As our entire nation follows the story of a senseless massacre in Connecticut, people are weighing in with their opinions. We don’t have all of the facts straight yet, but the media and government officials are already pointing fingers at each other, at the NRA, at violent video games, at “not allowing God in our schools,” and at a myriad other reasons. We’re all asking one question — a question for which we will most likely never have a full formed answer: why?
You’re probably wondering why my thoughts on this question have any merit. I’m not a newscaster, a government official, someone linked to the tragedy or an expert on violence. Why should I have any say in the matter?
The only reason I can give you is that my high school suffered a violent attack — but one with incredibly different consequences. The difference between what I experienced and what happened yesterday raises important points in the ongoing discussion of what went wrong. Keep reading »
One in every five women has been sexually assaulted. And most of those assaults happen before the age of 25. I am a woman. I’m 25 years old, and I am part of the 20 percent of women who have been raped.
It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to accept about myself, and it’s one that’s not frequently talked about. Keep reading »
Unlike my future captor Tom Cruise, I’m a big fan of psychiatry. Why? Well, it’s given me opportunities I never could have experienced without medical intervention for depression, agoraphobia and panic attacks. To put it more simply: Psychiatry has saved my life. But thanks to a couple of friendly letters from health insurance companies, I’ve recently learned I don’t deserve to go to the doctor.
And here I thought I was doing well. Keep reading »
Every reality show competition has its oddball and Victoria on “America’s Next Top Model” fits it to a ‘T.’ She was homeschooled, attends online schooling at uber-religious Liberty University, and when she “gets in character” she over-acts during all her photoshoots … like in the most recent episode when she spat at the photographer. Victoria also just so happens to be the girl I want to win; she takes some of the best pictures, and easily has the best work ethic (which is half the battle).
Over the past several episodes of “ANTM,” the other girls have been closing in on Victoria. It started with snotty comments about Victoria being weird — which, sure, she is. Then it exacerbated in the episode before last when, at judging, the girls told Tyra Banks that they think Victoria isn’t eating enough — which, if we can go off the way producers have edited the show, is probably also true. Victoria defended herself and said she doesn’t have an eating disorder, she’s just extremely anxious about the competition and being away from her mom for the first time — which, again, is probably true. Tyra then pronounced she deeply cares about the health and well-being of the girls on her show, threatened that if Victoria restricts her eating she’s out of the competition, and vowed to keep an eye on her.
Then, on Friday night’s episode, all of this hoopla went even further: the remaining girls in the house confronted Victoria, telling her they don’t think she’s stable enough to continue with the competition. Keep reading »
I’ve been seeing my therapist, Jennifer*, for years. I love her. She’s helped me through a lot of hard times and she’s one of the first people I want to talk to when something big happens in my life.
However, there was one time she crossed the line between analyzing and annoying: the time she convinced me I had Asperger’s, a form of autism. Keep reading »
I used to be the sort of person who was always looking for the next big thing. In high school, I wanted to be in college. In college, I wanted to have a job. Every job I had, I wanted to be more successful.
I didn’t learn about stillness, about just being, until I had to. And I don’t think it’s coincidental that the more I just be and the more gratitude I have for my life, the happier I am.
My bouts of depression have always had a chicken-and-the-egg quality to them. Was I on a downward spiral of depression throughout my mid-20s? Or was it from my stressful and demanding job and how hard I was on myself about not being the most amazing person ever? Did I feel depressed because I studied abroad in Eastern Europe away from my family and my friends? Or was I depressed already and that trip just exacerbated it?
I don’t think there are necessarily answers other than “both.” Just the way my mom is inclined to bruise easily if she knocks her leg on a coffee table, I’m inclined to get depressed easily. I wouldn’t have chosen to be this way if I had the choice. But since this is what the lottery stuck me with, I’ve learned how to cope with it. Keep reading »
You may remember Jani Schofield from a particularly haunting episode of “Oprah” a few years ago. Jani’s parents noticed that something wasn’t right with their daughter fairly early on, but couldn’t have imagined that their she was schizophrenic. One of the youngest cases of schizophrenia ever recorded, Jani sees imaginary animals and people in vivid detail. She also has what’s known as tactile hallucinations, wherein she feels things happening to her. Dr. Phil had her family on to discuss not only Jani’s volatile behavior, but the impact it has on the Schofields’ relationship, and their fear that their young son Bodi is also schizophrenic.
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 »