Parents of Teens, Please Consider "A Mother's Reckoning"

Having just finished "A Mother's Reckoning," by Sue Klebold, the mother of one of the two killers, Dylan Klebold, responsible for the Columbine massacre in 1999, I am moved, emotionally and into action. As a mother of a teenage boy, I have profound sympathy - having never been through that I certainly couldn't empathize. Also, making it more acute, as I wrote about in my previous post "Our Child Has ADHD and Bipolar Disorder," I am always concerned and hyper vigilant - even stable on medication, my son has a higher likelihood of committing suicide than a non Bipolar child. Now that I've read this poignant memoir packed with insight and information, I'm on even higher alert. Scared shitless actually....more

Why I'm Not Offended by The OCD Target Sweater

By now you’ve all heard about the controversy that is the Target Christmas Sweater debacle of 2015. People have been up in arms about the offensive sweater that ostensibly makes light of a serious mental illness, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD. And, it is a serious illness. I would know. I have it. I’ve had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for as long as I can remember, and although my memories in the womb are a little foggy, I’m pretty sure I had it back then, too. It’s brought me to crippling lows....more
I just googled the sweater, and well. I will say this, if people are offended by it, they are ...more

The Shadow of Mental Illness: Thoughts on World Suicide Prevention Day

When I was 20, I used to refer to the dark cloud that followed me around daily as "The Shadow." It could descend without any warning. It followed me into the most joyful occasions, and it smothered me every time I lay down to sleep. I used to count the hours of the day, as I stared at the cinderblock walls of my dorm room. When was it permissible to let the Shadow win? When was it permissible to take the sleeping pills my doctor had prescribed me and descend into oblivion? ...more
I think the mental health system is a joke . I have also looked into treatment someplace where I ...more

Because I Could Not Accept my 'Chemical Imbalance' as an Unalterable Part of Who I Was, I Healed Myself of Depression

I feel a lot of apprehension around the concept of identity… specifically the idea that identity is static: that you are who you are, and that’s it. It just doesn't make sense to me. I've never been able to accept that sort of dreary finality. I was diagnosed with Depression when I was in grade 7.I started counselling and was put on anti-depressants for almost all of Junior High and High School. ...more

Fighting My Mental Illness: My "Life" Before Bipolar Disorder Meds

Earlier this month, I wrote a blog asking the public (though mostly friends) their opinions on keeping professional privacy vs. putting up a fight against stigma on a recent health diagnosis. ...more
I appreciate your honesty and being "out there" with it.  It's ...more

A BIg Show of Support: MT 2014 NAMIWalk

Regular readers of this blog have probably gathered by now that I am quite fond of Montana, the state in which I live. There is a lot I love about Montana - but not the high incidence of suicide here....more

The Death of Robin Williams, And What Suicide Isn't

I was coming home from a long day of working when I saw the news on Twitter. Today, probably sometime this morning, Robin Williams, beloved American actor, passed away in his California home. The coroner suspects that he committed suicide, probably from asphyxiation. ...more
So good of you to write this very good article! So true.  Let's just mourn the loss of this ...more

The Face Of Depression

    While the country is reeling from the loss of Robin Williams, we find ourselves asking the same question over and over---what would drive one of America's most beloved comedians to end his life? On the surface he had everything: a unique brand of humor that brought him fame, a loving family and a multitude of adoring fans. How could he have been so unhappy?...more

The Return of Carleatha

My daughter is caught in a hamster wheel. She can jump off occasionally, but before long, she is on again ... running for her life. A couple of years ago I wrote about her battle with a depressive episode that lasted for months. She spent many weeks in the psych unit at the local hospital. She's been in and out several times since, sometimes for mania, but this time, once again, she's depressed. One of her floor mates two years ago is now her roommate. ...more

The Misunderstanding of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Yes, I admit it; I have paranoid schizophrenia. I was diagnosed in my sophomore year of high school, but does it define me? Does this disease really shape who I am, or is it just another obstacle that I strive to get by? Well, you could say that it is an on-going struggle, but truthfully it was the hardest when it all first happened. See, I was a normal girl, with a normal life and a strong belief in God....more