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Bio

Cab driver, housekeeper, mother, parish priest, chaplain, national legislator for the Episcopal Church, ministry developer, Willa Goodfellow did not let recurrent depression stop her. Until. Her illustrious career ended in disability when the misdiagnosis, Prozac, and other antidepressants caught up with her. But her urge to write could not be suppressed.

After a diagnosis of Bipolar 2, recovery from side effects, and cognitive rehabilitation, her already quirky preaching style found an outlet in mental health advocacy and journalism. Reed College and Yale Divinity School graduate, she has the mental chops to read the research, and the life mileage to call out the bull. Prozac Monologues attracted the attention of psychiatrists who worked on the DSM-5. She is certified in Mental Health First Aid, graduated from NAMI’s Peer to Peer, and has presented on mental health recovery at NAMI events and Carver Medical College of Medicine at the University of Iowa.

Today she hikes, travels, plans seven course dinner menus, works on the next writing project, Bar Tales of Costa Rica, and stirs up trouble. She lives with her wife Helen in Central Oregon and still misses her dog Mazie.

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Popular Posts

Anosognosia and Amador

Anosognosia. It means lack of insight. But from the mouth of Xavier Amador, it’s his ticket. He tells you he knows why your son or daughter won’t take meds. And you are desperate for the answer, aren’t you. Because schizophrenia is a terrible disease and your beloved child is sick and won’t take the meds. The meds would make everything alright. So you are desperate and Xavier Amador throws you a lifeline, a promise that once you understand this unpronounceable word, you can learn how to get your child to take the meds.

He must be right, right? Because he is a psychologist and he can pronounce it. And then the kicker, he also loved somebody with schizophrenia, and he says he got him to take the meds. So NAMI invites him to give the spotlight lecture, and for the rest of the convention, parents hear every other presentation through the filter of this new word that they cannot pronounce.

Here is how you pronounce it:



But really, why bother? It means lack of insight. But you have heard o…

Loony Saints - Margaret of Cortona Edition

Every once in a while, Prozac Monologues reaches into my Roman Catholic childhood's fascination with saints, especially the ones who today might be assigned a diagnostic code in the DSM.  Twice, Lent Madness has introduced me to new ones that I share with you.



A few years ago it was Christina the Astonishing.










Today it's Margaret of Cortona.  If you're a Lent Madness regular, you'd expect Margaret to be a shoe in for the first round of voting, where her competition is a stuffy old bishop/theologian, because Margaret became a Franciscan and, more significantly, her story features a dog.  Lent Madness voters are suckers for dogs.

Trading Symptom Relief for Side Effect Relief

Why do people stop taking their psych medication?


Psychiatrists spend a lot of time on this question. They used to call it noncompliance. Then they figured out that the word fed the power struggle between doctor and patient. Now they call it nonadherence. Me, I am not convinced that the word change reflects an attitude shift on doctors' parts, i.e., that they have changed their attitudes toward noncompliantpatients,haveabandoned the power struggle themselves, and instead want to partner with their patients. I suspect the word change is a cosmetic shift designed to change the patient's attitude.

Psychiatric Times regularly publishes articles on why patients don't take their meds and best practices for improving adherence. Suboptimal adherence is pervasive among individuals with chronic health conditions, including psychiatric disorders... However, many mental health practitioners ascribe nonadherence to the mental illness itself.

Xavier Amador thinks it is because we don't…