Grieving the End of Addiction

Maureen MurdockAddiction2 Comments

This is a guest post by Helen Jenkins about the stages of grief experienced by some who give up an addiction When we force a loved one in rehabilitation to immediately be happy or pick up where they left off, we deny them the right to grieve. Systemic therapist, Lindsay Kramer, notes that drug use can be intimate in nature: … Read More

The Washington D.C. March

Maureen MurdockArt and Creativity7 Comments

The day before the Inauguration, I went to the Newseum in Washington, DC., the dynamic interactive museum about the history of news including the printing press that printed copies of the Declaration of Independence after the hand-written original was signed. Among others, it has a fabulous exhibit about the Civil Rights Movement. Widely displayed are photos and news clippings from … Read More

Princess Leia Cast a Light on Bipolar Illness

Maureen MurdockBipolar Illness, Mental Illness4 Comments

Carrie Fisher did not shirk her role as an advocate for the de-stigmatization of bipolar illness. She brought the subject of bipolar into the popular culture in her writing and her one-woman show, “Wishful Drinking” where she first posited the idea of “Bipolar Pride Day.” Ms. Fisher was first diagnosed with bipolar at age 24 but like many people who … Read More

Surgeon General: Addiction is a Disease of the Brain, Not a Moral Weakness

Maureen MurdockAddiction1 Comment

Remember the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health that first linked cigarettes to cancer? Well, even if you don’t, it led to a successful national campaign against tobacco use. Yesterday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a call for a cultural shift in how we think about addiction in his 426 page report “Facing Addiction in America.” In it, … Read More

Four Traits that Put Kids at Risk for Addiction

Maureen MurdockAddiction, Adolescence1 Comment

On Tuesday, voters approved the legalization of marijuana in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and most likely in Maine, although that may face a recount. I did not support the initiative to legalize pot in California because I have seen too many students lose their edge and ambition as a result of heavy pot use and become passive zombies. Maia Szalavits, author … Read More

Smaller than a Snowflake

Maureen MurdockAddiction5 Comments

A synthetic drug called carfentanil, in an amount smaller than a snowflake, is killing people. More than 200 people in the Cincinnati area have overdosed on the drug in the last three weeks leaving 3 people dead. Similar overdoses have occurred in Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and the Gulf coast of Florida overwhelming ambulance crews and emergency rooms. Carfentanil is … Read More

Phase Out Private For-Profit Prisons

Maureen MurdockCriminal Justice System4 Comments

On August 18th, the Obama administration said it would begin to phase out the use of private for-profit prisons to house federal inmates. The deputy attorney general, Sally Q. Yates said that private prisons do not save substantially on costs and provide fewer rehabilitative services like education and job training that reduce recidivism when inmates are released. From 1980 to … Read More

Stop Stigma

Maureen MurdockMental Illness3 Comments

Stigma Free Campaign Badge

Welcome to those of you who have been loyal followers of my blog on mental illness, addiction and criminal justice reform. I will continue blogging on these topics from my new blog on this website. I hope you will continue to follow the blog and raise awareness about mental illness, addiction and criminal justice so that we can remove the … Read More

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

Maureen MurdockMemoir Writing0 Comments

Art of Memoir book cover

I have been reading Mary Karr’s excellent book, The Art of Memoir, and sharing it with my memoir group. I think is the best book on writing memoir out there. Karr knows what she’s talking about because she has written three memoirs, including Liar’s Club, Cherry and Lit, and she is often credited with popularizing the genre. I was teaching … Read More

Memoirists are Our Contemporary Mythmakers

Maureen MurdockMemoir Writing, Mythology1 Comment

I believe that memoirists are our contemporary mythmakers. When I was teaching a course entitled Myth and Memoir at Pacifica Graduate Institute it became clear to me that some of the same archetypal themes found in myth, such as a search for origins, for one’s identity, the mother-child relationship, initiation, journey, descent and return were also found in contemporary memoirs. … Read More