Entries - OC87 Recovery Diaries

We publish a new mental health recovery story each week.

Get an email with the link on Thursdays:

Losing Her Saved Me: How I Healed From Trauma

Losing Her Saved Me: How I Healed From Trauma

This mental health recovery story focuses on Amanda’s journey with OCD, Anorexia, Complex PTSD, trauma and grooming. Amanda had to cut off her mother in order to heal. Read to learn more about how Amanda learned to ask for help and recover from trauma.

We’ll Leave The Gaslight on For You

We’ll Leave The Gaslight on For You

This mental health recovery story focuses on Lindsey’s journey through abuse and childhood trauma, gaslighting, and hospitalizations, where Lindsey learned to trust her intuition and find practices around caring for herself. Read more in this mental health essay!

Lies Mania has Told Me

Lies Mania has Told Me

Bipolar mania told Erika Nichols-Frazer that sex was love, that Stephen Colbert and John Oliver would want to interview her, and that gibberish was genius; these are the lies mania told her.

The Gentler Lessons of a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

The Gentler Lessons of a Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

Shortly after her first hospitalization and diagnosis of bipolar, Jocelyn fell into a deep depression. While in the hospital, Jocelyn was guided by the beauty of an orchid, sitting on her window sill. Jocelyn found ways to find beauty day to day to help cope with depression and diagnosis, along with therapy and medication. Read more about her story!

ECT and Me

ECT and Me

Evelyn Sachs won’t stand for electroconvulsive therapy being just another cheap “Cuckoo’s Nest” reference; it has helped with her bipolar depression.

How Do You Change the Negative Self-Talk Conversation?

How Do You Change the Negative Self-Talk Conversation?

Author and advocate Beck Medina works daily to improve her mental health by cultivating self-compassion. Her essay is a mature take on what it means to be young and plugged-in in 2019 and the cost to your self-image, and how to maintain stability while living with panic attacks and anxiety.

Eight Miles Of Agony: Anxiety and Travel

Eight Miles Of Agony: Anxiety and Travel

I don’t know if I will ever be free of the panic attacks but I have hope that I will know how to cope. As of right now, I am taking things one day at a time, living my life and sharing my story so that others know that they are not alone.

First Responder Mental Health: When the Helpers Need Help, Who You Gonna Call?

First Responder Mental Health: When the Helpers Need Help, Who You Gonna Call?

Michelle Monzo is a hero’s hero. Her work is her passion, and her passion is her work. She is trains police and other criminal justice and public safety personnel in mental health crisis intervention techniques. in addition to her crisis intervention education efforts, she creates safe spaces for first responders to be vulnerable when they are feeling they need mental health support.

Eating Disorder Healing and Changing Our Narratives Around Them

Eating Disorder Healing and Changing Our Narratives Around Them

This mental health recovery story focuses on Ziba’s journey through an eating disorder, that often felt invisible. Ziba felt unseen in her disordered habits around eating and misunderstood when she first shared that she made herself sick to doctors. As she learned more about her disease and found help herself, Ziba worked to dismantle stereotypes and bust stigma. Through therapy and group work Ziba was able to understand her disorder and reconnect to herself. Read more!

I Want to Live: Turning a Corner with Suicidal Ideation and Depression

I Want to Live: Turning a Corner with Suicidal Ideation and Depression

This mental health recovery story focuses on Tina’s journey through a fixation on death, depression and suicidal ideation. Tina’s thoughts and actions felt out of control, guide by anxiety. Suicidal ideation was a constant in her life, how Tina sought help and learned that are her core, she wanted to live. Through therapy and a close encounter with death, Tina discovered her will to live. Read more about Tina’s journey!

I Suppressed Everything – A Story of Abuse and Bipolar

I Suppressed Everything – A Story of Abuse and Bipolar

This mental recovery story focuses on Lisa’s journey of childhood trauma, abuse and eventually her diagnosis of bipolar. After years of physical, sexual and mental abuse, Lisa thought she had found stability, until her mania set in followed by severe depression. Lisa’s life felt like it was spinning out. Her physical, sexual and mental abuse dictated her life, her mania felt out of control, how Lisa came to terms with her diagnosis of bipolar and past trauma and found a way to heal. With time and therapy Lisa found ways to cope. Read more about Lisa’s journey!

Can a Man (and a Bug) Drive Out Suicide?

Can a Man (and a Bug) Drive Out Suicide?

OC87 Recovery Diaries’ Editor in Chief Gabriel Nathan travels around the east coast in his beloved Herbie the Love Bug replica to raise suicide awareness and meet people whose lives have been changed by suicide.

Emptying My Head: Bipolar Depression, A Tale of Two People

Emptying My Head: Bipolar Depression, A Tale of Two People

This mental health recovery story focuses on Erica’s journey through an abusive childhood, a diagnosis of bipolar depression and the feeling of being misunderstood, by other and by herself. Her bipolar depression and anger left Erica confused, when she found therapy she was able to see what was beneath her rage and come through to the other side. Erica realized that her anger masked a deep sadness, as she worked with a counselor she found a way to explore her past and understand her present. Learn more about Erica’s journey!

The Kid’s Alright, or Close Enough; My Asperger’s Diagnosis

The Kid’s Alright, or Close Enough; My Asperger’s Diagnosis

Rachael grew up with a feeling that she was different from others. She experienced anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms and had regular meltdowns. Eventually these things turned into a problem with substance abuse. Her inability to adapt to change and childhood anxiety created a barrier, how Rachael’s diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome in adulthood helped her to understand her past and gain a newfound stability. Once, Rachael could understand what was going in her mind, she was able to take back control of her life. Read more about Rachael’s story!

Sailing for Life and Surviving PTSD

Sailing for Life and Surviving PTSD

Hell or High Seas follows veteran Navy rescue swimmer Taylor Greiger and friend Stephen O’Shea on the sailing adventure of a lifetime to prove that Taylor is stronger than his PTSD diagnosis.

Dancing Away Depression

Dancing Away Depression

it has been a very long time since I have been out dancing. I am much too depressed and the pain is overwhelming; however, there came a meeting of my many minds and the solution was couch dancing. LOL, you say? I would be willing to bet you have never tried it!

Psychosis: A Beginning. An End.

Psychosis: A Beginning. An End.

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.

Is Mental Illness Your Rabbit, Too? Living with Anxiety and Depression

Is Mental Illness Your Rabbit, Too? Living with Anxiety and Depression

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.

How to be an Active Listener

How to be an Active Listener

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.

From Depressed and Suicidal to a New Outlook

From Depressed and Suicidal to a New Outlook

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.

Unforgotten – Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital

Unforgotten – Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital

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.

Cumulative PTSD for a Police Officer After 9/11

Cumulative PTSD for a Police Officer After 9/11

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.

Talking About My Depression

Talking About My Depression

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.

Schizophrenia and Love

Schizophrenia and Love

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.

Disclosure

Disclosure

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.

New Editor In Chief

New Editor In Chief

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Gabriel Nathan as editor in chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries.

I Have Schizophrenia

I Have Schizophrenia

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.

Young, Black and Bipolar

Young, Black and Bipolar

“Young, Black and Bipolar” helps people navigate through the craziness of accomplishing a normal life after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I Still Lose Myself

I Still Lose Myself

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.

Best Day Project

Best Day Project

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.

Things Blur

Things Blur

“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.

A Director’s Journey

A Director’s Journey

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.

Learning To Trust Again

Learning To Trust Again

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.

A Hero’s Life

A Hero’s Life

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.

Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines

Interview with Clyde Petersen about Torrey Pines, a stop-motion animated adventure film about coming of age with an undiagnosed schizophrenic single mother.

Message To The World

Message To The World

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.

Mental Health > Art

Mental Health > Art

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.

The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm

Bud Clayman, from the documentary OC87, talks about his experience with Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy while at the International OCD Conference

Meet Monica (Again) – Mental Health & Chosen Family

A Journey Within

Monica, a young transwoman, talks about her experience with mental health challenges, homelessness, and finding her chosen family at The Attic Youth Center.

A Choice

A Choice

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. . .

Delaney Ruston

Delaney Ruston

Interview with Delaney Ruston about her documentary Hidden Pictures, where she visits India, China, South Africa, France & the USA looking at mental health.

Marbles

Marbles

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

The Reel Mind

“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

Sprout Film Festival

Sprout Film Festival

Anthony Di Salvo talks about Sprout Film Festival, vacations for people with developmental disabilities, and Sproutflix, a new movies on demand platform.

Chelsea’s OCD Song

Chelsea’s OCD Song

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.”

2014 Roundup

2014 Roundup

A roadmap of festivals for filmmakers and film lovers alike that encourage film submissions surrounding ideas of mental health and recovery,

Of Two Minds

Of Two Minds

In OF TWO MINDS, Liz recounts her lost years of extreme mania and depressions as well as the effects of electroshock treatments.

Confronting Stigma

Confronting Stigma

OCD – People hear the word disorder and they think weird, sick, handicapped, and depraved. Completely unnecessary and irrelevant stigma.

An OCD Therapist’s Story

An OCD Therapist’s Story

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.

More On OCD

More On OCD

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.

Defining OCD

Defining OCD

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

David & Lisa

David & Lisa

While I haven’t been diagnosed with Haphephobia (a fear of having your personal space violated), I do have a tough time being hugged.

Ordinary People

Ordinary People

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

Michael Solomon

Michael Solomon is married, assumes responsibilities, and helps others in their own recovery journeys. He has a lot of empathy for people, too.

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

I went into the film Silver Linings Playbook somewhat skeptical. I also went into the film with my own life experience with Bipolar Disorder.

My OCD Odyssey

My OCD Odyssey

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.