Thursday, July 21, 2011


In an article written by Dr. Sue Hubbard, a nationally known pediatrician, it is suggested that earlier bedtimes for children and teens can reduce depression.  Columbia University researchers studied 12,000 adolescents and teens and found that subjects with strict bedtimes of 10 p.m. or earlier were less likely to have depressive and suicidal thoughts.    A different study of 12,000 children indicated that only about 8% got the required sleep of nine hours a night.  In another study of 15,000 children in grades 7-12, kids who were allowed to stay up until midnight or later had a 24% more chance of being depressed, and a 20 % more chance of suicidal thoughts. 
It was also revealed in the above studies that having a firm bedtime set by a parent  is almost as important as attaining a required amount of sleep hours.  Encourage earlier bedtimes.  Things such as “lights out”, turning off all electronics ½ hour before bedtime, warm showers, and firm rules starting at an early age can help children start a lifetime of good sleeping habits that can help control depression.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


None of these false assumptions are true – yet many people’s lives are affected by believing them.
1.         To be happy I have to be successful at everything I undertake.
2.       To be happy I must be accepted by all people at all times.
3.       If I make a mistake it means I’m a failure.
4.       I can’t live without my spouse or without being loved.
5.       If someone disagrees with me, it means he doesn’t like me.
6.       My value as a person depends on what others think of me.
7.       If I am spiritual, bad things won’t happen to me.
8.       I should be able to make anyone love me.
9.       Good parents always love their children and never become angry at them
10.   Good people are never angry and never have bad feelings.
11.   Unhappiness is caused by circumstances and I have no control over this.
12.   The way people act is part of their personality;  you can’t change personality.
13.   There is always a right or perfect solution to every problem, and it must b e found or the results are catastrophic.
14.   Past experiences determine present behavior; there is no way to erase the mistakes and influences of the past.
15.   On Pain:
Good people don’t feel pain.
Pain is punishment.  I must be a bad person to merit this punishment so I should put up with it.
Pain equals repentance and cleanses me.
If I’m feeling pain, I must have done something wrong.
If I feel enough pain, I will have paid my dues and this will go away.

A tool to use in overcoming depression is to recognize your false assumptions, then refuse to accept them.  See Thinking Pattern Tool

Monday, July 11, 2011


Symptom                                                                                                            Depression         Clinical Depression
Is the cause of the depression known & situational?                                    Yes                         No
Is the cause of the depression vague & hard to pin down?                          No                          Yes
Does it involve sadness or “blues”?                                                         Always                 Not Always
Has the depression lasted longer than 2 weeks?                                              No                          Yes
Are there problems with distorted thinking or false
      assumptions, sleep changes, general aches & pains,
      Diarrhea, that are not readily explained by a
      Current illness?                                                                                          No                          Yes
Has a major life change occurred recently?                                         Possibly                          Possibly
Is fatigue a serious factor even though there seems to
      be no medical reason and there is adequate rest?                            No                          Yes
Have sleep patterns changed over time?                                                    No                          Yes
Are major appetite changes involved over time?                                      No                          Yes
Is it harder to make decisions?                                                                  No                          Yes
Is it harder to remember things?  Is confusion involved?                          No                          Yes
Is it harder to find pleasure or interest in life                                     Possibly                               Yes