Is it Possible to Improve Depression Without Therapy?

Excellent post by Dr Damon Ashworth

Damon Ashworth Psychology

If you walk into a bookstore these days, there is an ever expanding self-help section, all claiming to have the secret answer to help you to overcome your Depression. But do these titles even teach us anything new, and do they actually help individuals to improve?

What is Depression?

Although it is considered normal to experience short episodes of sadness or depressed mood, Depression, formally known as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), is a psychological disorder of pervasively lowered mood that is accompanied by several physiological, cognitive and behavioural changes. These changes include:

  • lack of interest or pleasure in most activities
  • fatigue
  • loss of energy
  • insomnia or hypersomnia
  • psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • increased or decreased appetite
  • substantial weight gain or loss without intending to do so
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • indecisiveness
  • concentration difficulties, and
  • recurrent thoughts, plans or intentions towards death or suicide.

In order to meet criteria for…

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  When the "worst" has happened. (From the viewpoint of one phobic.)   It was a beautiful late September day, 31  degrees Celsius at my favourite local beach in Cobourg, ON. Unfortunately, because beach season is over (but not according to nature), the parks department hadn't emptied garbage and there were overflowing piles of delicious…

How Wasp Your Day?

Trying to describe a phobia to someone who doesn't have one, is like trying to describe what childbirth feels like: this is a place beyond words. But heck, I'll give it a try! First off, a phobic attack is exactly the same as a panic attack, symptom-wise; the only difference is the presence of a…

How to improve your sleep

Great, practical advice!

Richard Wiseman

I recently gave a Funzing talk on how to improve your sleep. A few attendees asked for a summary and so here are 10 main points.  I discuss all of this in depth in Night School, and will be giving another Funzing talk on the topic in London in June.

Avoid the blues: When your eyes are exposed to light, your brain produces less of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Light towards the blue end of the spectrum is especially stimulating and computer screens, tablets, smartphones and LED lighting all emit a lot of blue light. Try not to use these devices in the two hours before you go to bed. If you must use them, turn down the brightness or wear amber-tinted glasses designed to block blue light.

Avoid nightcaps: Although a small amount of alcohol helps you get to sleep more quickly, it also gives you a more…

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Medical Appointments 101

Here's how you can make the most of your medical appointment: I suggest you bring a book to read or something to occupy your wait time. (This may apply more in Canada, where you often wait over an hour for a booked appointment). That way your stress level (from being kept waiting soooo long) won't hijack…

Don’t Be So Sensitive

A chipmunk died on our front porch this morning. It was too late to help. It is nestled in the front garden now, with some peonies. One of its friends came to check on it, then ran away. Most people would find this sad, but probably not shed any tears. I found it incredibly sad…

User Stories: Meditating With My Dog & Managing Insomnia

I wrote about the meditation app I use, Simple Habit.

The Simple Habit Blog

Do you meditate with Simple Habit? Let us know your meditation story today

User story from Sue Shortt

I have been meditating for a little over 2 years. Recently I learned about Simple Habit and I have become a subscriber. I like the variety of guided meditations available, and being able to choose how long you wish to practice. I also like that there are different meditation teachers guiding the sessions.

I began meditating to help me manage chronic pain and anxiety. It is one of the tools in my self-care toolbox, and I’m proud that I’ve made it a daily habit. Anxiety is a tough beast, and I have lived with it for as long as I can remember. I need reminders daily to slow down, breathe, be aware and be open to each experience just as it unfolds. I feel like these lessons are slowly sinking in…

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