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depression

“Still Life With Monkey” Ponders Carrying On

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How does one define what makes a life worth living? In Katharine Weber’s Still Life With Monkey (Paul Dry Books), Duncan Wheeler, a talented architect and owner of his own firm in New Haven, CT. On the way back from visiting his Thimble Islands site, he gets into a horrific car accident.  His assistant is killed and he survives, but suffers an injury that results in becoming a quadriplegic. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for news and giveaways! His wife Laura, is an art conservator at the Yale Art Gallery, fixing broken things for a living. She watches Duncan fall into depression, and while she struggles with her own thoughts of letting her dream go to become a mother, she reduces her…

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Journal Writing: Every Day for 33 Years…and Counting

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Since her 2009 diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, Dr. Lisa Doggett has come to realize MS is no excuse to avoid challenges. Instead, it has propelled her to run two marathons, hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and complete a 168-mile bike ride to raise awareness for MS. She is currently working on a memoir about her journey from doctor to patient.  January 1, 1985: “Went with Hannah to see her pony. Don’t want to go back to school.” Those words launched my lifelong habit of journal writing at age 11. Since then, I have written every day, over 12,000 times. OK, so I have forgotten a few days, but just a few: five or six days in 33 years.…

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5 Myths About Depression We Need to Shut Down Immediately

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Originally posted on Psychology Today. Depression, like art, can never be adequately described in words alone, though Andrew Solomon comes close in his memoir Noonday Demon. In it, he writes: “I felt as though I had a physical need, of impossible urgency and discomfort, from which there was no release—as though I were constantly vomiting but had no mouth. My vision began to close. It was like trying to watch TV through terrible static, where you can’t distinguish faces, where nothing has edges. The air, too, seemed thick and resistant, as though it were full of mushed-up bread.” Through metaphor and allegory, Solomon draws a vivid picture of the ineffable, as have writers and artists throughout history, from the paintings of Edvard Munch…

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Tall Poppies Review: Laura Drake Takes Sibling Devotion to a New Level in ‘Days Made of Glass’

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“Shared blood defines a family, but spilled blood can too…” ~ Days Made of Glass Buckle up readers, because your emotions are in for a roller coaster ride in Laura Drake’s Days Made of Glass – A gripping story of sibling devotion, mental illness and having to face hard truths about oneself. The symbolism in this story hits from every angle. Shattered glass is the splintering of the illusion of reality. In Drake’s novel the smashed mirrors are a sign of both enlightenment and madness. Shards of glass are everywhere, representing broken dreams, broken promises, broken relationships and broken people. Two sisters—tough-as-nails Harlie (the protector) and her younger sister Angel (the lost soul), have had a rough life. So far Harlie…

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Excerpt: The Must-Read Guide for Anyone Dealing with Crippling OCD and Anxiety

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Below is an excerpt from the first chapter of Adam Shaw and Dr. Lauren Collaghan’s Pulling the Trigger: The Definitive Survival and Recovery Approach to OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Related Depression. Introduction COURAGE NOT FIGHT Accept Your Mind, Own It For What It Is. This Takes Courage, Not Fight All my life, from being a little boy to a fully grown man, I tried to suppress my thoughts and anxiety because I knew no better and because I felt compelled to fight them. I was frightened, ashamed of and appalled about my mind and my crippling thoughts. It was terrifying, lonely and debilitating. I constantly felt that I was on the edge of madness and that no one or…

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Review: Captivated by the Harrowing and Heartfelt ‘Shelter in Place’

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Have you ever felt like a giant black bird is clawing at your heart, or like your body is completely immobilized by black tar flowing through your veins? It may be hard to imagine what that really feels like, but for the protagonist of Alexander Maksik’s latest novel, Shelter in Place (Europa Editions, September 13, 2016) it’s a state of being that’s nearly inescapable. Those two images are the main descriptors Maksik uses to characterize his narrator Joe’s Bipolar symptoms, that are further complicated by the hectic story of Joe’s life, which Maksik traces from the early ’90s to the present day in a nonlinear design. Set in a few different cities in the Pacific Northwest, the meat of the story…

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Review: Sarah Hepola’s Blackout Grapples with the Painfully Honest

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I imagine it’s hard to write a memoir about addiction; as a writer, you’d have to be brutally honest to come even close to being effective. While brutal honesty about addiction doesn’t sound like a very fun read, Sarah Hepola’s Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget (Grand Central Publishing, June 7, 2016) manages to be bitingly funny, while at the same time its painful, unflinching details about alcoholism make your skin crawl. In Blackout, author and longtime Salon editor Hepola traces the evolution of her relationship with alcohol from childhood stolen sips of fridge beers through to her turbulent young adulthood. Her writing style is brash enough to pummel you into the ground, but honest enough to pick you…

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Author Tracy O’Neill Answers One Question about ‘The Hopeful’

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Many writers want their stories to be as relatable as possible. The stories we know and understand are the ones we can relate to the best. Authors, such as Alice Munro, do a spectacular job in creating compelling characters that could easily resemble a relative or friend. There are some authors, however, who delve into a narrow subject matter to achieve this same connection. Recently, acclaimed writers like Junot Diaz take particular communities with characters possessing odd, quirky characteristics and use them to establish that desired relatability. In particular, author of The Hopeful, Tracy O’Neill, involves readers through her characters’ unique circumstances, specifically in the highly competitive world of figure skating and the isolation of mental illness. Her characters are cut off from…

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Finding an Island of Hope in a Sea of Depression is The Happiness Quest

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There are many ways to try to visualize major clinical depression, a disorder that affects one out of every five women and one out of every eight men. The picture I always found most accurate comes from a scene in the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away. One moment, he’s on a plane, safe and comfortable. He’s flying through a storm, but it’s being navigated. All is well. Suddenly, the wind roars through the cabin, the plane plummets towards its doom, the captain and crew scream in confusion and terror. The plane crashes into the sea. Hanks’ character is underwater, but through a stroke of fate, he makes his way to the surface, along with an inflatable life raft. He climbs…

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Allie Brosh Making Solutions Problematic Once Again

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As someone who can only barely remember a time before the internet, I tend to give the online world a whole lot of legitimacy. So when popular online figures extend their reach into the world of traditional publishing, I usually meet the announcement with a less than enthusiastic, “Meh.” But that is definitely not the case when the real-world offering legitimately brings something new to fans of the inter-star (aka “internet star.” I should totally trademark that term). Such is the case with internet phenom Allie Brosh, who has already made quite the splash in the “real” world with her debut offering, Hyperbole and a Half (Touchstone Books), based on the wildly popular online comic series of the same name.…

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Germanwings crash draws attention to depression, stress in workplace

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As awful as the news was about the recent crash in the French Alps of Germanwings Flight 9525, the world was shocked once again when it was learned that the disaster, which cost 150 people their lives, seems to have been caused intentionally by the flight’s co-pilot, Andres Lubitz. In the aftermath of the crash, it was learned that Lubitz had been treated for severe depression and suicidal tendencies prior to his training as a commercial pilot. There are few occupations more stressful than that of the commercial airline pilot (in fact, the employment industry webzine CareerCast.com recently rated it 2015’s fourth most-stressful job, behind those of firefighters, enlisted military personnel and military generals). All jobs come with their own…

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14 Days to meQuilibrium

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So you say you want to eliminate stress from your life? Well, chances are…you can’t. Unless you live on a private island somewhere in the South Pacific, in a magical land without to-do lists, deadlines, family schedules, relationship conflicts and bills to pay, stress is going to be a part of your everyday existence. (Come to think of it, even on the magical South Pacific island you have to deal with the occasional monsoon, don’t you?) Maybe the answer isn’t eliminating stress, or even conquering it. Maybe what we need is a way to manage it peacefully, without the pills or caffeine or sugar or junk food or cigarettes or alcohol or whatever it is we use to get ourselves…

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