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Mental Illness

On my mind: A bible of alternative treatments in psychiatry

If fortunate, we find teachers in our lives who enhance the way we work and how we see the world. During my training in psychiatry, I found one such teacher, a psychiatrist named Richard...

On My Mind: A public health campaign for the Vineyard

The Island Wide Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Coalition is an association of concerned citizens and health and social service organizations. A public health committee (of which I am a member) has been meeting every...

On My Mind: Room for love and loss at Windemere

In “Being Mortal,” Atul Gawande says that a good geriatrician “always looks at the person’s feet.” We would add that a good geriatrician always looks at a person’s room. At Windemere and perhaps everywhere...

Mental Illness: The attack, and the PTSD that followed

We opened this series on mental illness with Hermine Hull’s touching piece about her struggles with depression (bit.ly/HHDepression). Last month, Martha’s Vineyard Times contributor Jonathan Burke, who lives with mental illness himself, reported on...

On my mind: How and why we detach from reality

In psychology, the term for detaching from reality is “dissociation.” There is a spectrum on which we all detach. Right now, as I write, I lose awareness of the dog snoring, my cold feet,...

Mental Illness on Martha’s Vineyard: In the bunker

We opened this series on mental illness with Hermine Hull’s touching piece about her struggles with depression (bit.ly/HHDepression). Martha’s Vineyard Times contributor Jonathan Burke, who lives with mental illness himself, has been writing about...

On My Mind: Sugar and mental health

Few people leave my office without the advice to rigorously reduce their sugar and starch intake and to eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish. I give this advice mostly because time after time,...

On My Mind: The season of envy

For many Islanders, the coming of the summer season can be painful, not just because of the increased work burden, the crowded roads, and the longer lines at the Post Office and the supermarket,...

On my mind: What to do if you have a mentally ill family member?

Here are two facts: First, when there is family involvement in the care of people with serious mental illnesses, everyone does better. Second, family involvement in mental health care does not occur in the...

On My Mind: Are you a highly sensitive person?

Fifteen to twenty percent of people are born with a temperament that makes them especially sensitive to a wide range of sensory and emotional stimuli. Interestingly, so are 15 - 20 percent of at...

On My Mind: ‘Why don’t you take my insurance?

Buying good health insurance is an expensive proposition, and it seems only right that it should cover good mental health care. Yet a large portion of mental health practitioners do not deal directly with...

On My Mind: Is there more than one of you?

I am losing my hearing faster than most people. My grandparents and my parents wore hearing aids, and one grandfather was quite deaf. Although my hearing aids currently work very well for me, a...

On My Mind: The power of mindfulness

People are happiest, most at peace and unbothered by life’s problems, when they are too engaged in something to be thinking about themselves. Years ago, the psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi coined the term flow activity,...

On My Mind: Weed and the developing brain

Over the course of my career, I have known countless people who started using marijuana in their teen and preteen years whose lives have been irreparably damaged as a result. Addiction, psychiatric illness, and...

Mental illness on Martha’s Vineyard: Life and death with severe bipolar disorder

The Times has run several stories on Vineyarders suffering with mental illness. For others, see: bit.ly/MVMentalillness Leslie’s husband suffered from bipolar disorder — a mental illness that can cause inexhaustible exuberance in someone, but also...

Mental Illness on Martha’s Vineyard: My anxiety disorder

What word should I say? “Big” or “large”? Have I turned off the stove? Did I leave the door open? Is it locked at night? Am I wearing the “right” sweater? Did I drive...

An anxiety story: He just doesn’t talk

Sam is 23 years old, and does not speak. He has an anxiety disorder called selective mutism (SM). He understands language, but he is unable to speak to anyone other than his parents. A...

On My Mind: Parental worry

When it comes to our children, we parents are rarely at a loss for things to worry about: health, drugs, alcohol, accidents, school, sex, emotional upheavals, travel, the state of the planet. Will they...

On My Mind: When horrible things happen

About once a month, Dr. Charles Silberstein, psychiatrist at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, will write a column that directly addresses issues Islanders have with mental health.   A father lost his son in a boating accident. A...

On My Mind: Adverse childhood events and self-soothing

At least once a month, as part of the MV Times’ ongoing Mental Illness series, Dr. Charles Silberstein will write a column that directly addresses issues Islanders have with mental health. Dr. Silberstein is...