Letting Go

TDP Episode 70 photoEpisode 70:  Connection, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guests, Destany and her daughter, 7, each tell the story of their depression and how they are getting out of the cycle of abuse and poverty through therapy and their strong mother-daughter connection. Sunday, October 15, 2017.

Destany’s youtube channel:




TDP Episode 69 photoEpisode 69:  Connection, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Austin, tells the story of his depression and how getting a sense of perspective and practicing gratitude helped him focus outward on what he could do to help others, rather than focusing inward and feeling depressed. Sunday, October 8, 2017.

10 Ways to Deepen Your Connections With Others (excepts)

1. Smile

Smiling at another person is one of the simplest ways to connect with them, and it only takes a second.

2. Make Eye Contact

When you make eye contact and choose to be completely present with other people, it cultivates a level of trust and safety that allows them to open up even more.

3. Schedule Quality Time

In today’s world, there’s a bigger emphasis on running around and getting things done than there is on making time to connect with others.

4. Listen With Your Heart

When you can listen from your heart rather than your head, you’re able to be present while someone else shares. When you feel heard—really heard—by another, it deepens your level of trust and connection with them.

5. Actively Love

The art of actively loving happens when you turn love into a verb instead of simply viewing it as a state. Practice doing things for—and with—people that demonstrate you love them.

6. Communicate Consciously

Relationships require open, compassionate, and conscious communication. Effective communication asks that you show up in the conversation without engaging in melodrama or blaming others or yourself.

7. Dig Deeper

Through doing your own personal development work, you come to know and understand yourself at a deeper level. As this journey unfolds, you inevitably learn more about those who play a role in your life experiences.

8. Be Present and Focused on the Other

Ask people about their lives, their families, their hobbies, goals, and visions. Then, really listen to what they have to say.

9. Establish Go’s and No-Go’s

Another profound way to connect with others is to dip below the surface and explore the deeper level conversations that reveal other people’s likes and dislikes.

10. Be Authentic

Another profound way to connect with others is to be authentically you. Practicing authenticity means being vulnerable.

Reaching Out

TDP Episode 68 photoEpisode 68:  Reaching Out, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Francesca, tells the story of her depression and how rejecting the label of “depression” helps her manage her symptoms, allowing her to accept her emotional state and be honest about how she is feeling. Through yoga and her blog she helps others find their own way through depression. Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Francesca’s website:
Francesca’s blog:

Except’s from this week’s show from Psych Central:

Reaching Out

4 Ways To Reach Out When Depressed By Graeme Cowan

1. Talk to those around you

You don’t have to formally inform someone that you feel like you have clinical depression.

Instead, you can simply say that things have been a bit tough for you lately and that you’re struggling to cope. Ask if they can listen to you without judging for a little while, and then tell them how you feel and what you’re going through. You may be surprised how supportive, empathetic or understanding your family member or friend may be.

2. Join support groups

There is nothing like being able to talk with people who really understand what you are going through — fellow travelers — those who also live with depression or bipolar. There are specialized depression or bipolar groups, and those that support all mental health challenges.

3. Call a support line or reach out online

These provide total anonymity and support from either trained counselors or people who have been through depression and survived.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S. (800-273-TALK), or the worldwide network BeFrienders ( Tucson HOPE Warm Line, 520.770.9909

4. Read others’ stories

Reading the documented struggles of others from all walks of life when it comes to depression can help provide you with a sense of both perspective and scale. Not only are you not alone — many more people are afflicted than you may have initially thought.


TDP Episode 66 photoEpisode 66:  Food, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Dawn Keller, tells the story of her depression and how medication, diet and exercise helped her through the toughest time in her life. Sunday, September 10, 2017.

Dawn’s website:


Is Depression Wrecking Your Weight?

Eating Yourself Blue

Some foods, especially foods with high sugar and/or fat content, make you feel better, if only briefly,” says psychiatrist James Gordon, MD, author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey out of Depression.

That good feeling makes you want to eat more, which in turn makes you feel bad about yourself,” Gordon says. “That leads to deeper depression, and more eating, and greater amounts of weight gain. It’s a vicious cycle.”

Getting out of that cycle can be a real challenge.

When you are depressed, it is much harder to get out of bed, much less pay attention to what you are eating,” says Edward Abramson, PhD, an emeritus professor of psychology at California State University at Chico and the author of Emotional Eating: What You Need To Know Before Starting Another Diet.

For doctors, it’s less important to know which came first: the patient’s depression or the weight problems. The question is, which one should get the most initial attention?

If someone comes to me who is severely depressed and overweight, the depression is going to be the primary focus,” says Abramson.

However, he continues, an eating disorder that causes a patient to binge might need to be addressed first: “If their eating is out of control, that becomes the primary focus.”


TDP Episode 65 photoEpisode 65:  Change, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Angela Orlando, tells the story of her depression and how a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and finding the right medication cocktail made all the difference in her life. Sunday, August 27, 2017.

Angela’s Website and Facebook:

Women’s Wilderness Writing Workshops:  and

Information on Change and Depression

I couldn’t find anything about the desire to change your life when depressed… but there were plenty of articles on how to change your life if you are feeling depressed. I just feel like I want a new life.

University of Minnesota
What Lifestyle Changes are Recommended for Anxiety and Depression?

Exercise, Diet, Alcohol, Sleep, Thoughts & Emotions, Stress Reduction, Social Support, Purpose





TDP Episode 64 photoEpisode 64:  Inflammation, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Amy Weintraub, tells the story of her depression and how practicing yoga lead her on a path to wellbeing, which inspired her to start LifeForce Yoga to help other people through their depression. Sunday, August 20, 2017.

For more information on LifeForce Yoga:

Psychology Today – excepts

The Surprising Psychology of the Common Cold: New research shows just how bad cold and flu season can be for your psyche.

Posted Feb 02, 2015 By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D.

Illnesses like the flu or the common cold can closely mimic and cause depressive symptoms by activating your immune response and inflammation in your body (Hall 1996, Smith 1999, Capuron 1999).

Our immune, neurologic, and psychological systems are closely intertwined. When there is a foreign invader in your body, like the influenza virus, your cells produce proinflammatory cytokines, non-antibody proteins that activate and organize your body’s immune response (Raison 2006). These chemical proteins circulate throughout your body and communicate with your brain, which in turn produces its own cytokines. These brain cytokines lead to fever, fatigue, depressed mood, lack of appetite, lack of motivation, social withdrawal, poor concentration, and altered sleeping patterns. In other words, the physical sickness caused by the inflammatory response significantly overlaps with depressive symptoms.

A recently published study in JAMA Psychiatry adds important evidence on the link between depression and inflammation (Setiawan, et al. 2015). Researchers compared the positron emission tomography (PET) scans of 20 people diagnosed with a current major depressive episode with 20 healthy control participants. They measured a protein density known to be associated with neuroinflammation (“translocator protein density measured by distribution volume”).

Levels of protein density measuring neuroinflammation were significantly elevated in all three brain regions that they examined: 26 percent higher in the prefrontal cortex, 32 percent higher in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and 33 percent higher in the insula. Further, higher levels of this protein density—and, presumably, neuroinflammation—in the ACC were associated with increased severity of the depression.

This study helps to shed light on neuroinflammation as a potential pathway for depression. It also helps explain why, when you come down with the flu, you might also feel like you caught the blues, too.



Children Swing Two Black And White SilhouetteEpisode 63: Play, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Amy Una, tells the story of her depression and social anxiety, and how going out in nature helps her feel grounded. She explains how expressing herself in a blog helps with both the anxiety and depression. Sunday, June 18, 2017.

To read Amy Una’s blog:

Go Out and Play! Why You Shouldn’t Stop Acting Like a Kid

By Therese Borchard


Evolutionary biologist and animal behavioral specialist Marc Bekoff, PhD, once said that “play is training for the unexpected.” And psychiatrist and play expert Stuart Brown, MD, said, “Those who play rarely become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humor.”

I’m beginning to think that playing can even access parts of our brain that are blocked to mindfulness, meditation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

In an article published in the spring 2011 issue of the American Journal of Play, Boston College research professor Peter Gray, PhD, wrote:

Over the past half century or so, in the United States and in some other developed nations, opportunities for children to play, especially to play outdoors with other children, have continually declined. Over this same period, measures of psychopathology in children and adolescents — including indices of anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism — have continually increased.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Gray, author of Free to Learn, about the importance of play not only for kids, but for adults.


TDP Episode 62 photoEpisode 62: Money, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Serena Freewomyn, tells the story of her depression and living with brain cancer, and how giving to others allows her to keep a positive perspective and the strength to choose her own path through life. Sunday, June 11, 2017.

7 Steps to Defeat Money Depression – Geoff Williams, U.S News


Feeling blue because you’re broke?

When you’re overwhelmed by money problems, it can be frightening and even ulcer-inducing, but it may make you feel better to know that you aren’t alone. Wade through enough surveys about depression and stress, and you start to see a main culprit: Money, or lack of it, is one of the top reasons many people feel they’re at the bottom. If you’re depressed about money, especially at a time when the economy is rebounding and your friends and family appear to be faring better than you financially, here are some ideas to help brighten your outlook.

Do what happy, healthy people do. It’s the fake-it-until-you-make-it approach. Stay away from alcohol. If you’re sleeping far more than the seven to eight hours a night doctors recommend, get out of bed. If you’re eating every time you feel low, put away the knife and fork. This is all easier said than done when you’re depressed, but once you start eating better, exercising and taking better care of yourself, “[you begin] to feel a level of control, and that can bring forth solutions that may have not been apparent with the depression,” says Lisa Bahar, a licensed professional clinical counselor based in Dana Point, California.

Bahar also points out that taking concrete steps to feel better “is doing the opposite of what the depression is asking you to do.”


TDP Episode 61 photoEpisode 61: Summertime, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Suzy Murphy, tells the story of her depression and suicidal ideation, and how a combination of therapy, peer support, medication and persistence has gotten her through the worst struggles. Sunday, June 4, 2017.

Excerpts from Smithsonian Magazine:

People Get Seasonal Depression in the Summer, Too
June 22, 2015

Other symptoms are opposites, like the seasons themselves. Winter sufferers often feel sluggish, sleep more than usual and tend to overeat and gain weight. By contrast, summertime depression often brings insomnia, loss of appetite, weight loss and feelings of agitation or anxiety. Summertime SAD can also create an increased feeling of isolation. If misery loves company, SAD sufferers can find plenty of other people to commiserate with during the dreary winter months. But during summer, most everyone else seems to be having a great time.

It remains a puzzle why some people experience SAD during the months of fun in the sun. Some research suggests that it can be triggered by too much sun exposure or oppressive heat. Other scientists have theorized that allergies play a roll, or that people are responding to shifts in sleeping habits during summer’s lighter nights and bright early mornings.

Read more:

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