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Archive for “Mental Illness” news
I am in Rehoboth in a cheap motel room, a nubby yellow bedspread rough beneath my fingers, a loose, faux-wood headboard hard against my back. The window is open and I can hear the ocean whoosh in and out on the beach. I look at my reflection in the gray-black mirror of the TV screen across from me. Still. I am utterly still.The only thing I can think is: “I want to die.” There's no cognitive process that goes along with the words, no thoughts about hopelessness or a failed life trajectory. Just the words themselves along with a searing physical pain that seems to come from the bottom of my pelvis and travel upward, around my rib cage, against my sternum, into my throat, along the ridges of my teeth, spilling out of my mouth like liquid, and I say it aloud: “I want to die. I want to die.”
The New York Times recently fanned the flames of the controversy over whether many cases of ADD, and even ADHD, are actually cases of sleep deprivation. Every time this idea hits big media, the same reactions happen: Other media picks it up, overgeneralizes and twists it; camps are formed, and people go to (verbal) war.
If you're wondering how long we'll live with stories of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, you might want to take a look at this New York Times story about Philly resident Albert Perna, who has suffered PTSD for more than six decades since World War II—and didn't seek treatment for it until he was 80 years old. Paula Span reports:Back in Philadelphia, he married, raised two children, worked as a master plumber — and, for decades, endured problems that more recent generations of veterans might recognize. He had nightmares and often slept on the
Now that alleged cop-killer Chris Dorner’s week-long rampage has come to an end, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief, maybe, finally, we can all admit that there’s a big problem with the “good guy with a gun,” that NRA leaders have been promoting.Guns, in the most reasonably idealized view, can serve as a hobby or a means of protection. People have defended themselves successfully with firearms (though, it is increasingly seeming like these are the exceptions to the rule). And on the small, individual scale, gun ownership is not inherently something to fear. As I mentioned in prior columns, I was raised around guns and do not advocate eschewing gun rights generally. But then there's Chris Dorner.
I’m trying to wrap my mind around what happened with Courtni Webb, the high-school senior who got suspended for writing a poem in which she said that she understands Adam Lanza’s actions.
As the gun control debate rages on in light of last week's horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, another debate is thankfully gaining momentum: the discussion about mental health. Over the weekend, the mother of a violent, mentally ill 13-year-old boy published an essay that has gone viral. In "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother," mom Liza Long recounts how her own troubled son recently pulled a knife and threatened to kill her. "I love my son," writes Long. "But he terrifies me."Seventy-eight-year-old mom Ruth Seegrist knows firsthand how this story all too often ends.
It used to be that when people were down and out, they’d hit a smoky bar for a while, and drown their sorrows in a beer. For millennials, the bar stool has been replaced with a computer chair, the drink traded in for cat videos.
Psychedelic drugs are making a comeback. No, not at Phish concerts (where they never left). They’re making a comeback in the medical world, where studies involving psylocibin (found in “magic mushrooms”) and MDMA (also known as ecstacy) are being used to treat depression in clinically ill patients and people with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
When I first wrote about now 10-year-old January Schofield, the little girl had been recently diagnosed with schizophrenia and was on heavy-duty psychiatric medications. Her father, Michael Schofield, was blogging about his experience raising a child with a severe mental illness, and his writing was controversial, to say the least. There are valid questions to be asked about such an unusual early diagnosis: How do we know at that age if hallucinations aren't simply the product of a very creative brain? How do we distinguish between a difficult child and a seriously ill child? How do antipsychotic medications shape a developing brain?