Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness – award for musician Michael Angelakos

Thanks to Shawn Amos, Stereogum and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Clinics, we get to hear a nice speech by the singer of the band Passion Pit. Hear the speech and watch a video of how Michael Angelakos lives with bipolar disorder, which he and his wife regard as “an uninvited guest” and greet it with “hard work, humility and humor.”

He’s grateful to be alive, to have love, and to be an artist: “I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful than taking pain and anger and confusion – all that Life gives everyone, really, and turning it into something beautiful and fun and engaging.”


The DIY Couturier’s “21Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed.”

This was passed to me by a patient, and I really appreciated it, so I’m sharing here…

Rosalind Robertson’s blog on Esquire 21 Tips and MORE 


The author repeats lots of truths about exercise, diet, dressing to impress one’s self — the things we can’t hear too many times. She also suggests facing a window whenever possible, to never stop looking out and observing life. I enjoy thinking of how the writer has heard these platitudes, gathered them, wrote them down, related to them, threw out some of them, made them his own.  She’s got a sassy way of responding to annoying “Happy people” who pester us to Try Harder, because if we’re depressed, we must not be trying hard enough, and all we need is to obey their pep talk.

So, whether or not it’s because I tell you too or not, “Have a nice day!”


“Evidence-based?” Yep! Psychotherapy gets respect from Science.

Most people are looking for a psychotherapist to help them through difficult times, to gain understanding of themselves, or to stop or begin certain behaviors which will help them develop and grow. There will always be debate about which approach or “kind” of therapy works best — CBT, behavior mod, talking, past-life regression, imago therapy, classic psychoanalysis, Jungian, mindfulness, Buddhist, Rogerian — so many approaches to psyche! Here is a scholarly article by Jonathan Shedler, a psychologist from Denver, who does some heavy lifting to bring psychodynamic therapy into the realm of other “evidence-based practices” — ie ways of working that can be proved empirically, by “Science” and not just by woo-woo good-vibes talk.

Click to download Shedler (2010) The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

ABSTRACT: Empirical evidence supports the efficacy of psychodynamic
therapy.  Effect sizes for psychodynamic therapy are as
large as those reported for other therapies that have been
actively promoted as “empirically supported” and “evidence
based.” In addition, patients who receive psychodynamic
therapy maintain therapeutic gains and appear to
continue to improve after treatment ends. Finally, nonpsychodynamic
therapies may be effective in part because the
more skilled practitioners utilize techniques that have long
been central to psychodynamic theory and practice. The
perception that psychodynamic approaches lack empirical
support does not accord with available scientific evidence
and may reflect selective dissemination of research findings.