12 Steps to Motivating When You’re Depressed

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photo by vinoth chandar (creative commons)

I’m just passing this on, in case someone might find it useful. There’s nothing more irritating to a depressed person than being told you should just do blah blah blah. If you’ve never been depressed, the simplicity of some of the suggestions might shock you. Such as “Wash Up” or “Get Dressed” or “Go Outside”.

In any case, some food for thought at PsychCentral.

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The Depression Blog*

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA photo by nevil zavery (creative commons) I’ve got another blog kicking around. Though it’s called LA Eastsider Depressed it’s devoted to a number of topics, much like this blog. The style is a little less wordy than here, and I’m making more of an effort toward variety — quotes, images, videos, poetry, etc. Some of the recent posts:

*LA Eastsider Depressed has been renamed! It’s now Los Feliz Psychologist, but there will still be plenty of stuff about depression. All the old links will work, too.

New Blogs and a Web Page

Since I’ve moved my practice to the Los Feliz neighborhood, about a year ago, I’ve started two new blogs. One covers mental health in general, Los Feliz Psychologist, and the other, LA Eastsider Mindful, focusses on mindfulness. The mindfulness topic was taking up lots of bandwidth on this blog, so I gave it its own forum.

There’s a map on the sidebar to the right, to help you locate my new office. Find a brief bio and some thoughts about psychotherapy at kaleachapman.wordpress.com I hope you’ll stop by!

Understanding Bipolar Disorder, Visual Edition

Recently came across, and enjoyed, this graphic novel that chronicles one woman’s struggle with bipolar disorder. I’m not going to review it here, but I will say that I enjoyed it. It accurately describes the frustrations that those with bipolar face to find the right balance of treatments. As the NPR reviewer wrote:

Bipolar disorder defies easy treatment; each individual patient must become their own guinea pig to discover the balance of medication and lifestyle therapies that will allow him or her to achieve long-term stability.

Here are a few reviews, including the one from NPR:

From Manic Highs to Oceanic Lows, (NPR)

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me, (The Guardian)

Marbles, By Ellen Forney, and More, (The New York Times)

Understanding Depression, Visual Edition

I want to share a little gem of a resource that I’ve been admiring for some time.* It is a web comic about depression. That might not sound all that inspiring, but if you’ve ever cared about someone with depression or struggled to explain your depression to someone who cares — you know that it can be very difficult.

That’s where Hyperbole and a Half comes in, a website that includes some amazing comics about what it is like to be depressed. And perhaps the best starting point, is the episode: Depression Part Two. The art is rudimentary, even crude. The message is as spot on as anything I’ve ever read about depression. Here’s a sample quote:

It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared…

…The problem might not even have a solution. But you aren’t necessarily looking for solutions. You’re maybe just looking for someone to say “sorry about how dead your fish are” or “wow, those are super dead. I still like you, though.”

I’ve also added, in the sidebar under the heading “blogs on depression”, links to both this and the first comic in the series, Adventures in Depression. It is equally insightful and funny, and begins: “Some people have a legitimate reason to feel depressed, but not me. I just woke up one day feeling sad and helpless for absolutely no reason.”

I hope you gain some comfort or understanding from the comics.

*As a coda, I was unaware that the author, Allie Brosh, just published a book of her comics with Simon and Schuster and has been getting some press recently. In fact, she did an interview on NPR which aired yesterday. Recommended.

Also:

Meet Allie Brosh, Reclusive Genius Behind the Blog (and Book) “Hyperbole and a Half” at Mother Jones.

‘Hyperbole and a Half’ illustrates Allie Brosh’s precise crudeness at NY Daily News.

“Hyperbole and a Half” creator Allie Brosh: “Good comedy has a lot in common with good horror” at Salon.com

 

Trauma Resource

I found this guide “Healing Emotional and Psychological Trauma” that might be useful for someone who suspects the root of their problem is related to trauma. It’s nicely laid out and covers a lot of material straightforwardly. Recommended.

Here’s the link to the article at helpguide.org.