My Grandfather’s Silent War With His Depressed Mind

My Grandfather suffered from schizophrenia. My mom used to tell me the after he came back from the Second War world (he was in the resistance) he was never the same. His illness just got worse, and he would sometimes have severe episodes, in which he would run up into the mountains thinking the war was back. Or, after he lost his business because his partner ripped him off, he was up entire nights going over the numbers in…

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An Honest Alcoholic and the Fallout

Have you ever wondered why people stay – when they should go? Addiction, multifaceted and annihilating Addiction, multifaceted and annihilating even makes the alcoholic cringe, hating himself. One of the best essays on this topic was recently published on Feminine Collective. Written by Robert DeFino, “My Relapse” is his journey laced with beer and melancholy. “I thought to myself, “There is no way that it could ever get any worse than this.” But it did get worse, it always does….

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Just Jonathan

After more than a decade of silence, actress Danielle Harris speaks intimately, and exclusively for the LifeAfter Project, about the death of her best friend, actor Jonathan Brandis. Jonathan spent most of his life in the entertainment industry. While growing up, his main competition were kids such as Leonardo Decaprio and River Phoenix. Without warning, at 27 years old, Jonathan Brandis committed suicide on November 12, 2003, outside his apartment in West Hollywood. He did not leave a note…

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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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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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