Psych Central

Personal Stories Library

  • Confessions of a Worrywart
    While reading Susan Orlins’s poignant memoir, I was reminded continuously of the catchphrase from the late ’60s and early ’70s feminist movement: “The personal is political.” The specifics of Orlins’s life story are hers alone, but ...
  • Good Therapy for OCD
    With the help of the Internet, my son Dan correctly diagnosed himself with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) at the age of 17. After his ...
  • Blind Devotion: Survival on the Front Lines of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Addiction
    It would have been easy for Sharlene Prinsen to portray herself as a heroic martyr, or else as an innocent, one-dimensional victim. Yet in the memoir that centers on her marriage to a combat veteran ...
  • Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and Finally Let the Sunshine In
    In Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In, Todd Patkin takes us through his life, outlining the troubles, as well as fortunes, he has had along the way. Throughout ...
  • Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety
    Daniel Smith describes himself as anxiety personified in his absorbing and humorous memoir Monkey Mind. Smith was anxious from birth. Anxiety lurked in his genes. Both his mother and father suffered from severe anxiety: His ...
  • Nerve: Poise Under Pressure
    In his intelligent and sharp-witted book, Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool Taylor Clark is incredibly brave for tackling a topic like anxiety and ...
  • My Trip to the ER: Attention Must Be Paid
    I'm a psych patient. My primary diagnosis is bipolar II, but there’s a little anxiety, PTSD and other stuff ...
  • When In Doubt, Make Belief: An OCD-Inspired Approach to Living with Uncertainty
    Written by a recovered Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) sufferer, When in Doubt, Make Belief aims to explore the doubt we all face, in varying degrees, in our daily lives. Bell chronicles his personal journey with ...
  • My First Trip to the Psychiatrist
    It seems that life is made up of a lot of different “firsts.” The first time you leave home, the first time you have sex, the first full-time job you accept, your first apartment, ...
  • My Battle with Childhood Sexual Abuse
    My first memory of emotional abuse was when I was three years old. Mum left me with the next door neighbour who was the local flasher. He didn't think anything of showing himself to ...
  • Overcoming Childhood Abuse and Neglect
    My mother left when I was 3. I bounced around without a home — lived with my grandparents, sometimes my father, sometimes aunts and uncles. I suffered horrendous abuse. Emotional, physical, sexual… sometimes I think ...
  • A Long and Arduous Journey
    I was born in a small town in Florida during the late 1940s. My mother had undiagnosed and untreated schizophrenia and my father was a man of some power within the community who was ...
  • My Battle with Mental Illness
    I saw my psychiatrist for the first time in 2001. Stress from work was extremely overwhelming. I was working approximately 15 hours, sometimes more, a day, every day, plus going into the office on ...