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Showing posts from 2019

In the Bleak Midwinter

For Prozac Monologues readers whatever your state this holiday.



In the bleak mid-winter frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak mid-winter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty Jesus Christ.

Angles and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air,
But his mother only in her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part, –
Yet what I can I give Him, give my heart.

poem by Christina Rossetti, 1872 painting by Ivan Shishkin, 1890

Bohemian Chanukah

A great miracle happened there.



Happy Hanukkah to all Prozac Monologues readers.
Let the light shine!

Holiday Shopping for True Happiness

Last minute holiday shopping -- I shop later and later every year. I even blog about it later each year. This year I have to do three  blogs in the week to get my shopping guides for the perfect Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Christmas present done. Here is the link for if you are mentally interesting and shopping for the normal in your life, here is if you are shopping for your diagnosed friend.  The second is even diagnosis specific. The most popular pick turns out to be a bluetooth phone for the one who talks back to his/her voices, but is trying to pass. Who knew.

But less than a week, people. Internet.  God bless the internet.

Another year I wrote a post on happiness. This post's holiday shopping picks (a updated rerun from 2011) gets to the heart of it -- where to get what makes for true happiness on the internet.  No, really!

The Sources Of Happiness

Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness identifies three major sources of happiness, pleasure, engagement and meaningfulness. So here are …

Holiday Shopping - The Mentally Interesting Version

From December, 2009:

A friend once described what it was like to have cancer. Like having a paper bag over your head, you can't see anything outside the bag. It's all about you and your cancer.

Mental illness can be like that. Try it yourself. Put a bag over your head. Make sure it's not plastic! Do you even notice a difference? Our issues can be all consuming, our fears, doubts, grief, hysteria, voices... We lose track of the world outside our paper bag.

But outside that bag are friends, family, allies. There are more of them, and they are truer to us than we can imagine when we are inside that paper bag. The bag, our absorption in our own concerns, makes certain life skills difficult.

Like holiday shopping.

To do a good job at holiday shopping, you have to pay attention to something, or someone outside your own inner world. So before I give suggestions to mentally interesting folk about what normals like for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, here are first steps.

The first step to…

Holiday Shopping for Your Diagnosed Someone

Black Friday, the traditional start of the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa shopping season has left us in the dust. Are you still wondering what to get for your neuro-diverse friend or relation? Here is Prozac Monologues' attempt ever to be helpful to my dear readers.  As my therapist said, Virgo -- your destiny is service.  Get used to it.  (I once had a therapist who said stuff like that.) The following is a holiday shopping list to guide neuro-typicals who want to please their loved ones.

This is a repost from ten years ago. So the pricetags have probably changed. But the links have been checked.

Crazy Meds can be your one stop shopping for Straight Jacket T-shirts, when you're crazy enough to let your medication do the talking, with a range of messages for any diagnosis, medication or level of in your face. The lettering is made by arranging real medication capsules for that homemade, from the heart touch. If you are shopping for me, medium size, long-sleeved, and black, of…

People With Schizophrenia Who Recover

Among the top five factors that limit recovery for people with mental illness:

The false belief that it's all about the medication.

Medication indeed is part of mental illness recovery. It's a bigger part for some mental health issues (like schizophrenia) than others. And its effectiveness varies from drug class to drug class.

I created a bit of a twitter storm when somebody tweeted: Please quote this tweet with a thing that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos.

To which I responded: Antipsychotics cause loss of brain matter.

Last week's post described the research study that demonstrated that claim. The study was led by Nancy C. Andreasen, MD of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. One should not reject antipsychotics on the basis of the study.They do what they are supposed to do. They reduce the positive symptoms (like, psychosis) that cause so much suffering. Payoffs and price tags. But t…

Antipsychotics and Loss of Brain Matter

What are antipsychotics doing in your brain besides preventing psychosis? This is a report on a study conducted from 1991 to 2009 that looked at that question.

Here is the context:

Progressive brain volume changes in schizophrenia are thought to be due principally to the disease. However, recent animal studies indicate that antipsychotics... may also contribute to brain tissue volume decrement. Because antipsychotics are prescribed for long periods for schizophrenia patients and have increasingly widespread use in other psychiatric disorders, it is imperative to determine their long-term effects on the human brain.

Before I get to what the study revealed, here is the investigator, National Medalist of Science winner, Nancy Andreasen.



Note: The interview was recorded twenty-five+ years after the study began and reflects a development in the questions pursued.

Objective of the study:

To evaluate relative contributions of 4 potential predictors (illness duration, antipsychotic treatment, ill…

Giving thanks for Jerod Poore

Jerod Poore is the walking, talking, tweeting, posting wikipedia of all meds psychiatric and neurological. His manifesto: At Crazymeds[his original website] we make psychiatric and neurological conditions (AKA brain cooties) our bitches with evidence-based medicine and a healthy dose of gallows humor.

When I caught brain cooties fourteen years ago, Jerod was the first person I found who gave me genuine information. When the docs turned my brain into a chemistry experiment, Jerod told me what was happening to it.


That's the sketch I drew of my brain on drugs. Not the drugs they warn you about, but the drugs they scold you for refusing to take. Prozac, Celexa, Remeron, Cymbalta, Effexor.

Now, these are fine medications and do help people, notwithstanding the fact that they did not help me. It took years to figure out that my diagnosis was wrong, so these were the wrong medications for me anyway. If they help you, TAKE THEM.

But my mind was mush. The docs gave me precious little inf…

Giving Thanks for Ellen Frank

If you can manage one, just one self-care exercise for bipolar, make it a regular sleep schedule. This week I am thankful I found Ellen Frank and IPSRT, Interpersonal Social Rhythms Therapy.
IPSRT in a nutshell: people with bipolar have a wonky internal clock. The hormones that regulate everything from when we are alert to when we are hungry to when we are cold are governed by an internal clock. When that clock sproings a spring, so do we. Bipolar is like jet lag on a daily basis.
There are a number of events that set and reset the clock throughout the day. If you have a wonky clock, you can reduce the damage it does by making sure these events happen the same time every day. That is the Social Rhythms part. The Interpersonal part is plain old therapy, focussing on whatever issues prevent you from protecting your clock.
Keeping this clock set correctly is the single most effective strategy for maintaining good sleep patterns. And sleep patterns are almost the whole show. Disruptions …

Giving Thanks for John Moe

Is depression funny?

John Moe begins every broadcast of The Hilarious World of Depression with that question. Then he and the comedian/musician/celebrity of the week talk.


My therapist told me about Hilarious World. I was preparing to do a seminar, OK2Talk about Mental Illness, eight hours total, five segments.  The third would be on humor. It is, after all, part of the Prozac Monologues brand.

I discovered at Hilarious World a whole world of comedians, telling their stories of mental illness and often being funny in the process, Margaret Cho, Baron Vaughn, Aparla Nanchurla... Many were new to me. I do not have enough comedians in my life. Many episodes inspired me to search Youtube to watch these folk performing.

My own presentation did not go as well as John's invariably does. Well, I presume he edits. My group didn't give me enough material to edit. My career as a comedian was officially launched that weekend when I bombed. Boy, did I bomb.

I could have anticipated the com…