Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thought for the Day, Part 2

“When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking.” Elayne Boosler, American Comedian and Activist

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thought for the Day, Part 1

"There comes a time in everyone's life when he or she has to stop blaming parents, circumstances, genetics, or plain bad luck, and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for their own destiny!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Henry Willey in Arizona introduced me to W. Beran Wolfe, who lived to be only 35 years old, but left a lasting impression with his book, "How to Be Happy Though Human." Here are some quotes:

1. "If you observe a really happy man, you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his child, growing double dahlias or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that had rolled under the radiator, striving for it as a goal in itself. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living life twenty-four crowded hours of each day."

2. “People are unhappy because they look inward instead of outward. They think too much about themselves instead of the things outside themselves. They worry too much about what they lack-about circumstances they cannot change-about things they feel they have or must be before they can lead full and satisfying lives.

"But happiness is not in having or being; it is in doing…Choose a movement that presents a distinct trend toward greater human happiness and align yourself with it. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow men.”

W. Beran Wolfe, 1900-1935
Author and Psychiatrist

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

From the Karma Files: Is Your Child a Royal Pain?

BBC News reports a longitudinal study that indicates that what goes around, comes around.

Children with behavioural problems are twice as likely to suffer chronic pain as adults than others, say researchers.

Scientists at Aberdeen University, who followed the lives of more than 19,000 children, think faulty hormone signals in the brain may play a key role.

Bad early life experiences may harm this brain system, causing both behavioural problems in childhood and chronic widespread pain in adulthood.

The findings, spanning 45 years, are published in the journal Rheumatology....

The article goes on to say, "Other adult problems associated with childhood behavioural problems include long-term psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse."

Of Learned Helplessness and Political Caucuses

Colorado is one of a minority of states that offer caucuses as an integral part of the nomination process. In theory, it invites the involvement of the most committed and informed party members, but requires that at least some people represent each precinct.

Last night I was the only Republican to represent my precinct, and not one soul showed up for the adjoining precinct. This gave me a little time to reflect on a psychological pattern that has received much attention in recent years.

"Learned helplessness is the giving up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn't matter. Explanatory style is the manner in which you habitually explain to yourself why events happen. It is the great modulator of learned helplessness. An optimistic explanatory style stops helplessness, whereas a pessimistic explanatory style spreads helplessness." ~ Martin Seligman

Turnout for both parties was light, which led me to wonder, Are we so steeped in hopelessness that we cannot do the minimum necessary to maintain our present form of government?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Draft of DSM-V Sure to Stir Up Controversy

An AP/MSNBC article says that we can expect noticeable changes in terminology that could reduce the numbers of people labeled as "mentally ill." Asperger's syndrome will be lumped together with other forms of autism, and Internet addiction will not join gambling addiction as a behavioral addiction, for instance. The draft Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is soliciting input from the public as well as from professionals through the month of April at

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Welcome to Up and Down Time!

The newly-established Rocky Mountain DBSA is pleased to initiate this blog, which will be a forum for mental health issues in general and mood disorders in particular. We started in Colorado Springs in 2009, and are dedicated to growing peer-led self-help groups such as DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.