The Baths at Caracalla by Sir Lawrence Alma_Tadema
You may be breathing a sigh of relief now that the holidays are over. There’s no question that there are many aspects of the holiday season that are tough on someone with depression. Things that tax your energy like shopping and cooking, parties and gatherings that require you to attempt a smile and engage in chit-chat, and of course, spending time with friends and family when you’d rather curl up in bed by yourself. All in all, an experience to be endured, and the worst part is that you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself!
And since you’ve heard that the holidays see the highest rate of suicide all year, you may also be confident that you’ve passed the danger zone. Well, not exactly. The thing is, we’re heading into the danger zone for suicides, not away from it. Contrary to popular belief, the holidays are not the time of the year when we see the most suicides. The beginning of the year, after all the festivities and for many people, in the dead of a dark, endless winter, can be the time when they lose hope. Continue reading
Knowing how to handle your health insurer is one way to be a smart patient. Knowing how to handle denials is obviously a big part of that, since it’s the one time most of us have a problem with our health insurance.
You probably will see denials more often for courses of talk therapy than anything else. Therapy is the most expensive form of treatment. But your insurer may also deny your doctor’s request for brand name as opposed to generic medication.
Don’t be discouraged if you receive a denial for a type of treatment, and don’t assume the decision is set in stone. Sometimes all your insurer needs to approve the request is a little more information. Sometimes you and your doctor need to explain why your situation is an exception to their policy. Continue reading
“Our perhaps understandable modern need to dull the sawtooth edges of so many of the afflictions we are heir to has led us to banish the harsh old-fashioned words: madhouse, asylum, insanity, melancholia, lunatic, madness. But never let it be doubted that depression in its extreme form is madness.” – William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
Boreas by John William Waterhouse
What is wrong with using the word “madness” in relation to depression? I ask because over the years I have received several indignant emails from people insisting that I stop using the word in the title of this website. According to them, I’m adding to the stigma surrounding mental illness and am being politically incorrect to the extreme. Continue reading
I was bullied through much of my childhood, beginning when I was seven years old, which was when we moved from New Jersey to a wealthy town in Connecticut in which sports were worshipped. I was, to put it mildly, not very good at sports. Not only was I somewhat uncoordinated, but my Attention Deficit Disorder (or complete lack of interest) caused me to space out when the phys-ed teacher was explaining the rules of whatever game we were about to play. When we were subsequently playing, of course, I wouldn’t have any idea what was going on and would screw things up for my team. Or I’d be daydreaming in left field and miss a ball coming right at me. Continue reading
As I’ve mentioned before, I am a big fan of psychotherapy. Although medication has had a greater role in my successful depression treatment, psychotherapy helped me to recognize my inner demons and banish or deal with them, thereby leading to my becoming a much happier person overall, which I would assume is helpful in fighting depression.
Treatment with psychotherapy is a tad more complicated than treatment with medication, however. With antidepressant therapy, once you’ve found the right medication (admittedly, sometimes a lengthy process) you basically take your medicine and deal with side effects. Psychotherapy demands more in terms of the right conditions and a commitment from the individual. It’s fairly common for roadblocks to come up that hinder the process. I’ve experienced two of these roadblocks in the course of my therapy, so I thought I’d pass on what I’ve learned about getting past them. Continue reading