Tag Archives: mental illness

4 Ways To Spot A Narcissist Before He Becomes Your Boyfriend

No Respect Warning Signs
abusive relationship
Eight warning signs a partner does not respect you. Read More »
Dating Red Flags
guys
These red flags should send you running. Read More »
narcissist-060714

A cute guy walks up to you in a bar. He’s totally full of himself, but makes you laugh as he flexes his muscles while telling you he’s the best. This guy is a narcissist, right?

Not necessarily. Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Drunk Mom Author Jowita Bydlowska On Alcoholism, Parenthood & Writing

drunk mom jowita bydlowska

Motherhood. We all have a vision in mind of what it’s supposed to look like: warm, nurturing, saccharine, even beatific. Even the messier versions we allow — frazzled new parent anxiety, daylight zombies — still position the mother as with-it and in control. But what about the mothers who are anything but in control? What about the mothers who have an addiction in control of them?

Jowita Bydlowska is the author of a searing memoir, Drunk Mom, about her 11-month relapse into alcoholism after her son’s birth. A sober alcoholic, Bydlowska toasted her son’s birth with a glass of champagne. Then she began drinking regularly in the overwhelming new days of parenthood. At first her relapse was easy to hide, especially home alone on maternity leave with a newborn. But soon, the addiction metastasized into full-blown alcoholism once again, causing her to make dangerous decisions about her own and her baby’s safety and shrouding her relationship with her baby’s father in lies. When she finally makes it to rehab, the reader is relieved everyone is still alive.

Drunk Mom, which will be published in America on May 27th, is a discomforting read. It’s bare-naked honesty about addiction and families will make a lot of people uncomfortable, especially those with idealized versions of what motherhood and womanhood “should” mean. It’s by far one of the best memoirs that I’ve ever read (and yes, I’m including Wild in that) both for it’s candor and bravery and for her narration.  I understand addiction all the better with once-again-sober Jowita Bydlowska as the Charon to this Hades, our guide to the underworld.

I called Bydlowska in Canada where she lives with her now-five-year-old son.

Keep reading »

My Reaction To ABC’s New Drama “Black Box,” As A Person With A Bipolar Loved One

black-box
I Have Bi-Polar Disorder
I Have Bi-Polar Disease
A personal essay from a woman who is bipolar. Read More »

Leading up to last week’s pilot episode of “Black Box” on ABC, I’d seen a bunch of previews for the drama centered around Dr. Catherine Black, a talented neuroscientist harboring a secret diagnosis of her own. The series premiere aired right after “Grey’s Anatomy,” which I had been watching, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Big mistake. Keep reading »

Remembering Nancy Lanza, The Sandy Hook Shooter’s Mother

Remembering Nancy Lanza, The Sandy Hook Shooter's Mother

The first person that Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, killed on December 14, 2012, was his own mother. She was murdered in her pajamas, lying her in bed, with four bullets to the head. The New Yorker has a profile of Adam’s father, Peter Lanza, in their most recent issue. Written by Andrew Solomon, it is the first time that Peter Lanza has ever spoken to the press about his son’s crimes. However, what stuck out to me most was not Peter unfathomable trauma or even Adam’s cornucopia of possible illnesses — depression? OCD? schizophrenia? insanity? — but instead Adam’s mother and Peter’s ex-wife, Nancy Lanza.

In the mid-2000s, a Yale psychiatry nurse specialist named Kathleen Koenig met with Adam after a time period in which he had started and then abruptly stopped using the antidepressant Lexapro, due to negative side effects. Throughout his teens, The New Yorker describes, Adam would frequently have “meltdowns” and cry alone, sometimes for hours at a time, behind a locked door.  Nurse Koenig wrote that she implored Adam to take medication: “I told him he’s living in a box right now, and the box will only get smaller over time if he doesn’t get some treatment.”

Reading that, it seems to me that Nancy Lanza was also living in a box that was only getting smaller if Adam didn’t get treatment. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: It Isn’t Easy Dating Someone With OCD

Girl Talk: It Isn't Easy Dating Someone With OCD
My Weird OCD Quirks
The five weird ways Amelia's OCD manifests itself. Read More »

At the beginning of our relationship, my now-wife “Charlotte” came over to my place for the first time and my room was immaculate. The pens and pencils on my desk were organized in straight lines. You could have bounced a quarter off my bed.  Even the photos and posters on the wall were a study in flawless geometric alignment.

Charlotte just thought I was a “neat freak” at first, which, honestly, isn’t such a bad characteristic when you start seeing someone. But as time passed, she realized that my neat and clean ways went much deeper than just about being organized. After we moved in together, Charlotte started noticing some odd behaviors. For example, if something isn’t arranged just the way I like it on the desk, my breathing becomes heavy and I have a mini panic attack until the disorganized piles became organized piles. The first time she witnessed this, she thought I was overreacting and told me to “calm down — it’s just a little bit messy.” Yet my mind couldn’t think of anything else but the books that weren’t perfectly aligned, the pile of paper that wasn’t neatly stacked, the odd objects — a pen, a lighter, and some sunglasses — that were strewn about without any care about their placement in relationship to all of the other objects. I couldn’t continue on with my day without organizing that desk. So I sat down and organized it as Charlotte looked on with consternation.

She suddenly knew that she was in a relationship with someone who has obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Keep reading »

Why Didn’t Mizzou Report Sasha Menu Courey’s Sexual Assault?

Sasha Menu Courey

When Sasha Menu Courey woke up one morning in February 2010, she had no idea that her life was about to change radically in a few short hours. Courey, a swimmer and straight-A student at the University of Missouri on a near-full scholarship, was sexually assaulted by a football player that night. According to CNN, she had gone home with a football player off-campus and had consensual sex. But after her consensual partner left, another football player “entered the room, locked the door and raped her.”

In the aftermath, her life began to fall apart in front of her eyes. Sixteen months later, she committed suicide. ESPN’s investigative series “Outside The Lines” searched for answers and shared a detailed report this week of how Sasha’s pleas for help managed to slip through the cracks. Keep reading »

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