Art by Bobby Baker from Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me How a visionary woman persisted in leading a quiet revolution in mental health. BY MARIA POPOVA “All good teachers know that inside a remote or angry person is a soul, way deep down, capable of a full human life,” Anne Lamott wrote in her beautiful meditation on the life-giving power of great teachers. Those whom teachers — nor parents, nor friends, nor spouses, nor lovers — cannot reach, those whose inner turbulence has metastasized into acute mental illness and shipwrecked them on the remotest edges of the mind, are … Continue reading To Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the World: Pioneering Psychotherapist Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, the Loneliness of Mental Illness, and the Healing Power of Believing in a Person’s Inextinguishable Inner Light
ILLUSTRATION BY DANIEL ZENDER Some psychologists believe suicide and depression can be strategic. BY MATTHEW HUTSON I had a tough time in high school. Like many other young adolescents, I saw myself as fundamentally flawed, and felt a searing isolation. Nothing I looked forward to brought any hope. I stopped getting out of bed. I cut myself. I drafted a suicide note. It was a terrible time that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But in a strange way, my self-destructive behavior may have had a benefit. I eventually dropped clues about my situation, leading to an intervention that put me on … Continue reading Does Depression Have an Evolutionary Purpose?
Illustration by Chioma Ebinama. BY COLIN BEAVAN The question that Colin Beavan just had to ask his Zen teacher is one that’s on the tip of everybody’s tongues. Even the teacher’s! At the Chogye International Zen Center of New York, part of the Kwan Um School of Zen, where I study meditation, my fellow students and I sit cross-legged on two long, parallel rows of mats and cushions. It is completely quiet except that every so often, in another room, a bell rings. When it does, someone gets up and shuffles through the door. One at a time, we … Continue reading “What Should I Do About My F’d-Up Life?”