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Showing posts from August, 2019

Flip the Script on Suicide Prevention Week

National Suicide Prevention Week starts next week (September 8-14) and I am trying to gear up for it. I can’t remember which I am supposed to watch for, the risk factors or the warning signs. I guess somebody will tell me again.
Not to be snarky – I do appreciate this annual effort to get people to pay attention. You’d think so, given my personal stake in preventing suicide, as in, my own. But I have to confess, these campaigns leave me feeling a bit disconnected from myself. How ironic is that?
I figured it out. The problem is that I pay any attention at all to suicide prevention campaigns. But they are not addressed to me. They are addressed to professionals, friends, and loved ones. They are about me and others who are at risk.
But here’s the thing. Professionals, friends, and loved ones are bit players in the suicide prevention business. The ones who do the heavy lifting are the ones in danger ourselves. So we read the literature, always looking for another trick to try, only to disc…

Bipolar, Not So Much - A Review

Recurrent depression, treatment-resistant depression, depression with mixed features, cyclothymic disorder -- if your file at the doctor's office is coded for any of these, my heart goes out to you. Chances are you have taken a number of turns around the antidepressant not-so-merry-go-round. I call it "The Chemistry Experiment," and you are the test tube.


Chris Aiken and James Phelps have written the book for you. Bipolar, Not So Much: Understanding Your Mood Swings and Depression introduces the reader to the Bipolar Spectrum. No, they are not talking about the movie version of bipolar, throwing furniture out the window, driving the car into the river... They mean the vast ground between that and your basic depression. They mean depression - with something more.

The authors use a conversational style, speaking directly to the reader and skipping the jargon. They begin by explaining the spectrum. They don't ask the question the way the DSM frames it, Does this person ha…

The Five Stages of Climate Change - Another View

God just tweeted this.

How did I overlook #5 for last week's post?


God @TheTweetOfGod · 18h THE FIVE STAGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE 1. Denial 2. Guilt 3. Depression 4. Acceptance 5. Drowning

Stages of Grief and Climate Change

In 1969 Elizabeth Kubler Ross published On Death and Dying. It described the grief process of dying patients and how family and medical personnel could help them toward a good death.

You probably know what came to be called the stages: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance. They were never intended to describe a straight line process, more like a series of way stations to be visited on the way. They came from her work with people who were dying, and were part of the foundation of the Hospice movement, to take dying back out of the hospital where the focus is on preventing death, and put it on a more humane basis. We all die. Let's do it without the violence of extreme measures.

Kubler Ross has been on my mind lately, as it becomes clear that the planet is dying. We all are dying. But so are the polar bears, as a species, the black rhinos, the bees... And when Monsanto kills off what remains of the bees... We are facing the sixth mass extinction of the planet. Unlike the …

Describing Negative Emotions and Depression

Negative emotion differentiation (NED) refers to the ability to identify and label discrete negative emotions.

Are you the mom who says to your tantruming toddler, Use your words? That's good parenting in so many ways. Well actually, I found it quicker to turn the critter over and hold him up by his ankles, so he could ponder his universe from a different perspective. You could call that reframing. But that technique is more difficult to execute on a teenager.

Here is the latest reason why Use your words is good for your kid: the folk who get paid to come up with new things to research have discovered a relationship between teenagers and words. The more words they have to describe precisely their negative emotions, the less risk they have to develop depression in the face of high stress. And conversely:

Results suggest that low NED is primarily depressogenic in the context of high stress exposure.

That's from "The perils of murky emotions: Emotion differentiation moderates th…