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Risa Sugarman
Risa is mommy to a fabulous 5-year-old girl and wife to an amazing husband. She has lived in Boston, New York City, and now lives in Central CT. She has an MSW from Fordham University and a BA from Columbia University. She is a contributing writer for and can be followed on her own blog,

Entries by Risa Sugarman

Do Our Illnesses Define Us?

(2) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 2:38 PM

I am not my illness. I see this phrase all over social media with selfies taken of those who make this statement. While I love seeing these and respect the statement that is made, I think of what it means for me.

I am not my illness. My name...

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A Case for Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

(24) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 9:55 AM

All of the necessary steps were taken as I tried medication after medication to combat my depression. I had been on an anti-depressant for 20 years and it was simply not working anymore. Months went by and there were no positive effects from each medication trial.

I went for...

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Let's Give Our Kids More Credit

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 1:45 PM

What if she is sad? What if she is confused?

While I was in an inpatient psychiatric facility for my depression, my daughter was under the belief that, "Mommy is away for work." At the time, I was extremely concerned with the effect my absence would have on her psyche....

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7 Types of Parents You See at Drop-Off

(16) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 3:15 PM

My daughter has been in daycare/preschool since the age of 1 1/2, and every morning, I notice many different types of moms and dads dropping off their kids. For instance:

1. The all business parent. This is the parent who methodically places the child's lunch bag into the child's cubby,...

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No One Ever Said It Was Going to Be Easy

(1) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 4:28 PM

I didn't fully understand this until someone relayed this message to me when I was 19 years old. I have carried it close to me since. Over the past five weeks, I have garnered two psychiatric hospitalizations and about a dozen ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) treatments. What's funny is that at...

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Onward to the Consultation: Having a Second Opinion in the Fight Against Depression

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 10:17 AM

It's never a good sign when your psychiatrist/analyst says it's time for a psychopharmacological consult. This wasn't news to me, and it had been brought up before, but now I really need it. We have tried several different cocktails, and while some symptoms have decreased, some have not. So, I...

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The Glass May Be Half Empty, But Growth Is Constant

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 5:41 PM

What do you do when everyday life scares the shit out of you? How do you get through and go through each day? This is what I have been dealing with for several months.

Depression is not a kind illness, and yes, it is an illness. I began this...

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When Depressed, Slow and Steady Wins the Race

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 4:44 PM

You know the saying "slow and steady wins the race"? Well, when it comes to depression, at this moment, it is a load of crap. This is where my mind is right now. I have been battling this depression for months, and even though I am starting to feel better,...

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Let's Celebrate Turning 40 Instead of Dreading It

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 4:08 PM

It's creeping up right now. In just a couple of weeks, I will be turning 40 years old.

I am actually looking forward to turning 40. So many women I know grieve when they turn 40, even if they have their health and a family of their own. I am...

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What Happens After Fertility Treatments Don't Work

(1) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 2:59 PM

My husband and I fought hard to have our daughter with a year of fertility treatments and then a successful IVF. We were then hopeful after IVF that the four frozen embryos would provide a sibling for her.

Unfortunately, four frozen embryo transfers were failures, with the last embryo...

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5 Ways I Made Connections in My New Community

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 5:16 PM

Moving to a new community in a new state is not always easy. My husband, daughter and I moved to a suburb in CT from the suburbs of MA almost three years ago. We moved for my husband's job (he had worked and lived in this community in the past)....

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Coming to Terms: Life of a Woman with Depression

(4) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 6:17 PM

I am a mother, wife, woman. I work full-time outside the home and I contend with many things each day. Like many other women, when my alarm wakes me each morning, I pray it is a mistake and I am just dreaming. It is a chore to get out of...

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