“Sheriff’s Department, open the door!”

At first I thought it was a joke, but then I heard the sound of a struggle and someone screaming. I opened my door, only for a staff member to wave me back into my apartment. She was on the phone. “He’s psychotic. He’s seeing things. He was cooperating but they took him down when he tried to run. What do you want to do?” I posted the details of the confrontation on my Facebook page with the hashtag #PsychPatientsLivesMatter and soon received comments on my bravery. Keep reading »

My father was a drunk. My father was a fall-down, blackout, greet-people-at-the-door-in-your-underwear kind of drunk. He was not a man who wanted kids. He was a man that had little to do with me. And he was a man with bipolar disorder. Keep reading »

My son Bob is doing really well right now. I wish I could say he has been cured of his mental illness, but that is not the case. In fact, he is symptomatic everyday. My son is doing well because he is treatment compliant and his mental illness treatment is working. So what is treatment for a child with mental illness? Keep reading »

This week’s Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog is an interview with one of my very good friends. I have known her for over 10 years and she has witnessed and helped with many of my anxiety and panic attacks. In order to “shake things up,” I thought it would be eye-opening to hear about anxiety and panic disorder from a loved one’s perspective. I asked her three questions and her unedited responses are below.

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“I want to break free from anxiety!” It’s a common cry, and for good reason. Anxiety, no matter the specific type of anxiety, can be miserable to live with day in and day out. Frequently, anxiety is a cruel warden, keeping us locked tightly behind bars, veritable prisoners of worry, fear, and guilt. Thankfully, it is indeed possible to break free from anxiety. One of the keys to doing so is to find something to take the place of anxiety. Keep reading »

There is no shortage of triggers for veterans with combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the holidays. Loud noises, parties with crowds of people, the expectations of positive emotions and so many more things can make combat PTSD harder to live with during the holidays; and when everyone around you is having a great time, it can feel very lonely being the one who feels worse during the holiday celebrations. But there is hope. Use these tips to handle your PTSD during the holidays and maybe even have some fun. Keep reading »

I have a a four-year-old nephew, Landon, who is exhibiting traits of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He insists the blocks be arranged by color and cries when they are not. Autism has been ruled out, so the next suspect is OCD. But is it really OCD, or is it just a phase? How young is too young to make a diagnosis of mental illness? And when a diagnosis is made, at what age should treatment start? Keep reading »

Depression makes the holiday season especially difficult, especially when there’s so much pressure to be happy. Cheesy music blasts through store speakers, telling us that it’s the “most wonderful time of the year” when depression rarely takes a day off, no matter what the calendar says. Keep reading »

Whether the program is LifeRing, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), SMART Recovery, or some other program, the first question of a newcomer is always the same: “Does this addiction recovery program work?” The answer to this simple question varies, depending on who you ask. Yet, there is one factor that can make or break a person’s success in any recovery program. Keep reading »

Sometimes I ask for advice, but pretty much never about my bipolar disorder. (Unless you include my doctor. Him I tend to listen to.) This is because the people around me don’t have the expertise or experience to advise me about a mental illness. It’s not personal, I’m just not friends with any psychiatrists. But what really ticks me off, is unsolicited advice about bipolar disorder (particularly from people who act like experts but are not, in any way, qualified to do so). Keep reading »