Memories of a psychiatrist · Uncategorized

Don’t tell them I’m a shrink

Memory, 2009 The ground is covered with stones.  Our host is squatted, touching each stone passively then rearranging it according to color.  He's engaged mindfully.  It's an impressive coping skill.  Even a psychiatrist has to admit that. Nearby, a group of very hungry onlookers stand about trying to look relaxed and patient, trying not to… Continue reading Don’t tell them I’m a shrink

Growth · inspirational · Uncategorized

Successful people who failed the first (and fourth and seventh) time

Few are born with achievement awards hanging on their walls.  Success has to start from zero, a lonely but white-washed place where nothing's been achieved and nothing's been earned.  And most of us have to "trial-and-error" life to figure out where we are, never mind where we want to go.  Success doesn't come naturally. And… Continue reading Successful people who failed the first (and fourth and seventh) time

Coping skills & self-soothing · Grief · Mood and anxiety · Uncategorized

When emotions are too scary and thoughts too sharp

It's deeply personal. Maybe it's a recent diagnosis, something chronic and unescapable?  The doctors say you have a year or less, and that's that.  There's nothing else they can do.  It's a dead-end situation.  No amount of problem-solving will fix this one. Or perhaps you crashed your car and don't have the money to fix… Continue reading When emotions are too scary and thoughts too sharp

Medications · Mood and anxiety · Uncategorized

When depression meds don’t work: antidepressant amplifiers

Sometimes depression doesn't get better, not with a single antidepressant. With all the medications on the market and all the pressure not to prescribe, what should a psychiatrist do?  Add more medication, and the patient has side effects.  Withhold medications, and they suffer or worse.  People are complicated.  Medications are complicated.  But then there are… Continue reading When depression meds don’t work: antidepressant amplifiers

Addiction · addiction workbook

Seeking screen-writers: Good Guy vs Addiction

This post is about addiction.  And making movies.  The issue: sometimes problems get stuck inside us, so ingrained they seem to become part of who we are.  We are alcohol.  We are drugs.  We are addiction.  Okay, we're NOT addiction, but problems like substance abuse and gambling are so invasive we're not sure where they… Continue reading Seeking screen-writers: Good Guy vs Addiction

Addiction · addiction workbook · Uncategorized

No more addiction war stories

From the book-in-process, Recovery: Weird & Wacky Workbook. This revamped worksheet briefly examines addiction-related “war stories” — remembering the “good ol’ days,” fascination with using, and jokes about relapse -- and identifies why they could be a problem.   Worksheet 11: No more War Stories Answers: 1.c    Judy's stories are problematic in multiple ways.  They… Continue reading No more addiction war stories

Mood and anxiety · Uncategorized

Mood journal conquers depression

Depression. A miserable experience. When mild, it steals your dreams. When severe, it runs you over with stagnancy, painful thoughts, guilt, and shutdown. It's also not just a single emotion. Depression comes in dozens of flavors and intensities, if not hundreds, and can vary from day to day, if not throughout the day.  One minute… Continue reading Mood journal conquers depression

Addiction · handouts · Uncategorized

Worksheet: recovery and letting the past go

Recovery from addiction is challenging: you miss the past, parts of it at least, and the future can be downright scary.  This worksheet is a strange, colorful, and fancy 6-page tool-kit to help the reader maneuver through grief of letting the past go (mourning the loss of addiction) -- while working towards an exciting future.… Continue reading Worksheet: recovery and letting the past go