Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing.

I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below. When I get a certain number of related questions, I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are relevant published articles. Wednesday posts are interviews—mostly video. Friday posts consist of questions about living better with chronic health challenges, and my answers to them.

Here is this week’s question:

 LAST WEEK’S QUESTION WAS:  The type of acceptance of all thoughts and feelings you describe sounds like it would lead one to become depressed. When there are life situations that we are powerless to change, wouldn’t acceptance of them lead to depression?


PART TWO OF THE ANSWER TO LAST WEEK’S QUESTION:   The knowledge that we have explored all our options and done everything possible often leads to a sense of peace.

However, as long as there are any unexplored solutions, there is still more we can do. We all react to situations in different ways and have to decide for ourselves when we are ready to accept a certain situation or continue seeking a solution.  Situational depression can often be the result of failing to take action, or alternatively, failing to accept the situation.

Sometimes, when we are clearly powerless to improve a certain situation, depression is quite understandable, but even in those situations, there is always something that can be done to resolve the depression—such as working with our thoughts and feelings and especially engaging in behaviors that provide meaning and purpose.

This is not easy, but the point is that even when we can’t change the external circumstances, we can always seek ways to work with what goes on in our minds. As long as there is something we can do—externally or internally—we can have hope, and hope is an antidote to depression.  Also, it’s incredibly empowering to seek and find some form of resolution for life challenges. Doing so is what builds self-efficacy, and self-efficacy is a powerful antidote to depression.


This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about how to live better with chronic health challenges that are related to the relationship between states of mind and health? 

Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box. I will post a reply to your comment, but your question may not appear in this column. 

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