Coping During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Some people ask me, “How can I feel less anxious?”

I think acceptance plays a major role in reducing anxiety during Covid-19.  No one alive today has been in a situation like this.  If we say to ourselves that we should not be anxious, this expectation will raise our anxiety.  I have been using online counseling to talk with a lot of clients about Covid-19 and the calmer ones are those who are using this time to focus on accomplishing tasks like organization, cleaning, volunteering, and doing generally helpful things.  The people who are more anxious are usually watching several hours of news per day, as well as spending a great deal of time on social media.  The anxious people often are not doing things that give them a feeling of accomplishment or helpfulness.

Continue reading →

Post Holidays

Starting in 2005, a British Psychologist, Cliff Arnall, believed that he calculated the most depressing day of the year.

He calls this Blue Monday and it occurs in mid to late January each year.

Arnall calculates this date on weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action Continue reading →

Depression in a Partner – How To Cope

By Eve Pearce

Depression is a major problem in Western society, affecting more and more people every year. When a partner is afflicted with this horrible disease, it can put a huge strain on a relationship.

While one partner becomes emotionally withdrawn, unmotivated, and perpetually sad, the other may become worried, frustrated, or wonder if this change is permanent and the person they love is lost forever. Depression is still a misunderstood condition. Its attendant emotions are very difficult for someone not suffering from it to comprehend, and even harder to witness in a loved one. If your partner is suffering from depression, the best thing to do is to seek professional help – both for their own sake and the sake of your relationship. Alongside this, there are a few important points to take on board to help you to understand, cope with, and help your suffering loved one. Continue reading →

Summertime and Mental Health

Sunlight affects a person’s mental health.  With the lack of sunlight, usually starting in November, people often begin to feel more depressed.  The summertime usually has the opposite effect and allows for much more happiness and energy.

During the feelings of a carefree summer, are you taking care of your mental health?  Yes, it is much easier to focus on the positives.  However, it is also much more likely to slip out of your routine and go back to old habits.  What is it that keeps you on track?  What are the signs of slipping into a depression.

Remember, there are plenty of people who have a recurrence of depression, in spite of these long warm summer days.  What kind of summertime activities can be carried over to winter time?  How can you bottle some of the positives of the summer in order to carry it over to those dreary winter days?

Just a reminder to be safe in the sun. Wear your sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen daily to avoid skin damage and skin cancer.  Unfortunately, excessive sun does not make you excessively happy!

Bipolar Disorder

What do you think of when you hear the term “Bipolar Disorder?” Many people use this term as a derogatory remark and don’t think twice about it.

It is very important to realize that this is a mental illness that can be quite serious in nature. It is not ok to refer to this diagnosis when you do not like someone’s behavior.

Bipolar Disorder consists of episodes of depression (lack of energy, feelings of hopeless), followed by episodes of mania (having too much energy, difficulty with concentration, irritability, intense anger, acting impulsively, taking risks). Sometimes, the mood swings are less pronounced and it is demonstrated by a great deal of irritability and agitation. Ultimately, Bipolar Disorder can be difficult to diagnose.

It is important to realize that it is natural to have mood swings. Environmental stressors, the typical “bad day,” and a variety of life events may cause these mood swings. It is a concern when the mood swings are causing family problems, difficulty with daily functioning, problems at work, legal problems, or using alcohol or other drugs to control mood.

Bipolar Disorder is treatable with therapy and medication. Often, you cannot identify a person with Bipolar if they are working to maintain their mental health. Unfortunately, there are people who do not respond well to therapy and medications and struggle on a daily basis. Basically, the severity of Bipolar Disorder is on a continuum.

If there is a concern that you or your loved one has intense mood swings or simply intense moods, for that matter, it would be beneficial to have a mental health assessment to closer examine the situation.

Depression and Trucking

A lot of truckers really love their jobs and never think depression is a hazard of the job. However, there are quite a few truckers out there who get stuck in their daily routine and become more and more unhappy. The longer they are on the road, the less interaction they have with their family and friends.

After a while, the lack of contact leaves the driver feeling empty and isolated. The more empty and isolated a person is, the easier it is to cut off contact with the outside world. I’m sure you can see how depression causes isolation and more isolation causes more depression.

What is depression?

Remember, it is human to have feelings of sadness from time to time. Depression is when you have feelings of sadness and it interferes with something—job, family, not having enough energy to function, or being tired all the time, just to name a few. Since depression often runs in families, pay close attention to your family history if you find yourself feeling depressed.

What can be done about depression?

Many people instantly think of medication when they think of depression. Depending on the situation, an antidepressant may be appropriate. However, I want people to realize that by changing thoughts and behaviors, depression can often be reduced or eliminated. If a person often thinks negative thoughts, surrounds themselves with negative people, or isolates themselves, it is much easier to become depressed. Many people don’t realize that excessive drinking (more than 3 drinks per day) or other drug use often leads to depression or worsens existing depression.

These behaviors cause a person to be more depressed:

  • Isolation
  • Focusing on negatives
  • Considering self disabled
  • Focusing on anger
  • Substance abuse

These behaviors will help you to feel better:

  • Exercise
  • Hobbies
  • Talking with someone you trust about stress, depression, and other feelings
  • Journaling
  • Interacting with friends, family and other drivers
  • Taking a vacation!


The ultimate consequence of depression is suicide. Usually, people commit or attempt suicide when they feel there is no hope of stopping the pain of depression or intense sadness. If someone reaches out to you in order to discuss their suicidal feelings, please take their concern seriously and talk with them. They usually need more of a listening ear, than a person to “fix” the problem. Listening is the best thing you can do. If you feel they are at risk of hurting themselves that day, see that they go to the nearest emergency room so they can get intensive services. If the suicidal person refuses help and you believe they are going to hurt themselves, call 9-1-1, so the police may help them get to the emergency room.

If you are suicidal and you are not willing to reach out to someone or go to the emergency room, these hotlines are available:

National Suicide Hotline (United States) at 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK. Additional phone numbers can be located at

If you have feelings of depression, sadness, or have some thoughts of hurting yourself, therapy often helps. Call a therapist or mental health center nearest you for an assessment. Once you are assessed, talk with your therapist to see if a referral for medication will be helpful.