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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:  I wake up depressed at least a few mornings every week. What can I do to stop that awful feeling?

 

ANSWER:  First of all, if you struggle to get out of bed, are suicidal, and are so depressed that it interferes with your ability to function, you may have major depressive disorder, which often requires pharmacological treatment from a psychiatrist, also referred to as a psychopharmacologist. They are better equipped than primary care doctors to work with you until you find the best medication for your particular neurophysiology. It’s important to know that depression is biochemical; it’s a result of your particular neurochemistry.

However, for those of us with dysthymic disorder (milder than major depressive disorder) there are many things we can do to dramatically reduce that awful feeling and actually reprogram the brain and enhance our neurochemistry. My upcoming book—In Your Own Hands—coming out in January 2014, is replete with practices that enhance wellbeing.

One of the things that often provides remarkable results is to be fully in charge of your life. You can do this by learning to recognize all the times you find yourself saying you have to do something and then reminding yourself that you are actually choosing to do everything you do. Making conscious choices throughout the day to consciously choose everything you do will go a long way in relieving mild depression. Being in control of your life is a powerful antidote to mild depression.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. 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 how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health? 

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your question may not appear in this column. 

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