Mental Health Corner | Torrance Memorial

Published on April 01, 2022

Mental Health Corner

Ted Lasso

Featuring Moe Gelbart, PhD, director of behavioral health

Dr Moe GelbartA young lady who is living with me has experienced serious occasional mood swings, which I believe are related to premenstrual stress. It can be frightening because you don’t always see it coming. Do you have any suggestions? —Nicole P.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and mood swings are an important topic of discussion. The psychological symptoms of PMS you describe are not uncommon, and there is assistance available. Data indicates that clinically significant PMS occurs in 20% to 30% of women. All OB-GYN physicians are well-versed in the treatment of PMS and can provide various options for dealing with symptoms. In addition to medical recommendations, maintaining a healthy lifestyle including exercise and good nutrition, limiting alcohol and caffeine, smoking cessation and receiving emotional support during the PMS time is helpful.

How does one overcome a severe bout of depression? My 62-year-old daughter follows her doctor’s advice regarding medication and sees her therapist four times each week yet can’t escape the state of depression she’s been in for several months. What else can she do? —Ken C.

I am assuming she is under the care of a psychiatrist, and if not, she should consult with one regarding medication options. You state she is seeing a therapist four times per week, which is quite significant. If the therapist is seeing her that frequently, the therapist sees her issues as very problematic. Hopefully the therapist is providing her with options, especially since she is not improving. Please keep in mind three months is not a very long time, and treatment/medication will take some time. I obviously do not know her history, but there are options for depressions resistant to treatment, and they can be discussed with a qualified psychiatrist who can evaluate your daughter and make those suggestions based on the specifics of her situation. I also recommend she be assessed medically, as there are physical conditions which cause depression.


The Ted Lasso Effect

Many of you have heard of the popular Ted Lasso on Apple TV+, an iconic show about an American football coach who is hired to be the head coach of a Premier League (soccer) club in England. While the premise seems to be about the absurdity of an American football coach leading an English soccer team, the show has become a meaningful and reflective touchpoint to its viewers by bringing to light mental health issues, the benefits of positivity and the collective upside of kindness. Ted Lasso dives into the business of life and illustrates the qualities that make a good human and leader.

In a time of social conflict, unrest, division, fear and anger, it is clear we need some caring, kindness, gratitude and positivity. This is exactly what the characters on this show bring us, led by Ted Lasso (played by Jason Sudeikis)—a kindhearted character who often appears insecure, troubled, overcome with anxiety and challenges. But underneath it all, he and the rest of the cast demonstrate real caring for one other and acceptance of differences. They continually send the message we are better together.

Coach Lasso frames his positive messages through folksy sayings like: “I promise you there is something worse out there than being sad, and that’s being alone and sad. Ain’t no one in this room alone.”

Ted Lasso reminds us we can be kind, caring, accepting and come out on top. Leo Durocher, a famous baseball manager, once said, “Nice guys finish last.” Ted Lasso has pointed out to us that is not true!

If you have a mental health question for Dr. Gelbart, please submit it in an email to publications@tmmc.com for a response.