It’s Great To Be Grateful During The Holidays

If you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or a bit tired during what can be the commercial lunacy of the holidays, gratefulness can put the jumper cables to your soul.

We need to swim against the flow of noise, overeating, and buying and giving stuff, to find gratefulness.  But it’s worth the effort, really.

I love the explanation of Brother David Steindl Rast, a way cool monk (he hangs with the Dalai Lama) who travels the world talking about gratefulness.

He says it is the opportunity that life affords each of us to be grateful that counts. Brother David nailed it when he says that it is not the happiest people that are grateful. Too often people who are given everything are unhappy because the want more of what they’ve been given or something else. He says it is the grateful people that are truly happy.

Trump Said Mental Illness Leads to Gun Violence. Here’s Why Doctors Disagree

Obviously part of a huge debate across the country right now, mental illness has been unfairly scapegoated as the chief reason for gun violence in America.  In this article doctors point out that, while additional recognition and resources for treating mental illness are welcome, the health epidemic resulting from deaths and injuries inflicted by assault weapons is staggering and cannot be alleviated by “treating mental illness.”  Read the article here.

Floating Away Your Anxiety and Stress

This new treatment seeks to combat stress and anxiety-as well as related symptoms such as increased blood pressure and racing mental activity-by allowing patients to float in extremely salinated water for around an hour at a time.  The treatment is still in its testing phases but has proven to be an attractive alternative to medication for many suffering from PTSD, injured athletes, and those suffering from chronic pain and anxiety.  Read the NPR article here.

Coping with Summertime Depression: The Light of Gratitude

July’s heat and the sun have made it pretty hot.

It’s steamy outside. But that’s just fine with me.  My feet aren’t cold, dark clouds don’t threaten snow, and everyone’s outside watering yards, humming a tune, and going for walks at night.

As we look over the horizon, August is almost here.

Author Natalie Babbitt captures some of the summer’s magic when she writes:

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noon’s, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”

Coming to Terms With Depression

In her new memoir, This Close to Happy, Daphne Merkin writes about how she’s made her way through life, not despite, but with depression. She tells NPR’s Scott Simon that sometimes she just has to push herself through bad days. “At really bad times, I will admit I don’t get up,” she says. “I sort of languish, or sleep. But mostly I try and combat it by assertions of will. Which is not the same as saying, ‘Pull yourself up by your bootstraps,’ though … there’s a point at which these assertions of will don’t help. But otherwise, I think there’s a way of negotiating depression, like, talking to it. Saying, ‘you can do this, you’ll be OK, try going outside, try sitting at your desk.’ You know, kind of coaxing oneself.” Listen to the interview here.

Study: Vast Majority of People Who Are Depressed Do Not Seek Help

National Public Radio reports that of the estimated 350 million people affected by depression globally, the vast majority of them don’t get treatment for their condition either due to stigma or a lack of knowledge, according to a study of more than 50,000 people in 21 countries. Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organization found that in the poorest countries, one in 27 people with depression received minimally adequate care for their condition. Even in the richest countries, only one in five people with depression sought care. Read the article.

Depression Screening for All?

From National Public Radio‘s program, “On Point with Tom Ashbrook,” a great conversation with experts about a new national task force’s recommendation that says everyone should be screened for depression.  Listen to the Podcast

‘Ridiculous Fun’ Helps Blogger See Through Depression

National Public Radio reports that dealing with depression has never been easy for author Jenny Lawson, but as she explains in her new book, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, it helps to have a sharp sense of the absurd. Humor helps her see through the dark.  Read the News

Studies

NPR radio reports that the benefits of talk therapy for depression have been overstated in the scientific literature, according to a study in the journal PLOS ONE. The finding comes several years after a similar study reached the same conclusion about antidepressant drugs. Listen to the Story

 

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