On This Anniversary Of My Father's Death

Today, April 24, 2016 is the 3rd anniversary of my father’s death. He died after spending 10 days in Cavalry Hospital in the Bronx, NY which is devoted to palliative care.

Asthma and Migraines Are Painful, but Depression Hurts More.

I’ve been struggling with my physical health — migraines and asthma to be specific and the combined fight has been taking a toll on my energy so I haven't been posting.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is 2/21 - 2/27.

I developed anorexia at the age of 27. It took me 26 years to recover from this deadly eating disorder which stole so much from me.

Stigma Is Alive and Well, Even in the Psychiatric Community

When I was growing up as a child in Queens, NY, one of the boroughs of New York City, there were six of us girls who formed a close circle of friends.

Continuing To Search For The Root Of My Self-Hatred

Determined to keep the momentum in gear, I strode into my psychiatrist, Dr. Adena’s (not her real name) office this past Monday night and parked my rear end in one of her chairs.

Self-Hatred Is At The Root Of It All

Recently I was at my brother’s home for brunch and I had the impetus to bring some old photo albums.

I Have So Much To Be Thankful For This Year

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone for this year. I enjoyed a delicious meal, courtesy of my brother and his girlfriend, and her mother. The day was full of bites that we savored, good conversation, laughter and a certain warmth that comes from being with people who you care about and who care about you.

The Octopus That Stands in My Way Now

I’ve known for a while that it’s difficult to write when I’m not feeling well emotionally, as evidenced by my seven month hiatus from this blog during the recurrence of my depression last year. What I didn’t realize was that it’s also difficult to write when I’m not feeling well physically which is what I’ve been experiencing since being hospitalized in September.

This Time I Have A Right To Be Anxious About My Health (2)

Two weeks after I got home from the hospital with the pulmonary embolism (PE), I began to feel strangely again. It was a Sunday; I felt dizzy and I noticed a good amount of blood in my stool. I was concerned mainly because I was on a blood thinner for the PE.

Today, October 10, 2015 is Mental Health Awareness Day

One in four people lives with a mental illness worldwide. We all deserve to have dignity in our lives, from others, but also from ourselves.

This Time I Have A Right To Be Anxious About My Health (1)

The saga started on Thursday, August 27th, which today seems as though it was not quite a lifetime ago. On that evening I had an asthma attack, the immediacy of which was controlled by a session with my home nebulizer machine. But over that weekend and that Monday, I couldn’t quite seem to catch my breath which I knew wasn’t the way it was supposed to be.

A Vicious Cycle

I’m in a revolving door and right now, I’m having a hard time finding my way out. I’m just going around and around in way that is self-sabotaging. I see a slice of light, I grab for it much like a child on a carousel grabs for the golden ring, but it continues to elude me. I need to, I must find my way out.

I'm Using The Technique of Journaling

I hadn’t kept a journal in a long time. The last time was my string of hospitalizations from 2005 to 2007 when I had an extended collapse. I’d take a notebook when I'd go into the hospital and the process of putting pen to paper and recording my thoughts helped contribute to keeping whatever piece of sanity that was possible to hold onto in the midst of all that insanity.

This Past Week Was A Real Test Of My Emotional Strength

The shock of having a heart condition hit me hard. Not only that but the coronary artery spasms are my third chronic medical condition, on top of the chronic obstructive asthma and the migraines, and the second to be diagnosed in 2015.It’s as though I fought so hard to become emotionally healthy only to be struck down by chronic physical illness.

Coming To Terms With The Experience Of Psychosis

When I was in the hospital for the second time last year following my suicide attempt, in April of 2014, I experienced psychotic symptoms. They were delusions, beliefs about situations that I believed in some respect to be true. They were not. For me, they were incredibly frightening and distressing.

It's Time To Terminate Therapy

I’ve made an earth-shattering decision in my therapy with my psychiatrist and therapist, Dr. Adena (not her real name). I’ve decided to enter the termination phase of treatment. Now before we all jump out of our seats, let me mention that I also determined that this phase will last between twelve and eighteen months.

Tattoo Art

It’s a little known secret but I have a tattoo. It’s a small, discreet design of a Shira symbol which represents the fluidity of water and its rough translation is that “everything’s gonna be okay.” I got the tattoo on my right shoulder in 2008 which was at the end of a three year run of a serious breakdown.

The Art Of Breathing

Pranayama is the yoga practice of breathing. According to Yoga Magazine, “pranayama begins with the regulation of the breath. Breath, like electricity, is gross prana, while prana itself is subtle.”

My Self-Destructive Pursuit for Perfectionism

I learned the hard way this past weekend about the connection — for me in particular — among stress, asthma and the pursuit for perfectionism. And I won’t even throw in the effect all this has on migraines.

I Feel Different

I’ve always felt different. Since I was a little girl and somehow I knew that I was the only child who kept her room pristine with everything in order. And made her bed every morning. And later, when I was a teenager and had to hide the fact that my father lost his job and that he was a drunk

A Response to "Why Patients with BPD Don't Get Better"

This post is in response to a post authored by David M Allen, MD titled “Why Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder Don’t Get Better,” published on June 15, 2015. I have several problems with this post and I’ll start with the title. Firstly, the title is a vast over-generalization.

Every Road Leads To A Lie

One of the corporate trainers coaches his daughter’s softball team. I mentioned that I was quite the jock in my youth, playing varsity basketball and softball in college and then on three softball teams in Central Park while I worked in the advertising and marketing industries in Manhattan. I couldn’t help but mention that one of the teams was a men's fast-pitch team.

Regret and Shame By The Fire Pit

When I started my prior job at the clinic seven years ago, I went shopping with my cousin Jamie. It was the middle of the summer in June of 2007. As I pulled long-sleeved blouse after long-sleeved blouse off the rack, she asked me “What are you doing that for? It’s June. You’ll sweat to death.” “My scars,” I said quietly. “I’m afraid they’ll see my scars.”

A Story of Reflection

I started a training for my new job this past Monday and due to several combined factors, the main one being stress, I was hit with a brutal migraine on Tuesday. The migraine lasted until Saturday morning when I was home and able to get a hold of some different medications which gave me total relief. Thank goodness.

Two Astonishing Works About Depression

In my recent perusal of the Internet, I had the good fortune to stumble across two different people’s interpretations of depression. They both are courageous and powerful in their own right and I related to both of these moving pieces. I wanted to share these works of art with you.

I Still Miss My Mother

Over thirteen years have passed since my mother died and I still miss her terribly. When our family learned that she had pancreatic cancer and that she had only a matter of months to live we embarked on a flurry of photo-taking. One of those photos — her standing at her kitchen counter, poised beside a vase of dark pink tulips — is the one I chose to frame.

When Excitement and Anxiety Come Together

After almost seven years at my current position at the outpatient mental health clinic In New York city I am leaving. I resigned a couple of weeks ago to the surprise of many of my colleagues and I think my boss as well. It has been a roller-coaster rise, with an initial rise in responsibilities, then a drop as I became ill last year, and a slow incline back to recovery.

Perfectionism Ain't All It's Cracked Up To Be

Through taking my yoga classes (almost) every Saturday morning, I am learning that yoga is one activity at which I will never achieve perfection. This realization is good for me as much of my life has been spent in the pursuit of this fruitless goal. The anorexia, the ultimate body, being the best at my job; each time I attempted to achieve perfection the world crashed.

Asking "What If?"

I have often dared to ask myself the question “what if?” What if I had not become so ill? What if I had not become anorexic which lead to such devastation in my life? What would have become of me? But I have not allowed myself to ponder the answers to this question and I have not allowed myself to feel the emotions that are associated with the response.

What I Did On My Spring Staycation

At 3:30 PM last Friday afternoon, as I signed out of work for the afternoon (Friday is a short day for me), one of the administrative assistants in the front office yelled "Gerri, you’re free." I haven’t had a real vacation — time just for me, time to spend how I please, time to do whatever I want, time to simply fritter away as I choose — since the spring of 2013.

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