Pure OCD: A Life Story

How to Change Your Brain By Accepting that it Can’t be Changed

It’s not easy for me to confess just how often I cried in the fall of 2009. I wish I didn’t care, but I’m still a slave to some old notions. All of which is to say that I cried quite a lot, and I’m ashamed to admit it.

If you found yourself in midtown Manhattan that autumn, around noon, you may have witnessed a 26-year-old man with his hands jammed in his pockets, marching across the city. He’d usually head south to the Village, but sometimes he’d go west to Hell’s Kitchen or east to the river. He’d be wearing an outfit that just barely met the standards of “business casual”—ink-stained khakis a size too big, untucked polo, brown sneakers doing a poor imitation of dress shoes. And if you committed the ultimate New York faux pas and actually looked him in the eyes, you’d see the tears.

The forgettable 26-year-old was me, and I was crying for joy—for the beauty of the world. Who knows what inspired these tears, exactly? Maybe I had watched an old woman teach a young blind girl how to use her cane to detect a sidewalk curb, and maybe I thought, this is someone with real problems, and look at her courage. Or maybe I had phoned my mother in a panic, and she had restored my self-belief with a convincing pep talk. In any case, the bracing truth reached me: “Yes, of course! Life is wonderful, and you never want to leave! You idiot!” So the tears flowed—tears of relief and salvation.  more

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Are We Ready For An Implant That Can Change Our Moods?

Our thoughts and fears, movements and sensations all arise from the electrical blips of billions of neurons in our brain. Streams of electricity flow through neural circuits to govern these actions of the brain and body, and some scientists think that many neurological and psychiatric disorders may result from dysfunctional circuits.

As this understanding has grown, some scientists have asked whether we could locate these faulty circuits, reach deep into the brain and nudge the flow to a more functional state, treating the underlying neurobiological cause of ailments like tremors or depression.  more

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Electroshock therapy: How a new twist on an old method is helping a Triangle woman battle depression

One Triangle woman is crediting electroconvulsive therapy (shock therapy) for helping curb her depression.
Tiana, 19, said she suffered from depression for years after intense bullying in middle school.

“Because of all that bullying that happened in middle school, it took a lot for me to learn how to love myself,” she said.
She has an eye for fashion and makeup, but she said a mental breakdown left her at rock bottom.

That’s when she heard about electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Doctor Lawrence Dunn, of Holly Hill Hospital, said ECT is the best and quickest treatment for depression.
However, negative stereotypes of how the treatment was previously performed put it in a negative light.  more

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The Practice That Improved My Mental Health When Nothing Else Did

I thought that when I was accepted to the university of my dreams, it would put me on the path to freedom—that I’d land a great job and live out a successful career. But so much changed over the five years that followed, and my journey didn’t go quite as planned.

When I transitioned from my suburban all-girls high school to a large Ivy League university in the city, I felt a major change in social and academic pressure. As an engineering student, I spent long hours in rigorous classes and studying—not to mention, the dorm I lived in was crowded and always, always loud. The image-focused culture made me question my health choices, and the full-force academic pressure put me in a mode of constant anxiety and stress. During my first year, I became pretty sick, a mental kind of sick that was manifesting physically as an eating disorder. That’s when I found yoga.  more

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The cost of staying silent on mental health

When his self-employment worries escalated, a writer found it hard to ask for help

Earlier this year, I admitted myself to psychiatric hospital. I went in voluntarily, only to watch nurses search through my possessions to remove anything I could harm myself with: razor, pills, iPhone cable. I was put on watch, and for days I was not allowed outside unaccompanied.

I shared a ward with people in financial services, law, advertising, the drinks industry, commercial aviation, the military, and more. Men and women diagnosed with depression, anxiety, bulimia, anorexia, self-harming, personality disorders, and chronic addiction to drink, drugs and gambling.  more

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FaZe Rain Speaks Out About His Intense Struggle With Depression and Why He Took a Break From YouTube

FaZe Clan Owner Nordan ‘Rain’ Shat has been incredibly transparent about his fight against anxiety and mental illness in the past.

On July 26, Rain, one of the main owners of FaZe Clan, uploaded a video on YouTube discussing why he has taken a break from the platform, along with how his battle against mental illness almost reached a breaking point in April of 2018.

When discussing the wealth that he has generated in his time as a YouTuber, Rain mentioned that money is not a ‘cure’ for all the problems that he has dealt with in his mind since he was younger, even though some of his viewers may think otherwise.  more

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What Happens When You Mention Suicide in Therapy?

Mental health clinicians are trained to navigate discussions about self-harm.

The first time John came to my office for treatment, I asked him many questions about his background, his symptoms, his strengths, and his goals. And then I came to a standard question about suicide: “Have you been thinking you’d be better off dead or wishing you were dead?”

John hesitated, then replied, “No . . . Not really.”

“Not really?” I asked, sensing there was more to be said.

John looked away and sighed. He then explained that at his lowest points, he sometimes feels like maybe it’d be better if he were dead, and at times, he had wished he could go to sleep and never wake up. I spent some time assessing how serious the risk was that John might end his own life, and concluded that the risk was low. We made a plan for how John and I would monitor and manage his thoughts of suicide.  more

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