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Winter Wellbeing

It’s hard to overstate the degree (minus 11 F tomorrow here in Chicago) to which the Midwest has settled into the dead of winter. With the rush of the holidays behind us, two dark, cold months lie ahead. Snowstorms, sub-zero temps, and icy pavement prompt many of us to stay indoors when we’d rather be […]

Preparing for Less Daylight and Seasonal Depression (SAD)

My staff and I brace ourselves for the autumn day when clocks are set back an hour and the already dwindling sun-filled days diminish to darkness at 5 p.m. Add the overcast skies of winter and the “I’m NOT going outside” bitter cold, and we all may wonder why we’re not living in Santa Barbara. […]

The Benefits of Mindfulness

More than ever before, researchers and scientists are studying the health benefits of mindfulness practices for a wide variety of conditions. And they’re discovering overwhelmingly similar results: mindfulness decreases mood disturbances, enhances coping skills, and promotes wellbeing. Enter “benefits of mindfulness meditation” into your search engine and you’ll find dozens of articles and studies published […]

Depression, Anxiety, Probiotics, and Camel’s Milk

Most thoughtful people who take medication for depression, anxiety, or both do so with  mixed emotions. The symptoms of these conditions can be pretty horrible, and when you’re tossed a life preserver in the form of an effective prescription med, you’re thankful to be living at a time when they’re are available. Of course, good […]

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety and Depression

If you’re troubled by chronic anxiety, panic attacks, or depression, you may be put off by pill-popping treatments. Maybe you had a bad experience in the past or you’re concerned about side effects. All in all, you’d rather not feel nostalgic about your libido or gain a single ounce. You know that psychotherapy makes the […]

Depression, Anxiety, and Acupuncture: A Major Breakthrough

Posted 04/07/2014 The statistics are simply staggering. The National Institutes of Health estimates that more than 20 million people in the US, roughly 10% of the population, have depression, defined as a recurring major depressive disorder, a constant state of depression (dysthymia), or bipolar disorder. Officially, these three are called mood disorders, considered separate from […]

An Occasionally Pleasant Minimum Security Prison

What three things do the following occupations have in common: teacher, nurse, secretary (now called administrative assistant), and information technologist? First, I would classify them all as helping professions. Second, based both on surveys and my own experience as a physician, they all work under conditions of stress, suffer a lot of anxiety and depression, […]

Opening Flow and Restore

Research has established that yoga is beneficial for people with depression and anxiety, but did you know that recent studies show practicing yoga elevates the neurotransmitter GABA? In low amounts, this important brain chemical is linked to depression and anxiety disorders. Higher GABA levels in those who do yoga can be attributed to both the […]

Dentist Anxieties? Fear of Flying?

Posted 01/23/2012 One of my favorite books has always been the 1964 classic The Myth of Mental Illness, by Thomas Szasz, MD. A psychiatrist and still writing at the ripe age of 91, Szasz castigated his fellow professionals for labeling too many people with relatively mild emotional symptoms “mentally ill,” especially when it came to […]