Psych Central

Personal Stories Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Trouble Is a Gift: A Story of Addiction, Recovery & Hope

April 5th, 2014
“But finally, there I was alone in this apartment, sitting in a chair, staring at the radiator waiting for the little guy to crawl out from behind it. Knowing the bottle was going to be empty in another minute. Wondering how I’m going to get money to buy a new one or if I should ...

Better Days: A Mental Health Recovery Workbook

BOOK REVIEW.
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”  ~ Albert Ellis, PhD Mental illness is a tricky beast in which the problems in one’s life seem ...

Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration

BOOK REVIEW.
This book began as a project between author David Denborough and the creator of narrative therapy, the late Michael White. Denborough worked alongside White for 15 years, then carried the book to fruition following White’s death in 2008. He has written an excellent work that provides guidance in how to both tell and change your ...

Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written by Teen Victims, Bullies & Bystanders

BOOK REVIEW.
I heard my share of mean comments about my weight, height, and personality while I was in school, but as someone who has never truly been “bullied,” I always just saw it as part of the growing up process. Thus, I never truly understood what bullying is and the impact it has. As a result, ...

The Riddle in the Mirror: A Journey in Search of Healing

BOOK REVIEW.
Author Jayni Bloch was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the era of apartheid, and that painful period is the context for her story of psychological and spiritual growth. Having grown up myself in the segregated American South, I found Bloch’s story particularly interesting. Not only were there racial divisions in South Africa between black and ...

The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation

BOOK REVIEW.
Would you like to change the world in 28 days? How about something more manageable, like becoming a more relaxed, gracious, and loving person? Sean Meshorer’s The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation is designed to guide the reader through 28 bliss-enhancing practices. While the book, and especially its tone, did not earn my ...

My Struggles with OCD in Recovery

My Struggles with OCD in Recovery"Are you being crazy again?" My wife, upon noticing my awkward and all-too-familiar hand gestures, has asked me this hundreds of times. I will complete an apparent pantomime audition of mere seconds, starting with a short series of pronounced arm movements and ...

The Department of Lost & Found

BOOK REVIEW.
Allison Winn Scotch’s The Department Of Lost And Found is a captivating read that depicts a young woman battling breast cancer. However, Scotch’s words are inspirational. She relays the message that once we take life into our own hands and hone in on our most authentic selves, we can grasp what’s important and ...

Your Best Life Yet: A Journey of Purpose & Passion

BOOK REVIEW.
“There I was, on a Broadway stage. Naked with the rest of the cast of Oh! Calcutta! The drugs and alcohol must not have been working because I was literally crawling out of my skin.” So begins the preface of Marcia Ullett’s book Your Best Life Yet: A Journey of Purpose and Passion. This sets the tone ...

The Spirit of the Heart: Stories of Family, Hope, Loss & Healing

BOOK REVIEW.
You never forget your first patient who dies. When I entered medical school, I knew death would be part of my education, that not every patient could be saved. I was in my third year of medical school and had recently come back from talking with a patient, assessing him for a possible surgery, when the ...

How Do You Grab a Naked Lady?

BOOK REVIEW.
Before they fell out of vogue, roughly 40,000 lobotomies took place in the United States. “Took place” being a rather passive, arm’s-length way of saying that, on 40,000 separate occasions, a person with an advanced medical degree decided to slice another person’s brain. Often, against their will, and sometimes, with an ice pick through the ...

Eaten by the Tiger: Surrendering to an Empowered Life

BOOK REVIEW.
In a mere instant, Emile Allen’s life as a highly successful surgeon is destroyed. Electrocuted in an operating room accident, Allen is left with a litany of maladies, both physical and psychological: traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, seizures, debilitating migraine headaches, and physical disabilities including chronic pain and loss of fine motor control vital ...

Fire Your Shrink & Read This Book Instead

BOOK REVIEW.
Stop whining, repeating harmful behaviors, making excuses. Pick one that fits and get busy. That’s what our author would tell us. When I began David M. Klein’s Fire Your Shrink and Read This Book Instead, my reaction was, “Boy, is he angry.” Then I began to realize that Klein is just no-nonsense about making his points and ...

Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction — and My Own

BOOK REVIEW.
Have you ever heard a skinny, super successful, professional woman spouting the horrors of obesity? We all have, and the widespread reaction from anyone who has ever struggled with their weight is along the lines of: “Please shut up.” MSNBC’s Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski has been publicly ridiculed and even vilified for doing it. But ...

The Unpredictability of OCD

The Unpredictability of OCDAt the time my son Dan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was at its worst, he had not eaten in over a week. I flew down to be with him at his college, and though he was only two weeks away from completing his freshman ...

How I Learned To Smile From the Inside

BOOK REVIEW.
“Hope is the only emotion that will keep us going even when all other lights have gone out, even when there is no end in sight, and the world is ending. Hope is what keeps us going each and every day. Never forget that hope is just as powerful as love. … [W]ith love and ...

Giving Myself Permission: Putting Fear & Doubt in Their Place

BOOK REVIEW.
A woman posted a sign in her kitchen that read simply, “You deserve it.” Every day she’d look at the sign and remind herself: I can make decisions; I can pursue my dreams; I can live exactly the way I want. I’m worth it. The three words she posted became a mantra for living a ...

Girl in the Water: A True Story of Sibling Abuse

BOOK REVIEW.
Tales of sibling rivalry are common: Marcia and Jan Brady, Cain and Abel, Ray and Robert Barone. But how often do we hear stories of sibling abuse? The darkness and fear that is encapsulated in Nancy Kilgore’s memoir Girl in the Water goes beyond what many readers can fathom. However, it is reality for Kilgore, and with ...

Book Review: Full Circle

BOOK REVIEW.
Anyone who has seen a homeless person, who has wondered why welfare exists, who has struggled to understand why another person is acting the way they do should read Jane Hersey’s Full Circle. This is a book on understanding. It shows that there’s a lot more than what you see under the surface of who ...

It’s Your Decision: Parenting the Way God Intended

BOOK REVIEW.
Resources for parents practically overwhelm the retail market. There are books, CDs, DVDs, magazines. Stores like Babies “R” Us and specialty boutiques are easy to find. With It’s Your Decision: Parenting the Way God Intended, Ed Grizzle has attempted to add a book to the stack of reliable parenting resources. In it he describes his own ...

Career Choices & OCD: Finding the Right Balance

Career Choices & OCD: Finding the Right BalanceMy son Dan spent many years pursuing his lifelong dream of becoming an animator. After his freshman year of college, when his obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was so severe he could not even eat and he spent nine weeks at a ...

Book Review: Southern Vapors

BOOK REVIEW.
Who would have thought a book by a privileged southern belle turned lawyer could hold so much charm and wit, and leave the reader with the belief that they too can be better? Southern Vapors tells the autobiographical story of a woman who descends into a deep depression after her unhealthy coping mechanisms catch up ...

Coincidence Is God’s Way of Remaining Anonymous

BOOK REVIEW.
Little did Gloria Loring know when she found a business card that was placed anonymously on her dressing room chair that it would help her for the rest of her life. In her new book, Coincidence is God's Way of Remaining Anonymous, this singer, actress, and author relates an autobiographical story of how things in her ...