New prescription: Think of one aspect of your life you are grateful for.

Generic: Think of the things you DO have as opposed to things you have lost.

Common Side Effects: A warm feeling of happiness, gratitude, noticing something new and      special in your life

Stop “Think of one aspect of your life you are grateful for” and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as: You have feelings of hopelessness, you start having ANTS (automatic negative thoughts), you find the exercise to difficult right now


Hello my dears!

Management here,

otherwise known as your humble narrator Emma Retina.  I received a vast increase in supporters since the facebook video.  You can see that video and like our facebook page to receive updates for future publications.  So I will be posting more videos in the future.

The purpose of these videos mostly will be:

  • when I direct folks toward a specific assignment for submission (it’s going to be a blast!)
  • To answer any questions or clarify any confusion about our site/mission.

Lately some folks have asked me about MY particular story.  I will be more than glad to share with you my dears through out different publications.  The only reason I haven’t spoken about myself and my disorder as much yet is because I want to promote the truth that at ASR we want each publication to be about multiple voices.  As interesting as we are at ASR…. one story could grow quite tiresome.  No fears my dears, you will hear from and about me.



Asylum Inpatient Press:


Contemporary Asylum News:


In talking about mental health, ‘people-first’ terminology eases stigma

James Mcnulty is the head of  Mental Health Consumer Advocates of Rhode Island.  In this article he speaks of the importance of words relating to identity. “Words matter,” McNulty says. “Words make a difference. They help us in how we think about ourselves and about others.”

Marlena Davis goes on to say “I’d rather be defined by my work … and my left-handedness and my volunteer work and my love of animals. I am a person of many dimensions, and my mental illness is only one part of the story of me.”

You can read the entire article here

Mental illness in U.S. adults widespread

“Nearly one in five American adults — 43.8 million people — experienced some type of diagnosable mental illness last year. The latest findings, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, show just how widespread such issues really are.”

You can read the entire article here


Help, Support and Our Own Voices:


This presentation was submitted to us by David A. Carlson who has been educator of  English.  His presentation is long for one publication so ASR will be posting his story ongoing through out future publications.


The Disquieted Family: Disturbance and Distress in the Carlson Home

By David A. Carlson

originally presented at the “Adolescence, Mental Illness, and the Impact on Society,” Mt. San Jacinto College–Menifee Honors Seminar, 26 March 2012

I want to begin by saying that, though I have a mental illness—which, a friend pointed out to me recently, is not synonymous with insanity—I do not speak for all people with mental illness.  And though every member of my immediate family has a mental illness of varying sorts (my wife is laden with OCD and bipolar disorder, my older son is bipolar, my younger son has Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and severe depression, and I endure with schizoaffective disorder which is, in short, schizophrenia laced with a mood disorder (typically bipolar disorder or severe depression—bipolar disorder, in my case)), I do not speak for all people with family members who have a mental illness.  Though there are some patterns to varying mental illnesses, enough so that diagnoses can be distinguished, every circumstance of mental illness is unique.


I borrowed the concept for my presentation’s title from Dr. Kay Jamison, professor of psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and one diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Dr. Jamison is the author of a book about her life experiences with bipolar disorder called An Unquiet Mind.  For bipolar disorder, and some other mental illnesses, I have never been able to find a more appropriate description of the mental state than “unquiet.”  Often, mental illness is mental restlessness and mental noise.  I was originally diagnosed by my first psychiatrist with bipolar disorder with psychotic features around the age of 29 though I could have been diagnosed, I am sure, in my mid-teen years.  I remember the awakening that happened regarding my mental states when I filled out that doctor’s questionnaire regarding my mental health.  When I arrived at the question asking if I had multiple tracks of thought going on in my mind at once, I thought, wow, I’d never considered a more accurate description.  In graduate school, when I would write papers, it would be a matter of taking all the lines of thought happening in my mind at once and trying to make coherent sense of them in one cohesive whole—what one of my professors called “David’s own private gestalt.”  As I will describe later in this presentation, that ability to pull together all my tracks of thought would not last.  In fact, it would sooner rather than later fall apart.  Indeed, my mind was a place of noise.  The more my mental illness developed, the more noise there was in my mind.


The noise was something that, for a long time, I just tried to get used to.  I can recall it developing through my high school years.  This is not abnormal for those who are, at least at one point in their life, bipolar.  Dr. Jamison, in a recent interview, when asked, “What’s something that most people just don’t understand about your area of expertise?” said, “The average age of onset is late teens.  It’s more common than not that bipolar illness will start in the teens.”  Dr. Jamison goes on to say that, “One of the reasons I spend a lot of time on college [and high school] campuses is exactly that reason.  It’s terribly important to talk to students about knowing [about mental illness] in advance.  These are the years of first getting ill, and it’s really important that students be aware of what the symptoms are and that it’s treatable.”  I have to wonder, as you might when you hear of my symptoms that developed over the years, how treatment would have changed my life had I known to seek it based on symptom-knowledge.  Please think of that as I discuss the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder that I point out later in the presentation.


Asylum Art:

Single Piece submissions:


A card made by Karin Roten


Sidenote: ( Radical Acceptance is one of managements favorite DBT skills!)



Lucy Wainwright took our third prescription “It’s cold but go to the beach anyway” and submitted this lovely picture from the experience

“It was cold, and I went to the beach anyway. I left the house at 5:30 am to photograph sunrise at Formby point on Merseyside, UK (this is almost a two hour drive).”

Sidenote: (we have a future submission from Lucy that will be published!)




This submission comes from the multi-talented Shelly Chernoff!  This is a combination of her prose and artwork.  Please follow her blog to see more of her work!



I have my own personal blog this is one exit from it.  “A walk and depressions shoes”

I wish there was a way to numb the pain to make the past all the same.  I don’t know what’s best either way doesn’t really change for me. It’s all a jumbled mess in the end somehow or another I left to me to sort out.  I want so badly just to hold onto this beautiful parts of me side of my life that I embrace the side that is also very real my family my friends my smile the spontaneity.  There is a side of me that is on most innocent as I believe in people and I always will I have always had a certain amount of compassion and empathy for another possibly that’s because I knew someday I would need it someday I wouldn’t be able to hide behind the smile.



Recently I was told by very valued person that my life and become all about me that I was more self-centered a one sided friendship left me feeling lost and lonely. If this was true and I had no doubt not to believe her I wanted to shout I’m just trying to survive.   I’m trying to live I don’t want the world to be all about me. I want a distraction I want to know that others are in the same place or understand I want someone to show me compassion empathy I wanted someone to be able to hold me exactly where I was.


I have had to come to understand that it is nobody’s job nobody’s place but my own and I’m not sure I’m up to the job.  I cannot live in the past this I know but I do have to except it and somehow learn from it and make my tomorrow’s and the rest of the moments of today healthy for me as I can.


I feel like my world is becoming smaller I do not feel comfortable having even normal emotions in front of my friends and family as each time I appear to be at all on the verge of tears slightly emotional it since a certain panic wave even to myself.  Yet I deserve this I deserve to be able to have normal emotions to have someone understand that not H2 is directly related to a catastrophic event I deserve normalcy and I’m not sure how I regain that.


And being honest I do know I’m very fragile it’s like the domino affect I feel like if one brick started falling the rest of me would continue…  hard to explain


Shelley Renée, and so it is I continue to walk my path and surround myself and love and light





The answer to the last publication’s riddle was fire

Riddle Me This:  I have a  head and a tail, but I can never see my tail?