Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Roy Masters Blog and Podcast

Roy Masters has a new blog and podcast, which is frequently updated. He has helped me a lot over the years with overcoming depression & anxiety.

Check out Roy's blog and his Foundation Of Human Understanding (FHU) website. He will help you with food addiction, anger management, ... etc, etc., just about any human shortcoming or fault, through his meditation tape, "Be Still and Know" which you can download for free!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What Is SAMe ?

What Is SAM-e? (S-adenosylmethionine)

SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) claims benefits for osteoarthritis and depression.

Hype and warnings often circulate around dietary supplements. Yet another new over-the-counter dietary supplement known as S-adenosylmethionine, called SAM-e for short, is hitting the market in the United States. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) claims benefits for treating both:

# arthritis (more specifically osteoarthritis)
# depression

What Is SAM-e?

SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is the newest dietary supplement being talked about in America. It is not an herbal remedy, but rather a compound produced by our bodies from methionine.

From About Article
by Carol & Richard Eustice

Monday, November 27, 2006

Albert Einstein Quote

Albert Einstein:

"Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for
a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to
divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however,
there is one thing we do know: that men and women are here for
the sake of each other--above all for those upon whose smiles
and well-being our own happiness depends."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Stress Management (?)

Just in case you've had a rough day, here's an eight-step stress management technique recommended in the latest psychological texts. The funny thing is that it really works.

1. Picture yourself near a stream.

2. Birds are softly chirping in the cool mountain air.

3. No one but you knows your secret place.

4. You are in total seclusion from the hectic world.

5. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.

6. The water is crystal clear.

7. You can easily make out the face of the person you're holding underwater. (?)

8. See? You're smiling already :) (Gotcha! - OK, humor is a good thing, once in a while!)

Outline Of Recovery From Addiction And Depression

It seems obvious to me as a layman that a depressed person will often seek drugs as a way of self-medicating (almost always a big mistake) to escape depression and that a person addicted to drugs will become depressed as a side effect of the addiction (especially withdrawal). Thus, a downward spiral of addiction and depression begins, each feeding on the other.

The following outline is from an excellent resource, Foundations Associates, that shows the frequent connection between diagnosis of depression and addiction and how they are frequently diagnosed and treated together:

Areas of Focus in
Recovery from Addiction and Depression

Physical and

  • Exercise

  • Follow a healthy diet

  • Get sufficient rest, sleep & relaxation

  • Control cravings for substances

  • Take medications (if needed)

  • Take care of medical problem

  • Learn to structure time

  • Engage in pleasant activities

  • Achieve balance in life

  • Behavioral and Cognitive

  • Accept the disorders and need for help

  • Develop motivation to change

  • Change unhealthy beliefs and thoughts

  • Reduce depressed thoughts
  • Increase pleasant thoughts

  • Change self-defeating patterns of behavior


  • Monitor moods

  • Reduce depression and anxiety

  • Reduce boredom and emptiness

  • Reduce guilt and shame

  • Control anger

  • Address "losses" (grief)

Personal Growth and

  • Address spirituality issues

  • Engage in meditation

  • Develop relapse prevention plan for both disorders

  • Develop relapse interruption plan for both

  • Use "recovery tools" on ongoing basis

Family and

  • Identify effects on family and significant relationships

  • Involve family in treatment and recovery

  • Resolve family or marital conflicts

  • Make amends to family or other significant people harmed

  • Manage high risk people, places, and events

  • Engage in non-drinking activities or healthy leisure interests

  • Address relationship problems or deficits

  • Resist social pressures to drink alcohol or use other drugs

  • Resolve work, school, financial, legal problems

  • Learn to face rather than avoid interpersonal conflicts

  • Learn to ask for help and support

  • Participate in support groups for addiction, depression or both
  • Seek and use an AA or NA sponsor

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Spirituality Tied to Higher Depression, Anxiety Rates

Clinical & Research News
Psychiatry News November 3, 2006
Volume 41, Number 21, page 26
by Joan Arehart-Treichel

It appears that religiosness defined by regular attendance at worship services has a negative correlation with depression, whilst spirituality defined as a search for meaning in one's life has a positive correlation with depression. Full text of article follows:

Although more clinicians are considering patients' religion and spirituality in their initial evaluation than in the past, these issues may need to be revisited at various times during psychiatric treatment.

Does religiousness, defined as participation in organized-religion worship services, affect people's emotional equilibrium? The limited research that has been conducted on the subject suggests that it can counter depression. Less clear, however, is what impact, if any, religiousness has on anxiety (Psychiatric News, July 7).

A study in the September Canadian Journal of Psychiatry adds a new twist to the question of whether religiousness affects people's emotional states. It has linked religiousness with lower rates of both depression and anxiety, yet has found that spirituality— the search for a meaning to life—is associated with higher rates of both maladies.

The Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health and Well-Being was conducted in 2002 with a large, representative population of about 37,000 Canadians aged 15 or older. Marilyn Baetz, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan, and coworkers used data from the survey for their study. This appears to be one of the largest sample sizes ever used to explore interactions between religion, spirituality, and mental illness.

Baetz and her colleagues first determined how religious and how spiritual respondents to the survey had been. Respondents' religiousness was defined by how often they worshiped in an organized-religion setting (with 1 indicating "never" and 5 "once weekly or more"). Participants' spirituality was defined by how important a search for a meaning to life was for them (with 1 indicating "none" and 4 indicating "high").

The researchers also looked for links between religiousness and spirituality and sociodemographic variables. They found that there was a strong, positive link between both religiousness and spirituality with older age, higher education, and greater social support. In contrast, there was an inverse association between religiousness and income and between spirituality and income.

In addition, women were more religious and spiritual. Married individuals were more religious than nonmarried individuals, and those who were separated, divorced, or widowed were the most spiritual.

Controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, Baetz and her colleagues also determined, using DSM-IV criteria, the chances of respondents' having any of four affective disorders—major depression, manic episodes, panic disorder, and social phobia—depending on ow religious or spiritual they were.

Religiousness was significantly associated with lower odds of lifetime depression, which ties in with what other researchers have found; thus, religiousness may protect against depression. The researchers said, however, that the cross-sectional nature of the data precludes a firm answer about causation.

Religiousness was significantly linked with lower number of lifetime manic episodes. Thus religiousness may also offer protection against bipolar disorder similar to that against unipolar depression, they speculated.

Religiousness was also significantly tied to lower lifetime panic disorder and lower lifetime social phobia. Thus, it may help protect against these two disorders, but perhaps not as much as it shields people from depression and bipolar disorder, the investigators noted.

The study results regarding spirituality and affective disorders were the opposite of those for religiousness. Spirituality was significantly linked with higher lifetime odds of having depression, manic episodes, and social phobia. Spirituality was also coupled with higher lifetime odds of having panic disorder, although this connection was not statistically significant.

This "clear difference in the association of spiritual values with psychiatric disorders compared to worship frequency" surprised her, Baetz told Psychiatric News.

Thus, spirituality may help set the stage for depression, bipolar disorder, social phobia, and panic disorder, or it may result from having such illnesses, the researchers suggested. Baetz said she favors the latter explanation. "I think that it really speaks to the fact that psychiatric disorders are similar to other serious, often chronic illnesses that cause people to search for meaning and look outside themselves for answers, though they may not be involved in formal organizational religious behaviors...."

This investigation "is a significant contribution to the literature on the roles of religion and spirituality in psychiatry," Mary lynn Dell, M.D., M.T.S., Th.M., said in an interview. Dell is an associate professor of psychiatry at Emory University and an Episcopalian minister. "It may even be a gem, in that the authors have taken great care to present their findings without overinterpreting the data or reading too much into possible clinical implications.... As a psychiatric educator, I especially appreciate and agree with the authors' point that while it is certainly a good thing that more clinicians are considering patients' religion and spirituality in the initial evaluation, this area needs to be revisited during the course of their illness.... Religion and spirituality are not static components of personhood."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Recommended Depression Website

I just found an amazing website from Australia called Blue Pages Depression Information.

It has many wonderful features including:

  • Depression Symtoms, Resources, Prevention, & Treatment

  • Goldberg Depression & Anxiety Quiz

  • Blueboard Discussion Board

and much more, including a muscle relaxation program that you can download.

I have not seen many sites that cover so much in one place, and I am ading a link to my web site.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Depression Poster

Click To Enlarge:

Sunday, October 15, 2006

T W 3

TW3 - A strange title for a blog entry. Let me explain. This blog is a public journal, being a web log (blog)which anybody with a computer hooked up to the Internet can read.

But I admit to keeping another journal - a private diary - which I have started on a recommendation from my LMFT (licensed marriage and family therapist), which is kept on my computer under lock and password, as a log of my daily accomplishments, problems and moods. Not the kind of stuff to make public. But I gotta tell y'all- this has got to be one of my worst weeks I've had in a long time, which my wife, my brothers, and all who have dealt with me would eagerly attest. Reviewing my daily mood index for the last week, I have not one happy day to recall. { Oh, I forgot to explain the title of this blog entry -TW3 is the code name for an old political satire parody TV show called "That Was The Week That Was", with David Frost - my Dad's favorite TV show. Thus TW TW TW (TW 3 times). That was the (worst) week I have had in a long time! }

Well, here are some of the things I can mention (some I can't): Threats to my wife's work and our livelihood. Loosing our medical insurance. My wife's health problems getting worse. Having to schedule a diver's education class because my lawyer could not get my DUI charges dropped

{ Another long story - I was stopped by the police for not maintaining my lane - I was not drinking or taking any illicit drugs, nobody was injured, no property damage, just DWS - "driving while sick" with the flu- it's a long, sad story! - I was in a rental car. The police that stopped me confused me with a different "Michael Leonard Fisher" on the police computer, also from Las Vegas, who happened to have a rap sheet a mile long. They took me to the detention center overnight, took my blood, found a low therapeutic level of Xanax in my bloodstream for which I have a prescription, and charged me with a DUI under Nevada's "per se" strict DUI laws. ( as an aside, for all you reading this, please do not drink and drive, especially in Nevada!) My lawyer told me I would have to pay much more than I can afford for an expert witness at my trial, so I was forced to plea bargain. I plead "no contest" and agreed to DUI school and a fine to dismiss (or actually reduce the charges) my DUI to a "due care" traffic violation}

Yeah, I know some of you are saying "Big Deal - Everybody Has Problems - Stop Yer Stupid Bitchin'... !" You are right. Like I said, there are several things I can not really talk about, but you get the general idea! I had a lousy week.

Depression episodes - those who study them (psychiatrists and psychologists) say that they can be triggered by a series of events. We are supposed to train ourselves to recognize when we are reacting in a negative way - nice theory but sometimes very hard to put into practise. Any loss or life changes can be triggers. Well, cognitive therapy "self intervention" failed me - I just flew off the handle. Nobody to blame but myself. As someone who has experienced at least two major depression episodes in my adult lifetime, I can tell you that once the downward spiral starts, no amount of counselling or medication or intervention can stop it. Those friends who have never experienced depression always say "stop being (or acting) so depressed," as if that were possible. I wish there was some easy to make it go away - just commanding it by shear will! Unfortunately, it does not work that way.

But life is for learning and we must learn our lessons ( or keep facing the same lesson over and over and over again until we finally get it right ). So I light some candles, a way of stilling the mind- I begin a new round of faith and meditation practise, and the heaviness starts to slowly lift, like some dense fog over a restless sea.

Mercurial Mike

Friday, September 29, 2006

Roy Master's Audio Sampler

Roy talks about his meditation exercise and depression - from his national talk radio show:

Severe Anxiety And Depression - What Are The Roots?

30 Years Of Mental Illness

Roy Masters - The Foundation Of Human Understanding (FHU)

"The same devastating stress destroying your mind, body and soul can be turned to make you well. You already have the answer within you." Roy Master's "Be Still And Know" concentration technique is the key to overcoming many of life's problems...

Roy Masters Meditation Exercise - "Be Still And Know"

Seminar in Las Vegas with Roy Masters

Roy's web site is at

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Middle Child Syndrome ?

1 Corinthians 13:11 "WHEN I WAS A CHILD, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Yipes!! Michael in the middle:

Middle Child Syndrome

The middle or second born child or children often have the sense of not belonging. They fight to receive attention from parents and others because they feel many times they are being ignored or dubbed off as being the same as another sibling. Being in the middle a child can feel insecure. The middle child often lacks drive and looks for direction from the first born child. Sometimes a middle child feels out of place because they are not over achievers and like to go with the flow of things.

Being a middle child would mean they are loners. They really don’t like to latch on to a person in a relationship, there fore they have trouble keeping one due to lack of interest. Not liking to take the limelight for anything, they are not over achievers and just simply work enough work to get by, and typically that goes with school as well as a career. They are however very artistic and creative. If forced to use abilities they will work well, but do not work well under pressure. They often start several projects but rarely keep focused long enough to finish a project. The best career move for a middle child would be along the lines of using their creative. Going into a writing or journalism career, and into a career that they could freely express themselves would be good. Anything that would have hours that are flexible, and projects that frequently changed would be good for a middle born child. Since relationships are not of high importance to a middle child, often times they are alone. However, the best possible match for a middle child would be a last born.


Well, at least I married a last born, but alas, she's a Wednesday's child!


Monday's Child

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for its living,
And a child that's born on the Sabbath day
Is blithe and bonny and good and gay.

Children's Nursery Rhyme

Michael In The Middle

When I was born, it was on the 6th*,

Then there were only two in the mix,

I had one older brother, not more, but Les,

He had six years on me, I would guess,

Then, when I was six years old,

Now what hath G-d wrought?,

Along comes little baby brother Scott

Original Poem by mercurialmike
* I was born at 12:30 AM EST on August 6, 1948 which was 1 Av 5708 on the Hebrew calendar, so I am also a "new moon" baby. That could be the topic of another blog entry :)