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Laughter in the Face of Mental Illness

This weekend, I had the opportunity to see the comedy/spoken word one man show Fruitcake: Ten Commandments of the Psych Ward, by Rob Gee. It was a wonderful production. The performance was witty, energetic, engaging, and wickedly funny. This show was about the lessons Rob has learned from his time of working as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital (with the help of the voice of God, who happens to be a Jamaican woman). It's not easy to laugh in the face of mental illness, especially when the play revolves around the stories of his patients.

At the beginning of the play, you are introduced to Rob, the voice of God that he hears in his head, some of his coworkers and the residents of the hospital. Because of the delicate nature of the subject, the audience doesn't exactly know how to react at first. We aren't sure if we should be laughing -and so our response is tentative at best.
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Celebrities

It’s Gonna Get Better -It’s Just Gotta

Depression has been a big topic in the news lately.  And I won't lie to you, depression is hard, really hard. The isolation, the silence, and the noise, and on and on and on. Depression is a quite contradictory, have you noticed that?  And when you are in the throes of it, it feels like it will last forever. But it doesn't. It tricks you into thinking that it lasts for an eternity, but it always goes away. And we get a reprieve of some sort.

Reading is a big help to me when I'm depressed, it takes me out of the moment and into another world, which is partly why I think of writers as A list celebrities. In matters such as these, I tend to accept wisdom from people who know themselves, and I find that people who spend endless hours alone know themselves better than people who surround themselves with an entourage.  
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Alcohol

Weekend Reading: Mariel Hemingway Is “Running From Crazy”


Mariel Hemingway is sharing her life-long struggles with mental illness, drug addiction, and family suicide (seven relatives -- including one of the most influential writers in American history, her grandfather Ernest Hemingway -- have committed suicide) in her new documentary, Running from Crazy.

The 51-year-old model and actress teamed up with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA; American Dream) to create a film that "places an emphasis on suicide awareness and the importance of mental health evaluations" and one that, the two hope, "offers hope for people living with mental illness by showing that they are not alone in their struggles."

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Depression

Enter to Win: ‘The Face of Emotion’ Book Giveaway!


Happy Friday, readers!

If you've visited Celebrity Psychings any in the past few days, you've seen that Dr. Eric Finzi's guest post has ran at the top of the blog since Monday.

Finzi, a board-certified dermasurgeon, proposes that in addition to its physical benefits, Botox might also provide mental benefits; specifically, Botox could act as a treatment for depression.

Change your facial expressions, change your mood?

Wild, I know.

He explains it all in his new book, The Face of Emotion: How Botox Affects Our Moods and Relationships, but gives Celebrity Psychings readers a quick summary with his guest post.

So, if you haven't had a chance to check it out Face of Emotion: Dr. Eric Finzi On How Botox Affects Moods, Feelings, head on over there -- but NOT until you've...

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Literature

Weekend Reading: Dr. George Drinka Tackles the Role of Media in Health


Happy Friday, readers!

If you have children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews, you might be especially interested in what Dr. George Drinka has to say about the role media plays in today's family dynamic, and, how it's affecting our children's health.

Dr. Drinka, a child psychiatrist who's on the clinical faculty of the Oregon Health Sciences University and has a private practice in Portland, is the author of the upcoming When the Media Is the Parent, a book geared toward educating parents about the role media plays in our children's lives.

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Celebrities

Weekend Reading: Rod Stewart On Missing Woodstock


Rod Stewart released his autobiography last month and, according to Jim Farber with NY Daily News ("Those looking for introspection or melancholy should quickly pass this by in favor of the far more lacerating and vulnerable bio just penned by Pete Townshend"), you might enjoy it if you're looking for something a little on the lighthearted side.

Rod: The Autobiography (which, for some reason I think is an awesome title) spans everything from personal life trials and triumphs, including his marriages and divorces, as well as professional events like transitioning from working with the Jeff Beck Group to being a solo artist.

Days before the autobiography hit shelves, Rolling Stone published an excerpt that blends both the personal and professional...

...and reminds us that we're all susceptible to facepalm moments.

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Everyday Folk

Weekend Reading: Joseph Burgo, Ph.D Explains Our Defense Mechanisms


Another one of Psych Central's own mental health bloggers has penned a masterpiece!

(Okay, maaaaaybe I'm just a little biased :) )

Psychotherapist and author Joseph Burgo, Ph.D, of Psych Central's Therapy Case Notes and his own After Psychotherapy, releases his new book Why Do I Do That? Psychological Defense Mechanisms and the Hidden Ways They Shape Our Lives, this Monday (October 29, 2012).

Why Do I Do That? draws on Burgo's 30+ years of experience to help readers better understand - and manage - their defense mechanisms. Relationships, self-esteem, emotional life, expectations - Burgo covers it all.

I've nabbed a copy of the official press release below.

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Celebrities

Neil Young On Sobriety: “It’s Just A Different Perspective”


Even though he once said he'd never write one, Neil Young has a memoir coming out next week...

...and he's quit drugs.

The 66-year-old singer-songwriter recently sat down with David Carr of The New York Times to talk about his new autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, and his year-long sobriety.

(Of course, that's just the condensed version; there's a little more to the story - like the time he was arrested on drug charges with Eric Clapton and Stephen Stills, and the time he partied with Charles Manson).

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Celebrities

Weekend Reading: Excerpt From Mitch Winehouse Book, “Amy, My Daughter”


Late last month, HarperCollins and Mitch Winehouse, father of the late English singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, released "Amy, My Daughter."

"Amy, My Daughter" chronicles the life of the 27-year-old talent, from her childhood to her untimely death from alcohol poisoning - all from the point of view of a loving, grieving,and proud father.

Thanks to Rolling Stone, we can check out an excerpt from "Amy, My Daughter."

The following bit highlights some of the professional and creative processes that went into creating "Back to Black," Winehouse's second studio album, and quite possibly the post popular with hits like "Back to Black," "You Know I'm No Good" and "Rehab":
It was fascinating to watch her: she was very much in control, and she was a perfectionist, redoing phrases and even words to the nth degree. When she wanted to listen to what she'd sung, she'd get them to put it on a CD, then play it in my taxi outside, because she wanted to know how most people would hear her music, which would not be through professional studio systems. In the end, Back to Black was made in just five months.
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