Fade To Black

You used to hear her mangled call
But now she’s hollow inside
Filled up with drugs and alcohol
And drained of all her pride

As good times always seem to fall,
And memories go out with the tide
Her cares and feelings grow so small
And her soul becomes fates bride

She tried to get ahead in life,
But now she’s lost her mind
She used to have a conscience
But dignity gone blind

She gave her whole life away
To those who can’t give back
And now she’s left with nothing
Stuck in a world that faded black
(this poem is about my sister)

What Kind of Professionals Can Be Depressed?

Therese J. Borchard

What-Kind-of-Professionals-Can-Be-Depressed-RM-722x406-1The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 last week has raised questions about who is mentally fit to fly a plane. Obviously, there needs to be some revisions to the present policies abroad in response to the tragedy of 150 lives. I mourn for all the families and send my prayers to them. However, in reading pieces about the new possible regulations to be put in place, I fear the industry will become like the legal sector, where strict procedures to maintain mental-health fitness has discouraged both law students and established attorneys from getting the help they need for a mood disorder.

“In some states, law students who report that they have a mental health condition as part of the character and fitness investigation may be precluded from passing the bar,” Timothy Clement, MPH, Scattergood Fellow on Stigma Reduction, told me today. “In many other states the student will have to…

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The Life-Saving Power of Purpose

Therese J. Borchard

P1030193Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

A year ago this week I tested that theory.

I’ve always been depressed. I must have emerged from my mother’s womb with an overactive amygdala and a deficient prefrontal cortex–creative brain wiring that generates panic and sadness. I was almost hospitalized in the fourth grade because I simply could not stop crying. However, since December of 2008, when the market crashed, I hadn’t been able to surface into the land of the living and do things like pick up the kids from school and be at places like swim practice without hearing constant death thoughts (“I wish I were dead”).

They were persistent, loud, and maddening.

For five years I tried countless medication combinations, saw my psychiatrist every few weeks, worked with a therapist, and swam two and a half miles every day.

Still, I…

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