It’s a cliche, but it’s true: when I was really ill from depression last summer, it became easy to see who really cared about me and who had only stuck around me for other reasons.
I had been hooking up with two different guys that summer—”Brandon” and “Mark.” Brandon and I had developed what I’d thought was a deep friendship and mutual respect for each other’s careers; Mark and I had passion and affection. Both of them knew how I’d been struggling with sadness for the past eight months or so.
But both guys flat-out disappeared after I told them I’d been diagnosed by a doctor and prescribed medication. Did naming it make it real? Did calling it what it was make it scary? It hurt to sit with the reality that Mark and I had been in his bed together on Saturday night, but when I texted Mark on Monday morning to say I’d gotten a scrip for Lexapro, he never replied. Keep reading »
A year ago, my average week was something like a “Sex and The City” episode. Maybe it wasn’t that funny, maybe my clothes weren’t that fabulous, and maybe there weren’t that many hot-yet-problematic men, but there were guys, quite a few of them. I’d never had a boyfriend in high school. Then I went to an all-women’s college. In my senior year, I was in a serious relationship. When that didn’t work out, I found a Pandora’s Box of pleasures in the City. Keep reading »
Looks like, as a country, we’re feeling the blues. A new study shows that, since 1996, the number of people taking antidepressants has doubled. These days, about one out of every ten people in the U.S. is poppin’ depression meds. Oddly enough, during the same period, the number of people seeing psychiatrists has decreased by over ten percent. So, what’s up with this seemingly contradictory trend? Keep reading »
I could have just said “I don’t know” or deflected the question. I didn’t have to say anything. But when my boyfriend’s parents asked me over a family dinner the other night what I might want write a book about, I answered honestly: my struggles with depression.
Surprised, I think, neither parent said anything in response, which made me feel nervously awkward. But then another relative chimed in with her own depression story. She said when she started taking anti-depressants, she would sleep all day, so I shared that Lexapro used to make me conk out, too. Then the relative kept on talking, and pretty soon, the dinner convo had veered onto other topics entirely.
I’m not ashamed that sometimes I feel unbelievably sad and my life is temporarily derailed. My extended family knows about it, my roommate knows about it, even my boss knows about it. But I woke up the next morning and asked myself, “Did I really just tell my boyfriend’s parents that?” Keep reading »
“Some women are just happier in a relationship.”
As my shrink said this, my jaw dropped to the floor. Did she really just say that? The woman who had feminist literature on her bookshelf and never failed to induce a pep rally of self-empowerment at the end of each session?
We were, of course, discussing (OK fine, I was complaining) about my lack of a boyfriend, and inability to get over some of the ones I did have. For me, I surmised from my psychotherapy high horse, the issue was about loneliness and, therefore, about some childhood father complex. I thought I sounded smart; it seemed like something my psychiatrist would say herself. Keep reading »
Most people couldn’t be happier come summer, what with the beach weather and BBQs and all. But there are a few folks out there who get sad and anxious when the weather heats up. Peeps who feel this way may have Summer-Onset Depression, a form of Seasonal Affective Disorder. However, where we usually think of SAD as starting in the fall, the summer version begins in the late spring and ends when the weather starts to get all cold and icky again. Keep reading »
It’s Sunday night at 8 p.m., and your heart is:
a. Fluttering because someone special just fixed you a sumptuous and romantic supper.
b. Thumping with anticipation because “Desperate Housewives” is about to come on and you can’t wait to find out what’s happening on Wisteria Lane.
c. Pounding because you are totally freaked out by the thought of another stressful workweek. Keep reading »
Young love! Ah, so romantic. Like any other bride-to-be Kendra Wilkinson, Playboy model and “Girls Next Door” star, is walking on air. And when asked by People magazine how she’s keeping fit for her big day, the 23-year-old extolled the health benefits of good sex! “A lot of it,” her fiancé, Philadelphia Eagles player Hank Baskett, added.
Really, what else would you expect one of Hugh Hefner’s former “girlfriends” to say? But the girl’s got a point. A healthy sex life—from the deed itself to the messy cleanup afterwards—does a body good in all kinds of ways. Keep reading »
Although men and women have experienced more equal employment opportunities in recent decades, men still connect their masculinity to their role as breadwinner. And when men feel insecure about their jobs or fear becoming redundant at work, they’re more likely to be stressed or depressed than women, according to a study conducted in Britain by Cambridge University. More women than men have lost their jobs in Britain during the recession and a recent poll released earlier this year showed that women, more than men, were worried about losing their jobs, so you’d think women would be the depressed ones. Not so! Even when unemployed men found an insecure job, their psychological health didn’t improve. For unemployed women, on the other hand, finding an insecure job helped restore psychological health. Men may be better at saving face in a crisis, but women, it seems, are more equipped to deal with the crisis — after the tears and screaming, that is. [Reuters] Keep reading »
We’ve all seen the commercial that asks, “Where does depression hurt?” And anyone who’s been depressed knows that it hurts everywhere. But did you know that depression can damage the physical health of a woman more than a man? Keep reading »