Showing posts from June, 2022

Central Ohio man’s mental health journey chronicled in art

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and a central Ohio man is opening up about his struggles to shine a light on the many people who battle bipolar disorder. During his time at the Ohio State Harding Hospital for Behavioral Health, A.J. Heckman discovered healing through art in a series of drawings he’s now titled “Clarified Mania.” The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that 7 million people in the United States are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Heckman said if he can help just one person who might be undiagnosed and plagued with dark, intrusive thoughts, it’s worth it to share his journey, documented through his drawings. With fortitude and newfound strength, Heckman described the dark thoughts and the mania he was feeling this past February when he took crayons to paper as part of his therapy. “And I was having thoughts of suicide,” he said. “Nothing that I dwelled on, but they were intrusive thoughts and kind of taking comfort in the idea tha

Fentanyl cuts a deadly swath as overdose deaths spike in Lucas County and around the country

Almost 90 percent of all overdose deaths in Lucas County in 2020 were caused by the deadly drug. TOLEDO, Ohio — It might have been lost in the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it never went away. When it comes to the opioid epidemic, the synthetic opioid fentanyl is a killer that’s ruining families. “I said when are you going to hit bottom? When are you going to hit bottom?”  Peggy Montgomery was in a daily battle watching her son, Dustin Doust, battle a drug addiction. Dustin would get caught up in it, get sober again, and then fall back into dangerous habits. She had to confront him. “I finally said, you’re using. He cried and I cried and he said ‘Yeah I am.’ I said, ‘Well what are you using?’ And I never thought I would hear the word heroin. It was like somebody punched me in the heart,” Peggy said. Dustin agreed to go to rehab in Florida and Peggy thought he got better. He even moved back to Ohio. But on Jan. 26, 2018, Peggy heard her husband’s phone ringing early in the morni