By Dre from Jerz | Featured Contributor
As a man in his early 40’s, coping with bipolar disorder and manic depression has been a major struggle. But through an open understanding and a willingness to learn, mental health issues can become manageable.
It all started in my late twenties. I was sitting on my twin-sized bed listening to one of my favorite hip hop CD’s. After a breakup with a young lady at the time and in between menial jobs, my mind was in a fragile state. I would play this particular CD on repeat from evening to morning. Not realizing it at the time, but internally I had snapped to the point my brainwaves shifted into an altered phase.
Continue reading “The Broken Mind: Living with Bipolar Disorder”
By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor
Depression is a complex weave, and I have explored it in various articles on Phoebe, MD. The grief of watching my mom decline with Alzheimer’s and the grief of infertility. However, did you know that some symptoms of depression can also result from a diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, which in some people can lead to postprandial hypoglycemia (extremely low blood sugar after a meal)? This has been another life challenge for me.
Continue reading “Feeling ‘Hangry?’ – Hypoglycemia, Mental Health, and the Importance of Diet”
By Riya Bhatia | Featured Contributor
Note from Author: This was written when I was experiencing one of my worst anxiety attacks. Instead of running away from it, I decided to embrace it and use my words as a means of understanding myself better.
* * *
My breath trembles
as the room seems to be
consuming my soul,
The walls are closing in
and my thoughts are
consuming me whole,
Sweat and tears
dim the shine
and rosiness of my face,
And all they can say
is keep picturing yourself
in a better place,
I’m crippled with fear
and can’t think
beyond this second,
How do I move on
and when will this ever end,
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Hold it for a few seconds.
It’ll be alright,
The day will get better
and the sun will shine bright.
My heart starts to race
as tears stream down my cheek,
I can’t concentrate
on a single thing
and keep calling myself weak,
You’re not like this,
you can do it,
but you’re all wrong,
Focus. Focus. Focus.
Keep focusing on your goals,
it’ll be be okay,
and not take very long.
I’m dizzy and nauseous,
fearful and upset,
how could I let this
happen to myself,
I want to go back to when I was twelve.
Continue reading “Attacked: A Poem on Anxiety”
By John Gregory Evans | Featured Contributor
Life can be quite demanding.
One may find themselves trying to overcome childhood sexual abuse and jump from the frying pan into the fire by volunteering with the USMC during the Vietnam War from 1971 to 1972; subsequently, sexually molested by a mid-level NCO while serving active duty through Combat Training. As well, with combat related scenarios one may also be injured upon a field training exercise after three consecutive explosive blasts are detonated, hurling an M-60 spent cartridge to its potential target, a young seventeen – year-old male’s cervical spine, thus, inducing a permanent nerve damage that could potentially one day paralyze him from the neck down, including the larynx. Hence, my patriotic chore that led a confused, dazed, and mystified young man to serious suicidal attempts and further ideation. This continued for many years.
Will there ever be relief?
Will the suffering end?
The answer to this is yes. Give yourself time.
Continue reading “Suicide: A Personal Journey from Trauma to Triumph”
By Klyn Elsbury | Featured Contributor
I can have a conversation with you about your stressful day while infusing antibiotics straight into my heart through a port-a-cath. I pay attention to your every word when nausea kicks in, asking intelligent follow-up questions, and when you’re relaxed after your stressful day, just ask that you hold my hand. Bonus points if you can bring me a Starbucks en route to the hospital.
I am 32-years-old and have been hospitalized 67 times, ranging in length from one day to six months. The diagnosis is cystic fibrosis and diabetes. The prognosis? Nobody really knows.
I am happily engaged to a healthy man. In fact, he’s so healthy I don’t know if in five years I’ve seen him eat a vegetable that I didn’t force him into. And yet, dating was extremely difficult for me as I grappled with questions on when to tell him about my condition, navigating extended hospitalizations, and yes, even losing my bowels without warning one night.
It’s not uncommon for those with chronic illnesses to be shunned from the dating community. Many have given up entirely and left to feel like ‘used goods’. Even as I researched the article, polling my friends with chronic illnesses, many were reluctant to share their names because if a guy on an app googled them, they would face rejection before they felt it was time to disclose. And I couldn’t help but remember what it was like for me the moment the hot guy I was getting to know decided to type my name into Google, and decided if he was up for the adventure.
Our love story lasts and here are five other reasons that if you’ve been given the news or been contemplating taking the next step with someone with a chronic condition, to give it a go!
Continue reading “Why Dating a Woman With a Chronic Illness Is the Best Decision Your Heart Can Make”
By Don P. | Guest Contributor
On April 28, 2007, my life as I knew it came to an abrupt halt and turned 180 degrees. I had a massive heart attack that day, and a triple bypass surgery the following day. To really make my story special, I then flat-lined over a hundred times during the next twelve or so days, and followed that with a very high drama heart transplant and a five day stint on ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and was conscious (to a degree) while on a ventilator—the single worst memory in my lifetime. (ECMO is a machine that is basically an artificial lung to oxygenate your blood while your lungs rest/heal).
A week after my heart transplant, I regained consciousness and started to rebuild my body and my life, and unbeknownst to me, I was placed in training for this coronavirus pandemic…
Continue reading “Thirteen Years of Training For A Pandemic”