My Reason for Starting This Blog

I started this blog to reach out and connect to people with similar challenges in a healthy and positive way. The blog has personal history, ideas on lessening the severity of some symptoms, insight, goals, and therapies for those with similar diagnoses or those with family members or friends that are curious on how to communicate or help their loved one.

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It’s fulfilling and therapeutic to open up about my past, present, and future goals. I’ve enjoyed the messages that I’ve received from likeminded individuals through my books’ contact information. Some of the things that helped me aided them as well. That makes it all worth it.

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By finding articles and researching studies to write my own articles, I learn more about my diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment for my disorders and those of loved ones such as depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, eating disorders, self-harm, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, among others.

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Some people who read this mental health blog are concerned individuals who want to reach out and connect with the mental health community to understand what their children, family members, friends, or acquaintances experience. Some of the earliest posts on this blog are from a few years ago when I started it. My mental health took a downturn for a brief time, and I became distracted. This time around, I’m in a better place and have learned more than I knew before and continue to take part in therapies to lessen the illness. I welcome those new readers and thank those that have written to me about the topics I share here and those in my books.

Enjoyed this post? Why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads, LinkedInBookbub, BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

Book review: Haldol and Hyacinths by Melody Moezzi

A Bipolar Life

Avery, A member of Penguin Group, 2013

“People tend to look unfavorably upon the mentally ill, especially those of us who’ve been hospitalized. Losing your mind is indeed traumatizing but doing so in front of a supposedly sane audience is mortifying. It’s not like getting cancer. No one rallies around you or shaves her head in solidarity or brings you sweets. “Normals” (or “normies,” as some of us “crazies” affectionately refer to them) feel uneasy around those of us who’ve lost a grip on reality. Perhaps they’re afraid we might attack them or drool on them or, worse yet, suck them into our alternate universe where slitting your wrists and talking to phantoms seem perfectly rational.” ― Melody Moezzi

Haldol and Hyacinths, is a powerful, funny, and moving narrative that pays tribute to the healing power of hope and humor, by writer Melody Moezzi, an Iranian American and Muslim, who speaks out against the stigma surrounding bipolar disorder. She certainly doesn’t fit the highly inaccurate stereotype of someone with mental illness.

“A lot of ways, when you are labeled with something like manic depression or schizophrenia. That label carries so much weight and you take it on as part of your identity in a way that can be really harmful.” Moezzi said.

She isn’t disabled or violent or contagious. Melody is an attorney with a Master’s degree in Public Health. She is an award-winning author who has made many national and international media appearances. Many people who suffer from mental illnesses are highly educated, high functioning individuals.

For Moezzi, and only after years of mania and depression, was she successfully diagnosed in 2008 and subsequently, found access to the right treatment plan and medication.  Bipolar disorder can be wrought with hallucinations, delusions, extremes highs or lows in mood, and impulsivity. In her case, such impulses led to a suicide attempt. But after years of improper diagnoses, medications, and humiliating, dehumanizing inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations, medication, therapy, and having a partner that helped her focus on her full self she managed her illness and found her calling to tell her powerful story. It took a lot of bravery, and humor, for Melody to share her story.  She is quick to point out the importance of speaking, writing, and living authentically.

It was exciting, interesting, and excellent glimpse into the life and mind of an extraordinary young woman with an unfortunate mental disorder.

Enjoyed this post? Why not check out my YA novels or Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads, LinkedInBookbub , or AllAuthor.

Book review: Crazy by Amy Lynn Reed

Simon Pulse, 2012

CRAZY, from author Amy Reed is an emotional rollercoaster ride through teen angst, romance, and the very real hopelessness that some feel and don’t know how to face. The novel, written in the unique and engaging format of email correspondence between just two characters, follows teens Isabel and Connor, who live in different cities and virtually different worlds but have become each other’s greatest confidant. They meet at summer camp and become friends. Connor is falling in love with Isabel and Izzy is falling over the cliff of sanity.  At times, their relationship is very close and other times, very destructive.  

Izzy suffers from bipolar disorder. Connor is trying to help her and at times Izzy is very selfish and mean to him. The emails between the two are open and honest and at times, painful to read. Izzy’s family life is a mess and most of the time she feels very alone and that no one cares.  She is wrong about her friendship with Connor though. He refuses to give up on her so while she keeps pushing him away, he keeps trying to pull her in.   Izzy suffers from depression and low self-esteem issues and as a result has random hookups.  When she goes off on these emotions, Connor is always there to pull her back down to reality.

As Izzy descends into a dark spiral driven by what she has yet to learn is the onset of bipolar disorder, Connor tries desperately to reach her. In one instance she nearly sets her house on fire. Connor is falling in love with the girl who doesn’t know how to be loved, or to love herself, and all he wants to do is show her just how loved she is.

What begins as a seemingly typical tale of a moody teen slowly turns dark as Izzy’s ability to function with her disorder deteriorates. Connor finally begins to fear for his friend, understanding just how grave her situation is, until she finally sends one email that tips him off to her attempted suicide. The boy is forced to find the strength inside himself to go to their parents and the authorities and find the help Izzy needs before she is lost to him forever.

The authors treatment of the spiral of depression in the teen years that can lead to suicide is insightful and touching, and very real. Reed paints an intimate image of the confusion a person experiences that can lead to feeling like there’s no way out—and the fear and helplessness felt by those close to them as they try to understand and help.

Book review: The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

Balzer + Bray, 2016

Seventeen-year-old Imogene Scott sets out around New England scouring for clues to find her mystery writer father with depression and bipolar disorder who recently disappeared on Valentine’s Day, and the mother (troubled waters) that abandoned her when she was just two years old. She does so using clues and tips from her father’s detective books as well as other mystery writers, scouring hospital records, and neighbor interviews. All Imogene knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child.

The Noir like tone of this YA novel matches the backdrop of cold, harsh, New England winters. This engaging, suspenseful mystery bears testament to loyalty, perseverance, and love despite learning that the stories about her parents are fictional just like Joshua Scott’s medical mysteries. While she has little in the way of clues, between her wits and the assistance of her best friend Jessa she starts out on a path that will impact her life forever.

The masterful weaving of mental illness, resiliency, precise plotting, unexpected twists, dynamic characters, and a sensitive treatment of mental illness makes this YA novel shine.

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Angela Grey is a writer with paranoid schizophrenia, OCD, PTSD, and social anxiety. She has created memorable moving tales about the sometimes unexpected and challenging road to first love: Secret Whispers (a story about schizophrenia), Déjà vu (a tale about a teen with bipolar disorder), and Of Laughter & Heartbreak (a piece about obsessive-compulsive disorder).

Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, novel in verse, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on Bookshop, TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

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