Approaches to treatment
The system: issues affecting the treatment of mental illness
ADHD, ADD, and other problems with attention
Anxiety and phobias
Bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness)
Borderline personality disorder
Children's mental health problems
Cutting and self-harm
including Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Dual diagnosis (co-occurring disorders)
Narcissistic personality disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD),
including hoarding behavior
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Organizations and other mental health resources
• Mental Health Hotline Numbers and Referral Resources (Healthy Place)
• Mental Health Conference Transcripts (Healthy Place)
• Free or Low-Cost Prescription Medication Assistance (Healthy Place)
• Suicide Information, Resources & Support (Healthy Place)
• Get Mental Illness, Suicide Prevention Help (Natasha Tracy, Bipolar Burble)
• The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron
• Fifty psychological and psychiatric terms to avoid: a list of inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, and logically confused words and phrases (Scott O. Lilienfeld and others, Frontiers in Psychology, 8-3-15). Fascinating, persuasive, and useful.
• I Am A Child Of God Who Suffers From A Mental Illness (Brooke Y. Bowman, Odyssey, 5-3-16) "If you’re brave enough to open up to a healthcare professional and be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, personality disorders, PTSD, eating disorders or any other mental health illnesses, you will feel uncomfortable. If any of your friends and family go through this experience, you will feel uncomfortable. Don’t let this stop you from asking questions. Learn about your disorder, ask your friends and family questions if they come out of the “mental health closet.” We cannot end the stigma on mental health until we take away the shame attached. Start the conversation, overshare, and dare to challenge your friends and family to feel uncomfortable."
• When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness by Rebecca Woolis
• I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help! How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment by Xavier Amador. "Dr. Amador's research on poor insight was inspired by his attempts to help his brother Henry, who developed schizophrenia, accept treatment. Like tens of millions of others diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Henry did not believe he was ill. In this latest edition, 6 new chapters have been added, new research on anosognosia (lack of insight) is presented and new advice, relying on lessons learned from thousands of LEAP seminar participants, is given to help readers quickly and effectively use Dr. Amador s method for helping someone accept treatment." (To LEAP: "Listen, Empathize, Agree, and Partner -- and help your patients and loved ones accept the treatment they need."
• How to Make Stress Your Friend (Kelly McGonical, TED talk, June 2013) Watch or read.
• The New Science of Mind (Eric R. Kandel, Sunday Opinion, NY Times, 9-6-13) An increasing understanding of the workings of the brain means that psychiatric disorders are increasingly seen as being based in biology. We're learning which disorders are responsive to cognitive behavioral therapy.
• The Psychiatric Drug Crisis (Gary Greenberg, New Yorker, 9-3-13) What happened to psychiatry's magic bullets? "Having been discovered by accident, they lacked one important element: a theory that accounted for why they worked (or, in many cases, did not). That didn’t stop drug makers and doctors from claiming that they knew....Bedazzled by the prospect of unraveling the mysteries of psychic suffering, researchers have spent recent decades on a fool’s errand—chasing down chemical imbalances that don’t exist."
• Mind Over Misery (Robert L. Strauss, Stanford magazine, Sept/Oct 2013) Psychiatrist David Burns wants people to reason their way through anxiety and depression into happiness. A persuasive account of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression.
• The Linden Method (for dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, and phobias)
• Wise Buy? Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Paul Raeburn, Medpage Today, 2-12-16) Cheaper and safer than ECT, the other proven therapy for refractory depression." With rTMS, "the prefrontal cortex is stimulated with a magnetic field -- rather than an electrical shock. The shape of the field can be controlled so it's confined to where it's needed, eliminating the side effects of ECT." A clear look at the pros and cons of this new treatment.
• People Fighting Depression Discover Little-Known Treatment (Carol Gentry, Health News Florida, 3-3-16) An outpatient treatment for severely depressed patients who get no relief from drugs or talk therapy is becoming increasingly available and affordable: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) could help many of the patients who remain trapped by major depression even after trying a whole menu of antidepressants, psychiatrists say.
• Depression: The Current Approach (Rita Rubin, Bethesda Magazine, Jan.-Feb. 2014)
• The placebo effect and the diagnosis effect Transcranial magnetic stimulation was ‘a magical curiosity’ when it was first used to study the human motor system. Now, some scientists regard it as a promising new treatment for patients who don’t respond to antidepressants.
• You Have a Split Personality by Raymond Abbott (Pulse, 11-13-15) As a social worker, Abbott stumbled on an approach that worked with one particularly difficult client.
• The Therapeutic Science Of Adult Coloring Books: How This Childhood Pastime Helps Adults Relieve Stress (Dana Dovey, Medical Daily, 10-8-15) Like meditation, coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment. Tasks with predictable results, such as coloring or knitting, can often be calming...“The most amazing things occurred — we started seeing changes in heart rate, changes in brainwaves"...
• The Power of Nothing (Michael Specter, New Yorker, 12-12-11) Could studying the placebo effect change the way we think about medicine? Wayne Jonas: "We try to identify drugs that will eliminate disease. Yet the way we go about delivering those agents—the interaction between doctor and patient, for example—often has a bigger impact than the agent we focus on. More than the drug and more than the surgery. And that has been collectively called the placebo effect.”
• To Treat Depression, Drugs or Therapy? (Richard A. Friedman, Well, NY Times, 1-8-15) "Dr. Helen Mayberg, a professor of psychiatry at Emory University, recently published a study in JAMA Psychiatry that identified a potential biomarker in the brain that could predict whether a depressed patient would respond better to psychotherapy or antidepressant medication....Is the nonspecific nature of talk therapy — feeling understood and cared for by another human being — responsible for its therapeutic effect? Or will specific types of therapy — like C.B.T. or interpersonal or psychodynamic therapy — show distinctly different clinical and neurobiological effects for various psychiatric disorders? Right now we don’t have a clue, in part because of the current research funding priorities of the National Institute of Mental Health, which strongly favors brain science over psychosocial treatments. But these are important questions, and we owe it to our patients to try to answer them."
• Targeting abnormal neural circuits in mood and anxiety disorders: from the laboratory to the clinic (Kerry J Ressler and Helen S Mayberg, long public access abstract of fuller article at PMC, 7-8-08)
• Magnetic stimulation helps some people with treatment-resistant depression ( Julie Appleby Kaiser Health News and Washington Post, 8-6-12) "While rTMS has ardent supporters, its effectiveness is still debated, and there is little evidence showing how long the results last. The technique has been shown to work better than a placebo, but the proportion of patients who show complete relief ranges widely..."
• Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression: An Expert Interview With Helen S. Mayberg, MD (Medscape Psychiatry, 1-5-06)
• Centra finds success in new depression treatment (Amy Trent, News & Advance, 11-7-14) Judd said Centra waited until more long-term data was available about the treatment and it could be made affordable before, deciding to make the $77,000 purchase and train its staff.
• The Trouble With Tough Love (Maia Szalavitz, Washington Post, 1-29-06) Many anguished parents put their faith in strict residential rehab programs. But lack of government oversight and regulation makes it impossible for parents to thoroughly investigate services provided by such "behavior modification centers," "wilderness programs" and "emotional growth boarding schools." Moreover, the very notion of making kids who are already suffering go through more suffering is psychologically backwards. And there is little data to support these institutions' claims of success. The more important question -- whether tough love is the right approach itself -- is almost never broached.
• A Start for Teens, Troubled Teen Industry: Help or Harm? When looking for treatment options for your troubled teenager, you've likely found wilderness boot camp and therapeutic boarding school programs that advertise residential treatment for defiant and troubled teens. Beware: Not all programs are the same, and many do not provide safe, effective treatment for troubled youth.
• Treatment resistance: a complex problem that requires multiple approaches (Phyllis Hanlon, New England Psychologist). More stories in archives.
• PROBLEM: Added cost for medical patients with treatment resistant major depression SOLUTION: Transcranial magnetic stimulation? (Alison Knopf, Behavioral Healthcare, 12-4-13)
• Brain stimulating therapies (NIMH)
• New Approach to Depression (Roni Caryn Rabin, Well, NY Times, 7-1-13) "An advantage of TMS treatment is that it is not invasive and, unlike medication, appears to have few side effects, just occasional discomfort or mild pain in the scalp at the site of the treatment, or headaches. Few patients drop out of treatment because of the pain, however."
• TMS Relieves Symptoms in Teens With Resistant Depression (Daniel M. Keller, Medscape Multispecialty, 3-10-14)
• How Magnets Can Alter the Brain and Help Depression Symptoms (Stephanie Sy, Everyday Medicine) Powerful, high-tech magnets are helping patients, like 70-year-old Keith, who have severe depression.
“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” ~ Abraham Maslow
• Listen or read (NPR, Tell Me More): Tackling Motherhood...And ADHD. As more children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, parents are discovering they have it too. In the U.S., women have become the fastest growing group to be prescribed ADHD medication. In this parenting segment, host Michel Martin speaks with Jennifer Brown and Michelle Suppers — "moms with ADHD" and journalist Brigid Schulte, who wrote about the issue for the Washington Post Magazine.
• Nature, Nurture and Attention Deficit (Aliyah Baruchin, NY Times, Health) Expert Q&A with Susan Smalley, whose work has a dual focus: the genetics of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and the use of techniques of mindfulness in promoting well-being. The "predisposition to getting a diagnosis of A.D.H.D. has a lot to do with what kind of genetic complement you’re born with, and then how that genetic complement interacts with the environment throughout early development...and childhood." It helps for families to understand the genetics, but "it also helps to hone in on what are the strengths, and how best to manage the weaknesses."
• A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D. (Richard A. Friedman, Opinion, NY Times, 10-31-14) A positive way of looking at what many view as a medical problem in young people. "...let’s not rush to medicalize their curiosity, energy and novelty-seeking; in the right environment, these traits are not a disability, and can be a real asset."
• Why So Many Women With ADHD Never Get The Help They Need (Erin Stewart, The Establishment, 4-29-16) "I’m lucky to be where I am—because for women with ADHD, finding help can be a particularly steep uphill battle. Girls with ADHD tend not to fit the mold of what ADHD “looks like.” ...There are so many disadvantages to ADHD, but there are gifts that I would never give up, and that I’m glad are only moderated by treatment.
• Listen or read (NPR, Tell Me More): Listeners Relate To Moms Juggling Kids And ADHD. Michel Martin and NPR's Tanya Ballard Brown comb through listener feedback to conversations on Tell Me More's segments about "enhanced interrogation techniques" and parents who manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
• Persistent ADHD Associated With Overly Critical Parents (American Psychological Association, 2-8-16) High levels of criticism over time related to continuation of symptoms, study says
• On Their Own: Creating an Independent Future for Your Adult Child With Learning Disabilities and ADHD -- A Family Guide by Anne Ford with John-Richard Thompson, authors of Laughing Allegra: The Inspiring Story of a Mother's Struggle and Triumph Raising a Daughter With Learning Disabilities
• Listen or Read (NPR): Dealing with ADHD as an Adult (Neal Conan, Talk of the Nation, and guests Robert Jergen, Edward Hallowell, and Patricia Quinn)
• The rise of ADHD diagnoses in young mothers (Claudia M. Gold, Kevin MD, 4-1-14) Medicating exhausted young mothers for ADHD, when their problem may well be situation-related, is a boon to the pharmaceuticals industry but may be harmful to the patient. "Could it be that some very clever people in marketing saw an opportunity, and set about selling 'adult ADHD' to both a general and a professional audience? If so, they have certainly been very successful."
• Patient Voices: A.D.H.D. (NY Times Health Guide, 5-21-08) The challenges faced by those with A.D.H.D. -- weighing the decision to take stimulant medication, facing those who doubt your disorder and adapting to your symptoms -- are daunting and deeply personal. Here, in their own words, are the stories of adults and children coping with A.D.H.D.
• Straight Talk About AD/HD: A Guide to Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder for Irish Parents by William K. Wilkinson. See book review by Professor Michael Fitzgerald, who says it is a welcome corrective to a common tendency in Ireland in the 1970s through the early 1990s to attribute ADHD to inadequate parenting and the result of family dynamics. See also Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: The European Perspective (2-24-14); Kurt Cobain was wrong about the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (2-24-14); Road Traffic Accidents and Adolescent / Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (2-24-14)
• TotallyADD.com (many tools, tips, resources, articles)
• Driven To Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey (or, for those who have trouble reading, the small-byte-sized Answers to Distraction. Both available as books on tape. Read an excerpt from their book Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder. The authors, both professionals, also have ADD.
• Bright Not Broken Gifted Kids, ADHD, And Autism: Why Twice Exceptional Children Are Stuck and How to Help Them by Diane M. Kennedy and Rebecca S. Banks with Temple Grandin
• The Little Monster: Growing Up With ADHD by Robert Jergen. (Read the preface)
• One Boy's Struggle: A Memoir: Surviving Life with Undiagnosed ADD by Bryan L. Hutchinson
• Untangling the Myths About Attention Disorder (Perri Klass, Health, NY Times, 12-13-10)
• ADHD Affects Women Differently: What to Look For, How to Fix It (Health.com)
• Is It Really ADHD? Other Conditions with Similar Symptoms
• Get the ADHD Facts You Need to Help Your Child Top 11 ADHD Myths and Facts (Kate Taylor, Lifescript, 11-20-12)
• Just Because It Looks Like ADHD Symptoms, Doesn't Mean It's ADHD )(Robin Aronson, Babble, 12-27-10)
• Who Might Be Included on an ADHD Management Team? (ADHD & You)
• Understanding the Anxious Mind (Robin Marantz Henig, NY Times Magazine, 9-29-09)
• Evaluating Anxiety From an Early Age Irene Wielawski interviews Daniel Pine about evaluating generalized anxiety disorder from an early age, NY Times, Expert Q&A, 7-11-08)
• My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind by Scott Stossel. "In an age inundated by memoirs and psychic self-help books, My Age of Anxiety is the rare memoir that tells an entirely compelling story and the rare self-help book that really helps. You, and many thousands of readers along with you, will laugh until you cry. —George Scialabba, Bookforum
• Shawn, Allen. Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life — part memoir, part explanation, a beautifully written and fascinating account of Shawn's own anxiety and agoraphobia, and a fine summary of what is known about how we form and can learn to manage anxiety and phobias.
• How Not to Smuggle Weed-Killer Into Canada ( Samantha Edwards, Narratively, 5-14-15) When carcinogenic lawn sprays were outlawed in Ontario, my father’s quest for the greenest patch on the block had me dallying in cross-border smuggling—and helped me get to the bottom of my lifelong anxiety.
• Anxiety Disorders (NIMH)
• Anxiety, Panic & Phobia Center (Psych Central)
• The Linden Method (for dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, and phobias)
• Anxiety, the excellent NY Times Opinionator series, exploring "how we navigate the worried mind, through essay, art and memoir," including the following:
~A Daughter's Separation Anxiety (Nicole Bokat, Opinionator, NY Times, 4-15-13). "When my father was alive, our relationship was virtually symbiotic. After he was gone, I realized he’d been my antidepressant."
~The Hand That Feeds Us (Sara Hope Anderson, Opinionator, NY Times, 4-20-13). "I was sure the loss of my job was just an unpleasant drizzle on my career parade. I was wrong."
~ For the Anxious, Avoidance Can Have an Upside (Joseph Ledoux, Opinionator, NY Times, 4-7-13)
~A Day in the Life (Adane Byron, Opinionator, NY Times, 3-25-13) Social anxiety. "Getting out of my apartment to go to class should have been simple. But the voices in my head wouldn't let me go quietly."
~Up Here on This Island (Mark Dow, Opinionator, NY Times, 3-13-13) Lessons from a 12-year-old boy who took in the world by his own measure.
~The Last All-Nighter (Kate Miller, Opinionator, NY Times, 3-4-13) " I thought it would fast-track me to adulthood, but what Adderall gave me was nothing compared to what it took away."
• Kay R. Jamison, "An Unquiet Mind: Personal Reflections on Manic-Depressive Illness" (transcript of talk at the University of Virginia, by the author of An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness and Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament)
• Bipolar Disorder: Diagnosing Mood Disorders in a New Generation (Irene Wielawki, NY Times, Expert Q&A 1-25-08). Wielawki interviews NIMH research psychiatrist Ellen Leibenluft about correctly diagnosing children and teenagers)
• Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness by Jessie Close with Pete Earley. At a young age, Jessie Close struggled with symptoms that would transform into severe bipolar disorder in her early twenties, but she was not properly diagnosed until the age of fifty. Jessie and her three siblings, including actress Glenn Close, spent many years in the Moral Re-Armament cult. Jessie passed her childhood in New York, Switzerland, Connecticut, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), and finally Los Angeles, where her life quickly became unmanageable. She was just fifteen years old. Jessie's emerging mental illness led her into a life of addictions, five failed marriages, and to the brink of suicide. She fought to raise her children despite her ever worsening mental conditions and under the strain of damaged romantic relationships. Her sister Glenn and certain members of their family tried to be supportive throughout the ups and downs, and Glenn's vignettes in RESILIENCE provide an alternate perspective on Jessie's life as it began to spiral out of control. With Pete Earley, she tells of finally discovering the treatment she needs and, with the encouragement of her sister and others, the emotional fortitude to bring herself back from the edge.
• Comedian Maria Bamford Opens Up About Living with Bipolar and Rebuilding Her Life After a Mental Breakdown (Patrick Gomez, People, 7-14-16) In her new hit Netflix show Lady Dynamite, Maria Bamford stars as a comedian rebuilding her life after a devastating mental breakdown and bipolar diagnosis.
• When Bipolar Masquerades as a Happy Face (Richard A. Friedman, Health Essentials, NY Times) Like most diseases, bipolar disorder comes in different shapes and sizes and can be difficult to diagnose. a milder form of mania, called hypomania, is not obvious at all, especially in someone who happens to be temperamentally dramatic and lively. In the same way, dysthymia, hypomania's dark twin, has often been confused with gloomy temperament, when in fact it is a treatable form of low-grade depression. Hypomania is intrinsically pleasurable, it can subtly and sometimes powerfully impair a person's judgment.
• Bipolar Mama Lauren Kosher (part of HealthiNation's excellent video series) "Depression is like an epoch sadness...a soul sucker...then you to go the other side: mania...grandiose ideas." You can't focus and you can't get enough sleep, so you are exhausted. "The very few friends I had at the time didn't believe me." Mental health care is not available and affordable to everyone. Lauren advocates for easier healthcare with less shame and stigma for people with mental health disorders. See her blog Bipolar Mama.
• Natasha Tracy (excellent six-part HealthiNation video series about her personal experience figuring out how to live with bipolar disorder). Part of an excellent series from HealthiNation. "I have bipolar disorder. I am not bipolar disorder." Having a regular schedule helps.
• Bipolar Burble (Natasha Tracy's blog on HealthiNation).
• Top 5 Myths about Bipolar Disorder (Natasha Tracy, Bipolar Burble)
• Not Knowing (Nobody, DoubleXScience,5-24-13). There will be a next time, another severe and major depression. Plus a few other problems.
• When My Crazy Father Actually Lost His Mind (Jeneen Interland, NY Times Magazine, 2-21-12) This story about an episode in her father’s debilitating bipolar disorder uses her personal story to highlight deficiencies in a dangerously overburdened, underfunded mental health and criminal justice system.
• The Problem With How We Treat Bipolar Disorder (Linda Logan, New York Times Magazine, 4-26-13 and four days later there were already 418 comments). The doctors could address my symptoms. But they didn't much care about my vanishing sense of self.
• When My Crazy Father Actually Lost His Mind by Jeneen Interlandi (NY Times Magazine, 6-22-12). Jail and a restraining order are the family's backup system when involuntary commitment is discouraged, psychiatric facilities are overbooked, judges have received inadequate information, and social and medical systems have been gutted to cut costs. Still, the author's father, in full manic psychosis, is a danger to himself and the family who loves but temporarily fears him. Like many who suffer from bipolar disorder, he refuses medication, insists he is normal, and demands his rights: to be free. The Sunday of its publication this piece has 153 comments.
• Hallmarks of BPD (borderline personality disorder). See Randi Kreger's blog, Lines from the Border and info about her helpful books and online support communities.. See also Why BPD relationships are so complicated.
• Randi Kreger's books:
---The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells
---Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder (with Paul T. Mason)
---The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook: Practical Strategies for Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder center>[Back to Top]
• When Young Minds Cry Out Sandra Dark on the importance of checking out possible mental problems as early in a child's life as possible)
• School-based telehealth brings psychiatry to rural Georgia (Alison Knopf, Behavioral Healthcare, 1-10-13)
• Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath? (Jennifer Kahn, NY Times Magazine, 5-11-12) "Currently, there is no standard test for psychopathy in children, but a growing number of psychologists believe that psychopathy, like autism, is a distinct neurological condition — one that can be identified in children as young as 5. Crucial to this diagnosis are callous-unemotional traits, which most researchers now believe distinguish “fledgling psychopaths” from children with ordinary conduct disorder, who are also impulsive and hard to control and exhibit hostile or violent behavior. According to some studies, roughly one-third of children with severe behavioral problems — like the aggressive disobedience that Michael displays — also test above normal on callous-unemotional traits. (Narcissism and impulsivity, which are part of the adult diagnostic criteria, are difficult to apply to children, who are narcissistic and impulsive by nature.)"
• Callous-Unemotional Traits in Children (Essi Viding, Observer, Association for Psychological Science, Oct. 2013) Researchers Identify Link to Severe and Violent Antisocial Behavior
• Attachment: It Takes Two (at least) (PDF, Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao. From her website. See also Seven Core Issues in Adoption and other stories helpful with adopted children.
• Acquainted with the Night: A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children by Paul Raeburn
• Bipolar Disorder: Diagnosing Mood Disorders in a New Generation (Irene Wielawki, NY Times, Expert Q&A 1-25-08). Wielawki interviews NIMH research psychiatrist Ellen Leibenluft about correctly diagnosing children and teenagers)
• A D.C. Teen's Tale of Self-Cutting and Recovery (Kavitha Cardoza, Metro Connection, NPR, 1-23-15) "Research suggests that cutting is more common among teen girls than boys, and it’s quite prevalent — it affects between 12 and 25 percent of adolescents."
• Self-injury/cutting (Mayo Clinic) Self-injury, also called self-harm, is the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It's typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration."
• Cutting and Self-Harm: Warning Signs and Treatment (Web MD)
• What is depression? (Helen M. Farrell, TedEd) Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world; in the United States, close to ten percent of adults struggle with the disease. But because it’s a mental illness, it can be a lot harder to understand than, say, high cholesterol. Helen M. Farrell examines the symptoms and treatments of depression, and gives some tips for how you might help a friend who is suffering. ]
• The gift of depression and mood disorder (Sarah Boon, DoubleXScience, 7-26-13)
• What To Do When You're Depressed (Steven Skoczen, InkandFeet.com) Steven is writing The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression.
• How To Help Someone With Depression (Steven Skoczen, InkandFeet.com) The best ways to help someone with depression and why they work.
• 13 Things Men With Anxiety And Depression Want You To Know (Lindsay Holmes, HuffPost, 9-16-15)
• A Day in the Life of a Psychiatrically Hospitalized Clinician (Liat Katz, Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine, Part 1, 12-18-15) and Part 2, 12-25-15.
• The Battle to Belong: Depression and an Immigrant’s Struggle to Assimilate ((Roger Cohen's powerful story about his mother's manic depression and suicide attempts and how they affected the family (NY Times, 1-9-15). Adapted from his memoir, The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family A remarkable chronicle of the quest for belonging across generations. An intimate and profoundly moving Jewish family history—a story of displacement, prejudice, hope, despair, and love.
• Understanding clinical depression (podcast with Hinda Dubin, psychiatrist with the University of Maryland School of Medicine)
• What Depression Is Really Like (Maria Popova, BrainPickings, “The gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain.”
• Tchaikovsky on Depression and Finding Beauty Amid the Wreckage of the Soul (Maria Popova, BrainPickings) “Life is beautiful in spite of everything! … There are many thorns, but the roses are there too.”
• (Stephen S. Ilardi, TEDxEmory, 5-23-13). Ilardi is author of The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression Without Drugs
• The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon "Sometimes, the legacy of depression includes a wisdom beyond one's years, a depth of passion unexperienced by those who haven't traveled to hell and back. Off the charts in its enlightening, comprehensive analysis of this pervasive yet misunderstood condition, The Noonday Demon forges a long, brambly path through the subject of depression--exposing all the discordant views and "answers" offered by science, philosophy, law, psychology, literature, art, and history. The result is a sprawling and thoroughly engrossing study, brilliantly synthesized by author Andrew Solomon." (Amazon review)
• Not knowing (Nobody, DoubleXScience, 5-24-13) "I have major depression, severe, recurrent. This diagnosis came 4 months after the best 18 months of my life where I had no depression. And it only came about 6 months ago when I was in the worst depression of my life....I had learned to hide my depression so well that while my mother knew I had it (her work brought her into contact with many severe cases of people with mental disorders) and my spouse knew I had it, no one knew about my suicide attempts or how low I was at any point."
• Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson, a funny and honest (and bestselling) book about Lawson’s struggles with various forms of mental illness — clinical depression, panic attacks, a compulsion to pull out her own hair. See also Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened (a mostly true memoir)
• Singleminded (Diana Spechler, Anxiety series, Opinionator, NY Times 6-26-15) "My worst depression comes not from heartbreak, but from feeling trapped. Yet I’ve sought out relationships again and again." See Going Off, a a series of Anxiety posts chronicling Spechler's attempt to wean off the medications she takes for depression, anxiety and insomnia.
• These Photos Capture The Anguish Of Living With Depression (Lindsay Holmes, HuffPost, 9-14-15) For 21-year-old photographer Edward Honaker, experiencing depression and anxiety felt like being at war with his brain. He reached for his camera to turn his emotions into something tangible. The result is a series of self-portraits that capture his personal experience with depression. "The whole experience made me a lot more patient and empathetic towards others."
• Shameover It's time to talk about men's mental health. Series on HuffPost.
• How It Really Feels To Have Anxiety And Depression, In One Comic (Lindsay Holmes again, HuffPost, 9-17-15) "You can't just "calm down" when you have anxiety or "snap out of it" when you're going through depression. However, many people still don't understand how mental illness occurs, leading to feelings of guilt, shame and isolation in those who experience it."
• A treatment for Parkinson’s disease reveals a brain switch for sadness (Amy Ellis Nutt, WaPo, 3-3-16) An electrical pulse fired into the brain of a patient who'd suffered Parkinson's for 30 years triggered a brief episode of severe depression and sadness -- "when the pulse was on, the woman said she felt as though she was being sucked into a black hole." "The fact that doctors had inadvertently found a source of symptoms for one of the most pernicious of psychological maladies — and in a bit of gray matter no larger than the head of a pin — prompted a singularly bizarre question: Why would depression, which is responsible for so much misery in the world, be hard-wired into the brain?"
• True Champions: Erin Schulthies (mental health advocate Erin, HealthiNation), shares (video, several segments--wait for next to come when one ends) what it has been like to suffer from depression for most of her life. Read also her blog Daisies and Bruises, about finding her way after losing most of her youth to depression.
• The Secret Sadness of Pregnancy With Depression (Andrew Solomon, NY Times Magazine, 5-28-15) Pregnant women often fear taking the antidepressants they rely on. But not treating their mental illness can be just as dangerous. ‘One of the reasons we didn’t really recognize antepartum depression for a long time was because it was easier not to, because it put physicians in such a bind.’
• ‘Thinking of Ways to Harm Her’ (Pam Belluck, NY Times, 6-15-15). New Findings on Timing and Range of Maternal Mental Illness (Mother's Mind. First of two articles.). See also After Baby, an Unraveling (Pam Belluck, NY Times, 6-16-14) A Case Study in Maternal Mental Illness (second of two articles, Mother's Mind.
• Resources on Maternal Mental Illness
• Are Antidepressants Safe During Pregnancy? (Roni Caryn Rabin, Well, NY Times, 9-1-14)
• Does gender play a role in treatment? (Phyllis Hanlon, New England Psychologist, 3-1-15) Excellent discussion, of treating depression generally as well as with a focus on gender.
• All About Depression
• Acquainted with the Night: A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children by Paul Raeburn
• The gift of depression and mood disorder (Sarah Boon, DoubleXScience, 7-26-13). What do you do when your illness feeds your success?
• Creative minds: the links between mental illness and creativity (Roger Dobson, The Independent, 5-5-09, reprinted in Beating the Beast: An Online Depression Support Community)
• Depression (Psychology Today blog)
• Depression resources (Psych Central, including material on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD))
• Learning How to Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder
(David Rosenberg, Behold, the photo blog, Slate, 1-14-15)
• Hyperbole and a Half (Allie Brosh's wonderful blog, with drawings and great text). Most anyone who has suffered depression will be able to identify with the stories and thoughts expressed partly through drawings/cartoons, with humor. Check out this blog entry in particular, and listen to Brosh on this NPR interview, "Clean ALL the things.". I'm buying a copy of her book: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened...
• Depression. Can Psychiatry Be a Head Case? (Louis Menand, New Yorker story on how little science agrees about the nature of depression and the effectiveness of psychiatric medication, 3-1-10)
• Decades after 2 suicide attempts, I'm thankful to have the life I nearly cut short (Jacquielynn Floyd Dallas News.com, 2-2-13). "For me, depression took on a camouflaged veneer of normal that made it difficult to “read the signals.”
• Depression, Research on (John M. Grohol, NIMH)
• Co-Occurring Disorders (SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). The coexistence of both a mental health and a substance use disorder is referred to as co-occurring disorders.
• NAMI on Dual Diagnosis (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
• 25 research articles on the Hazelden Co-occurring Disorders Program (Behavioral Health Evolution)
• Co-Occurring Disorders (Psychology Today)
• Robin William's Suicide and Connection with Dual Diagnosis (Sarah A. Benton, Psychology Today, 8-18-14)
• Motivating Someone to Stop Substance Abuse (Harris B Stratyner, Psychology Today, 5-23-11)
• A Beginner's Guide to the Rx Drug Abuse Epidemic in America (Foundations Recovery Network) Part 4: The Mental Health Factor.
• National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) (forums and other forms of support)
• Eating Recovery Center
***Patient Voices: Eating Disorders (NY Times Health Guide) How does an eating disorder take over someone’s life? Is it a matter of losing control or trying to seize it? Eight men, women and children tell of their struggles with anorexia, bulimia and other forms of eating disorders. Join the discussion.
• Eating Disorders News (blog of Psychology Today)
• Unhealthy Weight Loss or Gain from Eating Disorders (Pritikin Wellness Resources)
• Critical Points for Early Recognition and Medical Risk Management in the Care of Individuals with Eating Disorders (10 pages, free download from Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) .
• Videos about eating disorders (Academy for Eating Disorders)
• Anorexia (NY Times fact sheet)
• Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), Wikipedia entry\
• Something Fishy (website on eating disorders)
• Eating Disorders (free detailed booklet describes the symptoms, causes, and treatments of eating disorders, National Institutes of Mental Health)
• National Eating Disorder Information Centre's blog
• My name is Ron, and I am a food addict (Ron Cothran, CNN, 3-28-14 ) He writes that after gastric bypass surgery, "I no longer could eat to feel better; I needed to find a healthier way to deal with life." One reader comments: "You know what's worst of all? The treatment for chronic overeating is to think about every food choice you make for the rest of your life."
• A Small Loss (Mary W's blog about her struggle with weight loss-gain-loss).
• Eating disorders 'prevalent among fitness professionals' (Rhiannon Beacham, BBC News, 12-31-12)
• Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders by Aimee Liu, whose memoir of life with anorexia, Solitaire, came out when she was 25.
• YMCA patrons stage intervention for anorexic woman (Steve Hartman, CBS News, 5-2-14)
• Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher. Written at 23 for young adults, this brutally candid memoir may "trigger" those still in grips or early stages of disease, say some readers, serving as a how-to guide for eating disorders. Good insight for families of those with ED.
• Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year by Kjerstin Gruys
• Diabulimia: All in Our Heads? (Amy T, DiabetesMine, 10-28-10). In 2007, journalists began writing about diabulimia (women with type 1 diabetes, who were shunning their medication for fear of getting fat-- or restricting or stopping taking their insulin to lose weight). See articles by expert Ann Goebel-Fabbri, at the Joslin Diabetes Center. There is a new book by Maryjeanne Hunt about battling this eating disorder: Eating to Lose: Healing from a Life of Diabulimia, which is reviewed here.
• Binge Eating in Men: Understanding a Widely Misunderstood Eating Disorder (Carolyn C. Ross, Psychology Today, 10-2-12)
• Narrowing an Eating Disorder (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, or Ednos, by Abby Ellin (NYTimes, 1-18-10)
• Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder by Bryan Cuban
• Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Narcissism (Sander van der Linden, Psychology Today, 1-25-16)
• Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride
• The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell
• Hallmark of narcissistic disorder (also on BPD Central)
• Is there a narcissist in your life? (Temma Ehrenfeld, Psychologies, 8-28-14) .While we may all act narcissistically at times, people with a narcissistic personality disorder act this way all the time, with everyone else oblivious to the damage they inflict on those around them.
• Narcissistic Personality Disorder WebMD)
• Narcissism -- to a point -- can make more effective leader, researchers find (Science Daily, 1-15-14) When it comes to leadership, a moderate amount of narcissism can go a long way.
• Identifying and Understanding the Narcissistic Personality by Elsa F. Ronningstam
• The Handbook of Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, edited by W. Keith Campbell and Joshua D. Miller
• Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss
• When your thoughts become fears and your fears become obsessions (Carlos Lozada, Washington Post, 1-25-15). "Linger for a moment on those irrational thoughts that sometimes hop the mind’s rope line. What would happen if I drove against traffic in the thick of rush hour? What if my completely healthy loved one died tomorrow?...Imagine now that the thoughts are not quickly cast out, but instead claim more and more space until they overwhelm everything else, all but the awareness that you can’t stop them. Trying to banish them only ensures their persistence. Some people develop distractions — compulsive, repetitive behaviors — to fight back. But the compulsions aggravate the obsessions. Being caught in this destructive loop is what it means to live with obsessive-compulsive disorder." A review of the book The Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought and the story in brief of its author, David Adam. "The memoirist knew he didn't have AIDS, but he couldn't stop thinking about it."
• Patient Voices: O.C.D. (NY Times Health Guide, 9-24-09) Nagging doubts, compulsions, concerns of contamination, obsessive hoarding: the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder are numerous and varied. What is it like to live this way? How does one maintain a normal life? Six men and women speak about their battles with this disorder. Join the discussion.
• Debunking the myths of OCD (Natascha M. Santos, Ted-Ed Original video lesson)
• Being Me with OCD: How I Learned to Obsess Less and Live My Life by Alison Dotson (part memoir, part self-help for teens--and a guide for friends and family members)
• "It'll be Okay.": How I Kept Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) from Ruining My Life by Shannon Shy
• Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Fletcher Wortmann. (Listen to interview on Talk of the Nation (NPR, 3-29-12)
• An Obsessive Compulsive's 'Life In Rewind' (Talk of the Nation story about Ed Zine, whom it took 16,384 precise movements to get from his bed to the bathroom). Read the compelling book: Life in Rewind: The Story of a Young Courageous Man Who Persevered Over OCD and the Harvard Doctor Who Broke All the Rules to Help Him by Terry Weible Murphy, Michael A. Jenike, M.D., and Edward Zine.
• The OCD Diaries (Bill Brenner's blog, this entry: The Love Story Continues--Happy Birthday, Erin!)
• The Infamous Rikers Inmate Who Stole Entire Subway Trains (John Surico, Vice, 6-8-16) Darius McCollum is something out of New York City tabloid lore: the guy who gets caught over and over again (30 times, in total), impersonating a subway conductor or bus driver; stealing said vehicle; and then, eventually, getting caught. has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, with an obsession he can't seem to shake, but there's more to it than that--OCD, the impulse control. And jails don't try to deal with the psychology at the base of the repeated behavioral problem.
• Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, expert on OCD, on how much choice and control we actually have (by refocusing our attention) over things like mood, addictions, and overeating (on YouTube). Schwartz is the co-author of You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life. He says that 2% of the population has OCD, but most people hide it. His earlier book is Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior. Leonardo DiCaprio does an excellent job portraying Howard Hughes' OCD in the film The Aviator; it also took him three months to stop OCD behaviors, after finishing the movie.
• The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD: A Guide to Overcoming Obsessions and Compulsions Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy by Jon Hershfield and Tom Corboy
• The Different Types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD-UK) Explains (and breaks down further) the four main types of OCD (1. checking, 2. contamination/mental contamination, 3. hoarding, and 4. ruminations/intrusive thoughts) and some of the fears associated with them.
• Compulsive hoarding (OC Foundation)
--Hoarding: How Much Stuff is Too Much? (Mary Mihaly, Healthy Outlook blog, 1-4-12)
--Shop 'Til You Stop: How to Treat Compulsive Spending Melinda Beck, Health Journal, WSJ, 12-6-11)
• Buried by His Past (Corey Kilgannon, NY Times, 3-7-14) "A Son of Privilege, Consumed by Hoarding, Faces a Deadline to Pack Up and Move Out" The younger son of Tex McCrary and Jinx Falkenburg, he appeared on an episode of the A&E TV show “Hoarders.” "A large team of workers removed eight truckloads from the apartment, creating trench-like walkways, but they really only put a dent in the collection. Mr. McCrary’s insistence upon managing the removal of items wound up slowing, and ultimately halting, the operation."
• Hoarding disorder: why I'm examining it in my latest book (Maggie James, who writes about three novels that feature hoarding behavior) "Common items to hoard include newspapers and magazines, books, clothes, letters (including junk mail), containers such as cardboard boxes, and household supplies." (Gulp)
• PTSD. National Center for PTSD (informative U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs website--click on "Search PILOTS" to find published articles on various aspects of post-traumatic stress disorder). Download free: Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide(an evidence-informed modular approach for helping people immediately after a disaster or terrorism).
• In 'The Evil Hours,' A Journalist Shares His Struggle With PTSD (Dave Davies interviews David Morris on Fresh Air, NPR, 1-20-15). While embedded with troops in Iraq, David Morris almost died when a Humvee he was riding in ran over a roadside bomb. His book, The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, explores the history and science of post-traumatic stress disorder.
• A True Story of Veterans Who Came Home and Found New Ways to Serve (Diane Rehm show, 11-11-15, with guest Joe Klein, author of Charlie Mike: A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home, and veterans Ken Harbaugh and Mike Pereira. When former Army sergeant Mike Pereira came home from Iraq, things fell apart quickly. He had panic attacks, his girlfriend left, and he spent his days in a fog. The friendship of another veteran helped him start to address his PTSD, but when that friend took his own life, Pereira was lost. What finally brought him relief was serving again – this time in his community. For many veterans, putting their military skills to use in public service projects can be healing during the transition to civilian life. Journalist and author Joe Klein writes their stories in a new book – and says it’s time to recognize the huge potential in our returning military ranks. The stories behind one positive path for returning veterans. Listen or read transcript.
• PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder): Combat: Winning the War Within (Ilona Meagher’s blog)
• The Voices in My Brother's Head (Maria Lazzati, Narratively, 9-24-13) After schizophrenia upended a young man’s life, the notes he left behind offer clues to the horrors that haunted his mind.
• What Does a Parrot Know About PTSD? (Charles Siebert, NY Times Magazine, 1-28-16) An unexpected bond between damaged birds and traumatized veterans could reveal surprising insights into animal intelligence. "In an extraordinary example of symbiosis, two entirely different outcasts of human aggression — war and entrapment — are somehow helping each other to find their way again."
Wounded Warriors: A Soldier's Story of Healing through Birds by Robert C. Vallieres and Jacquelyn M. Howard. (Robert C. Vallieres struggled to find his “new normal” when he returned home after serving in the military. An accident in Kuwait left him suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and internal injuries, leaving him in constant pain. Wounded Warriors is Vallieres’s story of self-healing from crippling “invisible” wounds through the help of birds. The problems of TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder do not have definitive solutions. His story of recovery offers a winged hope to thousands of military personnel who suffer these physical and mental battles.
• How Service and Therapy Dogs are Helping PTSD Victims (Kristina Kledzik, Daily Treat, a blog by Rover.com) • Gift from Within: PTSD Resources for Survivors and Caregivers. This site is packed with articles on various practical ways to understand and deal with PTSD. Thanks to Jennifer McGregor for recommending this and several other helpful articles listed here.
• Over a Quarter-Million Vietnam War Veterans Still Have PTSD (Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, 7-22-15) Forty years after the war's end, twice as many vets with combat-related PTSD are getting worse as those who are improving
• No End to Trauma for Some Older Veterans (Paula Span, The New Old Age, NY Times, 3-15-13). “But at least now they know about this stuff. Nobody told me anything for 55 years.”
• Addiction and Suicide Amongst Veterans: Finding Hope In The Darkness (DrugRehab.org). This article contains practical advice about dealing with PTSD. "PTSD is one of the primary reasons veterans may turn to drugs or alcohol – as a coping mechanism to deal with the traumatic memories, feelings of depression, and anxiety resulting from PTSD – particularly if the disorder is inadequately treated or, in the worst-case scenario, undiagnosed or untreated at all." You can also download a family guide.
• Home Management Strategies for PTSD(for parents, about children -- on AnxietyBC)
• The Lingering Trauma of Child Abuse (Susanne Babbel, Psychology Today, 4-23-11). In part the author talks about how in some cases child abuse can develop into PTSD later in life.
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder For Dummies by Mark Goulston. Help your heart accept what your mind already knows.
• A Physician’s Take on PTSD (Adam Wahlberg, Think Piece, interviews physician Ron Glasser on how soldiers today survive the impact of PTSD and struggle to readjust to society). Here's an earlier Think Piece interview with Glasser, whose book 365 Days documented his time as a physician during the Vietnam war and explained why Mailer's novel The Naked and the Dead is overrated.
• PTSD. William Finnegan,The Last War: A decorated marine's war within (New Yorker, 9-29-08)
• PTSD. Virtual Iraq: Using simulation to treat a new generation of traumatized veterans (Sue Halpern, New Yorker, 5-19-08)
• PTSD Information Center (U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs answers to questions about posttraumatic stress disorder)
• The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery, and Growth by Glenn Schiraldi
• How Trauma Can Help You Grow (Kristine Crane, U.S. News, 9-8-14) A 'profound awakening' – is not unusual among survivors of traumatic events. The phenomenon is called “post-traumatic growth” and it’s at the opposite end of the spectrum from post-traumatic stress syndrome, which almost always precedes it, says Melinda Moore."
• Heal My PTSD (blog by Michele Rosenthal, author of the memoir Before the World Intruded: Conquering the Past and Creating the Future
• Post Trauma Stress Disorder-Suggestions for Survival (PTSDSupport.net)
• In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness by Peter A. Levine
• The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment by Babette Rothschild
• Healing Combat Trauma (Lily Casura's blog, therapeutic resources for combat=based PTSD, focused on integrative medicine and hope).
• Top 50 bloggers shed light on PTSD (Masters in Psychology, with helpful descriptions of each blog's focus)
• 40 Excellent Blogs for PTSD Support (Nursing Schools, 2010)
• Top 25 PTSC Blogs (Medical Assistants Schools, 2010)
• Navy SEAL Loses Battle with PTSD (Here and Now, WBUR, 1-14-13). For a Navy Seal, getting help for PTSD disqualifies you for security clearance, and in this case, Rob Guzzo, who served in Iraq, went for help too late. "For a SEAL, if you don’t have a security clearance, you don’t go on secret classified missions, therefore you’re not a Navy SEAL.”
• What Is Schizophrenia (National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH)
• Schizophrenia (American Psychiatric Association, APA)
• Mental Illnesses, see specific types (National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI). NAMI is an important and influential patient advocacy group--providing support for patients and families and serving as a watchdog in a field that is still in relatively exploratory stages of learning how to diagnose and treat and distinguish between various forms of mental illness.
• Scientists Move Closer to Understanding Schizophrenia’s Cause (Benedict Carey, NY Times, 1-27-16) That risk, they found, is tied to a natural process called synaptic pruning, in which the brain sheds weak or redundant connections between neurons as it matures. During adolescence and early adulthood, this activity takes place primarily in the section of the brain where thinking and planning skills are centered, known as the prefrontal cortex. People who carry genes that accelerate or intensify that pruning are at higher risk of developing schizophrenia than those who do not, the new study suggests.
• Patient Voices: Schizophrenia (NY Times Health Guides) Characterized by paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations and delusions, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, a related condition, are complicated mental illnesses that make it difficult for one to determine the difference between reality and pretend. While there are medications and therapies that can help, the effects of this condition are often far- reaching. Here, seven men and women speak about living with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Join the discussion.
• Is There No Place on Earth for Me? by Susan Sheehan (foreword by Robert Coles). "Sheehan is tenacious, observant and unsentimental. The history of a single patient leads us into a maze of understaffed institutions, bureaucratic fumbling, trial-and-error treatment and familial incomprehension. Though Sheehan keeps herself invisible, her sympathy is palpable."~Walter Clemons, Newsweek. "A brilliantly documented chronicle of a young woman's long struggle with schizophrenia." —The New Republic
• How Does Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Change the Brain? ( Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD, BrainBlogger, 1-24-15) PTSD stifles the life force out of its victims. It is no use telling them to “get over” it because PTSD fundamentally changes the brain’s structure and alters its functionalities.
• The Fortunate Mother: Caring for a son with schizophrenia (Rick Hampson, USA TODAY) The lucky one: Despite hardships, a mother knows it could be worse. For the mentally ill, relatives are the last to leave.
• Early intervention could change nature of schizophrenia (Liz Szabo, USA Today) Programs aim to prevent psychosis or halt a patient's decline.
• Mental Illness in Academe. Elyn R. Saks on the day an incident of paranoid schizophrenia came on while she was teaching a class--and when and whether to "come out" about your mental illness (Chronicle of Higher Education, 11-25-09). Read her fascinating memoir, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness
• Understanding schizophrenia (Medically Speaking podcast with Anthony Lehman, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine), 13 minutes
• Visualizing Schizophrenia (Irene Wielawski, NY Times, interviews Paul Thompson on visualizing progressive brain damage in people with schizophrenia)
• A mother helps son in his struggle with schizophrenia ( Stephanie McCrummen, Washington Post, 5-25-13)
• A Brilliant Madness (Film, available on PBS, American Experience) A Brilliant Madness is the story of a mathematical genius whose career was cut short by a descent into madness. At the age of 30, John Nash, a stunningly original and famously eccentric MIT mathematician, suddenly began claiming that aliens were communicating with him and that he was a special messenger. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Nash spent the next three decades in and out of mental hospitals, all but forgotten. During that time, a proof he had written at the age of 20 became a foundation of modern economic theory. In 1994, as Nash began to show signs of emerging from his delusions, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics. The program features interviews with John Nash, his wife Alicia, his friends and colleagues, and experts in game theory and mental illness. You can also read the transcript. See Further Reading for leads to more good books on the subject.
• The Man Who Wasn't There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self. Anil Ananthaswamy writes about what happens when our sense of self is compromised, how our how our body feels, for example, when our narrative, autobiographic self is damaged. He writes about conditions such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and ecstatic epilepsy from this perspective. Fascinating.
• The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness by Lori Schiller with Amanda Bennett. At seventeen Lori Schiller was the perfect child -- the only daughter of an affluent, close-knit family. Six years later she made her first suicide attempt, then wandered the streets of New York City dressed in ragged clothes, tormenting voices crying out in her mind. Lori Schiller had entered the horrifying world of full-blown schizophrenia. She began an ordeal of hospitalizations, halfway houses, relapses, more suicide attempts, and constant, withering despair. But against all odds, she survived.
• Electroconvulsive Therapy Program: A Brief History of ECT (Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Health System)
• Shulamith Firestone. Death of a Revolutionary (Susan Faludi, The New Yorker, 4-15-13). Feminist Shulamith Firestone helped to create a new society. But she couldn’t live in it. "In 2005, when Jean-Paul Selten and Elizabeth Cantor-Graae, experts on the epidemiology of schizophrenia, reviewed various risk factors—foremost among them migration, racism, and urban upbringing—they found that the factors all involved chronic isolation and loneliness, a condition that they called 'social defeat.' They theorized that 'social support protects against the development of schizophrenia.'" Society, and her feminist sisters, failed to provide that support for this pioneering feminist. A sad and important story.
Substance abuse and recovery,