The best description that I can come up with is that it's like a parasite that attaches itself to your mind and grows and grows and slowly infects every aspect of your life. It's like a slow, unceasing progression. It starts in your thoughts, then your behavior, then your personality, and soon, it messes up your relationships with other people.
My mental illnesses are diseases, just like my cancer, and need to be treated in a similar way. If I, myself, can't share my story then it indicates that I also have stigma so I discuss my mental health issues openly just like I do anything else. I have found that when I share my story, I have an impact.
As a clinical psychiatrist and researcher, my goal is to uncover new treatments for people like John, who have tried standard treatments, but who continue to have severe symptoms. John has tried all of the research studies offered in our research clinic, and those offered in other academic settings in New York City. Now he is my office and at the end of his rope. Could he be a candidate for a surgical procedure called deep brain stimulation, also called DBS?