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The Sun Magazine

Body and Mind

Mental Health

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Drag

Although I believe I know how to have fun (camping is fun), I have recently started to suspect that some people consider me a “drag.” I’ve begun to consider myself a drag, especially when I can’t take a measly half day off without my conscience bugging me.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Agonizing Grace

“Do you feel you’re a danger to yourself or others?” Dr. Lyman G. Glandy, head psychiatrist at Fairview Psychiatric Hospital, wants to know. He’s interviewing me for the first time since my arrival here three days ago. We’re in my room, a small, Spartan, dimly lit chamber with all the charm of a prison cell.

Quotations

Sunbeams

A broken leg can be remembered and located: “It hurt right below my knee, it throbbed, I felt sick at my stomach.” But mental pain is remembered the way dreams are remembered — in fragments, unbidden realizations, like looking into a well and seeing the dim reflection of your face in that instant before the water shatters.

Tracy Thompson

Fiction

His Mrs. K

She sits in the kitchen with coffee and a view of the soft rain. This is her early-morning time alone and always the best part of the day, before he awakens and she must adjust to his moods, his needs. This, her hour of resolve — not to do anything in particular, but only to bear on through the morning.

The Sun Interview

The Voices Inside Their Heads

Gail Hornstein’s Approach To Understanding Madness

We must remember that no matter how serious someone’s emotional difficulties have been, they can completely recover. It’s crucial for them and their friends and family to know that. No expert knows enough about mental illness to say that you can’t improve. You might not know how to get better at this moment, but you have to start by knowing that it’s possible.

Sy Safransky's Notebook

January 2011

I haven’t written in more than a week. Forgive me, O Muse, for being absent without leave. Maybe it’s the Prozac. Maybe it’s the rain. Maybe it’s because I’m too damn vain. Can’t I put down simple words and send them out the door?