Combined drug intoxication, also known as mixed drug intoxication, is a potentially fatal condition characterized by simultaneous action of more than one psychoactive drug, including alcohol. Combined drug intoxication differs from overdose, in that overdose generally refers to a lethal amount of a specific drug, whereas combined drug intoxication often involves smaller amounts of multiple drugs. Often, the amount of any given drug present in a person who dies from mixed drug intoxication is not lethal by itself, but the combination of multiple drugs leads to fatality. Keep reading »

I have always argued that being honest with your psychiatrist is critical. Simply put, if your doctor doesn’t know what’s wrong, how can he possibly help you? But it’s hard to be honest with a psychiatrist and many people aren’t. Keep reading »

My story of how I was finally diagnosed with binge eating disorder is a strange one. I had no idea I actually had a medical problem. After a lifetime of being raised on ideas that eating was easily controlled through willpower and your weight was a simple problem that the next fad diet could fix, I was inclined to think that my problems with food were down to my own lack of self-control. Receiving my binge eating disorder diagnosis was a complete shock. Keep reading »

Loneliness and addiction often coincide, creating the illusion for most addicts that no one shares their pain. In fact, loneliness is actually one of the common threads that unites addicts in recovery. After discussing how sad and lonely I felt while drinking, I bonded with more people in recovery from addictions than any other time. Overcoming loneliness in addiction is possible. Keep reading »

It’s not always easy to take the first steps towards seeking help for depression, or, indeed, any other mental health problem. But it’s important not to cope with depression alone. Having the right medical and/or therapeutic help in place will help your chances of recovery. You need to understand the importance of seeking help for depression. Keep reading »

Anxiety is loud and obnoxious; to reduce anxiety, shut up and listen with a quiet mind. Listen? Why on earth would we want to listen to anxiety? After all, it’s a bully that messes with our minds, bodies, and very lives. As  true as that may be and as much as we want anxiety to leave us alone, arguing back or even agreeing with it doesn’t make it disappear. Instead, when you shut up and listen with a quiet mind, you can reduce anxiety.  Keep reading »

Faking confidence can help to build self-esteem when you’re not confident. There’s a lot of truth to the saying “fake it ’til you make it.” Faking confidence does not mean being a phoney, being overly confident or being arrogant. However, it does mean learning to be confident in a healthy way. By faking confidence you can learn how to become more confident and also build self-esteem.  Keep reading »

What are three reasons the mental health system suffers? Recently, a reporter from the Indianapolis Star contacted me about my time in the state hospital system. I answered her questions as best I could, ranging from how frequently the elevators broke down and patients with food allergies or diabetes getting the wrong food, to a psychiatrist’s criminal record, a rape, and avoidable patient deaths. As we talked, she asked me what I thought caused the problems I detailed. This made me think of three reasons the mental health system suffers. Keep reading »

There are four symptom types of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) but are the symptoms of PTSD missing from the fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-5)? Two 2015 studies seem to think so. One study calls for a seven symptom-type model while another calls for a six symptom-type model. Both studies indicated these models were more valid than the current four symptom-type model. So are there symptoms of PTSD missing from the DSM-5? Keep reading »

You can journal to improve self-esteem and get to know yourself on a deeper level. When you journal, you tap into different states of mind that help you become clearer about your desires and the person you want to become. The more often you journal to improve self-esteem, the better your relationship with yourself will be. If you don’t take time to reflect you may start to suffer from low self-esteem.  Keep reading »