mental health

Needing a Prescription to Live a “Normal” Life

Sitting at the kitchen island finishing homework, she catches me off guard with her concern. “Are you okay, Mom?” I ignore the question at first, hoping she doesn’t see me hide the white paper bag of antidepressants my husband brought…

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Journeying with Depression and God

Living with depression feels like living in the midst of an ocean.  Depression feels huge, powerful, and unpredictable; calm at times, violent and destructive at others.  Depression hit for the first time when I was six.  It was a normal…

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Choosing a Therapist: Notes from the Trenches

After I wrote “Therapy for Beginners,” I received an email from a reader who had noted that my current therapeutic relationship wasn’t my first, and that my first therapist wasn’t a good fit. She asked me what I looked for…

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Lexicon

Habit led me down to the rocks—habit and Shannon’s elation, which would have dragged us to roiled water if custom hadn’t. The waves had drawn more of a crowd than mid-October normally sees, along with the tropic air whorled up…

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Rest

Instead of going to church on Easter weekend I drove south from Indiana into Alabama to camp with a friend in Bankhead National Forest. We pitched our tents in a plot at Brushy Lake Campground, where the lake, nestled within…

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Remember, You Are a Body

The film God Help the Girl, a musical drama of the band Belle and Sebastian, opens in a psychiatric hospital in Scotland. Eve, a budding songwriter, is being treated for anorexia and depression. In an early scene, her doctor shows…

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Everyone Needs Compassion

“They’re not that different from us,” I whisper to my middle child, the girl on my lap whose ponytail’s tickling my nose.   But she’s not so sure, so I introduce her to Lena, who likes art and wears a…

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This Hurts. Where Are You?

Not long after the first anxiety attack, I stopped leaning on God for help.   Before I had a name for it, it was simply this strange, overwhelming force that took over like a flood of cold water. It was…

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Therapy for Beginners

I wish I had gone to therapy before I was suicidal. Even now, what I remember most is the fear. I was afraid of my destructive daydreams, but perhaps almost as afraid of seeking help from a mental health professional….

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The Song in our Heads

With the sun noon-high and the day and lake so still, not even shadows disturbed the silted bottom. Four years old now, Flannery, having followed the yard-long, finger-width furrow to its source, reached in the water to pluck another burrowed…

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