I cannot run from myself anymore.

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Tuesday, December 29, 6:15AM: The grey winter’s dawn forces its way into the cracks of my sleep mask. I refuse to accept it’s daylight already. The night, its darkness obscuring the sharp edges of daytime, quells the cacophony in my mind. Morning‘s first light is an assault on the emotions I try to run from.

Running away is my superpower, I tell myself. Running from the well of emotions I’ve tried to squelch for years with psych meds. …


You told me to be happy. I think I’m finally allowing myself to be.

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Dad,

This date marks exactly a year since you died. What echoes in my mind today is what you wrote at the end of a letter you sent me in 1996. You were flying to Dallas to work a trip to Narita. I was living in San Francisco.

You knew I was having a difficult time adjusting to my new job, my new city. We’d mail each other notes, listing five things that made us happy. You started this practice. I so looked forward to your letters.

I found this one letter last night, when I was going through old…


But the only path to healing is through acceptance.

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“This illness is about being trapped by your own mind and body…My mood may swing from one part of the day to another. I may wake up low at 10am, but be high and excitable by 3pm.” -NCBI article from The British Journal of General Practice: ‘On madness, a personal account of rapid cycling bipolar disorder’, written by J. General Practitioner.

Wednesday evening: my scalp tingles. I think to myself, “I’m so glad my depression only lasted one day. I can’t wait to cook dinner for my husband.” …


We need to de-stigmatize suicide more than ever right now.

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Content warning: this article includes mentions of suicide. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 800–273–8255. Counselors are available 24 hours, 7 days a week, and it’s confidential and free.

I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed. I stare at a post that makes my throat tighten like I’m in anaphylactic shock:

“This week we lost someone special from our community because of her struggle with her own Covid-induced loneliness. Social distancing is taking its toll. …


Antidepressants can save your life. But their black box warning needs to be taken seriously.

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Content Warning: This article contains detailed descriptions of suicidal ideation. More, the information here is does not oppose antidepressants. Antidepressants have helped many people, including myself. Also, I am not a doctor nor am I a mental health professional.

I’m in an overwater bungalow in Moorea, French Polynesia, clutching my heart, deliberating over ways to kill myself. I’ve been on a new anti-depressant — the fourth I’ve tried this year — for seven days. …


Our voices are stifled, but we still fight back.

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Dear Depression:

You are a force to be reckoned with. But you already know that. The way you overpower even the most strong-willed person is nothing short of astonishing.

You attach yourself to so many of us. And those who are lucky enough not to be afflicted often don’t understand your vehemence.

You’re sneaky and persistent. You kill too many. Too many depressives cannot work. Too many of our loved ones suffer along with us in our misery.

Here’s the thing: we who do have mental illness are too melancholy to raise awareness. …


In my bleakest moment, I invoked my loved ones.

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Prayer does not change the world for me, but it can change me for the world. So, instead of seeing prayer as an unfortunate relic from a religious past, atheists can practice it as a ritual in which one pauses to gain proper perspective, humility, and gratitude. Only good can result from that. -William Irwin, IAI News

I’m sitting in the Pacific Ocean, looking out at where the sea meets the sky. I’ve forced myself to get outside and exercise, even though despondency suffocates me. I inhale the therapeutic sea water as the sun warms me. But a lump sits…


This week, I’m still alive and things are better.

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Content warning: This piece delves deeply into suicidal ideation while I’m being treated at a ketamine clinic.

If you have suicidal depression, please believe that everything is transitory. I have gone from seriously considering suicide to wanting to live within a week’s time. I want you to understand that this is possible.

I’m writing about depression again. I often feel like I’d be more useful writing listicles about something useful for other people, like how to maximize your time or accomplish your goals. I often believe I am not useful to other people; maybe I could pretend to be by writing such content.

But one truth I am sure of: last week I was certain life was…


Wisdom from a bloodless woman

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Menstruation stigma is a form of misogyny. Negative taboos condition us to understand menstrual function as something to be hidden, something shameful. And by not naming a thing, we reinforce the idea that the thing should not be named. -Clue

For the entirety of my bleeding life, I viewed my period as a misfortune. I was horrified when I pulled down my pants in the 7th grade gymnasium bathroom and saw a reddish-brown stain on my panties. …


Encountering death made me want to live.

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Two Ketamine Trips Before Meeting Death:

My experiences on ketamine have uncorked my consciousness. Out of the bottle of my mind spills a crimson ambrosia. The drug brings me to a numinous dimension. Like other suicidal people, I’ve wanted to leave the dimension I’ve lived in. Ketamine injections for depression are my last-ditch effort to stay alive.

For the most part, the treatments have left me hopeful. The psychedelic experiences have opened my mind to believe in the beautiful sweetness that lies beneath everyday mundanity.

Patients at my clinic are given a Psychedelic Experience Survey after every treatment. …

Kelley Jhung

Writer. Advocate. Truth seeker. Perpetually curious over-analyzer.

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