Dear Reader,

The illustration above caught my eye, the awakening and vivid colors: she’s on a train (I like reading on trains, on airplanes, even if I’m a passenger in a long car ride) and the word LIFE on the magazine or book she’s reading. Like the apple on her tray, the cup of water—reading is life-giving, reading should always accompany us on our life’s journey. And notice the colorful stamps on her luggage, stamps people once used to reveal, to celebrate where they had been.

A bookcase full of books or a Kindle jammed with titles, does the same thing, celebrates where you have been. Because reading is always about taking a journey, about opening your mind and emotions to someone’s ideas.


 In today’s society, newspapers are struggling, but if you happen to subscribe to the magazine THE WEEK (I do) you will find major newspapers and magazines are still very important in pinning down stories that profoundly affect the bottom lines of our lives.

True, that many people now get the news online—or rely only on television news. But that doesn’t always provide you with an analysis, an interpretation to guide you through the pitfalls of opinion. When you READ, you can pause and evaluate a situation, you can compare the writer’s point of view to what You already know, what You have already read or an opinion You have maintained for a long time. Reading helps you grow, because it often challenges an idea or opinion you have held for a long time.

When you engage with a different point of view—that’s a good thing. Yes, we bring personal experience to almost every idea we encounter. But staying lock-step without looking around to investigate, might lead us to a dark place—or the wrong place.

And getting the NEWS isn’t always politics. News can be about an advancement in medicine, the pros and cons of self-driving cars or CBD oils, the latest advances in tech—anything you are currently interested in, anything that might change the society, the environment we share.


To stimulate your appetite for READING, I pulled some books off my shelves.

POETRY: Billy Collins, our poet laureate from 2001-2003; verses from ONLY CHILD (he wishes he had a sibling)

I would gaze into her green eyes

and see my parents, my mother looking out

of Mary’s right eye and my father staring out of her left.

which would remind me of what an odd duck

I was as a child, a little prince, a loner,

…and maybe we would have another espresso and a pastry

And I would always pay the bill and walk her home.

ESSAY: Marilynne Robinson, from WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE? 

The U.S is in many ways a grand experiment. Let us take Iowa as an example. What would early 19th century settles on the open prairie do first? Well…they found a university, which is now about 170 years old. Agriculture became, as it remains, the basis of the state economy. How did the university develop in response to this small, agrarian population? It became…a thriving and innovative center for the arts–theater, music, painting and, of course, creative writing. ..the arts are the signature of the place and have been for generations.

NOVEL: Alice McDermott, from CHILD OF MY HEART

...all their interest and enthusiasm was reserved for the places they had left. Like exiles, their delight was not in where they now found themselves, but in whatever they could remember about the place, and the time, they had abandoned. 


As I’ve stressed before, the characteristics of perfectly hidden depression, in moderation, can be helpful. But when they begin to govern every aspect of your being, they can become a huge problem. It becomes self-destructive when your perfectionist critical voice is screaming at you nonstop in the background. 

QUIRKY: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS (quirky, because this little book of 48 pages could change the world.)

Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture… My own definition of a feminist is a man or woman who says, “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better.”


P.S. Thanks to for the photo. 

Dear Women, Are You Depressed?

Dear Women, Are You Depressed?

Dr. Margaret Rutherford, a clinical psychologist, understands the difficulty that occurs when you might think you are depressed, but you really don’t want to seek medical help. Previously, she did a survey which I shared on Boomer Highway, Dear Men: Are You Depressed? Take a Survey. It was very successful and you can go to her blog to read some of her findings.

Now she is focussing on women and she again asked me to share a survey with my readers. She created this so that you can ask yourself some questions, possibly getting a better handle on whether you might be depressed.

To take the survey go here. You will be asked to take the survey using a Google Form which requires checking a circle.

If you are curious before going to her site, here are the questions:

10 Question Survey: Female Depression and Openness To Therapy

Depression symptoms include being sad or discontented most of the time, having a negative outlook on things, being fatigued, having no or little desire for sex, finding little pleasure in what you do (even if you used to love doing it). Perhaps having anger outbursts that come out of nowhere. Not sleeping or wanting to sleep all the time. Having trouble concentrating or making decisions. Maybe feeling nothing at all. Just numb. It may be you try to fix it, by overspending, drinking, overworking. Throwing yourself into something. Focusing on others. It can come on gradually or can be triggered by an event or a loss. In severe cases, it includes having thoughts of hurting yourself.
Given this, could you answer a few questions?

Do you think you have ever been depressed?
Whether or not you answered yes or no, please answer the next few questions.

What might keep you from telling someone if you were depressed?
Others would think I was weak or think less of me.
They might not keep it confidential.
Depression is not something I would admit easily.
I never talk about how I really feel.
Belief I will get over it.

Would you be more likely to tell a female or a male?

Would you talk to your family physician and seek medication?

Would you talk to him/her but not seek medication.
Would you consider going into therapy if you felt depressed?

If you would consider going or have ever gone into therapy, please check the major reasons.
Believe getting problems out in the open is good.
Talked to a friend who had gone into therapy that had been helpful.
At my wits end and tired of feeling this way.
Fear of hurting myself.
Realization that my symptoms were having a negative impact on others.
Can afford or if a struggle financially, it’s worth it.
Getting negative feedback at work or concern from friends.
Husband/partner asked me to do it.
History of abuse I have never shared that I am ready to talk about.
Don’t mind asking for help. Think it’s okay to rely on others.
Don’t want to take medication or if on, want to try to stop.

Please check major reasons if you would not consider going into therapy.
Someone would find out.
Am uncomfortable talking.
Feel that it is weak.
Have never asked for help. Am independent.
Don’t believe that others need to know your problems.
Mental health professionals are weird people.
I don’t believe in depression.
Can’t afford financially.
It wouldn’t be worth it, even if I could afford it. Have other financial burdens.
Don’t have time.
Don’t think I would ever commit suicide.
Suicide is a right and an option.
Think it will go away.
Drink or smoke pot regularly to take care of it.
Would rather take medication.

Would you prefer a male or a female therapist?

Some quick questions about you.

Living together

Do you define yourself as heterosexual?

We might have missed something. Please tell us in your own words why you might or might not seek therapy , especially if you were depressed or suicidal

Dr. Rutherford stresses that this is anonymous. Going to her website and doing the survey takes 5 to 10 minutes. She needs all ages. And please know that the results will be used in her upcoming book “Perfectly Hidden Depression” which she will be posting on her  website

So click on the following link and take the survey. It can be found in this blog post: 

I’m going to head over there now and take the survey to help her out! Thanks for reading.

Thanks to Huffington Post and for photos

Dear Women, Are You Depressed?

Dear Men: Are You Depressed? Take a Survey

Dear Men: Are You Depressed? Take a Survey

Depression is isolating.

Depression is not a short episode of the blues; depression is not a personal weakness that someone can snap out of. Depression is a medical illness that makes you feel sad and causes you to lose interest in life. Physical symptoms include: low libido and interest in sex, loss of appetite, insomnia and fatigue, or wanting to sleep constantly, slowed mental processing and outbursts of anger that surprise even you. Depression can also mean frequent crying spells, unexplained body aches and pains as well as suicidal thoughts. Depression upsets your life so that day-to-day activities become increasingly difficult and you often feel that life is not worth living. You are numb.

Here are a few things you should know:

  • CDC statistics: 9% of adults are depressed at least occasionally and 3.4% of adults suffer from major depression.
  • The prevalence of major depression increases with age, from 2.8% among people aged 18 to 24 to 4.6% of people aged 46 to 64.
  • Researcher Jim Thornton states that possibly 10% of patients over 50 who see a primary care physician are suffering from a major depression.
  • Statistically, women are able to reveal their depression more easily than men.

Terrence Real in his book I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression writes: “It’s not considered unwomanly to be emotional and vulnerable, but a real man would never be so weak as to let his emotions get the best of him. There’s a lot of shame involved, and this sets up what I call compound depression—a man gets depressed about being depressed.”

And if men are not seeking professional help, how are they coping? Answers: excessive drinking, gambling, uncontrolled sex or temper flares. This reinforces negative behaviors which Real calls an “addictive defense.” Dr. Barry Lebowitz, a professor of psychiatry says that men often talk about every symptom of depression except sadness, lacking the ability to reveal their feelings.

Dr. Margaret Rutherford, a clinical psychologist, understands the difficulty some men have arriving at the decision to seek help. She asked me to share a survey with my readers which she created so that you can ask yourself some questions, possibly getting a better handle on whether you might be depressed.

To start, ask yourself: Do you think you could have ever been depressed? And whether you answer YES or NO, continue on with the next questions. I have reprinted the SURVEY here, but you can also go to the following link on Dr. Rutherford’s website. Here.

Here’s the Survey: UPDATE: to view the results of those who took the survey go here:  (close to 1,000 responded) 

1. What might keep you from telling someone if you are depressed?

  • would think you were weak, less of a man
  • they might not keep it confidential
  • depression is something women feel
  • you never talk about how you feel
  • belief that you will get over it by yourself
  • other:

2. Would you be more likely to tell a female or a male?

  • female
  • male

3. Would you tell your family physician and seek medication?

  • yes
  • no
  • would talk to him/her but would not take meds

4. Would you consider going into therapy if you felt depressed?

  • yes
  • no

5. If you would consider going or have gone into therapy, please check the major reasons.

  • believe getting problems out in the open is good
  • know someone who was in therapy and it helped
  • at my wits end; tired of feeling this way
  • fear of hurting myself
  • realization that symptoms are having negative impact on others
  • can afford or if a struggle financially–it’s worth it
  • getting negatively evaluated at work
  • wife/partner asked
  • history of abuse that I have never shared
  • don’t mind asking for help
  • don’t want to take medication or if on, want to try to stop
  • other:

6. Please check major reasons if you are not considering going to therapy

  • someone would find out
  • am not a good talker
  • feel that it is weak
  • have never been one to ask for help
  • don’t believe that others need to know your problems
  • mental health professionals are weird people
  • I don’t believe in depression
  • can’t afford
  • it’s not worth it even if I can afford
  • don’t have time
  • don’t think I will commit suicide
  • suicide is an option
  • think it will go away
  • drink or smoke pot regularly to take care of it
  • would rather take medication
  • other

7. Would you prefer a male or female therapist?

  • male
  • female

8. Do you define yourself as heterosexual?

  • yes
  • no

9. Age/Marital Status    age_______

  • married
  • single
  • divorced
  • widowed

We might have missed something. Please tell us in your own words why you might or might not seek therapy, especially if you were really depressed or suicidal.

Thank you. P.S. Dr. Rutherford and I planned these posts before the Germanwings tragedy. She writes: The perpetrator of that crime, suffering from mental illness, was seeking help but allegedly not using it well or appropriately. All our hearts grieve for those affected. I am also sure that those suffering from obsessions with fear of flying are having a hard time as well. Please care for yourselves.

TO READ DR. RUTHERFORD’S POST and take the survey go here.

Dr. Margaret Rutherford is a clinical psychologist. She earned her Ph.D. through UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and blogs at

Thanks to Caramdir Photostream; Thanks to Google Images and

Dear Men: Are You Depressed? Take a Survey