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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Depression and Hope Don't Mix

Thought for the Day: Although the weather this summer has been delightful, here in the northeast, the news lately has been very depressing. War has plagued the Middle East. The murder of American journalists covering the battles has brought the horror of the conflict graphically into Americans' lives. The Ebola epidemic in Africa threatens the world. Suicide of yet another great actor, Robin Williams, shocked and saddened people around the world. As a clinical psychologist, I have helped people overcome adversity for many years. I know that depression and hope don't mix. In fact, hope may be the secret weapon in fighting depression. When hope dies, depression wins. This fact lead me to today's words of wisdom:
"If life's challenges seem insurmountable, a daily dose of hope can help you cope." 
Find something to be hopeful for every day. Instead of a spoon full of sugar, a spoon full of hope may be the best medicine. You do not have to become a Pollyanna, but research has shown that finding something or doing something that gives you hope can help reduce feelings of despair and depression. Support a research project to find a cure for Ebola. Read about or join a program that is working towards peaceful solutions to political strife. Learn about or support an organization that helps prevent suicide. Teach your children things they can do to make the world a better place and hope that they will find better solutions in the future. Take time every day to find ways to feel more hopeful, it can help.

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