Mental Health Care as our Institutions Fail

There are twelve psychiatrists in Zimbabwe for a population of 16 million people. When Dixon Chibanda, one of the twelve lost a patient to suicide because she could not afford the $15 bus fare to get to her appointment, he did not blame her for breaking the appointment. He came up with another system to deliver mental health care. He trained grandmothers.



Prozac Monologues - A Book is Coming


The life of an author - this author anyway:

Mornings I work on finding my peeps. Twitter has been a revelation to me. I resisted it for years until I discovered what was possible. It's not all politicians and celebrities! I thought I was supposed to do Twitter because that's what you do when you want to sell books. That made me feel icky.

But then somebody reframed it for me:

There are people out there who have a question, a need, a pain point. Can I address their pain point? If so, how do they find me?

Six Ways to Heal the Holes in Your Head


Do you ever feel like you have holes in your head? Actually, you do. Ventricles are the spaces between the grey matter (brain cells) and white matter (wiring that connects the brain cells) in your brain. Depressive episodes, manic episodes, and psychosis all burn up brain tissue, leading to bigger ventricles. (Image: Effects of Western diet on the brain. See companion image, Effects of Mediterranean diet below.)

This loss of brain cells hits the hippocampus (in charge of memory and emotion regulation) particularly hard. In the early years after my last mental health crisis, I talked about my “Swiss cheese brain.” At my worst, I lost bills, I lost words, I lost everything my wife said to me on the way out the door in the morning. She took to writing down what I said I would do before she got home, never more than two items.

I lost the list.

New Year's Resolution - Eat Chocolate! Or Maybe Not...

Long time readers may know of my over-a-decade-long effort to get the sugar monkey off my back. I can report that I am reasonably  successful. I don't know if it has made an ongoing difference to my mood. But a shared dessert at a restaurant will get my arthritic shoulder burning. So I keep it up.

Or maybe I have taken it too far. It's all about costs and benefits, you know. And recent research suggests maybe I should lighten up, or rather, darken up.

Chris Aiken of Bipolar Not So Much fame, also Wake Forest University School of Medicine and The Carlat Psychiatry Report, says to my sugar fast, Not so fast. At least as far as dark chocolate goes.

Will This Trauma Never End?

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