I had my first recurring nightmares in preschool. They involved the witch from Disney’s Snow White waiting to snatch me in my laundry room. Sleep is a major mindfuck for most children. I was convinced I didn’t sleep until I was three because I couldn’t remember it. But I’ve had vivid dreams and bad nights since, at least, then.
The first thing I ever did in my life was crash a party. It was two days shy of my sister’s third birthday in 1985 and she was celebrating early with a party at McDonald’s when I expressed what I am now convinced is the earliest recorded symptom of histrionic personality disorder by insisting on entry into the world before she got to blow out her candles. I was born two days later
Marissa Maciel's previous work for The Toast can be found here. One clue that you may be having emotional difficulties in your pregnancy is when you tell people “I’m pregnant,” and their first reaction is to say, “Oh, is that ok?” No matter how planned my second pregnancy had been (trying for months, taking prenatal vitamins in advance, storing hand-me-downs from our first child for years), whenever I told anyone I was pregnant, I…
Mary J. Breen's previous work for The Toast can be found here.
My old piano sits in the corner of the dining room. No one but my grandson ever plays it, and he only when he wants to show me something new he’s learned. Visitors always marvel at its marquetry flower baskets and its carved mahogany, and they’re right; it’s a lovely thing. However, for me, it’s more than that. For me,
I was sitting in my gynecologist’s office, waiting to get my IUD removed so my husband and I can have a baby, when the woman across from me began telling a nurse about her daughter who killed herself the previous year.
“Her first boyfriend broke up with her,” the other patient said. “She didn’t think she’d get anyone else.”
“Last year? You’re in good shape,” said the nurse. “I’d
A couple days ago, I had just began to shampoo my hair when I saw a spider dangling under the faucet, struggling to hold on to its filament.
My heart started racing and I had one foot out of the tub before I started reviewing my options—I could end my shower now, covered in suds. I could try and wash the spider down the drain. I could yell for my
Let's note that I write this while experiencing psychosis, and that much of this has been written during a strain of psychosis known as Cotard’s delusion, in which the patient believes that she is dead. What the writer’s confused state means to either of us is not beside the point, because it is the point. The point is that I am in here, somewhere: cogito ergo sum.
It wasn’t the first time I’d cut, it wasn’t even the worst, but I still found myself biking to the emergency room at 1:30 on a Sunday morning. My original intention had been to call my company’s Employee Assistance Program so that they would help me find a counselor. I wanted to get back on antidepressants; I wanted to spend fewer nights crying in the dark with a box cutter. While my intentions were clear,…
If at times I am a little unsure as to the state of my mental health, my dreams serve as a fairly good barometer. When I am feeling well, I remember few dreams, and those I do recall are cheerfully weird, like the one about the miniature albino hedgehog I decided to keep in a rice and lettuce wrap in the fridge. When I’m not, my dreams are convoluted and violent, full of
Experts across the country are warning that America is in the throes of a new mental health epidemic. Over the past decade, psychologists have reported record numbers of those who suffer from being, like, suuuuper OCD – and the figures are only getting worse. “Super OCD” is not to be confused with textbook obsessive compulsive disorder, which can be characterized by unwanted compulsive rituals and disturbing intrusive thoughts that detract from one’s quality of life.
This post is brought to you by A Man. Sometime in my late twenties I started asking close friends if everyone thought about killing themselves all the time. “I mean, is this like a human condition sort of thing?” I'd ask over a beer or a coffee (a jocund raconteur, I am). “Like, does everyone walk around with a not-quite-voice in their head going youreafreaknobodylovesyougohomeandhangyourself pretty much every day, and is everyone else just way better at dealing…
This piece is brought to you on behalf of Michelle Brigid in celebration of her recent confirmation. I didn't know the secret meaning of the word “anxious” until I was older—seventeen, maybe, or eighteen. I knew that I felt different, that I worried a lot, that I was fearful. But I just thought I was strange, and generally kept to myself about it. When, on occasion, I would talk to a close friend or…
Here’s the situation: I want kids. I could have them. But I’ve decided that I shouldn’t. I’ve fought mental illness since I was a child—I remember being suicidal in fifth grade—and I’ve been medicated since I was 15. First for depression; after I got dumped at a birthday party and took forty-seven aspirin in the bathroom, then walked calmly into the next room and told someone I’d just taken forty-seven aspirin, I was diagnosed with…