Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy as Effective as Meds for Longterm Relief from Depression, Says Lancet

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Researchers in the U.K. have found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) may offer just as much protection from depression relapse as antidepressants, with no significant difference in cost, according to a new study published in the journal The Lancet “Depression is a recurrent disorder. Without ongoing treatment, as many as four out of five people with depression relapse at some point,” said Dr. Willem Kuyken, lead author and professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxfor … [Read more...]

Most Antidepressants Make it Harder To Get Better, Study Says.

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A new study from Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review asserts that the science behind most anti-depressant medications is entirely backwards.  Rather than easing symptoms, the authors of the study argue that serotonin boosting medications may be actually making it harder to depression-sufferers to recover. The low-serotonin theory is the basis for commonly prescribed serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressant medications which keep the neurotransmitter's levels high by blocking its r … [Read more...]

All Shook Up: “Therapy Better than Meds for Overcoming Anxiety.” Says Major Study

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About a week-and-a-half ago, I taped a series on Women of Grace with Johnnette Benkovic on anxiety and my book, God Help Me, This Stress Is Driving Me Crazy!  Finding Balance through God's  Grace.  At the time, I asserted that while most people only receive medication by way of treatment for anxiety disorders, medication is simply less effective than therapy.  On the show, I said that anyone who has an anxiety disorder and is not receiving therapy is not receiving the best standard of care and ma … [Read more...]

Setting the Captive Free! New Research Illustrates our Power to Overcome Depression

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In response to my post linking the new study questioning the serotonin-deprivation theory of depression, I received a very thoughtful email from a reader who wrote, "Dr. Popcak, some of my friends who suffer with depression are saying that in this article you are blaming them for their depression. Can you explain further?"Blaming the Victim?  A ResponseI am grateful for her question because I would never want anyone to think that I was blaming sufferers of depression for being d … [Read more...]

The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail Against You: Mental Health, Medication, Healing, and Holy Week

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One of the most liberating teachings of our Catholic faith is the idea that suffering--though undesirable and not part of God's original plan--is an inescapable part of living in a fallen world.  That might not sound terrifically liberating on the face of it.  Who wants to suffer?  No one, of course.  But although life is filled with trials and problems, much of the suffering we endure is brought on by the idea that suffering itself means that there is something wrong with us.  As a culture, … [Read more...]

Double-Blind Study Shows Lavender Oil Capsules As Effective as Lorazepam (Ativan) for Treating Anxiety

This is fascinating.  In doing some research for a client with generalized anxiety disorder, I found this double-blind, placebo-control study on the effectiveness of lavender oil capsules (silexan) for treating anxiety.  Remarkably, the study appears to show that the lavender oil capsules were as effective as lorazepam (Ativan) AND it had no side effects or potential for abuse.  Additionally,  participants experienced relief from their anxiety without any drowsiness.  Here is an excerpt from the … [Read more...]

A Screwtape Letter to An Unappreciated Mom

The original Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis reveals a series of fictitious letters between Screwtape, a senior demon, and his nephew, Wormwood, a demon-in-training, about the tricks of the demonic trade of tempting a "patient" (i.e., Christian) away from "the Enemy" (i.e., God).    In this tremendous adaptation, a blogger reveals a previously undiscovered letter from Screwtape to Wormwood about how to undermine the faith, marriage, and confidence of  "an unappreciated mom."  It's powerful stuff, a … [Read more...]

Overcoming Bitterness: 5 Steps for Healing the Hurt that Won’t Go Away

No one wants to be bitter.  It sneaks up on us.  Bitterness is unforgiveness fermented.    The more we hold onto past hurts the more we become drunk on our pain and the experience can rob us of the joy we can find in anything. Bitterness occurs when we feel someone has taken something from us that we are powerless to get back.  We hold on to the hurt in an attempt to remind ourselves and others of the injustice we've experienced in the hopes that someone will save us and restore what we've lo … [Read more...]


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