Life is Beautiful

It really is. My life motto is “La Dolce Vita.” But obviously, a sweet life doesn’t come without sadness, tragedy, heartbreak, and sickness. It takes a lot of work to see beyond the dark stuff and just focus on the goodness. As the Dalai Lama said, “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” But for some of us, that is easier than for others. What country, zip code and family you were born into may dictate certain…

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Cluster Headaches and Suicide

My parent’s named me Tom Termeer. Unfortunately, I am known globally as the “Cluster Head Tom.” To those of you who do not know what that means, I live with a disease called Cluster Headaches. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Headaches Center have deemed them the most painful disease known to medical science. It is an extremely rare disease.  This disease affects one person in a thousand. Commonly known as suicide headaches, because the suicide rate among sufferers is twice…

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Folly of Two

Growing up with mentally ill parents, this writer shares the shame and secrets that the family tried to hide. Caveat: Please understand that delusional thought processes are SYMPTOMS of mental illness. I feel compassion, even as I feel pain and anger as someone negatively affected by parental delusional thoughts. I, too, have experienced delusional thoughts and bizarre impulses. I’m heir to familial mental illness. I get it. I write this, I submit this for online publication, with great trepidation….

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Brilliant Benefits of Mental Illness

Originally published on The Lithium Chronicles I recently read an outstanding book that made the case FOR mental illness, rather than AGAINST it. Nassir Ghaemi, director of the Mood Disorders Programme at Tufts Medical Center, wrote, A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness. Gandhi, President Kennedy, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr., were examined from Ghaemi’s point of view. He made an excellent case that the mood orders of these leaders actually benefited them–becoming…

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To My Parents: Let Me Explain My Mental Illness

Originally published on The Mighty   Dear mom and dad, First off, I’d like to say I am a teenager diagnosed with major depression (with psychotic symptoms and a potential eating disorder). I also experience severe anxiety. I want you both, as well as parents and guardians of other teenagers dealing with mental illness, to see things from my perspective for a moment. I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t mean to scare you or make you feel…

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I Saw a Schizophrenic Struggling

Originally posted on Feminine Collective  I have a local hang out spot that I frequent more than a few times a week, which is located across the street from a county hospital which includes a mental health ward. Between that and the homeless people who to occupy the small South Bay town, there are some interesting individuals that come in, from time to time (meaning, like, every other day). I’ve seen people on drugs more times than I can…

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New Strides for Suicide Prevention in Colorado

A step forward for suicide prevention in Colorado. Write to your Congressmen/Women and share your reason why they should follow in the footsteps of Colorado legislature. Reposted from The Denver Post – Colorado lawmakers are sending a bill to the governor’s desk that would create a state office for suicide prevention responsible for initiating a new plan to decrease suicides. Colorado has the seventh-highest rate of suicide in the nation. The new model, called “Zero Suicide,” has been shown…

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The Reason Gene Simmons Told Me To Check My Ego

Gene Simmons & Strider

Reprinted with permission from Rachel Thompson – rachelintheoc.com   A Little Background I’ll be the first to admit that most people really don’t get me. Hell, most of the time, I don’t even get myself. Out of everyone in my life, I think that it was only my parents who ever really got me. In fact, they got me when I was only six weeks old. Yes, they literally got me. I was adopted. As an only child, it…

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Phoenix Rising: Thriving With Depression

Previously published on Feminine Collective She always asks how I am doing. I rattle off a few tidbits, mainly professional milestones or interesting people who I crossed paths with over the past week, simultaneously picking at fluff that does not exist on her couch. She probes again “How are you doing?” I always reply “I told you how am doing, it’s been a great week.” And so it goes, week in and week out when I’m on my therapist’s…

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