We are grateful for all of you who want to invest in better relationships and grow in your ability to love more deeply and with more sensitivity and wisdom.

November and December are common months for depression to occur.  The stress of the holidays, dealing with families and less sunlight are probably at least part of the reason.

So, let’s address this.

I told our Monday night class about a great seminar I attended for continuing education units on Depression and Bipolar Disorders.  They wanted more information so I promised to give it in this newsletter.  The doctor who gave the talk is

Jim Phelps, M.D.; Corvallis, OR, USA.  His web site is

www.PsychEducation.org and it is loaded with great information about depression and bipolar disorder.  It’s a must read if you do suffer from depression or have mood swings that seem to come out of no where.  If you are not sure what your symptoms mean this web site will help you educate yourself on these disorders.

Dr. Phelps confirmed what I already have observed in my practice.  People with highly stressful, traumatic childhoods are more likely candidates for brain disorders that affect mood and stress regulation because high levels of stress change brain function and brain chemistry.

Untreated depression causes certain areas of the brain (hippocampus)  shrink in size.  This means cellular atrophy and lower rate of new cells being made.  The good news?  Proper treatment reverses this decline and affected areas of the brain begin to GROW.

He also confirmed the genetic link to many psychiatric disorders or the predisposition for the “blooming” of these disorders in stressful situation.   For example, researchers have discovered we all have a serotonin transporter DNA.  This area determines how much serotonin we produce.  (Serotonin is the happy chemical our brain produces.)  There are two types of DNA serotonin transporters on a person’s gene, long and short.  Short types produce less serotonin and make us more vulnerable to stress.  Lucky people with long versions produce more happy juice and are therefore more resilient to stress.  So, it’s not all about how hard you try.

So, if this is interesting, visit this site and learn more.  I have seen marriages turn around when mood or anxiety disorders are properly diagnosed and treated.  Having these disorders does not mean you are not spiritual or don’t have enough faith.  We live in a broken world and if medicine can help and repair what is wrong with the body, we are foolish not to educate ourselves and take advantage of the help that is available.

You can also learn how exercise, light, regulating your sleep cycle and fish oil can help many people with mood disorders.  So, visit Dr. Phelps site and read up.

Have a great holiday and God Bless!!!

Love and blessings,

Milan and Kay

Next week: More relationship tips!