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...]

The Serotonin Myth Continued: What You Need To Know About Depression

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A few weeks back, I reported on a new study that pounded yet another nail in the coffin of the theory that depression is caused by low serotonin.   You can read that original post here as well as the follow up post wherein I responded to a question from a reader asking if I was trying to say that people who suffered with depression were to blame for their struggles (short answer:  no.)Over at PsychCentral, one of the most popular psychology news portals on the web, the director, Dr. John G … [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...]

Dealing With Depression: Getting the Right Kind of Help Matters

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The news of Robin Williams' suicide has brought the insidious nature of depression front and center.  I know too many Christians who believe that they should be immune from depression because they are Christian.   While research shows that some believers can be more resistant to depression and have a somewhat easier time bouncing back when they do get depression, it is also true that some approaches to religion can be associated with higher rates of depression and emotional problems.  When … [Read more...]

Inconsistent Home Life/Common Family Problems May Increase Risk of Brain Disorders by Up To 60%

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Because parents don't have enough to worry about, two new studies point to the impact of a child's home life on brain development.The first study looks at how common family problems like lack of affection, poor communication, parental arguments and the like actually resulted in children developing a smaller cerebellum than children who did not experience the same type of common family problems.The study led by Dr Nicholas Walsh, lecturer in developmental psychology at the … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

NY State Bishops Pen Pastoral Letter on Mental Illness.

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Praise God for this incredibly important step toward better pastoral care for all Catholics--and all people--with mental illness. It's very brief but completely worth the read.  I hope you'll take a moment to look it over and then meet back here to discuss it.  My thanks to Deacon Greg for alerting us all to the exciting things happening in his neck of the woods. Here's a sample....Our society has made great strides in our understanding and treatment of mental illness. But in many cases the l … [Read more...]

Study Says,Casual Sex Can Cause Depression

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“There’s always been a question about which one is the cause  and which is the effect.  This study  provides evidence that poor mental health can lead to casual sex, but also that  casual sex leads to additional declines in mental health.” Sandberg-Thoma conducted the study with Claire Kamp Dush,  assistant professor of human sciences at Ohio State.  The research was published online recently in  the Journal of Sex Research and will  appear in a future print edition. One surprising finding was th … [Read more...]


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