EppsNet Archive: Mental Illness

Grounds for Dissolution

Divorce has traditionally been a fault-based proceeding, but California and most other states are now no-fault jurisdictions, and a divorce in legal terms is now called a Dissolution of Marriage. And yet we never hear anyone say “I’m going to dissolve you.” The primary ground for dissolution in California is “irreconcilable differences.” In a Regular Dissolution you are also allowed to use “incurable insanity.” Your spouse may seem crazy to you, but the insanity case is too complicated for you to present without an attorney, so if you want to keep things simple, go ahead and use “irreconcilable differences.” Read more →

What is Life Telling Me Right Now?

“You married a crazy person, you got old, there are women out there hooking up with everybody and you missed it, you dumb fucker . . .” Read more →

The Savvy Clinician

It’s a little hard to read the subtitle on the book cover but — “Savvy”?! I don’t think I want to work with clinicians who consider themselves “savvy.” Being “savvy” sounds like a poor substitute for actually knowing something. I’m not fully informed but I’m “savvy.” I’m “with it.” I’m “in the know.” Read more →

A Couple of Random Thoughts on Gun Control

Laws don’t turn crazy people into good citizens. What reasons are there to think that gun laws would make it difficult for anyone to obtain a gun? We’ve had a War on Drugs for decades. How difficult is it to obtain illegal drugs? Read more →

25 Concepts to Facilitate Judicious Use of Psychiatric Drugs

I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night . . . I also took a Colgate University class on medicating for mental health and judicious use of psychiatric drugs. A psychiatric medication is only one useful tool among a collection of useful tools. Remember to also consider non-drug options for therapy. The benefits of psychiatric medications are always accompanied by risk. Become familiar with the potential risk of your medication. Be alert to potential risks that might be intolerable to you. Establishing a diagnosis is a difficult and imperfect task, but it establishes the starting point for determining which treatments are appropriate. Engage your physician or a psychologist in a dialogue regarding the structure of your treatment program. Be an active participant in establishing the structure of that program. Having confidence that your treatment program will… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Richard Yates poses the question of how much reality people can stand, and the answer he comes up with is “not very much.” Alternatives to facing reality head-on are explored in Revolutionary Road: avoidance, denial, alcoholism, insanity and death. Some excerpts: “You want to play house you got to have a job. You want to play very nice house, very sweet house, you got to have a job you don’t like. Great. This is the way ninety-eight-point-nine per cent of the people work things out, so believe me buddy you’ve got nothing to apologize for. Anybody comes along and says ‘Whaddya do it for?’ you can be pretty sure he’s on a four-hour pass from the State funny-farm; all agreed.”   And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to… Read more →

Japan, Day 2: Kinkakuji Temple, Nishijin Textile Center, Tea Ceremony, Bullet Train, Atami

Kinkakuji Temple Kinkaku-ji (lit. “Temple of the Golden Pavilion”), officially named Rokuon-ji (lit. “Deer Garden Temple”), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. The site of Kinkaku-ji was originally a villa called Kitayama-dai, belonging to a powerful statesman, Saionji Kintsune. Kinkaku-ji’s history dates to 1397, when the villa was purchased from the Saionji family by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and transformed into the Kinkaku-ji complex. When Yoshimitsu died, the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son, according to his wishes. During the Onin war, all of the buildings in the complex aside from the pavilion were burned down. On July 2, 1950, at 2:30 am, the pavilion was burned down by a 22-year-old novice monk, Hayashi Yoken, who then attempted suicide on the Daimon-ji hill behind the building. He survived, and was subsequently taken into custody. The monk was sentenced to seven years in prison, but was… Read more →

If I Am Out of My Mind …

… it’s okay with me. Read more →

Don’t Bring a Gun That Shoots Plastic Pellets to a Gunfight

Man shot to death by police even though family told 911 his gun was fake — U.S. News Read more →

Two of the Strangest Mental Disorders Ever

Cotard’s Syndrome – The patient believes he is dead. Capgras Syndrome – The patient believes that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor. The second one reminds me of the old Steven Wright joke: “Last night somebody broke into my apartment and replaced everything with exact duplicates … When I pointed it out to my roommate, he said, ‘Do I know you?’” Read more →

Twitter: 2010-11-20

RT @eddiepepitone: when my shrink straps me in for electroshock therapy I know it's going to be a good day if the voltage is just right. # Read more →

Short Books

My kid’s got a summer assignment for AP English — select and read two novels from a list of about 20. I’ve been telling him since June that I’d be glad to go over the list with him and recommend books that he might enjoy reading but he’s put it off so long now that I’m limited to recommending short books that he might enjoy reading, and that leaves us with Ethan Frome, Wide Sargasso Sea and All the Pretty Horses. He comes back from the bookstore with Frome and Sargasso, two books about men who marry crazy women. He ruled out All the Pretty Horses because it’s 300 pages long and “I read the first sentence and it had like six adjectives.” Read more →

Twitter: 2010-03-10

RT @eddiepepitone: Zagat's guide: best mental institution is Creedmore. Their chicken a la king will drive you nuts-great game room as well. # Read more →

Dad Is Not Nuts

As part of a family discussion, my mom names the three members of our extended family whom she considers to be nuts. My sister adds two more people to the list, including my dad. “No, Dad is not nuts,” my mom says, “although he gets along well with the nuts.” My dad says to me, “That’s the best compliment I’ve ever had from this family.” “That you’re not nuts?” I ask. “That’s right.” Read more →

Microblog: 2009-04-20

Carrie Fisher on her core audience: Alcoholics, addicts, gay (both sexes), mentally ill & people named Erica – http://twurl.nl/hvswww # You know my motto: I never metacognitive I didn’t like. # Temps are soaring in the OC. Treated myself to an ice-cold lemonade at lunch… # @NoReinsGirl That’s why I stockpile rum, coke and ice. Emergency preparedness! in reply to NoReinsGirl # Read more →

Core Audience

Carrie Fisher on her core audience: Alcoholics, addicts, gay (both sexes), mentally ill & people named Erica…… Read more →

Really Crazy

I had an office visit with my doctor, who is also my wife’s doctor . . . We always spend a few minutes talking about my wife, who, to use the medical terminology, is “really crazy.” “She is really crazy,” the doctor says. “I don’t know how you keep your sanity. You always seem so calm. I bow to you.” And she stretches both arms out and actually bows. I’m glad someone is able to get a laugh out of it. Then she refills my Paxil prescription so I can make it through the next six months . . . Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

Diagonal Jaywalkers I don’t mind if you want to cut across the middle of the road. I do that myself. But when I do it, I take a straight line perpendicular to the street and I walk briskly, maybe even jog a little bit. I don’t take a diagonal path into oncoming traffic and refuse to speed up when I see a car coming. Why do I not do it that way, you ask? Two reasons: The person driving the car may not be paying attention and may run me over and kill me. The person driving the car may be a crazy person looking to run over anybody who gets in his way. YOU DON’T THINK SO?! There’s a lot of nuts out there! Read the news! I swear to god, some days I feel like I’m just hanging on by a thread myself. Think about that the next… Read more →

You Don’t Say

One of our exercises in Crucial Conversations training was to “think of a person who is really frustrating to work with,” and to describe in writing a recent interaction with that person in terms of what was actually said, and what you were thinking or feeling but didn’t say. My responses included the following: What I Actually Said This project presents some unique challenges. What I Didn’t Say I have a lot of experience managing IT projects, but not in running a day care center or a mental institution, which is what this project requires. What I Actually Said That’s not quite the way I would have phrased it. What I Didn’t Say Everyone else in these meetings seems to feel constrained by a sense of professionalism and decency that you appear not to possess. One of my colleagues at our table of four claimed that based on those responses,… Read more →

He Didn’t Go Crazy

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — Paul Davis, a singer and songwriter whose soft rock hit “I Go Crazy” stayed on the charts for months after its release in 1977, died Tuesday. He was 60. — CNN.com That’s disappointing. Not the fact that he died, because who cares, really, but the fact that he didn’t actually go crazy and kill himself in some bizarre fashion . . . Read more →

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