Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: February 20, 2016


Good afternoon, Psych Central readers!

First, I have to apologize for the late post. Generally, I try to publish these earlier in the day, but, alas. Technology is a wonderful thing, but unfortunately there are some blips along the way -- and I've had a few connection issues over the last couple of days.

Fortunately, that didn't stop me from collecting some fascinating pieces for you over the week, so let's get down to business, shall we?

Read on for the latest about mountaintop removal's affect on mental health, how your personality affects your taste in music, yet another research report on marijuana use and its contributions to mental illness, and more.

Continue Reading

Bipolar

Touched With Fire: The Two Faces of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is both a blessing and a curse. Some people who have bipolar disorder swear by the manic or hypomanic state they sometimes experience. Not only do they feel full of energy and capable of doing just about anything, some feel that increased energy in creative ways.

They say some of the greatest artists and writers of the ages suffered from mental illness. It's no wonder -- the creative energy can seem both strong and endless. It's likely many of the world's greatest artists have suffered from bipolar disorder.

Continue Reading

Bipolar

The “Good Family” Myth

I first heard the term “good family” when I was 27. I had moved to a new town and joined a new church. A family, the Posts, who also attended the church, embraced me. They had me over on Sundays after the service for pot roast, carrots and potatoes.

I was fresh out of graduate school, working as an adjunct writing teacher at two universities, and both mentally and physically healthy.

The Posts were a family of two parents and of three girls of marrying age. They were interested in good families because they wanted the girls to marry good boys.
Continue Reading

Bipolar

How to Deal with Psychosis the Moment It Occurs

Psychosis is defined as being overwhelmed to the point of losing grip on reality. Sometimes this manifests itself as paranoia that people are going to kill you and sometimes it manifests itself as delusions that people are sending you secret messages through their body language or their words.

Essentially psychosis is when you start to fully believe that the things your brain is telling you are true and, for people with mental illness, psychosis is a big thing to worry about.

It goes without saying that a life of not being able to trust your own mind is not the greatest carnival ride in the world, but millions of people deal with it on a daily basis.
Continue Reading

Bipolar

New Zealanders’ Improving Perception of Mental Illness

I am a 63-year-old New Zealander. I’m happily married with two adult sons and two grandsons and work from home in the suburbs of Auckland as a freelance writer. I also suffer from bipolar disorder, which I believe I manage very well. Over the years since I first became ill as a teenager, I have seen huge improvements in the public perception of mental illness, but believe we still have a way to go.

I was about 10 or 11 years old when my father first was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment. I can remember being very confused and asking my teacher if my dad had gone mad. This was back in the '60s when no one really discussed mental illness. If it was talked about, it was in hushed tones. Sufferers were described as being “nervy” or having “bad nerves.”

Continue Reading

Bipolar

Touched with Fire: A Film about Bipolar & Artistic Genius

My name is Paul Dalio. I’m a filmmaker, husband of my NYU film school classmate, father of two children, and bipolar. Of these labels, the one I'm certain stands out in your mind is bipolar -- and not in a good way. That’s no fault of your own, since you probably don’t know much about it, other than what you’ve heard.

So how do I deal with this label? What other label do I have to choose from that’s not a disorder, disease, illness, or defect in my humanity? I remember when I received the label at age 24. All every medical book had to offer was that if I stayed on these meds, which made me feel no emotion, I could live a "reasonably normal life.” I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I was pretty sure it sounded like "just get by."
Continue Reading

Bipolar

A Friend Lost and Found

Often, after one develops a mental illness, one may lose friends. This happened to me. I lost a childhood friend who was with me when I experienced a nervous breakdown. I was in New York City when it happened. I completely and totally lost touch with reality.

Pam was driving me to the airport, and she had the radio on. I kept hearing the DJ mention my first and last name. This was sending me into hysterics. Of course, the DJ was not saying my name. I was mishearing or hallucinating or a combination of both.

Continue Reading

ADHD and ADD

Be More Careful with Your Language

I tend to be a little over the top in my criticism of people’s mistaken language and grammar. I am by no means perfect when it comes to these areas, but there are some errors that cause me to want to smack people. (Not in a violent way, but more in a, “I’m taking my glove off and slapping you across the face with it to show you how stupid you are” sort of way.)

One such phrase is, “I could care less.” If you could care less, that means you care some. You should actually be saying, “I couldn’t care less,” because that implies that you have supplied the least amount of caring possible.

Continue Reading

Addiction

Smoking and Mental Illness

Every morning, I can look forward to two things: one of my cats snuggling up on my face or my older brother Derek asking someone for cigarette money.

Derek is an avid smoker, and a schizophrenic. He started smoking a few years ago, just before his diagnosis (a neighbor said it would help him with stress). For many people, especially people with mental illnesses, smoking is common. There can be a short-term feeling of relief. However, smoking can be detrimental to those with mental illness.

Continue Reading

ADHD and ADD

I Am a Special-Needs Parent Raising a Special-Needs Child

My 11-year-old son Sam has anxiety disorder, for which he takes a daily dose of Zoloft. He’s also being treated with Adderall for ADHD. And he was recently diagnosed with autism.

I’m 52 years old and bipolar. I ingest a nightly cocktail of four psychotropic meds.

Because both son and mother have notable disabilities, the going, as they say, can get rough. Thank goodness, Sam's father and my husband, Pete, has both feet planted firmly on the ground and is without mental illness.
Continue Reading
Comment Announcement

Bipolar

My Well-Kept Secret

I’ve been an adjunct writing teacher at a major university off and on for more than 25 years. I teach the freshman-level classes -- College English I and II.

In College English I, students learn how to organize a variety of essays around thesis statements. The reading for this class consists of essays from a nonfiction anthology. In College English II, the students learn how to incorporate outside sources into their own persuasive documents. The reading for this more advanced course consists of a number of full-length texts organized around a particular theme.

One year, the theme was banned books. Students read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou; Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck; Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger; and The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison.

Continue Reading