Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Unsticking Yourself

Beyond Meds has an interesting post up today about a Newsweek article in which Dr. James Gordon is interviewed. Gordon is the author of the book "Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression."

I read the interview, and it really struck a chord with me because these are exactly the recovery methods I used to get myself off of bipolar meds and to stabilize myself: excellent nutrition, plenty of exercise, and meditation.

The fact that Gordon has had success working with people suffering from PTSD is particularly encouraging, as the number of people with wounded psyches coming home from Iraq increases.

Gordon's method sounds like plain old common sense to me, although I suspect it will be a hard sell to a culture that would rather pop a pill than do the hard work involved in a radical lifestyle change. Still, it's nice to see some alternatives to medication getting some press. It's important for people to know that there are other ways to get through depression than to take potentially dangerous medications.

Writing Prompt: What are some small, common-sense things that you can do to improve your quality of life right now? Remember, they don't have to be big things...some ideas: coming up with three things to be grateful for, or three things that you find beautiful, every single day. Taking a ten minute walk...or a five-minute walk, if that is all you can manage. Lighting a candle and sitting quietly for a few minutes watching the flame and centering yourself. These are all small steps we can take toward wellness...and even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

12 comments:

Gianna said...

Hey! Thanks for the linkage...
I think it's particularly exciting that the article is in Newsweek...

You can't get more mainstream than that...

of course a few weeks ago they had an atrocious article---absolutely horrifying on childhood bipolar disorder...

oh well, gotta start somewhere!!

Jazz said...

Gianna--
It's very exciting--if it just opens one person's eyes to the idea that maybe they don't have to spend the rest of their life imprisoned by their diagnosis and their drugs, then that's a wonderful thing!

Yeah, I read the bipolar child article too...that one was bad, but like you say, we've got to start somewhere...

Wellness Writer said...

I agree that when mainstream media says, "you can get well without taking medication," it's a huge step forward.

Of course, the article on childhood bipolar was so terrible, particularly since Newsweek has the power to cause a generation of kids to be medicated unnecessarily.

When my son was in elementary school, I was stunned by how many children stood in line during lunch to get their doses of Ritalin. It used to be that some kids were just naughty in class and didn't pay attention--and then suddenly a slew of them were ADHD and God knows what else.

Susan

Annie said...

Jazz, Thanks for the thoughts- I am on my way to Gianna's site. I agree that much of what is helpful is common sense. Peace Annie

Jazz said...

Susan--
It is scary how much power the mainstream media has.

iHanna said...

Just reading your suggestions makes me feel well! :-)

Jodie said...

I just read a bit of your blog and your suggestions in this post make me realise how important they can be!

Jazz said...

ihanna--
Glad you found them helpful!

Jazz said...

Jodie--
And it really is amazing how little time it can take to do something really positive for yourself.

Jazz said...

Annie--
It's too bad more doctors don't realize how much help simple common sense can be!

naturalgal said...

Jazz, Hubby and I were just talking yesterday about how crazy it is that Weight Watchers works for us and millions of other because all it is, is COMMON SENSE

Here is your writing prompt:
What are some small, common-sense things that you can do to improve your quality of life right now?

Common sense,
Watch your portoins, get enought sleep, do the dishes even when you don't feel like it. Phone your friends. Say something nice to someone. Write down your goals.

Jazz said...

Naturalgal--
I really need to work on that do the dishes even when you don't feel like it thing! All of those are good ones!

I think part of the reason Weight Watchers works for so many people isn't just that it's common sense, but being part of a group that has a common goal, and being accountable, that's where it really helps. My mother in law is a prime example. The woman knows what she needs to do to lose weight, but she really didn't have a whole lot of success until she started Weight Watchers.