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Category Archive: health

Aug 28 2013

Why are you calling my texting device?

I have massive phone anxiety. I feel a bit silly saying that, since using a telephone seems like the simplest task possible. But thanks to my brain cranking my anxiety up to 11, a phone call can be pretty daunting. I’ve tried to encourage people in my life not to randomly call me, but most …

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Aug 13 2013

Belated raging

Today I found out from my dad that when my mom was in the hospital recovering from a serious surgery to remove the tumors from her ovarian cancer, some evangelical Christians came into her room uninvited during a rare moment when my dad was away to try to convert her and ask if she’s heard …

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Aug 09 2013

No, Rick Warren, we’re not “all mentally ill”

Rick Warren, pastor of the infamous Saddleback Church, recently gave a sermon where he attempted to de-stigmatize mental illness…but did the opposite. Warren, whose son suffered from borderline personality disorder and recently committed suicide, said “We’re all mentally ill” and “You have fears, you have worries, you have doubts, you have compulsions, you have attractions…” Greta …

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Aug 08 2013

I thought everyone could use a little good news for a change

My labwork is finally starting to work after months of troubleshooting and more months of planning! This is the first positive feedback I’ve had in grad school since I passed my general exam a year ago! I’ve had my first straight week where I’ve felt “okay” instead of the crippling hopelessness, worthlessness, anhedonia and despair …

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Aug 01 2013

This is not an okay way to talk about depression and suicide

Warning – I’m about to break the hive mind and disagree with a fellow blogger. Chris Clarke has a post up at Pharyngula “On using suicide as a rhetorical strategy.” His post is in response to Hugo Schwyzer admitting that he had just spent a week at a psych ward after he committed himself. Chris refers to this …

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Jul 27 2013

No atheists in Intensive Care Units

One week had passed since I flew out to be with my mom. Our spirits were high thanks to recent progress – my mom had woken up, seemed to have all of her mental faculties and remember who we were, and was just getting enough strength to communicate by pointing at letters on a board. …

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Jul 26 2013

Sometimes, life gets hard

First off – yes, I’m alive. Even though my blogging frequency has been pretty pathetic recently, I still get a steady trickle of emails from concerned readers who miss me. It’s an odd feeling knowing total strangers want to make sure I’m okay and miss my writing, but I do sincerely appreciate it (even if …

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Jun 16 2012

Bloom

In my dermatillomania post, a commenter linked to this art installation that I just had to share: In 2003 a building housing the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (MMHC) was slated for demolition to make way for updated facilities. The closure was a time for reflection and remembrance as the MMHC had been in operation for …

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Jun 16 2012

Dermatillomania therapies

In my previous post about dermatillomania, Robert B asks: “Do you mind sharing what kind of therapies were tried?” Sure! When I first met with my therapist, I made sure that she used cognitive behavioral therapy, since that’s one of the approaches most supported by scientific evidence. I also made it clear that I was …

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Jun 16 2012

A dermatillomania update

Last year I wrote about my experience with dermatillomania, also known as compulsive skin picking. It’s part of the OCD spectrum of behaviors, where I have the compulsion to pick at the skin on my fingertips and lips, often until they’re bleeding or scarred. It’s worse when I’m nervous or stressed because I oddly find …

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