The Challenge of Going Off Psychiatric Drugs

Laura Delano recognized that she was “excellent at everything, but it didn’t mean anything,” her doctor wrote. She grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, one of the wealthiest communities in the country. Her father is related to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and her mother was introduced to society at a débutante ball at the Waldorf-Astoria. In eighth grade, in 1996, Laura was the class president—she ran on a platform of planting daffodils on the school’s grounds—and among the best squash players in the country. She was one of those rare proportional adolescents with a thriving social life. But she doubted whether she had a “real self underneath.”

The oldest of three sisters, Laura felt as if she were living two separate lives, one onstage and the other in the audience, reacting to an exhausting performance. She snapped at her mother, locked herself in her room, and talked about wanting to die. She had friends at school who cut themselves with razors, and she was intrigued by what seemed to be an act of defiance. She tried it, too. “The pain felt so real and raw and mine,” she said.

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Psychologists Agree: There’s No Need to Panic Over a Panic Attack

In other words, don’t panic.

Panic attacks typically occur when a person is under stress. The stress can be physical, like being run down, or emotional, like a significant life change.

Panic attacks are a relatively common experience with as many as one in sevenpeople experiencing them at least once. A little more than half of those people will have repeated panic attacks.

Our understanding of panic attacks has changed over time, but we’ve now come to a good understanding of what panic attacks are and how we can help those who experience them.

It’s important to understand that panic attacks are a physiological expression of anxiety, and not intrinsically dangerous. The symptoms are the body’s natural way of coping with perceived threats.  more

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I’m a 6 Ft, Hefty Man, But That Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Be Depressed

Being a third-world country, mental health is not one of our top priority problems, but it is a rising one and a serious one.

I want to share my experience of the journey battling depression and OCD, and shed some light on the problems I faced, which no one else should.

The first time, at the age of 20, when I talked to my parents about my depression and OCD, and about wanting to visit a psychiatrist, their reaction was not at all what I had expected. Belonging to a Jaat family from Rajasthan, I was the first person to raise such an issue in my not-so-open family. Besides they didn’t want anyone to know that their elder son has ‘gone crazy’. After five years of suffering, visits to psychiatrists, and almost a year of medication, I am back to therapy. Now I’m even more scared to tell my parents or friends about it.

That was probably the worst time of my life.

Suffering from depression is difficult. I lost my friends when I confessed to them about my condition. And suddenly, I was socially outcasted. This was the time when I needed emotional support, but all I got was cold looks.

Being over 6 feet tall and having a good physique also proved to be a problem causing peer pressure of presenting myself to the world as a strong and manly, while I was all broken inside. Honestly, being manly was the least of my problems.

Being a social outcast with no one to support you can be a pretty saddening.

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‘Voices in my head telling me to rape women, murder people’, said UPSC aspirant who murdered security guard

New Delhi: Shocking developments have emerged in the death of a 65-year-old security guard who was murdered by a  civil services aspirant on Wednesday. About two weeks ago, 25-year-old Benzi Singh woke up in the wee hours of the morning and mentioned that he had been hearing ‘voices’ asking him to ‘rape women and kill people’, saying his roommates.

One of Singh’s roommates, upon the condition of anonymity, told The Hindustan Times that Benzi came to him the night of the incident around 3.30 am. A shivering Benzi told me that someone had been talking to him which scared him so much that he slept next to me that night, said Singh’s roommate. The boy further added that Benzi’s friends took him to a psychiatrist the other day and that they could never have imagined that would kill someone.  more

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We Asked What It’s Like to Have a Mental Illness in Prison

In the ’60s and ’70s, deinstitutionalization swept the US. Poorly run state mental hospitals were shut down and set to be replaced with less isolating, community-based programs. It was a promising and ambitious plan that never fully took off—the hospitals closed, the community programs fell by the wayside, and the mentally ill wound up somewhere else: in prisons and jails. But the correctional facilities that moonlighted as America’s mental health hospitals weren’t—and still aren’t—equipped with the staff or resources to help inmates manage their conditions effectively.

How do circumstances like waiting months to see a psychiatrist or not having access to medication impact the people who rely on this care to stay healthy? We asked six former inmates who were managing psychological conditions during their sentence what their experiences with prison mental health services were like. While some spoke about positive and attentive care, others weren’t so lucky.  more

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