Bob’s Mysterious Depression *
A client of mine, Bob, a thirty-nine year-old waiter, complained of chronic depressed moods despite the fact that nothing particularly depressing had occurred in his life. He couldn’t figure out why he always felt down since everything seemed to be in order—he had a good marriage, a decent job, and great friends. He claimed he was depressed “for no reason” and told me he had a chemical imbalance in his brain. In a rare moment of rudeness, I laughed, and said “In the words of the great Tom Petty, ‘You believe what you wanna believe’. Let’s find out what’s going on. What’s it like to have depressed moods all the time?”
Everybody Must Get Stoned
Diagnoses of depression have skyrocketed since 2013. New statistics released by Blue Cross Blue Shield state that diagnosis rates have risen 47 percent for millennials and 63 percent for adolescents. Depression is the second most impactful condition affecting Americans, putting it right behind high blood pressure. It’s already being predicted to become the leading cause of loss of longevity or life by the year 2030.
Clara's Gorilla *
Years ago in Switzerland I had a client who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. When I first met Clara, a 22 year-old university student, she told me she'd received her bipolar diagnosis and medication from her psychiatrist but hated the side-effects of the drugs.
Me and the Mad Hatters
For ten years I lived in Zurich, Switzerland where I dealt with clients in both institutional psychiatric settings and private practice. I worked one-on-one with some of the most extreme cases in the population. In addition, I conducted and continue to do research on mental illness. Here's what I've learned.