Meeting Notes – July 21, 2010

by Clara on August 2, 2010

We have been enjoying good turnouts for our support group meetings. This was true last night as well. About two dozen members and visitors gathered together for the meeting at our new quarters at the VA Medical Center in Palo Alto.

The first order of business , even before introductions, was the discussion of Stanford Mood Disorders Education Day Stanford Mood Disorders Education Day this Saturday 8:30 – 6:30. Several members commented that they found that registration was closed when they tried to register. Katherine explained how to get in as a last minute attendee. Our founder and chief facilitator, Katherine Lerer, will be one of the speakers.

When all questions about the day at Stanford were handled we proceeded to our usual self-introductions. After that, Since the large group split into two groups to discuss the following questions:

1. What is anxiety like for you and what do you do to handle it.

2. What are the qualities of good therapists, psychiatrists and other mental health providers?

Both small groups had a lively discussion with much nodding of heads and occasional bursts of laughter.

The Question Bag raised issues that our members are currently dealing with or need information about. Some of the subjects for discussion were:

  • How do you build self-confidence when you’re depressed?
  • How do you describe depression to someone who has never experienced it?
  • How do you deal with over intellectualizing? (How do you get out of your head? How do you deal with the mental chatter?)
  • What have friends, family and others done that was especially helpful when you were depressed?
  • How do you convince someone that they need to get help?

The meeting ended with the usual going around the circle to tell one good or neutral thing that happened for you this week. It is OK to pass.

Bruce brought cookies and tea and invited people to hang around to talk since we haven’t found a place yet to go for coffee after the meeting.

Sleep apnea was one of the topics at last week’s meeting. To our surprise, a group member who has sleep apnea brought his breathing machine and gave a demonstration after the meeting.

Recommended Resources:

Talking To Yourself: How Cognitive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life
by Pamela Butler

Music at Menlo Chamber Music Festival

Article: Dental Voice of Mental Health
by Lisa Knopp Stillman in NAMI newsletter. NAMI has some interesting materials on the impact of mental health on dental health.

Several people recommended yoga in the context of contributing to the big and small group discussions. Yoga has become very popular and you can find classes offered by recreation centers, extension education programs, hospitals, health clubs and private instructors. Here are some tips for how to choose the right yoga class for you.

Next Meeting

We meet the first three Wednesdays of the month. Our next meeting will be August 4 at 6:30 pm.

Tags:  Stanford, question bag, yoga, dental, teeth