Recently, someone sent me the “viral” You Tube segment by Ruby Wax.  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it.  One of her statements rang a familiar note for me.  She said, “Our brains are not made for the twenty-first century.”  Well, duh.  At least that’s what I remember her saying.

I made a similar statement over thirty years ago except I said body and twentieth century.  I use to teach stress management and that was one of “my” lines I learned from someone else.  Doesn’t really matter who said it first, it’s probably in holy writ somewhere, what’s important is we need to recognize it as true.

Chemical imbalance in the brain deters how we experience the world around us and the people in it.  It “contaminates” relationships because we who have said imbalance experience life through a very different lens than those who don’t.  The sensory input we receive is blurred.

Today, I read there is new research that shows a positive correlation between depression and dementia.  Well hell, if I wasn’t depressed before, I certainly am now!  Show me one person who says, “When I get old, I want to have dementia along with aches, pains, loss of appetite, loss of sex drive and regular visits to the doctor for problems that can’t be fixed because, “You’re just getting older.”  Check that, maybe dementia is better.  Certainly not for family or care takers.

So, what do we do about it?  1)  If you have a mental illness, treat it.  Your family and friends will thank you.  2)  Take your meds if they have been prescribed by an appropriate healthcare professional and don’t self medicate.  If you are doing better it’s BECAUSE of the meds and/or therapy, not in spite of them.  3)  If three people tell you you’re drunk, lay down.  I learned that from my friend and mentor, Dorothy Baldwin Satten, Ph.D.  That could be rephrased here to say that if three people tell you have a problem, get help.  4)  Learn how to “shop” for a competent therapist.  That’s the subject of another ChapChat.  5)  As my dear friend and surrogate mother, Edith Eva Eger, Ph.D. says, “Be a good momma to yourself.

It can be a beautiful world, if only you have the grace to give yourself a clear sense of it.


  1. Good article Michael. We both know getting older is tough, notice I did include you in that comment, this was very good advi\se if only we could figure out how to get those needing the adivse to listen. But that discussion is for another day. So you know I listened. And I did enjoy reading this.


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