. I’ve thought of recovery in a similar way, certainly not a state you arrive at and then take for granted. These days I consider it more like a set of skills [...] Read the rest»

Patterns of Recovery from Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Some Rights Reserved by Guanatos Gwyn at Flickr My mother survived two heart attacks but died twice before her death. That’s the way she saw it. Her heart stopped both times, but she fought her way back. The second heart-stopping attack occurred during an operation for a different problem. She was 94. I only learned about this complication when I visited her the next day. She looked a bit worn [...] Read the rest»

Healing & the Power of Place

Some Rights Reserved by frapestaartje at Flickr In a couple of excellent posts, Susan at the Wellness Writer has written about ecotherapy, a form of treatment that seeks to restore the lost connections with the natural world that are essential to health. (She cites a new book of, the same name as a good introduction.) Of course, reconnecting is an important part of wellness, but it drove home the fact [...] Read the rest»

Recovery, Purpose and Nests

There is a link, though it’s a stretch, between recovery and the building of nests that occurs to me on this fine spring day, and I’ll get there in a moment. Right now, life is blossoming out everywhere. The stunning medleys of the mockingbirds are in the air, and there’s much courting behavior among all the birds: the strutting, chest puffing and singing of males, the coy approaches and retreats [...] Read the rest»