Author Archives: nightwriter

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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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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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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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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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 zapped. In the movies it’s seen as torture; in my experience, it … Continue reading

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Futility

I am weary. I’ve been struggling with this for forty years. I gave it everything I had. I have nothing to show for my efforts.

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Saying Goodbye

I am able to afford therapy because I receive it at a teaching hospital. They offer reduced rates. The down side is that as the interns complete their course work and other requirements, they move on. That is what is … Continue reading

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The Lives They Left Behind

That is the title of a book about the inmates of a mental institution – who they were, what became of them, based on the institution’s records and the luggage the patients brought with them and never retrieved. There is … Continue reading

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Love

I have learned a great deal from my cats. Some of these lessons were about love. Growing up I lost the meaning of love. My parents’ love was conditional and harsh. They often prefaced severe punishments with the words, “We’re … Continue reading

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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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