Posts Tagged: mental health

The Cost Of Mental Health Care for a Semi-insured 23-year-old

In retrospect, I can see that depression first struck me when I was 14: Suddenly, laying in bed doing nothing seemed vastly more appealing than doing any of the things I had loved for years—dance, skiing, even school. My high school Livejournal is filled with my confusion about my unpredictable moods, but I assumed that all teenagers were moody and that everyone felt the same as I did. It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized something might actually be wrong, and it took until I was 20 to get diagnosed as bipolar and put on medication.

I’ve been in various forms of treatment for years now: [...]


"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. And the result, as Friedman put it, is that 'it is hard to think of a single truly novel psychotropic drug that has emerged in the last thirty years.'" [The New Yorker]


Hearing Voices

A not-insignificant number of individuals who routinely hear voices find that it ain't no thing (admittedly, their voices appear mainly to provide a commentary on their day, i.e. "eating some toast, huh? it's nice out!" instead of more classically delusional/malevolent manifestations.)

Other voice-hearers who ARE troubled by their voices advocate a clinical approach which investigates why they hear what they hear, and the implications for their individual preoccupations, instead of necessarily prioritizing an end to the auditory hallucinations themselves. Some doctors worry that attitude will provide an excuse for the dangerously delusional to avoid seeking help.

So, really, is this just another flashpoint in the anti-psychiatry [...]


Sex: Necessity, Addiction, or Utter Nonsense?

Is "sex addiction" a real disease? On the one hand, in order to be happy and normal you're supposed to want to do it, in some form or another, every day, right? Did I read that wrong somewhere? On the other hand, if you are a jerk (you have to first be a jerk in this scenario) who wants to do it too much or in a way that is not "cool" with your homies, then you may have a problem. Usually that problem is that your wife will leave you because you like hookers. But enough about my ideas! What do the experts say? Psychologist David Ley wrote a [...]


Four Unfunny Truths About Laughter Yoga

I went to laughter yoga the other night, I guess because I live in a big city and sometimes wear stretchy pants in the street and pretty regularly force-feed myself kale.

Regular yoga is no longer the cure-all for your out-of-balance, toxins-infested mind-body; the cure-all is laughter yoga. Basically, laughter yoga is the new method for scrubbing out our dirty bodies and changing our brain chemistry and banishing sadness and stress from everyone. Forever.

The idea is that laughing is good for you (science says so, after all), and that pretending to laugh can be just as good for your health and wellbeing as actual laughing. So that’s what you [...]


Obsessed, Nervous, or Just Hungry?

I can tell you the exact moment I became a nail biter. I was 6 years old, watching my mom get dressed for work. She paused to mull something over, chewing on a nail. My reaction: "How cool! How grown-up! I think I'll try it."

I never stopped. It was embarrassing — like wearing your neuroses on your sleeve. At parties, I learned to wrap my fingers all the way around my wine glass, so that my nails faced my chest.

Amy Standen considers the recent proposal to add "pathological grooming" to the OCD section of the DSM — the manual used to diagnose mental disorders. Not considered: the relative [...]


Exercise Key to Reaping Benefits of Exercise

Turns out the depressed folks from that study you may have heard about last week who weren't helped by exercise just weren't that motivated to exercise and were ashamed to admit it. It's as if they were depressed.


Writing, Depression and Learning How to Handle Attention: A Conversation with Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half blogger Allie Brosh, who pairs her true-life stories with evocative drawings to inspire laughter and tears and sometimes both, has a book out. In it, she shares hilarious stories from childhood, recounts her recent struggle with depression, explores the search for meaningful identity, and contemplates the psyches of her two dogs. Like her blog, her book is titled Hyperbole and a Half, and like her blog, it is great. I spoke to Allie about what it's been like to find herself a role model for others suffering depression, how she feels about the internet, and what she really hopes people will notice [...]


"On Falling Apart"

Let me tell you: if you already think people are monitoring you, if you’re already worried that people are plotting against you, then being locked up against your will by people who want to monitor your thoughts feels like literally the worst thing that can ever possibly happen. It feels like all your fears are coming true.

Sady Doyle wrote a comforting — no really! — essay  for Rookie about being diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, and where you go from there.


The Dark Side of Happiness, the Bright Side of Misery

"Research indicates that very high levels of positive feelings predict risk-taking behaviors, excess alcohol and drug consumption, binge eating, and may lead us to neglect threats." —Also, "Too much cheerfulness can make you gullible, selfish, less successful — and that’s only the tip of the iceberg." Win/win or lose/lose? Iceberg half melted/iceberg half frozen? Iceberg too cool, I want to go to school? School too dumb, I want to suck my thumb?