Eleanor Longdon was a college student when she began hearing a totally neutral voice in her head that would narrate her daily going ons in the third person. “She is leaving the room.” She is going to the lecture.” Longdon’s relationship with this innocuous narrator eventually turned into what she called a “psychic civil war” where the voices multiplied, becoming both her “persecutors and her only perceived companions.” This eventually led to a diagnosis of schizophrenia and complete mental unraveling, which caused her to go so far once as to try to drill a hole in her head to get rid of the voices. Keep reading »
For the last few weeks, the notoriously controversial male feminist Hugo Schwyzer has been off Twitter and Facebook, an absence that was noticed by some, at first, and then everyone who pays attention to these sorts of things when the reasons for his social media disappearance became common knowledge. Schwyzer, who’s made a career denouncing “the myth of male weakness,” had cheated on his wife (his fourth) repeatedly, they had separated, and that, plus the stress of what he calls “takedown culture” online, had led to Schwyzer checking himself into a psychiatric facility. The admitted former drug addict (who once, in the midst of a drug binge, tried to kill himself and his then-girlfriend) explained in a mass email to friends, former colleagues and acquaintances (including myself) that he had become a danger to himself and he was taking time away from the internet to get well and repair his marriage to the mother of his two small children.
Except he didn’t take time away. First, he gave an ill-advised interview to NYMag.com, in which he described his infidelity as “off-brand” (he’s right, in the sense that he has spent the last few years writing about sex, gender, marriage, relationships, etc. from the perspective of a bad boy gone good). That was followed by interviews with LAWeekly.com (in which he confessed to another suicide attempt) and a porn gossip website (regarding the details of one of his affairs, with an online web cam model), not to mention upwards of four additional “goodbye” blog posts on his own website.
For a few days, things were quiet on the Hugo front. Until today, when Schwyzer reactivated his Twitter account and began tweeting, almost non-stop, for an hour. Admitting almost right away that he was in the midst of a manic episode – Schwyzer says he suffers from bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder – Schwyzer said it was time for the truth to come out, that he was a “breathtakingly cocky,” “self-aggrandizing” fraud who “loved the attention” and was “fucking awesome at getting it.” Keep reading »
“What do YOU think?” That’s the number one phrase I hear in therapy over and over — usually because I’m asking my therapist for her opinion about some shit that is going down. But as those of us in therapy know, a therapist is not there to give advice or to tell you how to live your life. He or she will listen and offer observations about the way you talk about your life. But dishing out advice and tips is a big no-no. After a year-plus of asking my therapist, “What do you think?” and getting the response “What do YOU think?”, I’ve come to realize that what she really means is Stop asking me this because I’m not going to tell you.
Of course, that’s not the only thing my therapist says that actually means something else. Here are just a few things* that your therapist is saying to you and what it really means:
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If you’ve seen the show “Hoarders” then you can easily understand why anything, even a human body, could stay hidden for a very, very long time in the home of a hoarder. So, you know where this story is headed: James Nichols reported his wife, Jo Ann Nichols of Poughkeepsie, New York, missing in December of 1985 after she did not show up for a beauty parlor appointment. He told police that he received a typed note from his wife and then talked to her on the phone three days after he reported her as missing. Nichols also told police that he found his wife’s car parked at a local shopping mall. After searching his house, police determined that Mr. Nichols had not had anything to do with his wife’s disappearance.
Oh, did I mention the amount of stuff they had to wade through in that home? According to neighbors, Mr. Nichols was an intense hoarder. He even had several dumpsters in his backyard for extra storage. The police also probably thought it was safe to assume that this was not an episode of “CSI”and didn’t check (or even know about) his false wall in the basement where he was hiding his wife’s body. Keep reading »
I was a full-blown feminist by the time I started college. I also had a full-blown eating disorder. As a teen I marched on Washington for women’s rights. I put out a zine called Wonder Woman. I played drums (and by “played” I mean I aggressively and skill-lessly beat the shit out of a floor tom, a snare and a cymbal) in a punk band whose songs included “Penis-Shaped Missile” and “Cute Band Alert.” I prepared all varieties of soy-based hippie stews for Food Not Bombs, though I don’t recall ever sampling any of them. And it wasn’t because of the soy. Or the hippie. While my dog-eared copy of Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth was proudly displayed on my bookshelf, my equally well-worn calorie counter book was hidden out of sight in my desk drawer.
I was terrified of gaining weight. I restricted. I binged and purged. I hated my body. Keep reading »