Life Needs Tidying – By Tsgoyna Tanzman

  Two crumpled receipts:  1 from Costco,1 from Ralph’s, 1 double-sided shopping list, 1 yellow post it note scribbled in blue ink: “Thanks for the loan PT,”  3 pellets of hard dog food & a tablespoonful of sand. This is what I found at the bottom my laundry basket, after I hoisted a heaping double armload of crumpled whites. Life needs tidying. Mine is a mostly tidy house as long as you don’t open a cabinet or drawer. Until someone comes over, I think my house is tidier than it is. Then I notice every little out-of-place detail: An unfolded towel, a cup left on the counter, a paperclip by the sink, a hair scrunchie abandoned on the couch. Yes, every room in my house could use some straightening. Life needs tidying, but no matter how clean the rooms are, I have a nagging sense something else needs tidying. At… Continue reading

40 Symptoms of a Healthy Woman – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

  In a recent session with a client who is struggling with depression, we were discussing some healthy things she could begin to do for herself. She was well aware of the symptoms of depression but she wondered, aside from the obvious, about the “symptoms” or signs of a healthy woman. She asked me if there was a list I could compile for her, and I thought I would share what I came up with. If you notice something I left out, feel free to let me know! P.S. I asked my husband, Steve Legallet (who is also a psychotherapist), how he thought this list could work for men. He said that I could basically exchange the “shes” with “hes” and it would totally hold up. 40 Symptoms of a Healthy Woman 1) She takes care of her body and treats it with respect. 2) She eats well and doesn’t… Continue reading

RECOVERY CHALLENGES AMONG OLDER ADULTS – BY BILL WHITE AND RANDALL WEBBER

Multiple factors can interact to increase vulnerability for the development of alcohol and other drug-related (AOD) problems in older adults. Those same factors can pose threats to older adults in long-term addiction recovery. In the former situation, older adults who did not experience such problems during their formative and maturing years develop AOD problems late in life. In the latter situation, individuals with years or decades of stable recovery experience a recurrence of such problems with potentially profound or fatal consequences. (The shame from losing long-held sobriety and elder status within a recovery community can be a significant obstacle to recovery re-stabilization.) We have observed four root causes of such vulnerabilities in both circumstances. Physiological factors: Changes in drug metabolism (e.g. decreased tissue tolerance, atypical drug actions and interactions), co-occurring medical/psychiatric conditions, and the use of multiple medications have the potential to amplify untoward effects of alcohol and other drug… Continue reading

Ordinary World – By Gabe Rheaume

  I have a chart of protocol that says, “Let me be” at the manic sweet spot. When the world is rushing by and my mind is aglow. When I’m beautiful, and funny, and everyone loves me. Before I forget my illness brings unearthly joy before I become paranoid and afraid before the alcohol and drugs before I become the madness of night. Don’t take my happiness away I just found it. Don’t trade my paradise for a hospital bed, I wouldn’t do that to you. Don’t cage me in a prescription bottle. Don’t intervene. I will come back. I would come back if I knew I left. Maybe I wouldn’t.   This is how it is This is how I am… Isn’t it?   I’m floating through the vibrant rich landscape of the universe experiencing color for the first time. Don’t reel me back to the grey world of… Continue reading

Mental Illness Awareness Week; Recognizing Co-Occurring Disorders – By Jackie Stein

  In 1990, Congress established the first week in October as Mental Illness Awareness Week. Each year, millions of Americans live with mental health conditions. Mental illness affects almost every person, either directly or indirectly. How many of us have experienced mental illness ourselves or know friends or loved ones who have suffered? I am guessing most of us are nodding our heads as we read this. And yet, the stigma surrounding mental illness is often ever greater than that surrounding alcohol and substance use disorder. Dual Diagnosis is a term describing a person who experiences both a mental illness and a substance use disorder at the same time. Recently, the terminology in the mental health community has changed to co-occurring disorders and either disorder can develop first. In 2014 a national survey on drug use stated that nearly 8 million people in the US suffer from co-occurring disorders. The… Continue reading