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mental illness

Mariah Carey, Margot Kidder and Me: Defying The Verdict

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Two beloved celebrities diagnosed with bipolar disorder have recently been featured in the news: singer Mariah Carey and actress Margot Kidder. After a public meltdown in 2001, Carey recently accepted her Bipolar II diagnosis, vowing to accept this diagnosis and care for herself. In April, she shared with okayplayer.com that she’s “in a really good place [and] hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone.” Kidder in May died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 69. She rebounded from a period of homelessness in 1996 resulting from a severely manic episode. Despite the stigma associated with the illness, Kidder relocated from Los Angeles to Montana and resumed her…

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Family Bonds are Tested by Mental Illness in Mira T. Lee’s Debut, ‘Everything Here Is Beautiful’

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In her new book Everything Here Is Beautiful (Pamela Dorman Books), author Mira T. Lee eloquently shows us when someone has a mental illness, it affects each person in the family and impacts all relationships. Miranda and Lucia grew up very close, as loving sisters, Chinese-American girls from New York. When their mother dies, Lucia marries an unlikely match for her— a kind, Israeli man with one arm. After some time, though, Lucia leaves him and becomes involved with a younger Hispanic man, eventually having his child and moving with him to Ecuador, to live in a tiny hut with no bathroom, adjacent to his extended family. Her behaviors are extreme, and even after she has ended up in the hospital,…

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John Green’s ‘Turtles All the Way Down’ is Finally Here!

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OMG, it’s happening! Fans have been waiting 5 years for young adult author John Green to publish a new book, and now that wait is finally over. His new novel, Turtles All the Way Down, comes out October 10th (with Dutton Books for Young Readers), and it’s already dominating all the pre-order charts. Green’s last book, The Fault in Our Stars, became in international sensation and a hit movie starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. About teens falling in love as they struggle with life-threatening cancer, the novel reached the kind of popularity that most authors only dream of. But Green is used to fame – in addition to being an award-winning author, he’s also one half of the crazy popular…

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Could Vaccines and Antibiotics Prevent Mental Illness?

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Usually, mental illness grabs the public’s attention when it’s linked to a terrible tragedy, such as a mass shooting or a particularly heart-wrenching suicide. The public’s reaction usually is to mourn, and then to go about their lives. They dismiss the mentally ill by thinking, “These people are weak. They were brought up wrong. They’re crazy. They have something wrong with them.” Now, however, in her new book Infectious Madness: the Surprising Science of How We “Catch” Mental Illness (Little, Brown; October 6, 2015) award-winning investigative science writer Harriet A. Washington presents compelling evidence that mentally ill people weren’t merely “born that way.” She claims that many mental illnesses aren’t genetic. They’re caused by viruses, much the same way viruses…

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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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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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