New York, NY (PRWEB) February 23, 2010
Winter, especially in famously dreary locales like England and northeastern parts of the U.S., may not be directly tied to depression, according to new research published electronically in December by the journal Psychiatry Research. Those finding do not come as a surprise to Carrie Barron, M.D., a New York psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.
"Many of my patients with mild or moderate depression benefit from lifestyle changes that involve five actions," explains Barron in her blog, http://www.carriebarronmd.com. "I categorize these into five actions: exercise, self-awareness, slowing down, activities for the mind and body, and positive thinking."
Dr. Barron is a strong advocate for daily physical activity. "Studies have shown that vigorous physical effort can shore up one's psyche, and that the effects are long lasting if one maintains an exercise regiment. Forty-five minutes a day of aerobic activity such as running or brisk walking is ideal, but even 10 minutes works. Becoming a more physical person boosts mental health."
Self-knowledge is a powerful tool that helps relieve angst and guide people to make wiser choices. Dr. Barron worked with a client who came to her because she was feeling blue. After thorough exploration of her psyche, Barron and her patient concluded that being in the wrong job and the wrong relationship was bringing her patient down. Dr. Barron notes that "if a situation is the wrong fit, a person may not experience the peak moments that are possible for everyone. Recognizing the truth is empowering." She adds that "my clients often are surprised that enlightenment helps people find a way to move on."
"In this fast-paced world, it is all too easy to get caught up in a lifestyle that is not conducive to wellness," says Barron. "Whatever happened to slow time, Sunday rest, and hanging out? Do we need to have 100 e-mails in the inbox in order to feel alive?" Dr. Barron explains that slow time allows the inner life and imagination to flourish, and give people time to connect to others in a real and soul-satisfying way.
Dr. Barron finds that activities for the mind and body bring solace. "Simple manual activities such as washing the car, making a meal, gardening, and even writing a letter by hand can elevate mood and bring a sense of peace to my clients," observes Barron. "I also encourage my clients to explore the use of their hands as a means to wellness."
"Finally, remember the usefulness of positive thinking. My sixth grade graduation song lyrics were to "Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative..." While a person cannot completely lay positive thoughts over negative ones like a fake fur throw, gaining understanding and a positive perspective is key. I encourage clients to remind themselves of what they do have, while remembering that a little sadness is part of the human condition. Accepting life's ups and downs can be both comforting and freeing."
About Carrie Barron, M.D.
Carrie Barron, M.D. is dedicated to exploring the relationship between creativity and wellness. An assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and faculty member at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training Research, Dr. Barron uses mind/body/creativity methods to treat depression, anxiety and unhappiness. Dr. Barron is a recognized expert and frequent speaker on the cultivation of the creative self in such areas as the visual and performing arts, writing, and motherhood.
Rachel Mackles/Mike Dardano
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