Sometimes your dude may need a pick-me-up rather than mere relationship maintenance. Here are six quick (non-sexual, because AM Delight is not always an option) things you can do for your dude if he’s feeling a little blue. Keep reading »
It sounds like something out of a mind-control horror movie: France Télécom, the European telecommunications giant, has now seen 25 of their employees commit suicide in the past 18 months. The most recent incident occurred yesterday when a 48-year-old engineer with a wife and family hanged himself in his home. These suicides aren’t coincidental. Victims have left notes indicating that the reasons they took their lives had to do with highly stressful work conditions and company policies. France Télécom, which employs upwards of 100,000 people, began significantly cutting down its workforce and implementing new structures last year, which brought fear, new stress and oppressive management to the workplace. A new evaluation system also put employees on a scale of personal achievement, putting added pressure on the individual. Wrote one woman in a suicide email to her father: “I can’t accept the new reorganization in my department. I’m getting a new boss and I’d rather die. I’m leaving my handbag with my mobiles and keys in the office, but I’ll take my donor card with me, you never know.” Keep reading »
At 13, it was being the odd kid and Zoloft. At 16, dark self-loathing and Prozac. My 17th birthday brought parental issues and Celexa, while my 19th pushed me to anorexia and Prozac again. My early 20s: failed relationships, Effexor, Ativan, fear of getting nowhere, issues at work, and Lexapro. Long story short: I’ve never been a happy camper. True, depression does run in my family, but being diagnosed with it so young, it’s come to be something that’s part of my personality. Keep reading »
If you’ve ever experienced anxiety or depression, you know the appeal of simply staying home and hiding in your bed forever. Sounds kind of dangerous right? Maybe not. Scientists in the UK were trying to come up with alternative ways—other than flippantly prescribing meds—to treat anxious and depressed patients, who often have to wait over a year to visit a shrink. And they came up with the idea of virtual therapy—essentially, IMing a shrink. Turns out, it’s just as effective if not more so than actual talk therapy. The study looked at 297 people, half of whom had 10 sessions of therapy, each lasting about an hour, where they used instant messaging to chat one-on-one with a trained therapist. The results? About four in 10 people who had online therapy improved to the point where they were no longer depressed. Only two in 10 people recovered without any therapy. Keep reading »
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 »