Mental Health

Birth Control Pill

That Naughty Little Pill

It was early in my actualization as a feminist-minded, righteous post-adolescent that I began to think of birth control as a woman’s right (who was anyone to tell me that I couldn’t assault my hormones with synthetic imposters). It would be years before I would consider the nuanced considerations of tacit permissiveness toward reckless unprotected sex, the wholesale delegation of contraception to the female counterpart, and the fundamental divorce of a woman from the very feedback systems that fire up her reproductive age vitality. These concerns would begin to color my perception of this gift from Pharma, well before I began to learn about functional biochemical concerns surrounding the metabolism of synthetic hormones.

Pregnancy and Depression

Undoing Depression and Anxiety in Pregnancy

For many women pregnancy is not a time of blissful navel-gazing. Almost 1 in 5 women will experience depression during or after pregnancy1. For some, a history of depression or anxiety and associated treatment has left them with questions and confusion when they are planning a pregnancy or find themselves in a fertile bind. Since we have shed so many of the mood-supporting aspects of our ancestral lifestyle – outdoor activity, food derived from it’s natural chain, community, sleep when it’s dark – it can take a lot of work to be well and avoid biochemical pitfalls. What are some of the options?

Mindful Gifts: <br/>Eight Strategies for Saner Holiday Giving

Mindful Gifts:
Eight Strategies for Saner Holiday Giving

Fully 90 percent of Americans feel stress and anxiety about the holiday season, according to a 2009 survey by Harris Interactive, and the majority of that stress is related to buying gifts. “We’ve gotten into a toxic situation with holiday gift giving,” says Wanda Urbanska, a North Carolina–based simplicity and sustainability advocate and the author of The Heart of Simple Living: 7 Paths to a Better Life (Krause, 2010). “The worst-case scenario is dashing into the mall at the last minute and grabbing stuff, throwing it on the credit card, and not thinking about the financial consequences — or even what the person wants or needs. It’s a financial burden, it’s a time burden, and it’s an environmental burden.”

How to Beat the Winter Blues

How to Beat the Winter Blues

With daylight savings time comes shorter days, colder temperatures, and darker mornings. Winter can be a challenging time for many people. How do you feel as the days get shorter and colder? Do you gain weight or slack on your workout routine? What is your script about winter that you tell yourself and others? If you honestly answer these questions, you will begin to see a pattern of behavior that may keep you stuck in a negative winter experience.

5 Simple Preventative Steps to Avoid Depression

5 Simple Preventative Steps to Avoid Depression

There are many reasons people are vulnerable to depression. Many women in our society are working and raising children. There are unrealistic visuals on every media outlet telling us we are not enough or not doing enough. Men experience the same pressures to be physically perfect and can be struggling to provide for their families in a rough economy. Self-image and self-esteem can be negatively impacted by these pressures and can lead to feelings of depression or despair. In order to enjoy our lives, mental health has to be a top priority. Let’s talk about tools for managing depression.

A Path Out of Depression

A Path Out of Depression

There's a reason that most so-called primitive cultures have avoided the depression epidemic afflicting industrialized nations. In a provocative book, a clinical psychologist suggests that adopting more "hunter-gatherer" habits can help us escape the blues. According to the latest research, about one in four Americans — more than 70 million people — will meet the criteria for major depression at some point in their lives. The rate of depression in industrialized societies has been on the rise for decades — it’s roughly 10 times higher today than it was just two generations ago. How can people possibly be so much more vulnerable to depression now? And how do you make sense of the fact that even though antidepressant use has skyrocketed in recent years, the rate of depression in the United States hasn’t declined, but rather increased?

10 Simple Ways to Banish the Winter Blues

10 Simple Ways to Banish the Winter Blues

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, January can be a bit gloomy. Sunlight is of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it variety. Temperatures are low, the holiday buzz has ended and all that’s left is a burning desire to sleep until April. Chances are, even if you haven’t diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), most f us will feel at least some of winter’s depressive effects, such as oversleeping, difficulty waking up, carb cravings, fatigue and general malaise. The good news is that there are a number of steps you can take to help banish the blues.

Help Yourself to Happier Holidays

Help Yourself to Happier Holidays

When November rolls around, many people start to feel that rising sense of panic about the impending holiday season – and by the time Thanksgiving dinner hits the table, holiday hysteria is in full swing. How to nip the stress of the season in the bud? To stop stress from turning you into the Grinch, start by changing your approach. Instead of thinking the holidays are a chaotic blur of obligations, think of the season as a month-long project with a beginning, middle and end and try to manage it like you would a work project: develop a plan, figure out the steps in advance, prepare to make decisions, take charge and move forward.