An interview with personal trainer Beth Erlichman about having both a mother and a daughter with mental illness. Beth describes growing up with a mentally ill mother like living in a storm. At 16 she found a boarding school in another country as a way to get out and take care of herself. She grew up in a family that never [Read more…]
An interview with Dr. Diane Morrow about writing and healing. Diane describes the ways that writing was healing for her in coping with her mother’s severe depression. But she also talks about how writing can be healing as a process or ritual in itself, how writing fiction can be create enough distance from pain to allow the listener to resonate with it. Diane describes the way that the blank page itself may be the best listener to a difficult story, and the painful need to let go of our longing for a specific person to hear our difficult stories.
An interview with David Moltz about his experience of being a psychiatrist. David talked about his reasons for going into psychiatry and the things he finds most difficult about the profession and the things he loves. He spoke about the use of power, the difficulty of deciding whether to commit someone to a hospital, how he listens to a suicidal patient and the importance of being present in the midst of someone’s pain. David also talked about the differences between the culture of mental health, and the culture of substance abuse treatment or recovery models of care. He also talks about the corruption of psychiatry by the pharmaceutical industry and how this has brought us back to the importance of human relationship in healing.
An interview with Deb, the author of the blog, Living in Stigma. Deb describes her experience of feeling written off by the mental health system after multiple psychiatric hospitalizations and 77 ECT treatments failed to help her. After being willing to try anything that might help her she met a new psychiatrist who took a real interest in her, spending time getting to know her, and letting her know he believed in her. This was a turning point for her, when she began to get up each day and do something no matter how depressed she felt. Deb describes the stigma of living with a mental illness and how unsafe she feels to share it with colleagues at work, for fear they will no longer take her seriously as a legitimate person.
An interview with author and trainer, Tom Wootton about his transition from Bipolar Disorder to Bipolar In Order. Tom describes how current treatment paradigms teach people to view their highs an lows as problems to be gotten rid of, and that it is possible with training and skills development to stay aware of intense moods while experiencing them as a beautiful part of life. He describes the difference between the feelings of depression and the behaviors in reaction to it, like staying in bed, or attempting suicide. He describes the way that he begins to help people find value in depression and mania and learn to see each state as an opportunity for growth and non-reactivity.