Mental health

Layne Staley, 12 Years Later

April 12, 2014 Addiction

“What’s my drug of choice? Well, what have you got?” –Layne Staley, Alice in Chains This month marks 12 years since Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley was found dead. Mood music: Like Kurt Cobain, Staley had a big impact on me in the early 1990s. But while I identified with Cobain’s depression, I identified […]

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20 Years Ago: The Day Kurt Cobain Died

April 5, 2014 Addiction

I remember exactly where I was 20 years ago today, when I saw the news flash about Kurt Cobain’s suicide. I was lying in bed, depressed and reclusive because of frequent fear. Mood music:  I was living in Lynnfield, Mass., at the time. I had a room in the basement, just like I had in Revere. […]

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Wherein I Run Afoul Of The U.S. Secret Service

January 24, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

My resolve against the inner demons is tested regularly. Some are little tests, like being put in a room with all the food and alcohol I once binged on daily to see if I can resist the temptation. Some are bigger tests, like getting lost en route to Washington D.C a few years ago with my wife […]

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The Ego OCD Built

November 26, 2013 Lessons from the past

The author has an ego that sometimes swells beyond acceptable levels. OCD fuels the fire. Written in December, 2009 and just as real now as it was then. Mood music: Last night I got on here to explain that sometimes OCD is good for me, in the sense that it provides fuel for my professional […]

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Find Yourself a Real Doctor

November 26, 2013 Addiction

Written in June, 2010. Here’s the thing: Asking me for medical advice is like asking Charles Manson how to be a pacifist. Mood music:  Somebody Get Me A DoctorVan HalenVan Halen II In the months since I started this blog, I’ve noticed something expected but weird nonetheless: People are coming to me for medical advice. […]

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Therapist Shopping

October 31, 2013 Mental health

A few months ago my therapist retired and moved to warmer environs in the south. He said I was managing my OCD well and that I didn’t need therapy until the autumn. Mood music: That last appointment was in the spring, with the season’s increasingly long periods of daylight, the environment I function best in. […]

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Songs That Mattered After 9-11-01

September 7, 2013 Coping tools

Like so many other times in my life, music made the difference between sanity and insanity. I focus a lot on the metal. But in the weeks after 9-11, I turned to a broader group of musicians to help me along. They did their jobs well, helping us all see that it was OK to […]

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A Super Analogy About Mental Health and Summer

July 11, 2013 Mental health

I’m in the middle of a campout as I write this, and though some of those around me are wilting in the 90-plus degree heat, I have to admit that I’m loving it. Mood music: It’s not that I enjoy the sweating and humidity-saturated clothing. What I enjoy is my mental state during long, sunny […]

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Vice’s Suicide Spread Has a Right to Exist

June 20, 2013 Mental health

Vice magazine created a shitstorm by publishing a photo spread of models depicted as famous female authors at the moment of their suicides. I’m all for freedom of expression and would never advocate banning such things. But as an art fan I can offer my critique: This spread was utter crap. Mood music: Vice pulled […]

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Teething Trouble

June 5, 2013 Mental health

I’ve just started the new job and am happy as hell to be here. I’m finding I’ll fit right in. But when a person is a couple days into a new job, there’s usually an unsettled feeling. In my case, the challenge is not to be an asshole about it. Mood music: I’m not sure […]

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