Depression, Mental Illness

Rewire Me: ‘After Depression’ Broadens Mental Health Conversation

There are many books about mood disorders, but few so brave or descriptive as Greg Harman’s. His book is called After Depression: What an experimental medical treatment taught me about mental illness and recovery, and explores Harman’s involvement in a clinical trial studying a magnet-based medical device. A first person account, Harman’s book walks us through the experience of depression and ensuing experimental treatment by thoroughly describing the symptoms, suffering, and hope of relief.

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Read Full Review at ‘Rewire Me.’

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Depression, News

The Egg & I: My Austin Chronicle Feature Story

egg & i

I’m on my back in a dimly lit room on the seventh floor of a Dallas research hospital. A device roughly two feet tall resembling an oversized egg is wheeled up behind me, its single blue clawlike appendage nestled possessively over the top of my head. “How’s that?” the doctor asks.

A thumb drive containing my information is inserted, and a man’s tinny voice buzzes from within the plastic shell announcing that a session is available. “Lie still with your eyes closed. Treatment begins in five, four, three, two, one. Treatment begins now.”

Rattalattarattalattasqueeeeak! Rattalattarattalattasqueeeeak!Rattalattarattalattasqueeeeak!

Welcome to the future of psychiatric care: low lights, an old massage table, and three spinning magnets. Continue reading

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Culture, Depression

Make The Investment: Treat Our ‘Half-Trillion-Dollar Depression’

new york times illo

Though, I didn’t do myself any favors taking the paratrooper approach to my mental illness, I saved my old company major bank by taking the big leap and quitting.

I’d been debating it for over a year, yet nearly everyone in my life insisted I needed to create another path first. Unfortunately, I’m geographically bound and the journalism skill set, for those unwilling to go the public-relations route, is limiting.

Ultimately, however, my dissatisfaction so compounded my illness I simply could not go on. Things broke down — and in a fantastic way. Rather than trying to work the system any longer in my deteriorating condition, I dropped out. Leaping was my last hope. Continue reading

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Depression

Stigma Letters: Mental Health and the Permanent Record

mail

Greg,

I read your column “Come stand with me.” It really hit home for me. I was diagnosed with depression in 1998 and have definitely been on a roller coaster ride since then. I am a nurse employed at a large hospital.

In an attempt to end my life earlier this year, I overdosed on pain medication I had from a surgery last year (never used any of it). I went to the ER the next day — I needed help! I called my manager to tell him I would not be coming to work the following day. He asked why and unfortunately, I was honest.

He promptly reported me to the Board of Nursing despite the fact that I didn’t do anything illegal and never put a patient in harm’s way (as a friend has said, “apparently nurses can’t have the same illnesses as the rest of the human race”).

I am still suffering because of his unnecessary report. I have hired a lawyer, was forced out of my job and into another one that I despise, and would walk out the door if I knew I could get another job easily (but the Board of Nursing report will remain on my record forever).

They have treated me like a criminal, and this is the HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY — people who should know and understand. Continue reading

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