I grew up in Rhodesia, a British colony in southern Africa. Until the age of 16, I lived on the grounds of Ingutsheni Mental Hospital where my father worked. As a psychiatrist, he had enormous power.
My sister was told if she took medications everything would be fine. But everything was not fine, and the medications sent her down a path of no return.
This is a book about stories, urging families to recognize their own strengths and create new narratives on the path ahead.
It takes a long time to recover from a psychotic episode, I understand now, and I wish someone had found a way, especially during those early years of her troubles, to give Rachel more space and time to find her own path to health.
My postpartum anxiety diagnosis became subsumed by an arbitrary diagnosis of depression. And this diagnosis has followed me for 30 years and counting.
For the last three years of my mother’s life, she was under absolute control of her conservator. If we dared to object to the neglect or abuse, retaliation was certain.
In May 2021, Cochrane published a network meta-analysis of depression pills for children. The abstract is misleading and reads like drug company marketing.
I am not sure what was worse: being abused growing up while my community documented—then ignored—my torment, or being attacked for going public with my story.
I love being a psych nurse practitioner, and I never want to feel that my only role is pushing pills. The private practice I started is my effort to move away from this dysfunctional system.
After finding a cop at my door, I learned it wasn’t safe to talk about my feelings of wanting to die. As a result, I spent the better part of the next decade not telling anyone when I was suicidal.
Cindi Fisher has gone on a hunger strike to demand that her adult child, Siddharta, be freed from Western State Hospital after being suddenly removed from the discharge list without explanation.
The horrors I was forced to undergo to “treat” my homosexuality are now unthinkable, but continue to raise questions about psychiatry’s ethics.
My brother’s sudden death and Mental Health Awareness Month spurred me to spend May making small, very personal efforts to both honor his memory and move the mental health conversation forward.
The goal of creating a legacy for my mother required that I go beyond managing my symptoms to confronting my OCD at its roots. I had to fundamentally change my understanding of anxiety.
I watched my son’s life change almost overnight. He developed akathisia from antidepressants, taken as prescribed for just a few weeks for garden-variety anxiety.
Therapists are quick to refer to this pain I feel as a “fear of abandonment,” as if it is a figment of my mind and something not worth the time to attend to.
Through journaling, I realized that my lifelong confusion surrounding my memories of traumatic events was the direct result of the psychiatric labels and drugs I swallowed alongside years of parental abuse.
When I sit in Billie’s office, I am still 13 years old, bitter anger saturating my body. I am 23, sobbing that I cannot do this anymore. I am 24, celebrating my first year of college. I am all of these people and none of these people.
My childhood was stolen by systems focused on labeling and medicating me instead of healing the effects of abuse and neglect.
The one core ingredient on which any recovery from emotional distress depends is the one that never makes an appearance in any medical handbook or psychiatric diagnostic manual—that is, love.
My hope and prayer is that this dramatic look at a negative effect of this class of drugs will help you understand that, in my professional assessment, their risks outweigh their benefits.
NISAPI helps people achieve recovery by pairing the normalcy of a ranch and the nurturance of horses with a philosophy of postmodern collaborative practice.
Your diagnosis should serve YOU. Not your parents, your doctors, your teachers, or the next door neighbor. We should be fighting for a future where the person being labeled has the ultimate say over how doctors and therapists view them.
For me, writing is a powerful tool for wellness and healing, whether that involves an escape into science fiction or simply putting my dreams, emotions, memories, and observations on paper.
I went to the children’s ward, to work with the kids. I remembered to tell all of them that I had been locked up my whole childhood on psych wards, and this always made them trust me.