Latest by John McManamy

5 Questions To Ask About Depression

Symptoms of depression may be binary opposites: “insomnia or hypersomnia,” “decrease or increase in appetite,” and “psychomotor agitation or retardation.”

8 Reasons Why Playing Music is Good for You

In “Darkness Visible,” William Styron wrote how he was able to reconnect with memories of joy in his life when Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody began resonating in his head. That was the beginning of his recovery from depression. The sound, Styron wrote, pierce...

Meaning in Our Lives: Our Number One Recovery Tool

The Life-Saving Power of Purpose, reads the latest blog post of my good friend Therese Borchard on Everyday Health. Absolutely. Since the end of 2008, with the collapse of the financial markets, “persistent, loud, and maddening” death thoughts have h...

The Kindling Theory of Bipolar: Does One Episode Beget Future Episodes?

Does our bipolar get progressively worse over time? If left untreated, the answer is a resounding “yes” from the psychiatric profession. Let’s investigate … The experts talk of “sensitization” and “kindling.” For instance, if you subject lab animals ...

Depression: It's Complicated - Just Ask Lincoln

In the book on bipolar I am working on, I ask readers to conceive of “up” as simply being higher than “down.” With down, though, I’m suggesting the very opposite - that depression is as complicated as one can get. To illustrate my point, I bring up t...

The Bipolar's Dilemma: Anticipating When Things Go Right

Last year, I wrote about the bipolar’s dilemma. Here’s the situation: On one hand, we have to accept certain limits our illness imposes on us. In certain situations, this may involve staying home rather than venturing out into situations that risk ma...

5 Hollywood Depression Fixes That Work

There is no one foolproof fix for depression, but any number of small fixes may help nudge our moods in a more hopeful direction. The following small fixes honor celebrities and historical people. Let’s begin…

It's Official: The Serotonin Myth of Depression is Dead

"Serotonin and depression," reads the title to an editorial in the latest British Medical Journal. "The marketing of a myth," reads the subheading. The author is David Healy, professor of psychiatry at Cardiff University. Just t...

Genius, Madness, and Bipolar

Do bipolar disorder and creativity go hand-in-hand? Here’s what researchers are telling us about creative minds–particularly those interested in writing.

Sound-Healing and Vibration: Where Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science

In two days, I will be heading out the door with my didgeridoos to participate in a "shamanic sound journey," along with another person on gongs and another on singing bowls. About a dozen people will be lying on the floor as the three of ...