Shattered by the Darkness: Putting the Pieces Back Together After Child Abuse by Gregory Williams is a heart-wrenching account of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by the author's father over many years. The book contains detailed descriptions of sexual abuse, sometimes with multiple abusers. There is nothing gratuitously graphic in the descriptions, but readers who have … Continue reading Book Review: Shattered by the Darkness
Ghosts Within: Journeying Through PTSD is written by former war zone journalist Garry Leech, who developed post-traumatic stress disorder in response to the horrors to which he'd been exposed through his work. The book does describe some of the traumatic events the author experienced. This took a few forms: as descriptions of flashbacks, as part … Continue reading Book review: Ghosts Within
It doesn't happen very often, but every once in a while I'll have a bit of time where my mood is fairly neutral. When I consciously notice that, it sets off a whole crazy train of thoughts. One thought is that I'm not sure I can believe that it's actually real. I'm suspicious that it's … Continue reading Does that mean I’m faking it?
Battered, Tattered, But Not Shattered: Finding The Strength In What Remains is a memoir by Marie Abanga. This is part of a series of memoir accounts, and focuses on her abusive marriage and how she rebuilt her life afterwards. I always enjoy Marie's unique way with words, like this gem: "I know I have the guts … Continue reading Book review: Battered, Tattered, But Not Shattered
In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week's term: Recovery The word recovery can have various connotations depending on the context. It began to gain popularity in the context of mental health in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it was used by the ex-patient/psychiatric survivor movement. … Continue reading What is… Recovery?
Recovery means different things for different people. Here's what my recovery from depression would look like: confidence the ability to feel joy/pleasure resilience hope a sense of purpose and meaning feeling strong having a sense of control over my life being able to smile and laugh, and mean it looking forward to things being able … Continue reading What would recovery look like?
In the Profiles in Tremendousness series, I borrow an idea from the Daily Show with Trevor Noah to celebrate the best of the worst in mental health care. In this edition, I'll take a look at some of the weird shit that's gone on in places where I've worked, proving yet again that common sense … Continue reading Profiles in tremendousness: The uncommon sense edition
I have always been a big fan of lists, especially when it comes to grocery shopping. When I'm depressed, lists tend to move from a preference to a necessity in order to compensate for the decline in my memory and concentration. When things are really bad I even try to organize my shopping list into … Continue reading Savoring the small victories
Having worked as a mental health nurse for many years, it would be easy to assume that I'm usually the one doing the teaching and my clients are usually doing most of the learning. That assumption would be completely wrong. Yes, I've learned a lot in school and through continuing education, plus I've learned a … Continue reading What I’ve learned from my “psych patients”
Sometimes it's nice to have a visual reminder of our own strength and resilience
Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder chronicles author Dyane Harwood’s journey with postpartum onset bipolar disorder. The story’s rich, vivid descriptions draw the reader along on the intense roller coaster ride of the author's illness experience. Many elements of her story will be hauntingly familiar to those whose lives have been … Continue reading Book review: Birth of a new Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder