gardening and human psyche

“There are many ways in which anger, grief, and frustration can be sublimated or channeled creatively, and gardening is one of them. Digging the soil, cutting back vegetation, and ripping up weeds are all forms of care in which destructiveness can be put to use in the service of growth. In discharging quantities of aggression and working off anxieties, tilling the earth works on the inner landscape as well as the outer; quintessentially, it is a transformative action.”

Sue Stuart-Smith. The Well-Gardened Mind: The Restorative Power of Nature. Scribner, ©2020

exercising during depression

there is nothing particularly new in this quote. I just like the way the authors say that doing at least something is good enough and move the readers away from all-or-nothing thinking.

“When you’re depressed is when you need exercise the most, but it’s also the time you least feel like doing anything. If depressed, you may not spend much time moving at all, but the goal is to start by adding a little every day. It may feel like a workout just to get out of bed in the morning, but making it a habit like brushing your teeth will make it easier for you to maintain a program of activity, no matter how depressed you are. You may have been more active before your depression, but doing something is better than nothing. It may be very difficult to start moving, but it will ultimately improve your mood and make you healthier as it boosts your immune system, which gets weakened by depression. Even when sitting on the couch, you can do leg raises, or you can walk the hallway of your apartment or home, or the stairs in your building if you do not want to face the world. Whatever exercise you do, it’s better than just sitting or lying there.”

Ruth C. White, John D. Preston. Bipolar 101. A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms, and More. Oakland, CA : New Harbinger Publications, c2009

a few figures about teen depression

from Katie Marsico. Depression and stress. NY: Cavendish Square, ©2014

  • Mental-health experts believe that depression and anxiety affect up to 15 percent of preschoolers.
  • Mental-health experts believe that teens suffering from untreated depressions are up to twelve times more likely to commit suicide than those who are not.
  • Recent research indicates that 41 percent of women living with depression are too embarrassed to seek help.
  • During one mental-health study conducted recently, 45 percent of teens between the ages of thirteen and seventeen said they felt more stressed than the year before. Yet only 28 percent of parents observed this change in their children.
  • A 2010 study revealed that only 50 percent of young people had talked to their parents about stress or worry they had experienced over the previous month.
  • Mental-health experts believe that less than 33 percent of teens suffering from depression receive treatment.

Paige (a teen):
“I’ve heard so many times, ‘You’re not alone’, but that’s something you have to experience – not just hear”.

Comprehensive Women’s Mental Health

There is growing evidence that simply viewing women as victims of gender-based injustice and oppression is a partial account. There also needs to be acknowledgement of women’s resilience and resistance to injustice, and especially their survival strategies, which frequently may be mislabeled abnormal or deviant behavior and disorders of personality.

Comprehensive Women’s Mental Health. Ed. By David J. Castle and Katheryn M. Abel. Cambridge Un Press, ©2016