Culture, Depression, Happiness

The irony is that we all–secular or religious people alike–make our biggest life-changing decisions on faith. Like is too short to learn what you need to know to live well. So we make a leap of faith when it comes to what we should believe in, who we will marry, and our careers. Who we happen to meet, one conversation when you were eighteen, the college course you happened to sign up for, the teacher you liked, the elevator you missed and the girl you met in the next one, decide whole lives. You would have to live a lifetime to be qualified to make any big decisions. … Only the trivialities–say, buying cars, washing machines, or airline seats–are chosen on the basis of good information.

–Frank Schaeffer, Crazy for God

Why It Takes Lifetimes to Make a Good Decisions

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Culture, Depression, mental health

Grateful for “After Depression” reviews

It’s been a couple weeks since I published my new book, “After Depression: What an experimental medical treatment taught me about mental illness and recovery,” on Amazon. The comments, text messages, and reviews left on the book page have been incredibly encouraging. Best of all have been those who have reached out to tell me that this book helped them in some way on their journey. If nothing else, it’s another shot across the bow of the unjust stigmatization of those who wrestle with mental intensities.

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Aging, Culture, Health

Heal Yourself, Change the World

I’ve learned a lot in my healing walk this past year and a half, but I realize also that–since writing up the depression device trial a year ago–I’ve shared very little of it. I’m comfortable being dogmatic about the planet and our place on it, apparently, but shy about posting about matters of the heart that are so critical to being good planetary tenants.

I write /against/ failed social, economic, and political forces picking apart our biosphere but rarely write /for/ basic inter- and intra-personal practices required for building and sustaining a healthy society supportive of the needs of all of earth’s families. It’s easier to decry a problem than craft a solution. But there’s another reason for my reticence. It’s rooted in my own history, my personal pain, and this resulting general distrust of people and resistance of intimacy. It’s not a unique story or experience.

But here’s where I step out and start to correct that pattern.

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Culture, Depression, News

‘Today Show’ Takes On sTMS

today showThis project was supposed to be done by now. Depression Time was intended to chronicle my final assault on my illness, either built up into book form or abandoned completely after a successful recovery. A last dance. A final goddamned go-round.

This was definitely not supposed to be just another mile marker on my (seemingly now interminable) journey into obsolescence. And yet here I am: still sick, still struggling to get good health care, and thrashing about desperately for a job and career, for this thing called “wellness.”

In fact, I’ve been so sucked into my admittedly marginalized social corner that I had forgotten all about the DT blog. Then Wordpress rang, alerting me to a surge in traffic on the site. Obviously some news outlet somewhere was writing about synchronized transcranial magnetic stimulation (sTMS), I thought, as the treatment I received in a double-blind clinical trial more than a year ago is known. Continue reading

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Culture, Depression

Because A Potential Future Employer Would Never Hold Outspokenness About Depression Or Anxiety Against A Job Candidate…

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Culture, Depression

Responding To Voices That Won’t Be Silenced

crying child

When I published my story about receiving magnetic therapy for my depression in the Austin Chronicle (and, in slightly modified form, in the Fort Worth Weekly), I held back. Mainly for the sake of keeping matters within those assigned 4,000 words.

Unnecessary paragraphs attempting to tell my story from the beginning were clipped before I filed the story. Intimate personal details weren’t germane to a story about an evolving new form of depression treatment. The treatment was the subject, not me.

Omitted was:

“My first panic attack struck when I was 15. It hit with the suddenness and weight of an ocean dropping on top of me. … I wandered the house until I found my mom at the back door. Grunts and gestures inspired her to place me on her lap like an infant and rock and sing.” Continue reading

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