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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Larrry Berkelhammer, PhD., is the author of "In Your Own Hands," a book that talks about mind training to improve health in instances of chronic illness.

Larrry Berkelhammer, PhD., is the author of “In Your Own Hands,” a book that talks about mind training to improve health in instances of chronic illness.

The purpose of this blog and the entire website is to provide evidence-based information on how to live a vibrant, meaningful life while living with chronic health challenges.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are mindfulness research articles, especially as they relate to health. Wednesday posts are videos of my presentations or interviews. Friday posts consist of Q&A related to living a meaningful, values-based life, regardless of the nature of your particular life challenges.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:  What is a mind-training alternative to antidepressants that you recommend?

ANSWER:   Last week, I mentioned mind-training practices, but didn’t get specific. Mindfulness practice, such as MBSR or vipassana, teach you to recognize depressive thinking without getting entangled in it, which then allows you to climb out of it. As I’ve said before, this is predicated on having a mild form of depression, known as dysthymic disorder. Someone diagnosed with major depressive disorder needs to be under the care of a good psychiatrist. There are other forms of mind training that can help, but mindfulness practice has the most proven efficacy. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and old fashioned cognitive behavioral therapy are also very effective.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges or issues related to wellbeing. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about living a life of mastery or about the relationship between the mind and health or wellbeing?

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box below. Your specific question may not appear in this column. The reason for that is I wait until I get a certain number of related questions, then I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one. People in my classes and presentations asked most of the questions appearing in this column.

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