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”

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”

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”

Thinking with Laura Briggs: The Race of Hysteria

For most of history, hysteria was a physical and mental condition that had no cure and it was associated with the uterus. It was believed to cause a wide range of symptoms including, but not limited to shortness of breath, anxiety, insomnia, fainting, amnesia, nausea, paralysis, seizures, spasms, convulsive fits, deafness, hallucinations, infertility, and painfulContinue reading “Thinking with Laura Briggs: The Race of Hysteria”

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”

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”

Op-Ed: Extended Medicaid Benefits Provide A Lifeline for New Moms

The United States has an embarrassingly high maternal mortality rate compared to other highly industrialized nations. The majority of maternal mortality happens after childbirth — close to a quarter of pregnancy-related deaths take place between six weeks to a year after childbirth. So, it is baffling that federal law only guarantees 60 days of pregnancy-relatedContinue reading “Op-Ed: Extended Medicaid Benefits Provide A Lifeline for New Moms”

3rd House Astrology: My North Node in Scorpio

Astrology is one of the key tools in my mental health arsenal that has provided me language to process my experiences of madness as well as my more subtle daily intuitions and impulses. For instance, moving along my healing journey, I have becoming increasingly aware of how much I gravitate towards the uncomfortable, the unknownContinue reading “3rd House Astrology: My North Node in Scorpio”