A collection of resources for understanding and managing depression, bipolar disorder, and other disorders of the brain which impact our thoughts, feelings and behavior. These resources are recommended by our facilitators as individuals and should not be considered medical advice or recommendations by DBSAGreaterSeattle as an organization. As an organization we recommend you consult with your healthcare team before implementing any advice you receive from anyone.

VIDEOS Recommended By Duane:

Writer Andrew Solomon on what he’s learned from his own depression and from talking to others who struggle with the illness. An eloquent and very valuable reference for understanding how acceptance maps to resilience in the context of mental illness. (29min)

19yo Kevin Breel packs a lot of wisdom into this TED talk. Naming the thing which cannot be named, and acknowledging (if only to ourselves) that this problem really exists and is something we are really struggling to deal with, is the first step in making progress against it. A problem you ignore rarely goes away on it’s own. It usually just transforms into a different problem. (11min)

Elyn Saks shares her experience with schizophrenia and speaks to the terrible power of stigma. Stigma divides the world into “us” and “them” and in doing so allow “us” to perpetuate all kinds of damage on “them” (For “their own good” of course). Ultimately we share the same humanity regardless of the existence or absence of any particular diagnosis. (15min)

Stanford professor Robert Sapolsky provides a comprehensive primer on Depression in this lecture. While at times it may seem academic this is a useful overview for those who haven’t personally experienced major depression. He relates symptoms with real understanding and covers both the biology and psychology of depression with a gentle sense of humor. (52min)

Please note that the study Dr. Sapolsky was excited about near the end of the lecture doesn’t appear to be as exciting on deeper investigation. (Br J Psychiatry. 2011 Feb;198(2):129-35. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.085993. and BrainWorld “The new new genetics gets practical”)

Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist that has come full circle around to the idea that stress can be useful and even healthful given a simple but profound change in how we think about it. Consider her adaption of cognitive-behavioral techniques to shift from an avoidance/control agenda to one of harnessing stresses utility. (14min)

Below is a short interview with Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap (recommended below), discussing both anxiety and psychological flexibility. (30min)

Sean Stephenson is a little less that 3 feet tall, fragile, needs a wheelchair to get around, and caregivers to bathe himself. He supports himself as a therapist, self-help author, and motivational speaker. The psychology and empowerment of self-help is often about shortcuts and I really appreciate his focus on self acceptance and the work ethic it takes to obtain it. (If the video below impresses you check this one out too: How To Not Screw Up The Rest Of Your Life)

Kelly Wilson is one of the founding contribtors to ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and strong advocate for teaching and coaching Psychological Flexibility. Here’s his introduction to this fantastic video I strongly encourage you to watch it: (1hr 9min)

“This lecture is from an undergraduate psychology course I offer each fall at the University of Mississippi. This particular lecture was filmed in November, 2013. The course is called “Abnormal Psychology” and by convention, it focuses on a fairly disease-oriented view of mental health. My own version of this course is not conventional.

I am a very practical guy. I want students to walk away from my classes with some very specific ideas about psychological struggles and some of the things we know that make them worse and make them better. I myself have a long and deep history of depression and addiction to drugs and alcohol. I have been in recovery since 1985. I suspect I carry vulnerabilities to psychological struggles. There are significant difficulties of this sort in my family history. My take away on these vulnerabilities is that I need to take very, very good care of myself to moderate this risk. This lecture is derived from a set of practices that I use to optimize my recovery and wellbeing. You can find a blog version of this set of practices here…

We are seeing an epidemic of “lifestyle disorders.” In the so-called first world, and increasingly, the whole world. What kills us is no longer infections, malnutrition, lack of sanitary food, and potable water. We die from the way we live.

We die of cardiovascular disease, stroke, pulmonary illness, obesity, diabetes, and a huge range of stress related illnesses. We sleep too little, exercise too little, sit too much, eat too much (and mostly the wrong stuff), and we stress out….way way out.

The deck is stacked against us. The entire culture seems to encourage us to compare and evaluate ourselves against crazy standards. Huge industries spend billions of dollars to encourage us to eat, drink, smoke, and otherwise behave in ways that are killing us.

There are no loony bits of advice in here. Some of the conclusions drawn about optimal living are suggested from the study of animal models of illness. Not everything in mouse models prove out in human testing. However, things like “eat lots of vegetables” and “get enough sleep” do not seem likely to cause anyone any harm and seem pretty likely to help.

In this lecture, I explore what mental illness looks like viewed through the lens of lifestyle and stress related illness. In the video, I suggest 7 practices people can engage in to optimize wellbeing.

The core message I want students to take away from the lecture is that we do not have to wait. There is a ton of evidence that even small changes in lifestyle can have an impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.”

The folks at The Career Psychologist have a wonderful blog that helps people with their career related questions. I thought this video was a wonderful explainer for the concept of “Experiental Avoidance.”

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