You might be depressed about being depressed

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Oxford professor Mark Williams notes that many adults suffering from serious depression are essentially discouraged and hopeless about feeling discouraged and hopeless. In other words, they are depressed about being depressed.

All, or nearly all, or us experiences low moods. These can be associated with experiencing disappointments, frustrations, changes in relationships, etc. These low moods needn’t be permanent, nor interfere with quality of life. Most of us simply notice the emotion and then go about our business, and the feeling changes ...

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Hobbies: More Than a Distraction

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I am a rock star.

Well, I do sometimes dream of impressing people by playing beautiful or exciting music. My instrument of choice in these brief flights from reality is the guitar. Most often it is a Gibson Les Paul—you know, the preferred instrument of rock stars for over 50 years.

I own a few different instruments, both electric and acoustic. What I lack is the skill to create anything worth listening to.

I know, I know…it takes an awful lot of practice ...

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‘Careful, Your Prejudice is Showing

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There is much discussion in this country right now on the topic of racial prejudice. Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have pushed it to the forefront of national media and local minds alike.

But what is prejudice? “Prejudice is prejudgment, or forming an opinion before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case. The word is often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward people or a person because of gender, political opinion, social class, age, disability, religion, ...

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Life is Precious

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I have to say that I was very surprised to see the strong response to my last column. Clearly I offended Steve Oakey with some of my statements on the topic of suicide. I like Steve, and agree that there is great value in public debate of important topics. And no topic could be more important than the sanctity of human life.

But I very much regret that Steve misunderstood me to suggest that his comments somehow related to or caused ...

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Sometimes You Gotta Take a Break

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I am writing this week’s column from exotic Richfield, Utah where Ruth and I have spent a couple of days with Trevor and Miranda—our oldest son and his wife—and their 3.4 kids. (Child number 4 is due in April.) We brought our six-year old granddaughter, Emma, as a surprise guest for her cousin, Allie’s, sixth birthday celebration.

Other than the “fallout” from car sickness everything has gone well so far. (Maybe fast food and seven hours of Angry Birds and educational ...

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Responding to Your Responses

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Last week the Standard-Journal published thoughtful and respectful responses to my last two columns. At first I was a bit self-conscious of the critiques. But since I am a licensed therapist I scheduled some time to talk to myself, and I’m okay now. (Too bad I can’t bill my insurance!)

As these responses were written to appropriately challenge my thoughts in the public forum, I hope it is okay to respond in like manner. I have hoped that my columns would ...

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What Happened to Robin Williams?

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Many of us woke last Tuesday morning to the disturbing news that comedian Robin Williams had taken his life in the throes of depression. Before the day was over members of the media and of this community were trying to make sense out of what we would consider a senseless act.

I was approached by several people, genuinely concerned about the implications of this news for their own well-being, and for those they love. “If anyone as funny as Robin Williams ...

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Here Comes the Judge!

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In the 1970’s comedian Flip Wilson created a ridiculous character whose signature line was, “Here comes the judge! Here comes the judge!”

That phrase has often passed through my mind as I work to help people recognize the problems with judgment—even those small, seemingly-harmless thoughts that we keep to ourselves. As pointed out last week when those judgments pass through our minds they color and distort whatever situation we are in. These thoughts are anything but harmless; they create unnecessary tension, ...

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