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”

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”

Healing Journey: Mad Pride

As I learn more about the various experiences of people with mental illness, the more I appreciate the complexities we encounter when naming ourselves. Out of the global psychiatric survivor movement of the 1980s and 90s emerged different language to describe our experiences as survivors of psychiatric abuse, ex-patients who recovered or were misdiagnosed, andContinue reading “Healing Journey: Mad Pride”

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”