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”

Peer Ethnography: My Theory & Method

During a workshop on how to conduct “liberated research projects,” Dr. Nadine Naber walked the class through an exercise to help us students and emerging scholars personalize our own theories and methodologies. After thinking about what makes my research distinct, I came to the terms “peer ethnography” and “lived experience research.” This is because ofContinue reading “Peer Ethnography: My Theory & Method”

Euthymia: Neither Manic nor Depressed

The uninformed public may believe that people with bipolar disorder are volatile constantly, swinging between mania and depression, but this mischaracterizes our actual lived experience. In fact, those of us who have received a correct diagnose and are following a treatment plan experience a stable mood known as euthymia. Stemming from the Greek word forContinue reading “Euthymia: Neither Manic nor Depressed”

Medicated Moods: Depression

I have only recently come to the realization that I can still experience mood shifts while medicated. For years after my bipolar diagnosis, I assumed that if I was taking my medication as prescribed that I would be symptom-free. Boy, was I wrong. Even after fine-tuning my medication regimen to the point where I experienceContinue reading “Medicated Moods: Depression”

Healing Journey: Postpartum Post-Mania Recovery

Navigating pregnancy without medication, my manic moods swung for months between the ecstatic highs of euphoric mania to the agitated episodes of the dysphoric variety. This experience was not only emotionally taxing; it took a tole on my physical body as well. I experienced a decreased sensitivity to pain such that I was prone toContinue reading “Healing Journey: Postpartum Post-Mania Recovery”