I kicked out the headlights. Someone must have called the cops because the next thing I knew they had me handcuffed. The last thing I remember before they took me away was pleading with Sharon not to leave. What a mess, what a goddamned mess, I kept thinking. How could this have happened? Continue reading Understanding Dynamic Depression in Men (2) →
I lead a group at our health clinic for men who have been referred to the court for domestic violence. On the surface, these are the last guys you’d suspect of being depressed. They laugh a lot, would usually be seen as the life of the party, and never appear sad or hurt. Continue reading Understanding Dynamic Depression in Men →
Depressed people have often been told to “just cheer up.” But we know now that isn’t possible because depression is caused by a disruption in the chemistry of the brain. Only by restoring chemical balance can we truly hope to cure depression.
We now know that there is a strong inborn component to depression and that the susceptibility to depression runs in families. Yet most men who suffer from depression aren’t even aware that they have it. Continue reading Depression: The Silent Killer of Men →
As we drove back home from the treatment center, Carlin shared with me the feelings that had built up over many years. I was amazed to see how much sadness she had been carrying and how much her mind was preoccupied with feelings of worry that she couldn’t do anything right. Continue reading The Wake-up Call of the Emotional Needs (2) →
A number of years ago one of our sons was having trouble with drug use and went to a treatment program for help. As part of the program there were two weekends that were devoted to family involvement.
My wife, Carlin, and I were eager to attend to learn more about what we could do to support his recovery. We were surprised to learn that part of the education we received was an opportunity to look at our own mental health issues. Continue reading The Wake-up Call of the Emotional Needs →
I’ve always prided myself on being the kind of man who got things done. I knew I could achieve anything I set my mind to and tasted success early. What I was not aware of was that stress went along with success.
There was never enough time to get everything done. I was driven by deadlines but told myself I thrived on the pressure. It didn’t occur to me that my stomach problems, sleepless nights, and periodic attacks of asthma had anything to do with the stress I was under. Continue reading Getting in Touch with Our Emotional Body →
As pain becomes chronic, it can be triggered by stimuli as benign as a cool breeze. I remember having an experience like that when I had back spasms that lasted for months. It seemed like the littlest thing would set them off.
I got so I almost didn’t want to move at all for fear I would do something to trigger the pain. Since one of the joys of my life is running and playing ball at the gym, not being able to do these things increased my anxiety and depression, which in turn made me even more fearful. In this way chronic pain has some of the characteristics of cancer. Continue reading Dealing with Chronic Pain (3) →
Chronic pain persists continuously or intermittently for months or years, long past the time when it might be biologically useful, and it doesn’t go away with time or rest. Until recently the medical profession, most of whose members are male, seemed to take a traditional male attitude toward pain. Continue reading Dealing with Chronic Pain (2) →
One in five of us suffer from chronic pain that can last for weeks, months, and even years and can limit our ability to do even simple physical tasks. One in four of us who are over 65 suffer. One in four of us take some kind of medication on a daily basis to deal with pain.
It’s difficult to develop and maintain a program of physical fitness if it hurts when we move. Most of us grew up learning to ignore pain. We played through pain and even saw pain as a marker of progress. “No pain, no gain” was our motto. Continue reading Dealing with Chronic Pain →
The Male American Diet emphasizes meat, dairy products, saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates. We have all learned to love our hamburgers, ice cream, cheese, chips and dips, pizza, cakes, and cookies.
Dr. Weil says that a diet of this sort, though it will sustain life and growth, will also have tremendous consequences as we age. He says: Continue reading The Male American Diet Is Killing Us Slowly →