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:

Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12!

Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter


Dandelion Black And White Nature Alone FlowerEpisode 60: Isolation, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Molly, tells the story of her depression, bipolar and suicidal ideation, and how ECT (electroshock therapy) has helped her regain her metal health and a more balanced life. Sunday, May 14, 2017.

Isolation—the experience of being separated from others—may result from being physically removed from others, as when a person lives in a remote area, or it can result from the perception of being removed from a community, such as when a person feels socially or emotionally isolated from others. Social isolation is distinct from the experience of solitude, which is simply the state of being alone, usually by choice. Taking time to be alone can be a healthy, rejuvenating experience that allows us to reconnect with our own needs, goals, beliefs, values, and feelings. But when a person experiences too much solitude or feels socially isolated from others, he or she may develop feelings of loneliness, social anxiety, helplessness, or depression, among others.

How Can Therapy Help Isolation?

Therapy can help address the emotional and psychological issues that lead to isolating behaviors. Sometimes isolation is not a matter of choice; some people may report wanting to have friends and engage emotionally, but are unable to do so out of fear or because they do not know how to proceed. In addition, many people battle a sense of isolation during major life transitions, such as when someone loses an intimate partner or close confidant, and others may experience isolation simply because they are physically isolated by living in remote areas. In any case, feelings of isolation can be severely distressing, and therapy can help a person develop social skills and learn to manage symptoms. In fact, the therapeutic process itself provides an opportunity to establish trust with and experience the emotional support of another person, all of which will help a person to live a less isolated existence.



TDP Episode 59 photoEpisode 59: Nausea, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Carolyn King, is a kinesiologist and tells the story of her depression and how wanting to fit in as a teenager lead serious depression as an adult. Her book “Empowered Happiness” talks about her journey to mental health and wellbeing. Sunday, May 7, 2017.

Carolyn’s book:

More information on perimenopause and nausea, can be found:

Menopause health Matters. com

Hormonal imbalance in perimenopause is one of the primary causes of digestive problems in women between the ages of 45 and 55. You do not have to be experiencing other symptoms of menopause to be experiencing digestive problems in perimenopause.

Many women have reported that their Healthcare Professional failed to associate their digestive symptoms with perimenopause as they had not presented with any simultaneous menopause symptoms.

34 menopause

Nausea, like many other symptoms of menopause, is caused by fluctuating hormone levels. Low estrogen levels can cause fluid retention, which can result in dizziness and bloating. Although uncommon, nausea may stem from these menopause symptoms.

Symptoms such as nausea often begin during perimenopause, the first stage of menopause transition. Perimenopause generally begins in a woman’s forties or early fifties, although it may begin slightly later, and rarely, much earlier.


TDP Episode 58 photoEpisode 58: Hormones, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Ross McKeachie, tells the story of his depression and how yoga and meditation helped him get through his darkest times, and inspired him to start his own business to help others to live their heart’s vision. Sunday, April 28, 2017.

Ross McKeachie’s website:

Perimenopause, or menopause transition, begins several years before menopause. It’s the time when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier.

Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1 to 2 years of perimenopause, this drop in estrogen speeds up. At this stage, many women have menopause symptoms.

Causes of Panic Disorders

Paranoia or panic disorders during menopause happens due to imbalances in key chemical messengers in the brain, known as neurotransmitters. Brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin are responsible for feelings of calm and happiness, while other chemical messengers such as norepinephrine regulate energy levels and “fight or flight” responses in crises. In particular, estrogen plays a key role in the brain’s production of serotonin.

As hormone levels of estrogen and other hormones begin to decline and fluctuate during menopause, brain chemistry can become altered. Serotonin levels can descend, and adrenaline levels can rise, affecting the way that women interpret events and people around them – and even how they perceive themselves. Chemical changes during menopause can lead to feelings of panic, dread and heightened self-consciousness.

The Female Brain – Louann Brizendine


TDP Episode 57 photoEpisode 57: Perseverance, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Ceci, tells the story of her depression and how leaving her state job and starting her own business, Bees’ Knees Creatives, LLC, has helped with cope better with her depression. Sunday, April 23, 2017.

There’s something to be said about not giving up when you have depression.” -Gloria Keyloun (The Depression Session Listener)

Perseverance Definition:

  1. steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.


“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews


TDP Episode 56 photo

Episode 56: Apathy, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, de Vie Weinstock, tells the story of her depression and how understanding depression as a feeling rather than a mental illness, has been a helpful perspective for herself and her clients. Also, how focusing on being present, rather than fixating the past or the future, can lead to wellness. Sunday, April 16, 2017.

Definition of apathy:

  • absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.
  • lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.

Dare to Be Present – A link to de Vie’s website:

“Hate is not the opposite of love, apathy is.” – Rollo May


Out Sick

4282228554_16f1ccfb92Hello Online Listeners,

I’m out with the flu today, so I’ll be rebroadcasting an episode from 8/21/16. It’s unusual for me to be so sick… I haven’t had the stomach flu in probably 30 years! Feeling better today, but I thought it would be unkind to pass it on to an unsuspecting guest.

I hope you are all hearty and hale.



La MuseEpisode 55: Privilege, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Sarah Sullivan, tells the story of her depression and how, after living in Hong Kong for seven years deprived of nature and fresh air, kinesiology helped her reconnect to her body and spirit which lead her on a path of wellness. Her soon to be published children’s story, “Frankie”, shares some of this journey.  Sunday, March 26, 2017.

Thank you to La Muse Writer’s and Artist Retreat! 

If you need to get away to support your creative self, check out La Muse  . If you are short on funds, think about crowd sourcing to raise it,, . Don’t let money stop you from being the artist/writer you see in your dreams.

For more information about kinesiology from the organization that helped Sarah:

“Privilege is here, and with privilege goes responsibility.”
―John F. Kennedy

Article about privilege:

and what I wrote on Facebook about privilege:

So true.

I know that individually you may have “pulled yourself up by your boots straps” (or feel that you have), but there are so many hidden advantages to being white. (If you are feeling brave, share your privileges, white or otherwise.)

The first time I was faced with the question of my own privilege was in 6th or 7th grade when a friend of mine (white friend) said, “yeah, but you guys are rich.” I don’t remember in response to what, but I do remember my reaction which was to think “we’re not rich… my mom makes $8,000 a year, we can’t afford heat, my dad’s living in a tailer and selling books door-to-door, and all my clothes are hand-me-downs!” Although my friend was on welfare, they had heat, plenty of food and even had HBO and an Atari (both of which were a big deal to me in the 80s). With no small amount of resentment, I kept thinking, “What does she mean by rich! Why would she think that. She has more stuff than I do.”

But she was right. Over the years, the answer has come to me in bits and pieces… The main privileges we had were resillency and resources. One of the biggest white privileges is that you can make huge “mistakes”, completely hit rock bottom, and still end up back in the middle class. In our worst economic situation, we still had so many built-in advantages.

-We had family members, friends and neighbors who could help out in a pinch.
-We didn’t stay poor. (My mom and I were just talking about how we’ve been at or below the poverty level more than once, but are now solidly, comfortably middle class, and how good that feels.)
-Both my parents and grandparents had college educations.
-My mom kept the house and eventually paid it off.
-My dad got back on his feet and retired comfortably with assets.
-We lived in a town were costs where low.
-We have generations of advantages of income or home ownership.
-Jobs come easily to me. People trust me and give me raises or extra responsibilities because I “present” well. So much of which is tied to my race… height… “attractiveness”… class… education… elocution…
-I don’t make a ton of money, but I know about investments and budgeting. This is also passed down and comes with the privilege of having been allowed to own things going back many generations.
-My family encouraged me to dream big and work hard, and taught by example that that paid off. But, that is the privilege of generations of dreams and work that actually did pay off… instead of being stopped and stomped on. That is practically the definition of white privilege for me.

I don’t know what the solution is to generations of institutionalized racism… but I know that the first step is owning up to your own privilege and practicing gratitude rather than judging others. It is so easy to say “pull yourself up by your boot straps” (I am guilty of thinking this over the years), without really looking at your boot straps and where they really came from and at what cost to other people…

Anyway, feel free to share your own privileges, white or otherwise.