Relationships and Mood Disorders
I have experienced, and I have taught others, that meditation, movement and meaningful work can help a person with a mood disorder notice the physical and emotional signs that precede a full-blown episode of anxiety, depression or mania. This knowledge gives the person the time and ability to intervene with therapy, medicine or lifestyle changes to properly manage and even avoid an episode. This is the main idea behind my book, Practicing Mental Illness: Meditation, Movement and Meaningful Work to Manage Challenging Moods.
Sometimes, however, my wife notices an oncoming episode first. It wouldn’t be unusual, especially in the face of mania, to deny and ignore her caution and intervention and plunge headlong into troubling, even dangerous, behavior. Yet these practices in focused attention help me pause and honestly consider what she has noticed. Most often, because of meditation, movement and meaningful work, I retain the clarity of mind and force of reason to heed her warning and positively deal with my rapidly changing moods.
Suzie Pileggi Pawelski, coauthor of Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts, highlights this idea, and a few others from my book, in her interview with me that is featured in Psychology Today. Please read the interview, “Are You or Your Partner Struggling With a Mood Disorder?”, here.
Suzie and I also discuss the role of an individual in the community, and how productivity, independence and empathy, as well as healthy relationships with others, are crucial to mental health. This is the primary message of my work, and I thank Suzie for including it. And thanks to you for exploring practices in focused attention and reading the interview through the link above, as well as Suzie’s and her husband Jame’s other work.
My hiatus continues, but I wanted to emerge from my break to let you know about this interview. Please have a great summer.