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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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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Is Electroconvulsive Therapy a Miracle Cure for Depression?

The controversial treatment is often considered a last resort when antidepressants fail.

In 1990, life was good for Carol Kivler. At age 40, she was happily teaching business skills at a college near her home in Lawrence, New Jersey, raising three healthy tweens, and married to a loving husband. “I had a beautiful home and money in the bank,” she says.

And then, without warning or explanation, “depression brought me to my knees.”

Kivler couldn’t concentrate. She couldn’t sleep. She lost her appetite. “What do I have to be depressed about?” she kept asking herself.

Her doctor explained that a chemical imbalance in Kivler’s brain could be to blame and started her on antidepressants, cautioning that they could take up to six weeks to kick in. Kivler had only been on the medication a month before she started having psychotic symptoms.  more

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Holidays More Challenging For People Struggling With Mental Illness

The holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s does not always bring cheer to everyone, especially for people who are living with mental illness.

The Holiday Blues

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) conducted a survey in 2014 and found that the majority of people diagnosed with mental illness struggle with the holiday season. Approximately 24 percent of those surveyed reported that the holiday season makes their condition “a lot worse,” while 40 percent said that it made their condition “somewhat worse.”  more

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One Patient’s Mission to Shatter Psych Ward Stigmas

A range of treatments, including inpatient stays, helped a young woman regain control of her life. By sharing her experience, she hopes to reach others in need.

When you hear the term “psych ward,” what first comes to mind?

Even if you’re pretty open-minded, you probably don’t picture me. I’m a composed young woman with perky, brown curls for days. I’m soft-spoken and you wouldn’t pick me out from a crowd.  more

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10 of the most important things we learned about mental health this year

Approximately one in five adults in the US — 43.8 million — experiences mental illness in a given year, according to The National Alliance on Mental Illness. That being said, it’s no surprise that each and every year researchers put time and enormous amounts of money into tackling the growing mental health crisis.

It seems in 2018, much of their hard work paid off — around the world researchers crumbled myths and opened new doors as they aimed to better comprehend the complicated world of invisible illnesses.

Here are 10 of the most important things we learned about mental health in 2018.  more

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4 mental-health disorders you probably don’t know much about — and one that will shock you

The conversation around mental-health disorders has been more vocal in recent years and it’s not a moment too soon. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five Canadians will experience a mental-health issue in any given year, and 8 per cent of adults will experience an episode of major depression in their lifetime.

But while depression, suicide and bipolar disorder are well-known terms and their symptoms relatively well-documented, there is a host of other illnesses that go largely unmentioned and misunderstood.

Here are five notable mental-health disorders that you may not know much about, but that can come with real repercussions.  more

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Group treatment reduces veterans’ PTSD symptom severity

Both group cognitive behavioral treatment and group present-centered treatment reduced PTSD symptom severity in veterans with PTSD, according to study findings.

“Relative to individual treatment approaches, there has been much less research conducted on PTSD group treatments,” Denise M. Sloan, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and behavioral science division associate director at the National Center for PTSD, and colleagues wrote. “The majority of studies investigating PTSD group treatment have used an open trial design, which provides limited information about treatment efficacy.”    more

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