mental illness

64 articles
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Your Son is Deceased

Albuquerque has one of the highest rates in the country of fatal shootings by police, and no officer has been indicted.

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My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

How mental illness reshapes a marriage.

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The Mystery of Marsha Mehran

The best-selling young novelist lay dead in a trash-strewn cottage on Ireland’s rugged coast for over a week before she was discovered.

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Gentle Hands Will Save You

Scenes from an anger management facility.

"Mike began to curse his hands. Champion told him to calm down, that his hands were gentle, and that he was as likely brainwashed by this place as cured, something he would never admit sober. Champion suggested they try to escape; he was drunk enough, he thought, to just walk away."

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Pop Fly

As a mother and son share cocktails on the porch, past problems are discussed and imagined.

"She was aware of the resonance of her son's voice. She guessed the neighbors were used to it by now, and would assume Bradley was having another mental fit. They didn't know how hard these family deaths had hit her son, and how tough it was to keep him from getting aroused, or agitated, a word his therapist used a lot. She knew too, that her son, like his father, was persistent and could fixate on things."

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A Father's Scars

Virginia state senator Creigh Deeds, a year after his mentally ill son stabbed him multple times before committing suicide.

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Leona Never Happened

A man's lifelong hold on an imaginary person.

"He could never really explain it, once he got past that age where it stopped being okay to have an imaginary friend. He always knew she wasn't an imaginary friend. But he desperately tried to explain it anyway, to all the school counselors and all sorts of in-network therapists as he got older. It was simple in some senses. She was supposed to be living on his street. She was supposed to be in his kindergarten class. But all the houses were full with other families. And every little spot on that circular alphabet rug in his classroom was taken by someone else. Leona never happened."

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Rikers: Where Mental Illness Meets Brutality

An investigation into how Rikers Island guards treat the roughly 4,000 inmates who are mentally ill.

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Poets and Scholars

An academic marriage dissolves into a grotesque, demeaning power trip.

"I had always loved Olivia’s fearless and outspoken brilliance. It was one of the things that first attracted me to her—along with her perfect bubble butt and sailor’s laugh. But I suspected she didn’t honestly believe what she said about Dickinson’s poetry. Sometimes, especially after multiple martinis, one or the other of us would find the slightest reason to engage in some sort of verbal jousting. It was the manifestation of a lot of other problems we had buried over the past five years of marriage. We had both been divorced, both had children, both were in our forties, both should have understood the tensions of remarrying in mid-life. And we both should have known how alcohol—which we loved and self-medicated with—was the match that lit the fuse to these confrontations every time."

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A Deluded German and Three Dead Bodies

In the late 1960s, a German named Günther Hauck disappeared in Brazil. When he emerged, he was calling himself Tatunca Nara and claimed to be the chief of the Ugha Mongulala, an previously unknown Indian tribe. Since then he has lived in the Amazon, his legend growing. Jacques Cousteau hired him as a guide. An Indiana Jones movie was based on his stories. And three people who made pilgrimages to see him never came home.

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Behind the Yellow Door, a Man’s Mental Illness Worsens

A family struggles as a 42-year-old husband, father and son becomes increasingly isolated.