If you’ve ever been depressed or if you’re currently depressed or are wondering if you’re possibly depressed, walk — no run! — to the blog Hyperbole & A Half, where blogger Allie deftly, and sometimes hilariously, chronicles what it’s like to live with depression. In a new entry, posted today, Allie explains how depression can at first make you feel powerful in its detachment, and then slowly make it difficult to even approximate human emotions.
I could no longer rely on genuine emotion to generate facial expressions, and when you have to spend every social interaction consciously manipulating your face into shapes that are only approximately the right ones, alienating people is inevitable. Keep reading »
Fighting cancer is difficult for anyone, but especially for people who lead particularly active lives before their diagnoses. John Wilson was an avid hiker, biker and basketball player before being diagnosed with Epithelioid sarcoma in 2006. A rare and aggressive soft tissue cancer, treatment required that Wilson’s left leg be amputated. Undaunted, within months, Wilson was back to some of his favorite activities, and quickly realized the therapeutic power of sports and nature. In 2010, he founded the AKP — Always Keep Pedaling — Foundation, dedicated to helping other cancer survivors regain their zest for life via outdoor adventure activities. “At AKP we believe that the best way to build confidence is to take healthy risks,” says Wilson.”The purpose of the AKP Foundation is to build the confidence of young adults who have suffered physically altering trauma due to cancer by helping them find adventure through adaptive sports.” Twice a year, Wilson and AKP host a retreat, inviting young cancer survivors who might not otherwise have the means or access, to come together and bond while taking part in fun physical activities like skiing and biking. The experience has been life-changing, and many participants say that it’s what’s helped them move on from surviving to really living again. I dare you to get through this video without tearing up. And to find out how you can help cancer survivors click here. [AKP Foundation]
I work from home, so I spend a lot of time alone. Eight hours a day, actually, and often more than that. I miss having coworkers (especially because my Frisky coworkers are so freakin’ awesome), but my ADD makes it really hard to get anything–especially writing–done anywhere other than a totally controlled, calm environment. When I tell people about my work schedule, they usually say something like, “I can’t believe you spend all day alone. I would go crazy.”
“Thank you,” I say stoically. “It’s hard sometimes, but it’s really good for me.” And then I go back to debating the finer points of gun control with my quesadilla.
Spending so much time alone led me to the logical conclusion that I’m pretty good at being alone. I mean, not everyone can work all by themselves day after day, right? I figured that made me some kind of professional loner. But recently I realized that maybe there’s more to this whole “being alone” thing than the hours you put into it, and maybe I’m still learning how to truly be alone. Keep reading »
In this weekend’s New York Times, clinical psychiatrist Richard A. Friedman grapples with the question: should therapists play matchmaker for their patients? The answer he arrives at is no: “Looking to your therapist to set up a date is as ill-advised as it is to look to Match.com for help with depression or an eating disorder.”
Friedman admits to be tempted to fix patients up but ultimately decided against it because it “would involve crossing useful boundaries. And would bring my personal life in conflict with my job as therapist, which, among other things, is to help patients understand themselves and discover how to make their own lives as full and rich as possible.” Keep reading »
I consider myself a fairly patient person. I grew up in a house with four siblings and three pets—I can put up with a lot. But if you want to set my foot tapping and my eyes rolling, just start complaining about your life.
Recently, for example, I caught up with an old friend. Last I talked to her was several months ago, and things weren’t going great—she wasn’t happy in her job, wasn’t thrilled to be single and felt an overall uneasiness about her life. I felt her pain, and was ready to listen, encourage, and lend a shoulder to cry on. But when we talked again, and I started the conversation with a simple, “How are you?” her immediate response was, “Meh.” What followed was a string of complaints reminiscent of our previous conversation—nothing had changed, and it seemed she hadn’t tried to make it.
You hate your job, but aren’t even looking for a new one? You want to meet men, but refuse to join an online dating site? You’re upset with your weight, but won’t change your diet and exercise? I can’t help you. Only you can. 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 »
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 »
This piece is part of The Frisky’s How To Deal Week, in which we’re tackling mental health issues.
As an oldest child/perfectionist/control freak/Taurus, asking for help is one of my least favorite things. Whether I’m doing a crossword puzzle or weathering an emotional storm, I’ll handle it on my own, thankyouverymuch. Over the past year, though, I’ve been dealing with some pretty intense life changes and found myself in the position where I literally couldn’t get through it alone. I was drowning, and I had no choice but to reach out and grab the outstretched hands of my amazing friends, who pulled me to shore and gently guided me toward the office of a therapist, where I swallowed my pride and said, “You know what? I’m not doing so well.” In the process, I learned how important it is to be able to ask for help, especially when you’re feeling lost, overwhelmed, or alone. Here’s why… Keep reading »
As is the case with any relationship gone south, sometimes you need to break up with your therapist. Maybe you feel ready to fly in the world on your own, or you’ve stopped connecting, or maybe she said something awful, like “You shouldn’t cry so much.” I don’t care how much she helped you unpack your mommy issues, she’s not going to be of any more assistance saying crap like that. So you know you need to dump your shrink, but how? It seems like it would be easier than breaking up with someone you’ve been sleeping with. But sometimes, because of the intimate nature of things you share with your therapist, it’s harder. You have a few options. Some shrink dumping approaches after the jump. Keep reading »
I have seen a therapist off and on since my first panic attack at age 14. Talk therapy (and the delightful mood-soothing properties of 20 mg of Lexapro) are the reason I can put on pants and leave my house in the morning. With their help, I’ve learned how to self-soothe anger and disappointment, combat the negative self-talk that leads to depression, and create boundaries with my loved ones. My current therapist is this rad little old Italian lady who not only gets me but champions my very Jessica-ness. My life is infinitely more manageable for me under her care and as such I am the world’s biggest proponent of talk therapy. [Nuh-uh, I am! -- Editor]
But all of that doesn’t change a separate fact: sometimes what really makes me feel good is retail therapy. Keep reading »