My impaired judgement was obvious even in the early days of my illness. I exhibited so many of the symptoms associated with psychosis—a substantial drop in my grades, trouble concentrating, declining hygiene, a significant weight loss, oscillating from strong emotions to a feeling of emptiness to name a few.
Not hallucinations, but rather some of the smaller and fuzzier denizens native to Cambridge, Massachusetts. There is no metaphor more fitting for the person I was back then: twitchy, easily startled, a propensity to run scared from others. I had lost all the avenues I’d had to hide from depression and anxiety, and they closed in like a pair of gangsters in an alleyway.
I felt like a complete failure. I had always been able to handle everything without an issue. But at first, navigating depression was another story.
Taylor Grieger was diagnosed with complex PTSD several months after his release from the Navy with little-to-no guidance on how to cope with his condition.
One night, my mental state deteriorated to the point where I tried to end my life through a suicde attempt. It was impulsive and rash.
The Five Stages of Mourning is a perfect template for my own Five Stages of Depression: Anger, Anxiety/Exhaustion, Depression, Treatment, and Recovery.
When I exhibited symptoms of C-PTSD and OCD, I was afraid and lost. I survived multiple major depressive episodes, all of them including suicidality.
Whenever I’d gone through stages of major depression or anxiety as a young teenager, all I’d hear was that I was stupid, lazy, and unambitious. Imagine being judged by your symptoms and not by your illness.
A rising number of college students are seeking treatment at campus counseling centers for serious mental health challenges. Our video features the powerful listeners from Cogwell@Penn. Watch (and learn) how they skillfully role-play as active listeners when presented with a variety of stories from friends in need.
My psychiatrist became so annoyed with my theological nonsense that he abruptly stalked out of one session, exclaiming, “You just can’t talk to crazy people.” I sent him a note later, in which I informed him that I could talk to crazy people, so that was his problem, not mine.
Around age fifteen or sixteen, I began experimenting with drugs. I can tell you that this was, and always will be, the beginning of an ultimately fascinating journey that I call life with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.
I am determined to love and live intensely and fearlessly because, as Audre Lorde said, betraying myself into silence will not protect me.
When you think of married life, what comes to mind? Are you in complete bliss or just plain miserable? Maybe you’re floating somewhere in between.
I endured this routine for so long: try a new medication to alleviate my treatment resistant depression and either feel horrible or feel absolutely nothing.
I am trying hard to make good decisions. I see my psychiatrist regularly. I take my medication. I try to live a healthy lifestyle with schizoaffective disorder.
The passive suicidal thoughts are still there, but I have started to recognize that they are only powerful if I give them the power.
Sheri Heller’s new book, A Clinician’s Journey from Complex Trauma to Thriving, is a guide to healing with a keen awareness that no two paths are the same.
When I finally saw a psychiatrist, she was surprised that I was still alive, having been afflicted with depression for so long without medical treatment.
As I battle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, it has always been far easier for me to support others with mental health struggles than to admit my own.
With depression, I had suicidal thoughts. Not because I wanted to kill myself, but because the idea of being “done” felt like serenity.
These images of mental in pictures are not what the public wants people to show. They are reality. They are dirty, messy, uninhibited, and true.
Persistent depressive disorder (formerly known as dysthymic disorder or dysthymia) is just what it sounds like: depression that persists.
A complex PTSD diagnosis became inspiration for a fashion designer’s runway line. In Glenn Holsten’s short film, Lilah James shares recovery and creativity.
Social anxiety still exists online. You’re still putting yourself out there and you feel vulnerable opening up, not knowing what response you’ll get.
This installment of our mental health resources column highlights Instagram mental health from authors who have appeared on OC87 Recovery Diaries.
In my research, I found several articles about Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures. Doctors do not use the term pseudo-seizures anymore because it falsifies them and invalidates them. Pseudo is a prefix meaning “false” or “fake,” and the seizures I was having, while not epileptic, were anything but fake.
I feel like I need complicated charts, graphs, and spreadsheets to adequately explain how big of a failure I am as a brand new stay-at-home dad.
“I can’t explain where I’ve been, and though everyone wants to understand, it doesn’t mean they comprehend. They can’t grasp where I am.” – Kathryn Rose Wood
Experiencing childhood trauma, I knew that something was wrong or different about me, but for a long time I dismissed that notion.
This month’s installment of our mental health resources column is centered on anxiety Facebook pages, including a few pages with one to two million followers.
I went from unhappy to miserable to struggling to overwhelmed to depressed and suicidal. First I was diagnosed with post-natal depression, followed by treatment-resistant clinical depression. Then came the biggest clanger of all, diagnosis number three: borderline personality disorder.
My father’s compassion when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder was unreal and unexpected. Importantly, he was engaged in his own efforts to better understand what life is like for a son with bipolar disorder by seeking out support groups.
It took months of internal debate before I worked up the courage and the desire to at least give the depression and bipolar support groups a shot.
A few months ago, I saw a photo on Facebook of a cemetery in Marlboro, New Jersey. The cemetery was on the grounds where the Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital once stood, and was the place where people who were once residents of the hospital were laid to rest.
Groggy. Always groggy. Part bored, part feeling down. Seems I always have habits I either need to break or start—when I can get around to it. Maybe tomorrow, after my 8:30am nap.
This installment of our mental health resources column focuses on depression Twitter accounts including DBSA, Sad Girls Club, Heads Up Guys, Natasha Tracy, and Depression Notes.
Before I had a name for my mental illness — bipolar disorder and ptsd — this is what it felt like: playing diagnosis dress-up, trying on labels, seeing how they fit, and feeling lost — like there was nothing left in my closet to wear.
Ellen Forney has written a second graphic novel, Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from my Bipolar Life, which leads the reader through her healing process.
In Suicide: The Ripple Effect, Kevin Hines recounts the tale of his suicide attempt when he was nineteen years old, and then embarks on a journey to offer hope to others who may be struggling, and to hear stories from mental health advocates like him.
They say when you experience a traumatic experience as a child, you block out the details. My memory jumps.
I failed the postpartum screening given, as protocol, by the hospital, and yet they sent me home.
I crossed seamlessly from ambivalence and malaise into an area I’d never been before: actively planning suicide.
I’m not an expert on mental health, addiction, or suicide. I’m a survivor.
These five OCD Instagram accounts show different perspectives on what it’s like to live with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
I don’t know when it started. It was not as though I suddenly woke up with a raging heartbeat and butterflies in my stomach, wishing I could run away from myself. It came in tiny bits of worry.
Yes, I have been diagnosed with depression, OCD and borderline personality disorder. Yet, I am still a good person.
Trapped between fear and anxiety, I would drink and use drugs to cover up my feelings. After years of living this way with several bad trips, blackouts and hospitalizations, I went into treatment.
Schizoaffective bipolar type is a disease characterized by mood swings and depression, in addition to psychosis, delusions, and paranoia.
This post highlights bipolar disorder on Facebook. Check out these accounts, give @oc87rd a follow on Facebook, and be sure to explore the related links in this post.
This video features Officer Ron Griffith, formerly of the NYPD. After 9/11, Ron’s personality shifted. He became a controlling, angry person. He says he wasn’t aware of this change until his family left him, and all he was left with cumulative PTSD.
Mental health silent retreats have been an important tool in my recovery. They have allowed me to forgive, heal, and gain clarity.
I started writing songs about my feelings and sharing them with audiences throughout the country as a touring musician, under the name The Homeless Gospel Choir.
Therapists have told me that I use these repetitive behaviors as way to avoid facing my fears.
Podcast interview with PsychCentral.com podcast host, Gabe Howard, who suffers from bipolar disorder, but is in recovery.
A memory, a word, a smell, an instance can take one back to the exact moment the trauma first spoke to them.
If you’re living with bipolar disorder, or you have a friend or family member who has this diagnosis, then these bipolar disorder videos on YouTube will be great mental health resources. At OC87 Recovery Diaries, we seek to #buststigma around mental illness by...
Joe has wrestled with alcoholism and the stresses of life as a police officer, a sometimes combustible combination.
I have bipolar disorder and I’ve written a book about my experience living with bipolar disorder and depression.
A podcast interview with psychologist Maury Joseph, PsyD. Maury is different from most psychologists in that he “gets out of the way of his patients.”
Gabe lives with bipolar disorder and Kendall lives with Gabe, who lives with bipolar disorder so, in a way; Kendall does most definitely “live” with bipolar disorder.
“I wrote the song “Becoming” about giving my mental health adequate attention and care, even while in a relationship.” — Emily Yacina
Rudy Caseres is a mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety.
As bad as my depression has been – and I’ve experienced more than 40 years of it – I have somehow, luckily, always found the magic of laughter within reach.
In this short film, Rob Davis shares his journey as a police officer who lives with trauma and PTSD.
Depression tricks you into thinking that you are completely alone when, in fact, you are the opposite. No one is truly alone.
We’re always looking for mental health empowerment in unsuspecting places, and today we’re featuring feeds focused around the diagnosis of anxiety on Instagram.
Mx. Libby Parker, MSS, LSW is an outpatient therapist and manager of Einstein Health Network’s PRIDE Program, which coordinates and supports various services designed to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ+ identified patients.
All my life, the media had taught me that, in order to suffer from mental illness, you had to endure some kind of a severe trauma. That was incorrect.
The memoir “Gorilla and the Bird” discusses how bipolar disorder affects work, family, and relationships. Podcast interview with Zack and his mom, Cindy.
When it comes to mental health, how we can become our own best friend in 2018? Here’s what we came up with. Happy New Year to you, friend.
In this installment of our Mental Health Resources column, we’re covering the best of anxiety Twitter accounts. As always, OC87 Recovery Diaries is committed to our shared cause to #buststigma around mental health issues.
Host of The Mental Illness Happy Hour, Paul Gilmartin has come a long way since doing stand-up comedy and hosting the TV show, Dinner and a Movie.
“I was hoping that Herbie The Love Bug would bring us some joy.” — Gabriel Nathan, Editor in Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries
As I lie in bed, my thoughts spiral saying, “You’re a horrible mother. You’re a horrible writer. You’re a horrible person.”
How were individuals with mental illness treated in 19th century psychiatric hospitals? What was society’s attitude towards these people?
A journey from dark days of mental health institutionalization and repeated electroconvulsive therapy treatments, to a successful advocacy career.
On losing my mind with bipolar disorder, the bottom line is this: I need to take my medication, no matter how much faith I possess.
Depression Facebook pages that share genuinely different content while still all speaking to what it can be like to live with depression.
Tammy is one of about 60 people who sell One Step Away, Philadelphia’s first newspaper produced by those without homes for those with homes.
“What could go wrong for someone who has panic attacks in large crowds at an event regularly attended by 20,000 people?” — Sheila Hageman
Episode 14 – “The Hunting Ground”: Recovering from Sexual Assault – an Interview with Documentary Film Subject, Kamilah Willingham
Interview with Kamilah Willingham, a subject of the documentary film, “The Hunting Ground.”
Depression tricks you into thinking that you are completely alone when, in fact, you are the opposite. No one is truly alone.
The doctors recommended that I receive an Honorable Discharge from the Army with a 100% Disability Rating: not what I had planned for my life.
Winden Rowe’s approach to sustained recovery for clients centers around the biological, psychological, and social implications of traumatic stress.
Dr. Kristin Neff is a pioneer in the study and practice of self-compassion. What is self-compassion? Listen in to this podcast episode to find out.
Managing bipolar disorder behavior involves more than medications. Changes in mood are affected by factors in our environment.
A therapist writes with humor and passion about her struggles with panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, and an eating disorder.
As we seek to #buststigma around mental illness, this installment of our mental health resources column highlights OCD videos on YouTube that we love.
Adesola Ogunleye, a Nigerian American immigrant who lives with depression and anxiety, is interviewed on this episode of OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio.
This was not exactly the learning I wanted when I went to graduate school, but the lifelong journey of becoming a therapist, is the therapy I have needed.
Despite getting progressively better at social interaction, dating with schizophrenia is just too much and, every time I try, I crash and burn.
“When you make a choice to put yourself out there, you’re empowering yourself — and you’re empowering others.” – Gabriel Nathan
Still, I resisted. For several years, I didn’t want to accept that the push and pull of depression was a permanent part of me.
The media is so quick to pick up the mental illness scapegoat because it knows that people need to blame the tragedy on something.
There is only one thing that gets me through the bipolar cycles and that is time. It is a cliché but, during my cycles, the only way is through.
Today we’re showcasing bipolar disorder Instagram accounts that enrich the way we understand what it’s like to live with this diagnosis.
Dr. Robert Naseef can’t alter the fact that he has a son on the spectrum, but he has evolved in the ways in which he copes with his son’s disability.
Reed would love to see a dramatic feature that explores a wide range of experiences of characters who live with autism – not just supporting characters.
After traveling with depression, I know that I am a powerful being who overcame the dragon blowing fire into my brain. I fought, and I won.
I keep publishing because people say my writing about mental health has shed light onto something they have had a lot of trouble understanding.
I focus my work on helping folks navigate sex and depression on their own and with their partners so that everyone feels supported and safe.
On this episode of OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio, we talk about parenting, therapy, and self-care from the perspective of a psychiatrist’s daughter.
Dr. Erin K. Stair’s new book, Manic Kingdom, is a “harrowing, breathless, and beautiful journey” that will leave you spellbound.
I am plagued with obsessions and addictions. On default I use mental compulsions (avoidance, reassurance seeking, mental rituals, etc.) to seek relief.
Therapy can change lives, though there are bumps and valleys in the therapeutic process. I’ve found it makes for a happier state of being in the long run.
This disassociated state, where you plan your death as though you were planning Tuesday night’s dinner, is one of the many shades of depression.
A round-up focusing on schizophrenia Twitter accounts that serve our community through education, empowerment, and meaningful engagement.
I should probably explain a few things. I’m not crazy. I suffer from major depression, as well as generalized anxiety disorder. I’m basically a shut-in.
Laura Farrell reviews Seth Gillihan’s book, Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks, an interactive guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Bengali Mental Health – Fahmina Ahmed says she’s experiencing many more highs and lows in her bipolar disorder because of the volatile political climate.
Stepping away reminds you that you are human; another hard lesson. It took me years to realize that I am a valid human being despite my illness.
how an everyday encounter with a stranger on the street can morph into a paralyzing prison-like mental trap of repetitive, obsessive thoughts.
A guidance counselor and student share their views on the issue of bullying, mental health in high school, and way to deal with the whole problem.
After being diagnosed with a serious, chronic illness like schizophrenia, it’s hard to find any purpose in life, including finding work with mental illness.
People are now openly talking about having depression or anxiety — BUT NOT BIPOLAR: I believe that the word bipolar in Australia is still scary.
These five depression TED Talks share our agenda to inspire, build bridges, and bring light to the shadow that enshrouds mental health challenges.
Comedians Robert Ecks and Jacquie Baker discuss the complicated ways in which mental health is impacted by comedy, and how the two can go hand in hand.
Disclosing your mental illness has costs and benefits, but the thing to remember is that, while it’s a tricky choice, it is most definitely a choice.
This short video explores the richness of our website and the many ways we share mental health stories of hope and recovery.
Laura and Bud interview clinical social worker, Nancy Willis, about the tragic loss of her son Alex at the age of nineteen in a car accident.
Say the words “psychiatric hospital” to the average person and the hair on the back of their neck might stand straight up.
I put a lot of thought into how to make the web-series Katie and Shaun responsibly. The portrayal of anxiety and depression is true to my experience.
My eating disorder lied, denying any inquiry that there was something wrong. After residential treatment I did outpatient with a dance movement therapist.
These PTSD Facebook pages speak to the specific challenges and lived experiences of this diagnosis to #buststigma, foster community, and create change.
I start to feel a bit of ennui, a French word meaning, “general malaise.” This can go on for a while until the ennui surrounds me and depression sets in.
Podcast interview with mental health advocate, certified peer specialist, and author, Michael Solomon who lives with bipolar disorder.
In 2006 I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder with panic attacks and depersonalization. At the time, I was actively pursuing a career in music.
Maintaining mental health stability is a delicate dance that, at times, can be very unstable and can cause some serious trouble if you fall.
Four one-minute videos about mental health turning points, those moments when life shifted towards a healthy future living with a mental illness.
Glenn Holsten discusses the making of his mental health documentary film, Hollywood Beauty Salon.
I will always struggle with depression, but finally I feel I am done clearing the land and am ready to plant the seeds that will become new growth.
“OC87” is a term coined by one of my therapists. It refers to the year 1987: the year I wanted to control everyone and everything.
In celebration of our new podcast, we’ve rounded up 22 mental health podcasts that are doing their part to #buststigma around mental illness.
I wrote a song called “Everything Will Kill You” inspired by all the times that I’ve fearfully prepared myself for tragedies that have never actually happened.
Bud and Laura interview Philadelphia artists Abby Squire and Rosie Carlson about how art and mental health affect one another.
A collection of beautifully told short stories that inspire, empower, and generate discussion and awareness in an effort to #buststigma.
Finding stability with a mental illness, like anything else worthwhile, takes time, effort, and openness to learning, and failing.
Perhaps it is important to talk about how I ended up in a psych ward and how I ended up having an earache. I can explain pieces of the first thing.
In the first episode of OC87 Recovery Diaries on the Radio, join Laura Farrell and Bud Clayman as they interview each other about their own mental health journeys.
Living with schizophrenia, I’ve been through the full gamut of side-effects. New side-effects pop up to say “hello” with each medication I’m prescribed.
After my bipolar diagnosis I got married, got divorced, lost my job due to the stigma of mental illness, and attend two assisted outpatient hospital programs.
“Honey, I will be checking on you every fifteen minutes.” I stared at her, puzzled, until she leveled me with a four-word gut punch: “You’re on suicide watch.”
A round-up of smart, empowering, and engaging OCD Twitter accounts who share our mission to #buststigma around mental illness.
When I was deep in the midst of a psychotic break, I was convinced that I was a prophet sent from God to save society from its ills.
Now, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, the cycle is broken.
I’m talking about my depression, not in vague terms any longer. It is a problem. It has a name. My boys know that name and I hope they’ll be stronger for it.
Living with schizophrenia, I’ve experienced all manner of delusions about the way I think the way things are, and the way they actually are.
It all hearkens back to storytelling, to this desire we have to relate something. To let people know who we are, or were, or wish we were, or fear we are.
This post is a round up of depression videos that have us feeling educated, moved, and empowered to continue sharing mental health recovery stories.
Love can be the gasoline on schizophrenia’s fire, playing tricks on your mind and it can lead you to places from which you may not be able to return.
The severity of my depression in the wake of losing my job solidified the notion that, for people with mental illness, having a job can make all the difference.
This is the third in a series of videos of men who have participated in the Philadelphia’s Engaging Males of Color BEyond Expectations storytelling project.
The effect of stress is serious to your mental health. It’s easy to fall into delusional holes if your stress level gets to a point that isn’t manageable.
People say the first step in therapy is acceptance. I can’t speak for others, but I’ve started taking my steps. It’s okay if you want to take yours.
Be sure to follow us @OC87rd on Instagram and check out these other accounts who inspire us daily in the mental health Instagram community.
Taking care of yourself with mental illness requires some fortitude, especially in the face of a mountain of paranoia, delusions and hallucinations.
Disclosure is about feeling safe enough to find a kinder voice for ourselves. Every time I share my experiences in safe spaces I feel truer to myself.
A veteran of the United States Army, Russell lives with PTSD, something that affects his daily life. Watch these videos about veteran’s mental health.
Pulling back and regaining stability is complicated but it will help exponentially help in the long journey of living with mental illness.
In my eating disorder, I loved to push myself, to bring my body to the edge and watch which way it fell. More liquor, more dancing, more starving.
Christa Godillot is a Registered Nurse at a private, non-profit crisis psychiatric hospital. In this interview she talks about her career and life.
Family is the most important thing for a person with mental illness. We need support and validation that we are not alone in the world
We shine the spotlight on the individuals who help folks along on that road of recovery including mental health professionals, like Christa Godillot, RN.
Sitawa Wafula is a Kenyan mental health blogger and advocate for people living with mental health conditions and their families.
Schizophrenia is an insidious disease. Schizophrenic delusions are persistent, which is one of the major reasons recovery can take such a long time.
It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Gabriel Nathan as editor in chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries.
This video post features the stories of Christian A’Xavier Lovehall, a transgender man who talks about his mental health journey.
What is your mental health “wish list” for yourself in 2017? How would you like to grow personally? Where will you look for inspiration and strength?
One of the things people with schizophrenia do that isn’t that widely understood is the tendency to make connections out of seemingly random things.
Jeff Shannon is veteran police officer and a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist. He specializes in mental health-related calls within the police department.
The only advice I give is to be there and, above all else, give it time. Time is truly the only thing that can heal in situations like these.
Jeff Shannon talks about mental health for police officers as well as the extra training required for responding to mental health related calls.
Sheri Heller is a powerful survivor who now helps others who have experienced trauma. This short film shares her journey with a mom who had schizophrenia.
I don’t know if my depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder will ever go away.
Dr. Otto Wahl has some intriguing thoughts about a new direction for study to tackle stigma within the mental health field itself.
Delusions of grandeur are part of the experience of psychosis. It’s ok if you’re a little crazy. You’re certainly not alone.
In the US we can talk about cancer, asthma, heart disease without worry of recrimination. Can the same be said for talking about a mental illness diagnosis?
Active Minds was founded by Alison Malmon when she was a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, following the suicide of her older brother, Brian.
There are nights where I lie in bed, staring up at the ceiling and I ask for help. Sometimes the voice comes; sometimes it doesn’t. By now, I’m used to it.
It’s hard to know how a play can change your life, but, just two years later, I found out.
If you’re having trouble with schizophrenia and voices, first, try to recognize the reality, that the voices are just a chemical imbalance.
Narcissism begets hyper-empathy: narcissistic parents produce children who become attuned to the emotional states of their caretakers in order to survive.
Yes, I have schizophrenia. But I don’t want to sit around feeling sorry for myself because I have schizophrenia, and life can be difficult sometimes.
“I’d really love to interview my depression,” Mike said. And we were off. Watch Mike Veny do the (near) impossible: interview his depression.
Psychosis is defined as a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.
Mike Veny is an advocate who speaks boldly about his journey with mental health. Mike Veny is also a lifesaver. The first life he saved was his own.
The pain of being labeled crazy doesn’t present itself as one big sweeping hurt, more like a series of small little jabs as you go through your days.
“Here’s my first and most important piece of advice: YOU NEED TO ACCEPT THAT YOU HAVE A MENTAL CONDITION.” – Claire Eastham on anxiety disorder recovery
“My medicine is my music. When it gets too bad, I’ve got to sit down and do my music.” – Deidre Young a.k.a. H-Town Butta, creator of the song “Bipolar-ish.”
Danielle Hark created Broken Light Collective, a website for photographers from all over the world who are living with or who are affected by mental illness.
Schizophrenia Symptoms in Relationships – I’ve struggled with so many different complications, nuances, symptoms, side-effects and annoyances.
It’s been exactly ten years since my bipolar disorder breakdown. These years have been hard work but they have brought tremendous joy and peace
My name is Meg Hutchinson. I’m 38 years old. I’m a singer-songwriter and poet. I’ve been living with bipolar disorder since I was 19 years old.
Shireda was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That solved some of the confusion. Support at The Attic, an LGBTQ youth center, and Horizon House helped next.
It took a year for me to find the courage to google “bipolar disorder.” On some level I knew I needed professional help, but there were a lot of risks.
I’m at peace with the fact that I unlocked my secrets about living with bipolar disorder. I’m not the first one to be bipolar, and won’t be the last.
I have learned the tools and techniques with which to deal with the many facets of my OCD, including being able to laugh at it once in a while.
Voices of young black men are often misunderstood. This video with 15-year-old Jaywan explores forgiveness and mental health recovery with mentor Levi Lee.
“Real depression isn’t being sad when something in your life goes wrong. Real depression is being sad when everything in your life is going right.” – Kevin Breel
Founder of Buddy Project, teenager Gabby Frost, wanted to connect people who might need a friend because, “no one deserves to feel alone.”
Being hospitalized for a “break from reality” is a part of my history, and it does not define me. I can understand this with distance from the experience.
Darryl Armour was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at an early age. His story includes residential treatment programs, incarceration, and recovery at COMHAR.
The hardest part of life with depression and the recovery journey is realizing that maybe you’ll never reach the end. Maybe the journey is the destination.
I’ve been hospitalized for depression so thick and so bad, my doctors didn’t think it was safe for me to go anywhere else.
I hope, in reading my story about coping with depression, you will be strengthened in your own journey and feel comforted that you are not alone.
It felt like I got hit by a truck. Immobilized. Debilitated. That basically sums up my experience battling depression. It has been a long struggle.
Brenda Lewis is now a Certified Peer Specialist who helps other people find resources along this journey so they won’t have such a difficult time.
An interview with Witold Walczak, the legal director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania about mental health and prison reform.
Living with schizophrenia has made me aware of this fact: I have a mental illness that causes me to question the reality of things.
I am still in the process of healing from PTSD, anxiety, and major depression with the help of a psychiatrist, a therapist, and the love of my life.
Recently, I underwent a slight psychological break. Determined to claw my way out of the darkness, I began to write about my journey and experiences.
I have a wonderful life. But I would be lying if I didn’t say it has been a hard fought one. I suffer from bipolar 1 disorder. Here is my story.
For years I didn’t question hearing voices. I felt powerless. I was just at their mercy. I think recovery is about reconnecting with who we are.
Berta Britz shares her perspectives on mental health, hearing voices, relationships, recovery, and friendship in this two-part interview.
Bipolar disorder and alcoholism left me exhausted and defeated. Hope came in the form of a co-occurring illnesses rehab facility.
What would you say when someone asks “Who are you?” The first word that comes to mind when I think about this question is Student. I’m a student, an academic, a professional learner for life.
Postnatal Depression affects 1 in 10 women, yet many people still ignore or hide their symptoms. I did this, and it turned out to be a terrible idea.
“Young, Black and Bipolar” helps people navigate through the craziness of accomplishing a normal life after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
I once heard anxiety compared to a superpower. Once I stopped being so ashamed of it, I saw that anxiety was my superpower too.
There are people who will help you. There are paths to get to those goals that might have seemed unattainable for the last while.
I first met Dr. Larry Real in 1992, when I was mentally sick and in a lot of emotional trouble. I had already begun to show symptoms of bipolar disorder.
I have bipolar disorder. Today, it is a big chunk of who I am, but thanks to these three bipolar coping skills, I know it is not the only chunk.
I joke about men’s mental health because, sometimes, I don’t know what else to do. Of course, the stigma against men’s mental health is not funny.
Another year has come to an end. I have to say that this is one of the quickest years I’ve experienced in my lifetime. Many people I’ve spoken with have felt the same way. I’m not sure why people are experiencing this phenomenon but so be it. One thing is for certain:...
The trauma that has affected me the most happened when I was nineteen years old. After that experience, EMDR therapy taught me to trust myself and my body.
I talk with my kids about my mental illness often. They know Mommy has bipolar disorder. I teach my children that it’s okay to talk about mental illness.
“Crazy Cozmo” is a Marine Corps. veteran who lives with PTSD and bipolar disorder. He also wrestles with the abuse he experienced as a child.
I finally I agreed to ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). I was both intrigued and terrified. After my ECT treatments I started to feel like a human again.
Radical acceptance helps me with PTSD and bipolar disorder with borderline traits. Radical acceptance dictates that change is just another part of life.
I look “normal” though I’m a mom with PTSD and bipolar disorder with borderline traits. This is part 1 of 3 of my recovery story from an abusive childhood.
Confronted with debilitating depression, anxiety, and a life filled with chaos, I was led to a spiritual solution to manage my mental health meltdown.
Over the 15+ years we’ve know each other, friendship and recovery have been intertwined. Being a person, being a friend, is constant work.
Hyacinth wrestled with the toxic combination of schizophrenia, drug abuse, and homelessness. 18 years ago she discovered Project HOME, changing her life.
Race gender and mental health were discussed intersectionally at the 2015 Gender Spectrum conference, featuring the original video A Journey Within.
I have learned what works for me in helping diminish the severity of my symptoms. Getting help with medication and therapy has been part of my treatment.
Lauren Dicair recounts her experience dealing with depression and anxiety in college after growing up in the suburbs with parents who were junkies.
We were a white, middle-class, Jewish family. Born into addiction with junkie parents, I came out of the womb and began having withdrawal seizures.
I live with Asperger’s Syndrome. Recently, I had the privilege to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a play about that same subject.
Rachel has been on her own since high school. She has fought to overcome depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
I hurt so much. I didn’t understand how to take care of my body. I didn’t know that I was sick with Bipolar II and a major anxiety disorder.
To cope with depression, Grace Kim set out to do something scary every day, and the Best Day Project was born, giving Grace a new perspective on life.
Eric’s story begins with sadness and isolation. Today, Eric has uncovered a strong sense of self, created supportive relationships, and learned coping skills.
Ron Thompson is a fascinating guy — an artist with a pen, a poet with words. His video, Drawn to Forgiveness, incorporates both of these strengths.
Healing Hurt People works with young people in Philadelphia who are seen in the emergency room for violent injuries (gunshot, stab, or assault wounds).
Tyler and Brooke are active in YPR, an advocacy organization that aims to make it easier for youth to find and maintain their recovery from addiction.
“Things Blur” is a story about a break from reality. Due to PTSD (among other things), I had what was later described to me as a manic episode.
The staff at Montgomery County Emergency Service (MCES), a private, not-for-profit, psychiatric hospital put on a production of the play Our Town.
I used to be like you. Why should I air my dirty laundry? What if my friends all think I’m weird if they know my brain is broken? This is my brave.
A recap of the 5 most popular posts on OC87 Recovery Diaries from 2014 plus the OC87 Recovery Diaries team shares what helped us along throughout the year.
I was 14 and my mother, in the depths of depression, sat in our living room crying. This experience began a director’s journey into documentary film.
OC87 Recovery Diaries & public television station WHYY have teamed up with first-time filmmakers to create videos that tell inspiring first person recovery journeys.
As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, it’s very difficult for me to take the perspective of other people. Recently, I made a breakthrough in this area.
Lost to paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Ed was in limbo for 30 years before finding the right medication and community to heal and play music.
It’s okay to not always know how to navigate complex memories, emotions and traumas. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a gift in teaching me these things.
Interview with Clyde Petersen about Torrey Pines, a stop-motion animated adventure film about coming of age with an undiagnosed schizophrenic single mother.
A short video with a simple question: What is your message to the world? It’s a big question, but very few people appeared at a loss for words.
Evan Kaplan of Child and Family Connections talks about new services for parents with mental illness and other mental health challenges and their children.
OC87 co-directors Bud Clayman and Glenn Holsten review the Happy documentary by Roko Belic from mental health and filmmaker perspectives.
Is art more important than mental health? Laura Farrell shares her own mental health art and says that mental wellness is more important than creating art.
Video from the Hollywood Beauty Salon documentary: Remembering neglect in foster care, alcoholism, and mental illness, Darlene talks to her inner child.
Bud Clayman, from the documentary OC87, talks about his experience with Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy while at the International OCD Conference
Monica, a young transwoman, talks about her experience with mental health challenges, homelessness, and finding her chosen family at The Attic Youth Center.
Leah Alexandra Goldstein writes and draws about her healing experience with Reiki in the face of cancer and mental health challenges.
“I would not want to change my life, even all the negative and bad stuff, because it actually made me who I am.” —Rachel “Hollywood” Carr
I don’t really want to share any of this. My mind is like a pendulum swinging from, “I don’t have any mental health problems and it’s a sham to pretend. . .
Interview with Delaney Ruston about her documentary Hidden Pictures, where she visits India, China, South Africa, France & the USA looking at mental health.
Marbles is a hilarious moving graphic memoir about artist Ellen Forney’s diagnosis & recovery journey with bipolar disorder, a search for clarity & wellness.
“The Reel Mind films have a message of hope and recovery. People come in feeling alone and isolated and leave feeling very differently” –Dr Larry Guttmacher
Interview with Rachel Kunstadt about Sing Away The Stigma, a musical theater event that uses real people’s journeys with mental health as inspiration.
Anthony Di Salvo talks about Sprout Film Festival, vacations for people with developmental disabilities, and Sproutflix, a new movies on demand platform.
My journey with OCD has been a struggle. Music makes me feel better. I write about what I know. Listen to Chelsea’s OCD song, “OCDani.”
A roadmap of festivals for filmmakers and film lovers alike that encourage film submissions surrounding ideas of mental health and recovery,
“If there’s anybody having a mental challenge, I hope they’d be brave enough to speak out. They are not the only one going through that.” – Arah Cooper
“I’m recovering from addiction, major depression, ADHD, and HIV. If I can come out of 28 years of addiction and prison, you can do it too.” – John Rocco
“I have this overwhelming need to help people understand where mental illness is coming from in a way that a lot of people aren’t able to do.” – Evan Kaplan
Tim Connors shares his recovery with hearing voices. Through the support of family and groups, Tim leads a happier and healthier life.
In OF TWO MINDS, Liz recounts her lost years of extreme mania and depressions as well as the effects of electroshock treatments.
OC87 Recovery Diaries and WHYY teamed up with mental health providers to create original short films that detail journeys of recovery and transformation.
OCD – People hear the word disorder and they think weird, sick, handicapped, and depraved. Completely unnecessary and irrelevant stigma.
I had a rough go of it with the OCD when I was a teenager. There wasn’t a heavy focus on mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy the way there is now.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is divided into the ‘C’ and the ‘B’ of CBT. The C is for cognitive, which refers to thought and the ‘B’ is behavioral therapy.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is one of the disorders that’s easily defined by its own name. So you have obsessions which are unwanted, intrusive thoughts
In this excerpt from the documentary Hollywood Beauty Salon, Sanetta “Butterfly” Watkins shares her metamorphosis recovery journey with schizophrenia.
While I haven’t been diagnosed with Haphephobia (a fear of having your personal space violated), I do have a tough time being hugged.
“If someone ever asks me, I will be the first one to tell them that I have a mental illness and that I am in recovery from it.” —Jennifer Agnew
At the time I saw Ordinary People, I was in the midst of major depression and going through a lot of turmoil in my life. I was only nineteen years old.
Michael Solomon is married, assumes responsibilities, and helps others in their own recovery journeys. He has a lot of empathy for people, too.
I went into the film Silver Linings Playbook somewhat skeptical. I also went into the film with my own life experience with Bipolar Disorder.
Stephanie has amazingly coped with her disorder through her love of equine therapy for mental health. Her trust in horses has allowed her to trust people.
Performing under the name Geppetta, Adelaide Windsome describes her recovery with depression as a verb rather than a noun.
Behind the scenes of Bud Clayman’s documentary OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie.
Between the ages of 20 – 27, I was psychiatrically hospitalized on seven occasions. My recovery story started when someone held hope for me when I had none.
It wasn’t until I graduated from college that the compulsive behaviors of my OCD emerged. I often had obsessively sad and sometimes violent thoughts.