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Nadia Naomi adorned in multi-colored batik fabric and shimmering pink and yellow make-up.

Unapologetically Nadia Naomi

Welcome to my little corner of the internet where I integrate the personal and the political, my academic and artistic self. As a Black feminist anthropologist-in-the-making, this is where I process how my lived experiences with motherhood and mental health intersect with my research interests and my professional identity as a writer and scholar. Thank you for being a witness to my journey!

Language Matters: Perinatal vs Postpartum

Continue with the topic of language from a previous post, I’ve been thinking about how the terminology we use impacts our awareness of and education about people’s lived experiences with mental health challenges. This post will focus on those experiences surrounding childbirth. There has been an increasing awareness about the term postpartum, meaning the period after birth. Postpartum depression and anxiety has entered the mainstream conversation, even postpartum psychosis is getting more acknowledgement. However, there…

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Healing Journey: When Therapy is Harmful, Not Helpful

Trigger warning: perinatal psychiatric crisis, psychiatric incarceration, systemic violence In a previous post, I wondered if I outgrew therapy. I questioned whether I worked through or “got over” my trauma. I was ready to quit. However, instead of breaking up with my therapist, I was able to have a powerful conversation in which I realized that therapy itself was blocking me from engaging in a therapeutic process. Therapy really is not for the faint of…

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The Language of Madness

Since my diagnosis in 2012, I slowly became indoctrinated in the medical model of mental illness which emphasizes a biological basis for “abnormal” behavior. As a person living with bipolar disorder, I learned to categorize my lived experience within diagnostic terms, like manic or depressed, and looked to therapy, psychiatry, and psychopharmacology for a cure. I felt limited in what I could do and the type of lifestyle I could have. Restrictions included my bedtime…

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Thinking with Octavia Butler: Prophetic Parallels between Parable & COVID-19

Octavia Butler’s dystopian novel set, Parable of the Sower (1993) in the 2020s, uncannily parallels our current sociopolitical reality. Based in California, the narrative centers teenage Lauren Oya Olamina living a world devastated by the environmental, economic, and political consequences of neoliberalism. Water is costly and scarce, all public services are privatized, and racial tensions segregate the population behind walled neighborhoods. Navigating a world of routinized robberies, violent attacks, rapes, slavery, and cannibalism, Lauren is…

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Missing Saturn: The Price of Stability

In An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison walks the reader through her journey to accepting her bipolar diagnosis and lifelong treatment which would extinguish the manic moods that brought their own thrills, comfort, and pleasures to her life. As a bipolar sufferer myself, I can personally relate to Jamison’s struggle to “give up” the highs of mania, even with the knowledge that the lows of suicidal depression would…

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