The following personal history piece focuses on the author’s journey in the mental healthcare system, through both psychiatry and psychotherapy. It also deals with how stigmatizing and detrimental the system (and the world) can be to those with mental illnesses. This memoir-style essay tells the story of the author’s illness like it’s the big bad wolf, and walks the reader with her on the journey to coping with it. It’s a piece that not only talks about the author’s individual reality, but also the greater reality of the world of psychology, psychiatry, and mental illness.
This is a story about a troubled man’s relationship with authority. In psychoanalysis, Freud’s concept of “transference” has to do with a process where the analyst becomes the object of all the patient’s emotional energy and neediness. But does it happen only in a psychoanalytic context?
“The Complicated Life of a Fictional Therapist” uses satirical humor and quirky point of view to delve into how the people we consider the most “put-together” are honestly struggling with average problems like caring and motivation.
As we age, a common human experience is losing faith in the institutions we grew up believing in (i.e. family, government, economy, education, and religion). Is the American medical industry an institution we should have faith in, or not? Could it be causing unnecessary harm by promoting the invention of diseases, utilizing erroneous mental health categories, and informing its practices on funding? What are the positives of the American medical industry when compared to other countries? How do we fix the errors of this American institution to purely reflect an apolitical agenda intent on servicing those in need?
Depression seems like an obvious flaw in the human condition. The symptoms of depression (everything from apathy, social isolation, and anhedonia to emptiness, sleeplessness, and ruminations) can make engaging in daily life absolutely impossible. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote: “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not.” Despite what seems like an obvious evolutionary handicap, research has shown depression has a variety of hidden benefits, such as encouraging attention to detail, creativity, empathy, and resiliency. By acknowledging depression’s hidden benefits, we can alter the way it impacts us individually and societally.
The controversial and well-known Lolita by Nabokov forces us to address taboo topics and confusing realities in a way that only art can do. How do relationships often represent unrealistic ideals? Despite the novel’s taboo subject matter, can it teach us something about the dynamics of normal relationships? How do different art forms allow us to address immoral behaviors, social faux-pas, or the negative features of our human condition productively?
There’s no question the United States — and the globe — has been experiencing crisis and turmoil. Crisis Theory emerged as a response to assist those who faced unimaginable horrors while serving in WWII — can it help us now? How can we apply Crisis Theory to the U.S.’s political climate, institutions, policies, and laws; personal therapy sessions and individual mental health; and response to the COVID-19 global pandemic in order to enact positive change?
If ‘good’ is what causes pleasure and ‘evil’ is what causes pain, is death evil? Or, do we live in a universe where what happens to is indifferent and only how we relate to it is good or bad? Is death a transformative experience or the cessation of life and consciousness?
Are we benefiting from mental health diagnoses, medications, and treatments? Or, is the current mental health industry causing more harm than healing? How do we accurately deal with psychological distress?
How has mate selection changed over time? How does assortative dating affect future populations?