As I write my memoir about my ill-fated adventures with the mental health industry I describe depression as a milky haze and as the cornstarch of the soul, thickening every thought and every movement. If I were to make a depression martini I’d mix one part despair with two parts not giving a shit. Continue reading “How do you describe depression?”
Author: Nancy Joy Cook
Truth telling: the domino effect of #metoo
I’ve gone radio silent on this blog the past few weeks for a couple of reasons. The first is I’ve been working on my book and that zaps my writing strength. The second is I’ve been grappling with the inevitable emotional fallout of revisiting a difficult time and exposing the details publicly through this blog. Of course this is nothing compared to what I should expect once the book is finished and offered for public read, so perhaps it is a good test run to see if I have the mettle to withstand the vulnerability that comes from transparency. Continue reading “Truth telling: the domino effect of #metoo”
My schizophrenic psych ward guardian angel
On Wednesday, September 5, 1990, I was forced into the locked unit of a psychiatric hospital in Miami even though I was not, and had never been, a danger to myself or others. I write about what happened to me and how I ended up a patient at Charter Hospital of Miami in my previous blog post: Psych ward: fraud, greed, and a life interrupted. But the question still lingers, nearly 30 years after the event, Why did this happen?
Continue reading “My schizophrenic psych ward guardian angel”
Psych ward: fraud, greed and a life interrupted
Today is September 5th.
Exactly 27 years ago today I had a 2 p.m. appointment with a Miami psychiatrist to explore the possibility of starting on antidepressants. It was 1990 and Prozac had been on the market for just three years. Before Prozac, antidepressants had a bad reputation for causing uncomfortable and sometimes serious side effects. Prozac promised relief with little or no discomfort. Continue reading “Psych ward: fraud, greed and a life interrupted”
Is Donald Trump giving mental illness a bad name?
A group of mental health professionals, calling themselves “Duty to Warn,” (@duty2warn on twitter) has gathered 60,000 signatures from mental health professionals calling for Trump’s removal from office due to serious mental illness. Continue reading “Is Donald Trump giving mental illness a bad name?”
Racism and antisemitism as triggers.
I am traveling back to Florida from Nevada, so have been away from my laptop. But the real reason I haven’t posted here, on my fb page, or worked on my memoir is I am so disheartened by the events of the last few days in Charlottesville that I can’t focus on writing. I guess racism, anti Semitism, and neo Nazism are anxiety and depression triggers for me. And you can throw shame in there. I am so ashamed of the president.
Continue reading “Racism and antisemitism as triggers.”
I don’t understand the 12 steps.
I am not an alcoholic. In fact, I rarely drink. I don’t take drugs (not even marijuana, which is perfectly legal where I live). I have never had a substance abuse problem, unless you count a former addiction to nicotine (I quit smoking 25 years ago) and a lifelong addiction to caffeine (do NOT get between me and my morning coffee).
I am also an atheist.
So forgive me, but I don’t understand the 12 steps. Continue reading “I don’t understand the 12 steps.”
Bibliotherapy: helpful, harmful, or pure entertainment?
In mid-September 1990, when I booked myself into the John Bradshaw Center at Ingleside Hospital outside of LA, Mr. Bradshaw was enjoying his heyday as a popular self-help author and television darling. If you tuned to any PBS TV station during the late ‘80s/early ‘90s chances are pretty good you’d see the charismatic Bradshaw lecturing on the relationship of families and shame, especially during fund drives. He was a guest on all the talk shows, including Oprah, Geraldo Rivera, Sally Jessy Raphael, and Phil Donahue. He even hosted his own talk show for a season or two. Bradshaw ended up writing six books altogether, three of which became New York Times bestsellers. Continue reading “Bibliotherapy: helpful, harmful, or pure entertainment?”