Ever-Changing Face Of Drug Abuse

Those of us who labor in the heavily intoxicated vineyards of mental illness, mental health, and recovery – those of us who gaze in wonder at the never-ending inventiveness demonstrated by tormented souls scouring the landscape for new mechanisms of self-injury – those of us who chase the lighthouse beacon of serenity as we pitch […]

Mental Health Terminology Demystified

Mental health is a world within a world, complete with its very own vocabulary. These idiosyncratic names, phrases and expressions may seem odd, even bizarre, to newcomers and outsiders alike. However, if you intend to successfully navigate the crooked concrete corridors that lead, eventually, to sanity – familiarity with this specialized lexicon is strongly advised. […]

Imprisoned Primates Escape Into Addiction

When I was a very young lad living in Edinburgh, I would go on perambulations with my mother. Edinburgh is a grand city for walking, and we explored it at length. (As a Dutch woman recently transplanted from Amsterdam I think she found it as exotic as I did.) Edinburgh Castle, with its steep, cobblestone […]

It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Americans have a provincial view of the world revolving around exploitation; that is to say, other countries exist only to the extent that we consider them useful. Johnny and Ginny Lunchbucket think of China as the place that produces freighter loads of shabby merchandise we consume, India as the place to call if something breaks, […]

Manic Depression: Jimi Hendrix

I was just 17 on March 31, 1968, the night I saw Jimi Hendrix in a tiny, converted tire warehouse in Philadelphia. Hendrix is iconic today, so I don’t need to describe the show. But back then he was absolutely new, unlike anything anybody had ever seen before. Playing with the guitar behind his head, […]

Don’t Raise The Bridge, Lower Your Expectations Of The River

You may find that recovery road is every bit as lonely as the road to ruin; but do not let this deter you. It all comes back to expectations, if you don’t expect a parade you can’t be disappointed when the boulevard is empty and there is no confetti in the air. “Why raise the […]

The Toxic Myth Of Manic Creativity

It is said that alcoholism is the only disease intent on convincing those who suffer they’re not sick. This deception is, of course, only one of alcoholism’s many lies, the first of which is that happiness can be purchased and consumed. There is a parallel, and equally dangerous, bit of twaddle in the world of […]

Help The Cause Of Mental Health Awareness

When I sat down to write Invisible Driving in 1990 there was no way to know that this simple act of literary recklessness would hurl me down a path of mental health advocacy ultimately culminating, 22 years later, in the conclusion of this sentence. Such is life in the land of Whackadoomious. Prior to writing the very […]

Sociology Of Mental Illness

Recently, the Party Planning Committee at Chumley Fortesque Memorial Community College invited me to deliver my bread and butter lecture, “Why You So Messed Up, Man?” I accepted. A bright-eyed assemblage of students still clutching desperately onto the concept of upward mobility, and several inebriated janitors ducking responsibilities, filled the dingy lunchroom, which had been […]

How To Manage Bullies

Concern about bullies is trendy today, so much so that Hollywood, (where having an original idea can actually destroy your career), has jumped on the bandwagon with its incredibly annoying “It Gets Better” Campaign. (You and I know that in fact it doesn’t get better, indeed, it doesn’t change at all. What happens is that […]