My Dad was an FBI agent. I had no idea what that meant.
Several times a year, he dressed in gray denims and went to a place called, “Firearms.” My brother and I couldn’t wait for him to come back with outlines of mean men with lots of holes in them. The fact that he had been practicing how to kill people never crossed our minds.
Every morning, my father rode an early train into the city, where he told us, he was “Making the Word Safe for Democracy.” Sometimes he wore a dark suit. Other times he dressed like…
I lost my kid once. I was worn from a long work day and I bribed her with a trip to Dunkin Donuts. We got our usual corn bread muffins, toasted with sweet butter, and intense hot chocolates. She was four and overflowing with words and stories that flowed back and forth into each other.
On a good day, it was hard to follow. But that day, one therapy session after the other intruded on my listening and I didn’t hear a word she said. We sat on our high, red padded, twirly counter seats.
I didn’t even correct her…
On the chess board that is psychotherapy, I was never surprised when (no matter what the topic) my patients were always only one or two moves away from the King or Queen. Or, to quote an old maxim, “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.” We are well versed in their positions and their powers. We know the contents and margins of our lives with them.
But we know far less about them “off the board.”
I just had my annual Medicare physical. I’d successfully put it off for a year. And then, I just asked for a lousy referral to a specialist, and “Bam” they nailed me. All the physical did was to put into real words and numbers what I’ve known for some time. I’m falling apart. But I’m almost 69, moving into that place where I’m supposed to be falling apart. So why all of a sudden, the need to document it all?
It was a tele-physical, relying primarily on me as the data source. Since I’ve never told the unvarnished truth to…
Please note: This is a piece about missing someone who died by suicide, not suicide itself. But don’t read on if you think it will distress you. Thanks, MMM
It has been a tough few weeks. After a long stretch of relative well-being, I fell, fast. I didn’t even get the predictable high before it. I crashed. I use the term, “I’m crying behind my eyes,” to define the constancy of the pain of depression, even when no one can see it.
I live alone, not by choice, which lets me go a long while without being “detected.” …
Antidepressant medication fails to help one third of the people who try it. The label of treatment-resistant depression is typically applied to people for whom two medicine trials have not worked.
A resistant depression is often one with more severe symptoms. Hopelessness and vulnerability to suicidal thoughts and actions are common, creating an urgency in the quest to find more effective treatments.
Most of us are familiar with nitrous oxide, nicknamed “laughing gas,” used primarily by dentists in a wide variety of basic procedures. It has both sedative and anesthetic effects when used by a professional.
It also has an…
Close friends, occupy a unique place in our lives. Unlike our families, which are pretty much a crap shoot in terms of influence, we choose the people we claim as friends. Those relationships are integral to our health, our well-being, even our longevity. Even though the average length of a friendship in the US is ten years, in a long term friendship, we may spend more of our lives together than with parents, siblings or spouses.
Before we deal with heartbreaking, it’s important to consider what friends contribute to “heart-making”
One of the first “shrink” words I learned in my training as a clinical psychologist was BOUNDARIES. It was used in therapy contexts, but it is as important to our lives and our own well-being…… It means:
Shepherding six kids in the journey from wakefulness to the forced march to school was a hugely orchestrated ritual devised by my mother. Actually, she was less of a shepherd and more like a five star general.
Sometimes her system worked like a charm, but the sheer number of moving parts meant that something, or someone, could bring it all down in a heart beat.
My mother, the commandant, appointed the older children as her lieutenants. Her morning circuit was so perfectly organized that she could do it in her sleep … which I’m convinced, sometimes she did.
Those words — “are you ok?” can be questions or statements.
They aren’t easy to respond to when you suffer from depression and/or anxiety disorders. Your answers will depend upon:
It may be easy to “hide.” “I’m tired,” “I’m working too hard,” “I still haven’t gotten over the breakup with John,” “I hate my job.” If…
Martha Manning, Ph.D is a writer and clinical psychologist, whose memoir, Undercurrents deals with her severe depression. Like heavy stuff with lots of humor.