This Is Who I Am: A Glimpse into Jeremiah’s Story

By Jeremiah Lin | Featured Contributor


I suffer from bipolar. Of the worst kind. Manic episodes. Severe psychosis. Deep delusions fully believing that I’m Jesus.

I will destroy my relationships. Make random connections with strangers. Come up with a million business plans to make a billion dollars. Empty my bank account and max out credit cards to “help” others. Give away all my earthly possessions. Isn’t that what Jesus would do?

I’ve made myself homeless. I’ve ended up in numerous mental hospitals. Had far too many run-ins with police officers. Most people, including cops, don’t understand the symptoms of mania. That makes me a perceived threat. Dozens of arrests. Spent several years of my life behind bars. Several times I’ve been brutalized by law enforcement. This last time nearly cost my life.

Continue reading “This Is Who I Am: A Glimpse into Jeremiah’s Story”

The Broken Mind: Living with Bipolar Disorder

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”

Feeling ‘Hangry?’ – Hypoglycemia, Mental Health, and the Importance of Diet

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”

Suicide: A Personal Journey from Trauma to Triumph

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”

Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 2)

By Barbara Leonhard | Featured Contributor


[Click here for Part 1]

Depression developed and flourished because I grieved so much over loss of fertility.

Women who are childless miss out on a great deal. They never feel what it is like to have a life growing, kicking and wiggling inside of them; to cry out during the birth of a baby (a rite of passage to celebrate with girlfriends); to watch over and even to grow with a child through sickness and health, all the milestones of birthdays, graduations, marriage, and the births of grandchildren. I have even grieved not being able to be the tooth fairy, help my kids find Easter eggs, read them bedtime stories, take them to the zoo.

Feeling apart from and not a part of the tribe still saddens me. I find I am left out of conversations about all those life passages women around me have. I feel I have little to contribute. I have attended and hosted many baby showers, but my mind always wanders to my losses, making it difficult to be fully present to the joy young mothers feel. Women form strong bonds with each other and share in all the rituals around birthing and raising children. I feel like an outsider at times, like I am more an observer than a participant in these sacred passages.

Continue reading “Broken Womb, Shattered Soul: Living with Infertility (part 2)”

Hillman’s Demons: A Poem on Depression

By Chris Reed, Featured Contributor


James Hillman told me
the demons will come
at night in old age,
and will settle
on my bed,
on my chest,
in my hair,
in my head,
in my guts,
and prod me awake.

Befriend them he says.
They are your demons.
They are here to help.
And know you are 
enough worn with years
to be not afraid.

Drink tea.
Pay heed.
Converse.

If you look them in the eye,
know you’ll soon be gone,
so don’t care what they think,
they will give you quarter
and disarm.

Then you can hold them close,
like children,
with sharp claws and teeth,
and comfort them.
For their torments are yours;
their shadows are your shadows.

Hand in hand in the night,
no one is afraid of the dark.

Continue reading “Hillman’s Demons: A Poem on Depression”

Not Depressed: The Story of a Girl

By Yamini Rana


Twenty months ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression.

It was the beginning of June 2018. I was on a family road trip. At that time, it had been five months since I had moved away from home, to a well-known center for those preparing for prestigious high-end government exams…

Continue reading “Not Depressed: The Story of a Girl”

Taking Control of Depression

Depression. One word that can mean so many things. For those who have lived with or currently live with depression, you know very well the effects it can have on your daily life. Depression can drain not only your physical energy, but also your hopes, motivation, enjoyment, and personal drive. You may be aware of all the steps to getting better, but you just cannot get yourself to take even the first one. If this sounds all too familiar to you, you are not alone. And there is hope.

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Continue reading “Taking Control of Depression”

Chronic Pain & You

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Do you live with chronic pain? Does pain seem to infiltrate every area of your life, to the point that it is affecting your quality of life?

If so, you are not alone. 

In this post, I will focus on the complex condition that is chronic pain and discuss how it works. In a subsequent post, I will present a “Chronic Pain Toolbox” that will equip you with essential self-management skills, so that you can be empowered to regain the quality of life you deserve.

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Continue reading “Chronic Pain & You”

6 Causes of Fatigue that You Should Know

By Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH

Do you always feel tired? Do you often have difficulty getting through the day because of lack of energy? Sometimes, being tired is expected and normal (for example, after an all-nighter, after a bout of the flu, or after a busy non-stop week). However, if you find yourself always feeling worn out despite adequate rest, to the point your tiredness negatively affects your quality of life, it’s time to do something about it.

In this post, I will discuss six common health conditions that can lead to chronic fatigue. While this is by no means an exhaustive guide, these are conditions that frequently affect people and (for the most part) are easily diagnosable and treatable. In a subsequent post, I will discuss practical ways in which you can effectively combat your fatigue…regardless of the cause. 

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Continue reading “6 Causes of Fatigue that You Should Know”

5 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency You Should Know

By Phoebe Chi, MD

Vitamin D deficiency. Do you know the symptoms? How do you know if you are at risk of having it? What should you do if you are, and how do you prevent it? These are the questions I will answer today…

Continue reading “5 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency You Should Know”

Melancholia.

Heed the echos of a heartache,
anguished sear of reverie.
Feel its scalp bleed down her face,
scathing tears of memories.
See the eyes that once freely smiled
fading with defeat.
As silent fields in which she lies
drift away with night’s conceit.

I’m Sorry I Couldn’t Do More.

You took your life.

I’m sorry I was only
fifteen feet away.

The doctors were only fifteen feet away.

You didn’t know this.
But I spent days and nights
next door to where you decided
to end your life. Where the doctors
gather, pondering over differentials…
treatments…dissecting our every move
to ensure that we are doing the
right thing for you.

The right thing…

If I had known you,
I would have fought for you.
I know you weren’t my patient;
I know we had never even met.
I am just the person who found
you. Who pronounced you.
You were already cold,
but still, I placed the
stethoscope against
your chest and
listened.

I didn’t hear anything.

Did you hear me as
I wept for you?

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry
you were suffering.

I’m sorry you felt
as if
you had
no way out.

I’m sorry I couldn’t do more. 

This is a reflection over an event that happened during residency.
An event I still think about at times. 
A lingering guilt.

To Rhonda.

 

Almost a year ago, I wrote something for your daughter.

 •

I never thought at that time that soon I would be writing similar lines for you.

So as I try to find ways to make sense of the pain of finding out that you left us, just as Kaitlyn had left us, I can only come out with these words…

…That through your daughter’s passing,
you had come into our lives.

Through your pain,
the world was moved.

Through your words,
 eyes were opened.

Through your tears,
hearts were touched, lives changed.

And through your perseverance,
Kaitlyn lived on.

But even as you worked unceasingly,
Your soul continued to break, your heart grieved.

And now you are again with your daughter, your bright shining star.

Goodbye, Rhonda. Now you can finally rest.

◊ A Poem Dedicated to the Memory of Rhonda ◊

Sky

 Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower, we will find… rather… strength in what remains behind…

•      •      •

.For those who may not have known Rhonda, here are the links to her writing.

My Bright Shining Star: A Mother’s True Story of Brilliance, Love, and Suicide

My Bright Shining Star, a blog

To Kaitlyn, a Girl I Will Never Know.

I’ve been wanting to write this to you for a while. I go to work, and though I’ve never met you, I think about you. I talk to a patient, and while I’m standing there, there you are again, tugging at my heart. Maybe it’s because I know of your mom, and I know of her heartbreak. Maybe it’s because I know you will never be able to do what you were meant to do.

This is what I know about you. You were a medical student. You went to school in North Carolina. You cared for people. And you wanted to care for them at the greatest capacity possible. You wanted to help people during their times of sickness, strengthen them in their weakness. But your life was robbed from beneath you. So this will never happen. And the world has lost another great physician.

I hear you were a loving person, one who illuminated the day of all whom you came across. Of course you did. You were your mother’s shining star. But what no one knew, and what you didn’t reveal until your departure, was that you were also suffering. Deeply. But you were good at hiding it with your smile. And because it was a genuine smile, we were beguiled. Especially those closest to you.

bench

When I think of you, my heart aches. Maybe it’s because I feel that I understand you better than I have a right to. Maybe it is because I once smiled a similar smile. I weep because of what you did, and because I think I understand why.

When I think of you, my soul is anguished. You were going to be a remarkable physician. You would have touched others with your empathy, changed lives with your care. They would have remembered you, not simply because you were the one who eased their suffering and comforted their souls, but because your spirit would have brightened their lives. No one had the right to take that away from you.

I’m sorry I never got to know you.

But even now, you will not be forgotten.

◊ A Tribute to her Mother: Rhonda Elkins ◊

◊ A Poem Dedicated to Kaitlyn and her Mother ◊

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