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Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 30, Chris rated it it was amazing Shelves: adult-nonfiction , teen-nonfiction. Using brief chapters, Storm relates her story of post-recovery life in a relaxed prose that feels more like an old friend talking with you than an author relating the facts of her life. This casual tone does not take away from the poignant moments that helped define Storm's life and put her on a path to becoming a functioning human being.

Sometimes sad, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, and sometimes fri As a companion book to Blackout Girl, Leave the Light On is equally powerful and well written. Sometimes sad, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, and sometimes frightening, the story is one that is easy to relate to because the narration is so personable and straightforward. A solid choice for young adults and adults. Reading Blackout Girl first is not a must, but is helpful to better understand the long road the author has taken.

Mar 09, Rhonda rated it really liked it Shelves: gay-lesbian , memoirs , read-in , recommendation. This is the second book written by the Jennifer Storm. I have to say that I enjoyed, i am proud of Jennifer for being able to get her life together and to help others. It was an inspirational read. I wish i could apply this to my own addiction of over eating, I haven't been able to do it yet, but I am trying to control teh eating again.

Thanks for the great read Jennifer. Oct 13, Tami Urbanek rated it it was amazing. Wonderful book! I used this book for one of my reading classes at a Community College.

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Excellent and honest. Jun 19, Jane Adams rated it it was amazing. Dec 22, Kristy Pavlichko rated it it was amazing. I have wanted to read this book since September of when Jennifer Storm visited my college campus to talk to the incoming freshman class about sexual assault, rape, and consent.

I had been in a dark place when she came to speak and her words alone turned everything around for me. To read them in this book again years later, it is incredible. When peop I have wanted to read this book since September of when Jennifer Storm visited my college campus to talk to the incoming freshman class about sexual assault, rape, and consent. The book goes into depth about her addiction and her experience in the 12 step program and how she turned her life around and eventually attended PSU and became an advocate and eventually the executive director of the victim witness assistance program.

If you have experienced sexual assault, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or tragedy, this is a great read. I found myself at times clutching myself because it was as if I had spoken the words myself. The experiences all too familiar and real. It reminded me of my dark place. A time when I wanted to leave the light on. The trauma resurfaces in our minds and spirits with each touch.

Our skin has memory like foam, and we reshape into the curdled mass of nerves and fear we are on the night we were violated. It is why on most nights I still leave the light on, because the dark scares me. I cannot wait to read her other books. Dec 02, Brianna rated it really liked it. I found this book when I was looking in the nonfiction biography section of the library and it looked like something that would be interesting to read and so I first read a few pages of it and I decided to check it out and read it. Its a memoir written by Jennifer Storm.

She had a point in her life where she started struggling with drinking too much alcohol and doing too many drugs because she I found this book when I was looking in the nonfiction biography section of the library and it looked like something that would be interesting to read and so I first read a few pages of it and I decided to check it out and read it.

She had a point in her life where she started struggling with drinking too much alcohol and doing too many drugs because she can't get out of the dark. She decided to get treatment so she could go towards the light. See our disclaimer.

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A revealing, hopeful account of a young woman's ascent out of the bleak despair of addiction and how recovery helped her confront the traumas and secrets that kept her living in the dark for so long. Specifications Publisher Central Recovery Press. Customer Reviews. Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product.

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Leave the Light On: A Memoir of Recovery and Self-Discovery

Customer Service. In The Spotlight. Shop Our Brands. As an implication for practice, we propose that cognitive and narrative therapy approaches, mood-memoirs, and use of metaphor present alternative uses of language that can reduce power imbalances between clinicians and clients, providing a bridge to healing. Power is integrated in the use of language through the subtle ways in which words are chosen and operationalized Crawford et al. However, words alone are not fully adequate to describe lived experience and the accompanying emotional sensibility and awareness.

Despite this, language, a socially constructed system of symbols and codes, is the elemental way that humans attempt to communicate their experiences, including the pervasive mood state of major depressive disorder. These approaches—the clinical practice of cognitive and narrative therapy, mood memoirs, and empowering metaphors—encourage an individual to be the protagonist of his or her own life story. The importance of language as it pertains to mental health is made clear in examination of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition DSM-5 , the canonical text on mental health diagnoses.

Mental health professionals refer to the dynamic list of criteria in the DSM-5 to diagnose individual psychopathologies and through diagnosis, to treat them.

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If a mental health disorder can be categorized, then the assumption is that it can be managed. Upending the traditional power dynamic that favors mental health professionals over clients, this article emphasizes the perspective consistent with clinical social work that supports the wisdom of the diagnosed instead of the sovereignty of the diagnosor.

Although questions about clinical use of the term remission could apply to other clinical DSM-5 diagnoses, this paper will delimit discussion to address this concern through the lens of depression. This showcases specific applicable interventions for depressed mood that do not privilege the idea of possible recurrence nor obstruct a daily life from being lived in freedom from anxiety about a recurrence.

The diagnostic language of the DSM-5 attempts to describe the experience of depression in words that are accessible to mental health professionals through standardization of language; however, the words feel too far removed and flat to describe the reality of the psychological phenomenon Gesicki Unlike disease states of the physical body, the presence of major depressive disorder lacks easily observable and definitive biological markers and is therefore difficult to consistently assess through physical symptoms.

Diagnosis in mental health thus remains an art as well as a science. Currently, the means of detecting depression are limited to subtle molecular and neural changes that are complicated to read and not yet unanimously endorsed Krishnan and Nestler The path of major depressive disorder is often tracked through oral and written accounts—the development of the illness is relegated to the malleable world of words. Language serves as a signifier of experience, but is not always fully capable of explaining that experience. The linguistic shortcomings to describe depression are not limited to the DSM Levitt et al.

In his memoir, Visible Darkness , Styron describes his frustration with the descriptive limits of language, as well as a brief demonstration of the evolution of words in their social construction. Styron suggests that the much older term melancholia better represents the darkness of the disease.

Melancholia is a term which dates to the time of Hippocrates and has origins in the black bile, one of the four humors Nelson-Becker Remission is a common term used in many DSM diagnoses.

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For clarity, this term is explored here in relationship to depression rather than other mental illnesses where it also may apply. The concept of recovery also connects clients to the question, recovery from what? While illness will always be a part of an individual life story, how it is integrated into a sense of self in the present and the meaning it denotes carry implications for future health status. First, measuring recovery on the basis of a decrease of negative symptoms on a standardized list is problematic because major depressive disorder cannot be measured objectively Zimmerman et al.

The Hamilton rating scale, like many other common tools used to define depression such as the Geriatric Depression Scale, is an ordinal scale, and distance between response items is arbitrary. Thus, the outcome of intensity regarding depressed mood is subjective overall. Some studies provide evidence that initial response to pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatment predicted ultimate recovery rates as well as who remained well Kupfer Once diagnosed, records documenting depression will generally follow a client to therapy.

They are also often present on each hospital readmission whether that readmission is related to a mental health or medical concern. Even if a client has learned skills to keep depression at bay, the specter of re-emergence can feel oppressive. Therapists may argue this provides safety for the client, but clients often sense this as constriction. Thus, clients are at times unfairly stigmatized based on psychiatric or health records indicating a depression diagnosis that follows them into the future.

In her mids, she was hospitalized for knee surgery after taking up running in part to keep depression at bay which she had successfully accomplished. However, on scanning her documentation, her surgeon prescribed her an anti-depressant medication without asking her. This was a medication she did not want; the episode caused her to feel marginalized and not included in her own care. If remission is the primary objective of clinical treatment, the question should be posed: What exactly characterizes remission in the realm of mental health and specifically depression?

After acknowledging the considerable inconsistencies across views of the course of depression, the task force agreed that remission would thereafter refer to an individual who is asymptomatic for a brief duration, which can occur spontaneously with or without treatment Moller et al.

Symptomatic does not mean the complete absence of symptoms. Instead, it is defined as the presence of no more than minimal symptoms, as proven by a score of 7 or lower on the item Hamilton Depression Rating scale Zimmerman et al. Instead, mental health is determined by a continuum that begins in exceptionally high or low depending on the measure group scores and individual complaint, and ends in reference to general population norms regarding mental and emotional health or flourishing. Thus, it follows that major depressive disorder, according to the DSM-5 and NAMI, a preeminent advocacy group, is not a transient mood state from which a person can fully recover.

Yet people do and have recovered. It defines a person by a once-held illness. Clients may remain over vigilant. Instead of being rid of the pathology altogether, the label remains with a qualifier, which can inform the way future health professionals guide conversations with the diagnosed individual.

This is not a strengths-based conceptualization. However, the process of constructing a new self-narrative is highly individualized and it is possible that some who struggle with depressed mood are less sensitive to linguistic cues. For these individuals, incorporating the idea in remission in a positive way consistent with the dominant professional community discourse is possible.

The resulting power dynamic directly contradicts the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, which emphasizes the importance of egalitarian partnership between professional and nonprofessional as critical for change NASW Code of Ethics Cognitive therapy, narrative therapy, mood memoir writing, and engagement with metaphor are methods for changing the paradigm of depression from one of victimization to one of vanquishment.

Considering the prescriptive quality of language when issuing a diagnosis, it is important to look critically at the language used in the DSM-5 and helpful to view this diagnostic manual through the lens of cognitive and narrative theory. Research affirms the value of both cognitive and narrative approaches in clinical work with depressed clients over control groups Lopes et al. Cognitive and narrative therapy both offer linguistic strategies for identifying and changing self-talk and stories about the self.

Cognitive work is often used to change immediate responses, thereby changing present and future behavior, while narrative work at times takes a wider scope, looking at narratives from the past and present. It is possible that narrative therapy may require more cognitive resources to enter into meaning making compared to cognitive therapy that offers assistance through application of specific techniques.

However, cognitive and narrative therapy both may be applied in ways that equalize the power dynamic, consistent with a clinical social work approach that upholds treatment as partnership. Cognitive therapy produces outcomes that point to the danger of applying an unshakeable diagnosis. For example, according to cognitive theory, someone with depression is operating from dysfunctional schemas they have created.

The schemas initiate and reinforce negative views in an insidious vicious cycle of distorted information processing and furthermore, these have been shown to prompt and sustain depression Beckerman and Corbett Pessimistic thoughts are assumed to be the reality, but instead often represent the exaggeration of reality. Viewed through cognitive theory, the intrusive thought that one is diagnosed with depression, or even depression in remission, can reinforce deeply held negative beliefs, furthering these pessimistic roots through the sheer repetition of loaded words Beckerman and Corbett One example of a client who struggled with intrusive pessimistic thoughts was Amelia, a year-old engineer.

Amelia had struggled with depression for many years. Her primary intrusive automatic thought was that she could never do anything right and would always fail no matter what she tried.


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This caused her to hold back from making suggestions at work that could have significantly helped her career. Instead, suggestions from others were often implemented, even when Amelia clearly conceptualized potential problems. Her therapist, using cognitive therapy, taught her to explore the evidence for her belief and substitute the idea that offering her suggestions could be in itself a reward. Gradually, she began to see herself as capable of sharing on an equal level with colleagues and having the courage to try alternative behaviors.

She moved beyond self-defeating cognitions and began to view herself as separate from her depression. Gradually she advanced in her company as her colleagues increasingly relied on her advice. Although she occasionally still suffered from a depressed mood, she was able to balance this with evidence of her value, substituting words in her self-talk that provided a more realistic self-appraisal.