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 periodContinue reading “Language Matters: Perinatal vs Postpartum”

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 realizedContinue reading “Healing Journey: When Therapy is Harmful, Not Helpful”

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.Continue reading “The Language of Madness”

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 toContinue reading “Missing Saturn: The Price of Stability”

Is it possible to outgrow therapy?

I have been in and out of therapy for almost a decade now. Ever since my bipolar diagnosis in 2012, I have more or less stuck to the recovery regimen of religiously seeing a therapist weekly, a psychiatrist every one to three months, and taking medication daily. As I worked out the kinks in myContinue reading “Is it possible to outgrow therapy?”

Breastfeeding While Black (& Bipolar): A poem & reflections

In honor of our ancestors the enslaved wet nurses / their life-force liquified sentenced to sustain white supremacy’s offspring Now we celebrate our brown babies suckling / in our arms against our skin / on our bodies / at our breasts Liberated lactation is a revelation a revolution / nourishment only Black bodies can provideContinue reading “Breastfeeding While Black (& Bipolar): A poem & reflections”

Healing Journey: My Rainbow Baby

In honor of National Rainbow Baby Day Trigger warning: pregnancy loss, miscarriage, sexual trauma, obstetric violence, suicidal ideation, police brutality My rainbow baby was conceived months before she took residence in my womb. I was at a postpartum doula training learning about reproductive psychiatry for mothers with mental illness. Paige Bellenbaum from The Motherhood Center inContinue reading “Healing Journey: My Rainbow Baby”

Healing Journey: Returning to Spirituality Post-Psychosis

After my last prolonged and acute psychotic episode, I was very wary of spirituality. Upon graduating college, I took a deep dive into occult knowledge. I studied the chakra system, crystals, pendulums, tarot, astrology, numerology, alter building, spirit guides, Orishas, and ancestors. I became very in-tune with my intuition, the unseen world, and the energyContinue reading “Healing Journey: Returning to Spirituality Post-Psychosis”

Three Nuggets of Wisdom for Dealing with Disappointment

It’s funny that I’ve chosen a career in academia given that rejection and criticism — major triggers for bipolar episodes — comes with the territory. I am precariously privileged that I have access to financial support from my academic institution and grants as I pursue my PhD. I have funding from NYU, but I alsoContinue reading “Three Nuggets of Wisdom for Dealing with Disappointment”

Making Friends with Boredom

I have been thinking a lot about the role of boredom in my life lately and how it can actually be an indicator of life balance, stability, and mental wellbeing. I don’t often experience boredom because as a full-time mom, wife, and PhD student, I usually have many plates spinning at once. However, in theContinue reading “Making Friends with Boredom”