Depression

Lady Gaga reveals her struggle with PTSD

Musician Lady Gaga recently revealed in an open letter that she is living with PTSD. In the letter, posted to the Born This Way Foundation website, she discussed her struggle with the condition since being sexually assaulted as a teenager: “I have wrestled for some time about when, how and if I should reveal my diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). After five years of searching for the answers to my chronic pain and the change I have felt in my brain, I am finally well enough to tell you.” In the letter, Gaga touched on living with and managing the symptoms of the condition, and that she experiences something called dissociation, which can present itself in a range of experiences – she opened up about how it impacted her: “…my mind doesn’t want to relive the pain so ‘I look off and I stare’ in a glazed over state… My body is in one place and my mind in another. It’s like the panic accelerator in my mind gets stuck and I am paralyzed with fear,” she wrote. “When this happens I can’t talk. When this happens repeatedly, it makes me have a common PTSD reaction which is …

Lady Gaga reveals her struggle with PTSD Read More »

“I think there needs to be a national-level dialogue about it”: Eleni Pinnow on depression, suicide and her sister’s story

“Aletha Meyer Pinnow, 31 … died from depression and suicide on Feb. 20, 2016.” So begins the obituary that Eleni Pinnow penned about her sister for the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune. The candid obit went viral and struck a chord with countless readers – in the mental health community and beyond – so Eleni followed up with a piece in The Washington Post called “I told the truth about my sister’s obituary, so that others might choose to live.” We recently talked with Eleni, who is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She shared more about her sister’s life and struggles, the stigma surrounding mental illness and her own experience with managing depression. You and your sister were really close. Do you have a favorite memory about her that you can share with us? One of the things that somebody said to me at my sister’s memorial was that when you were with Aletha, it was totally okay to just really be who you were and let your freak flag fly. I think that was really true; Aletha took people as they were. One of my favorite memories of her was when were adults and we …

“I think there needs to be a national-level dialogue about it”: Eleni Pinnow on depression, suicide and her sister’s story Read More »

Meet Ginny from the PatientsLikeMe Team of Advisors

Say hello to Ginny (Mrslinkgetter), a case manager and family partner with Youth Mobile Crisis Intervention living with depression and epilepsy.  She’s also a member of the 2016-2017 Team of Advisors. Check out what Ginny had to say about living with depression and epilepsy, the loss of her son, and how being her own advocate and the support of others helps her deal with stigma: What gives you the greatest joy and puts a smile on your face? My first greatest joy that puts a smile on my face is spending time with my granddaughter! (She is 2 and the cutest girl on the planet by my biased opinion!). My second greatest joy is connecting with people using either my journey with chronic health issues, or my son’s and being able to help them. I often edit my son’s story a bit if I believe the way his life ended might cause more harm to them, especially my clients. What has been your greatest obstacle living with your condition, and what societal shifts do you think need to happen so that we’re more compassionate or understanding of these challenges? People have pre-conceived ideas about depression, anxiety, and seizures and even …

Meet Ginny from the PatientsLikeMe Team of Advisors Read More »

“When the wind turns against you, adjust your sails” – Member Steve opens up about living with ALS

Say hello to Steve (sheronemus), a member of the ALS community who also struggles with depression. We recently caught up with him to learn about how his life has changed since his diagnosis, the importance of doing what you love and how he manages multiple conditions. Check out what he had to say about what helps him find peace and harmony while “living with ALS, not dying of it.” Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are you passionate about? I am a husband, father of 4 adult children, and grandfather of 2. I am all about making life better for others, especially for those living with disabilities. That involves consulting to our city administrator about accessibility, working with my national church organization to improve inclusion of people with disabilities into all aspects of church life including leadership, building an adaptive sailing program, and launching a company that provides affordable accessible housing units for sale or lease (www.roostsuites.com). How has life changed since your diagnosis? Living with ALS is obviously difficult, but I also have experienced many positive changes in my life. I have more time with my family and what I choose to do with my days is …

“When the wind turns against you, adjust your sails” – Member Steve opens up about living with ALS Read More »

Patients as Partners: Doug on learning about himself through others

Next up in our Partnership Principles series is Team of Advisors member Doug (ducksixty). A writer and former actor, Doug tapped into his creative side and has shared a personal essay about Steve, a neighbor with fibromyalgia who unknowingly helped him realize something about his own experience with depression. Check out his story below and find out how Steve inspired him to look inward and re-evaluate what’s important: “I’m electing to dethrone the disease and reassert a part of my former self.” Steve can barely move. Wants to, but he can’t. A burly, silver-bearded, former long-haul trucker, he lives in the senior citizen one-bedrooms next door. Had to throw in the towel several years ago when inexplicable, undiagnosed joint pain made it impossible for him to drive safely. Retired early, Steve lives on a carefully-measured monthly Social Security payout. He knows enough to call what he’s got “fibromyalgia,” and he’s tried to get help for it in our rural, medically-underserved corner of California desert, but he simply doesn’t have the means. Even after Obamacare. Every day, he shuffles out his front door, gingerly lowers himself into the folding chair outside his apartment entrance, and chats with passersby. All day. Won’t …

Patients as Partners: Doug on learning about himself through others Read More »

“I am working on all of it slowly” — Member David opens up about his experience with PTS

Meet member David (david61060), a United States Air Force veteran who’s living with multiple conditions including PTS, sleep apnea, and epilepsy. When we caught up with him, David shared what it was like to grow up as a “navy brat,” his experience in the military, and how It took him more than nine years to admit to himself that he had PTS. Below, see what he has to say about triggers, coping with more than one condition, and the value of connecting with others on PatientsLikeMe. Tell us a little about yourself. To tell you about myself … well I was a navy brat and grew up mostly around just military kids and people connected with the military, every 3 to 4 years moving to a new base. Except in the 70s we stayed in the Republic of Panama for 6 years, leaving there in 1976. I was 16 — that was the hardest move. First year of high school … leaving behind a lot of friends that I knew I would never see again. Moving to California and graduating high school, I went into the Air Force. In my 15 years I saw a lot and did a lot …

“I am working on all of it slowly” — Member David opens up about his experience with PTS Read More »

Touched with fire: Harnessing the fire of bipolar

Over the last few weeks, new PatientsLikeMe member Paul has been opening up about living with bipolar and how this condition inspires his art. Touched with Fire, a debut feature film now playing in select theaters, was written, edited, directed and scored by him and draws on his personal experiences. Discovering Kay Jamison’s book of the same name gave a new meaning to his condition when he needed it most. With the management of his bipolar now a finely tuned process, Paul says the most important thing is to “learn how to thrive in it. Not just get by in it, and not to be destroyed by it.” Here’s what Paul has to say: Having trouble watching the video? Click the button below: Share your own experiences and connect with more than 70,000 members in the Mental Health forum on PatientsLikeMe.   Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.

Meet Doug from the PatientsLikeMe Team of Advisors

We’d like to introduce you to Doug, another member of your 2015-2016 Team of Advisors. Doug is an actor, teacher and writer living with major depressive disorder (MDD). He’s been tracking his health on PatientsLikeMe since 2008. Doug feels there is a lot of stigma surrounding the term “mental illness,” and shares that one of his biggest challenges has been opening up about his depression. He believes that MDD isn’t talked about enough in society: “We’ve got to figure out how to encourage the sensitivity and understanding.” Here, Doug describes a vivid picture of what it’s like to live with depression and offers some advice to other patients: Find others living with your condition, and know that you’re not alone. What gives you the greatest joy and puts a smile on your face? My kids, their antics and achievements, their growth, even their mistakes, are what get me up in the morning. Drawing closer to seeing or speaking with them is probably my greatest motivator. It’s funny, though; I wouldn’t label what they bring as ‘joy,’ per se. When you’re living with chronic Major Depressive Disorder, and when you’re treated with an affect-flattening medication like lithium, joy all but falls …

Meet Doug from the PatientsLikeMe Team of Advisors Read More »

Touched with fire: A meaning behind the suffering

We’ve been talking with new PatientsLikeMe member Paul, whose debut feature-film, Touched with Fire – inspired by his experiences living with bipolar – opened last week in select theaters.  For Paul, the road to diagnosis was more like being on a rollercoaster. Years of using marijuana seemed to stimulate his creativity at film school, but culminated in the manic episode that would shape the rest of his life. His diagnosis was not the divine revelation he interpreted it as, but the triggering of a lifelong disease: bipolar disorder. Here’s how Paul describes this time in his life: Having trouble watching the video? Click the button below:     Share your own experiences and connect with more than 70,000 members in the Mental Health forum on PatientsLikeMe.  Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.

Food for thought: healthy eating in 2016

A lot of people talk about smartening up their diets at the start of a new year. Over the past month, many PatientsLikeMe members have shared eating habits they’re going to keep and the new ones they’d like to start in 2016 — everything from cutting down on salt to going vegan. Take a look at what some people said below: “I’m not changing my eating patterns. I eat anything I want, just in moderation. I shy away from processed food, limit my salt intake and eat lots of fruits and vegies. I try and snack healthy, although this is hard.” -MS member   “I am going to be taking a complete overall look at my diet, as I don’t look after myself anymore, and I am going to try and get back on track!” -Fibromyalgia member “My diet excludes all animal products. That means no dairy, no eggs, and no meat or fish. I eat a wide variety of grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. I avoid processed sugars and use coconut sugar or agave, for example. I made these changes approximately three years ago. I am healthier because of my vegan diet.” -Major Depressive Disorder member “I’ve been gluten free since …

Food for thought: healthy eating in 2016 Read More »

Scroll to Top