Author Archives: NightWriter

Prozac, Starbucks, and Me

Near me is a sheltered care residence for the mentally ill. They don’t need to be confined, but they need help. My wanderings often take me past this melancholy place.

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Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive Therapy – “ECT” for short, often called “shock therapy” – the stuff of horror movies. Some demented doctor has his helpless patient dragged off to be cruelly shocked. It sounds terrible. In the movies it’s seen as torture; in … Continue reading

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Yet Another Hospitalization

When I felt suicidal, I called for help. I came to the hospital and was admitted to the psych floor. Once again I was on a locked ward because of depression. After all these years, after all the therapy and … Continue reading

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I Am *Not* Mentally Ill

Whenever someone says that in a movie, you just know this is going to end badly. I’m not trying to claim that I don’t have mental illness. Unfortunately, I do. However, I am rephrasing it slightly to focus on the … Continue reading

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Dream Crushers

I recently discovered free software on my laptop that would allow me to create music, videos, and images. I was excitedly telling a friend about it, explaining how I could record from a keyboard, add instruments, compose melodies, etc. As … Continue reading

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Freud

When I began my therapeutic journey more than forty years ago, Freud was in vogue. My first therapy experience was psychoanalysis once a week, lying on an honest-to-God couch and free associating.

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Death March

I feel as though I’m on a death march – a long, grueling, weary march to an unknown destination, with no idea whether I can make it. In a death march, if you stop marching, you die. That’s what it … Continue reading

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I Am Mentally Ill

How’s that for a conversation stopper? The only way to top that is to announce that you have worms. People often get very nervous about mental illness. They think it means that a person is “crazy.”

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Elgin State Hospital

ISPI was a short-term facility. I hadn’t improved after four months, so I was sent to Elgin State Hospital. There was no limit here on how long you might be confined. Some patients had been here for decades.

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A Wounded Brain

Imagine that someone has received a blow to the head somehow – an accident at work, a fall at home, perhaps – somehow the person’s head was struck hard enough to injure the brain. Now consider what would happen if … Continue reading

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