There is no way to discuss this in a manner that’s particularly comfortable or even couth, so I’ll start with the facts: Martha Corey-Ochoa, an 18-year-old Columbia University incoming freshman, was found dead on Monday at around 11 p.m. following a fall from her 14th-floor dormitory on Manhattan’s West 114th Street, where her parents had dropped her off and helped her move in earlier in the day. Valedictorian of her graduating class at Dobbs Ferry High School in New York, the violinist and writer had planned to double major in English and mathematics. Her death was pronounced a suicide. Keep reading »
Self help books get a bad rap sometimes, I think. They’re seen as the province of walking, talking “Cathy” cartoons and hippie-dippie-fruit-loop types. That couldn’t be less true: there are many different types of self-help books for all kinds of problems. Some books are more spiritual while others are more practical, as in teaching you techniques of coping with depression and anxiety. Not only is a good self-help book cheaper than paying for therapy — even if it’s just a co-pay!— but you can circle sections, fold over pages, and come back to them whenever you read.
I scoured my own bookshelf and that of The Frisky staff to find the best self-help books we’ve ever read — ones that actually work!
This piece is part of The Frisky’s How To Deal Week, in which we’re tackling mental health issues.
You’ve noticed that your partner seems sad, irritable, or overly critical. Maybe he has expressed hopelessness or guilt. You have noticed a loss of interest in his usual activities, concentration trouble, or changes in his sleep pattern. All these could be signs that your man is struggling with some form of depression.
Depression isn’t only hard for him; mood disturbances also have a big impact on your relationship. But how do you bring up the subject? Many men have difficulty talking about their feelings in the first place. The prospect of having a mental healthdisorder is difficult to hear for anyone. Even gentle suggestions that the problem may lie within himself will likely not be appreciated.
As the saying goes, “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” So what can you do to help? Let me start by explaining what not to do.
1. Don’t say “Look on the bright side.” People with depression may have a long list of what is wrong with the world. You as a non-depressed person may not agree and will want to convince your partner otherwise. Read more …
Wow, I never thought I’d see the day: Special K is about to get a makeover! Remember the drug’s sleazy clubbing days in the ’90s? The highly-addictive drug, called ketamine, started off as a humble animal tranquilizer but worked its ways into the hottest night spots, sending users into an ecstasy that made time stand still — or, more accurately, into a “dissociative anesthesia” that could lead to a psychotic breakdown.
But here’s the latest twist in ketamine’s history: It could revolutionize the way depression is treated. I’m not talking your garden-variety blues. This is for real, serious, deep, clinical depression. How could something so toxic for club kids be so helpful for people who are ill? Read more...
What do you do when one of the things you used to like about yourself the most, looking back, becomes one of the things that you like about yourself the least?
From as young as I can remember, a rocket ship of ambition propelled me forward in all that I did. I didn’t — and still don’t — have a wide variety of interests, because writing was where I excelled. I threw everything into it. My parents, of course, fanned the flames of this. They loved having a daughter who made them proud.
And I loved getting some attention. My older brother Eliot*, his bipolar disorder and his drug and alcohol addictions, consumed most of my parents’ energy and nearly all of their attention. I wrote a poem when I was 13 or 14 that I can remember to this day because it still applies to my life sometimes. It was called “Measuring Cups” and it was about parents struggling to measure out love and attention equally amongst their children, but failing. When I was that young, the best way I could find attention, short of developing a heroin addiction myself, was to impress my parents with awards and articles and prizes and accolades. There was no confusion about this lifestyle, no hard choices to make. All I had to do was whatever made me look the best. Keep reading »
Philly, how you feeling? Everything okay? According to info from Google, you guys are the most depressed city in the country. At least based on your Googling habits. According to researchers, Philadelphians search for depression-related terms more than people from any other city. And that kind of makes sense, considering Pennsylvania is the most depressed state in the country, based on the same set of criteria. Also in the top five most depressed cities: Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Seattle, Washington.
Now, before you feel too morose about your town making the list (compounding your no doubt already morose feelings), think of it this way — maybe it’s just that people in your city are more proactive about exploring their emotions, while those of us in other cities and towns are just shoving our emotions down and eating our feelings. Yes, that’s it. [PsychCentral]
Here at The Frisky’s offices, one of the most hotly anticipated books of 2011 is Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom, by the comedienne and all-around-awesome-lady Sara Benincasa. I love this girl for her balls-out honesty regarding her mental health struggles with agoraphobia and anxiety. Agorafabulous! is based on Sara’s one-woman show of the same name, which recounts how vicious panic attacks created a fear of the outside world, to the point where she refused to leave her college dorm room. In this cartoon, Sara explains all about anxiety attacks, the “flight or fight” response, and why you shouldn’t shop at Whole Foods. As someone who has suffered from panic attacks from age 15 onwards, I could have used an explanation like this back when I was hyperventilating and didn’t know what the eff was going on!
Having an abortion does not increase a woman’s chance of developing mental health problems, a British health agency has found. The U.K.’s National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health compared a number of studies conducted worldwide in the past 20 years and found that in cases of unwanted pregnancy, women who chose abortion were no more likely to develop disorders like depression and anxiety than those who gave birth. Research does point to an increase in mental disorders in women with unwanted pregnancies in general, with approximately one in three women with unwanted pregnancies diagnosed with such disorders. These statistics did not rise, however, in the cases in which women underwent abortion. Keep reading »
According to Medco Health Solutions Inc., more than 25 percent of women took at least one drug to treat psychiatric conditions in 2010, most prominently for depression and anxiety. The use of drugs to treat psychiatric and behavioral disorders has risen by 22 percent since 2001, and today roughly 20 percent of all Americans hold such prescriptions. In the 20-44 age bracket, the use of ADHD antipsychotic drugs and treatments has more than tripled, and the use of anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax and Valium has risen by 30 percent. The most common users of antipsychotic drugs today are women aged 45 or older.
The statistics go on and on, though they share a common trend: a dramatic increase in consumption in all age and sex brackets. Are we becoming crazier, are diagonses becoming more succinct, or are drugs simply becoming more accessible? Keep reading »