Mental Health

One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes is the one where Elaine snoops inside her medical chart and reads “patient is difficult.” The doctor takes a look at her rash and says, “Well, this doesn’t look serious,” and writes something in the chart. “What are you writing?” she asks. He sneers and walks out the door....
In The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran writes: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. I thought of his words yesterday as I...
Two summers ago, our family grabbed a bite to eat in downtown Annapolis and headed over to the Naval Academy for a parade—celebrating of the end of Plebe Summer, six weeks of rigorous physical and mental training for new midshipmen. It was late August, and I was horribly depressed, trying out medication combination #45 or...
“My favorite escapes from depression are meds and writing,” says Diana Spechler in a New York Times opinion piece. “But I can’t do both at once.” Friends have been forwarding to me her columns in the “Going Off” series, which chronicles her attempt to wean off the medications she takes for depression, anxiety, and insomnia....
Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” A year ago this week I tested that theory. I’ve always been depressed. I must have emerged from my mother’s womb with an overactive amygdala and a deficient prefrontal cortex–creative brain wiring that generates panic and sadness. I was almost...
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