When I was a teenager, being hospitalized for mental illness was a big joke. The local facility was located on a street called Wayne Ave. Wayne Ave., despite whatever else was located there (a pizza restaurant, I think), was shorthand for “crazy.” (This was no doubt an annoyance to people…

I used to work third-shift at an alarm security company. At the same time, I was going to grad school and teaching English 101 at the university. The alarm company job was both vaguely interesting and supremely boring.

Basically, I was the person on the other end of “Help! I’ve…

There are a number of metaphors that try to express what it’s like to have bipolar disorder, and none of them is accurate. Thanks to television commercials for bipolar medications, we have even more metaphors, none of which express the reality of the disorder. Maybe, at heart, it is futile…

Yes, I know. The main thing that most people associate with Girl Scouts is cookies. And those are certainly one important part of the Girl Scout experience. But they’re far from the only thing, or even the most important.

Officially, cookie sales promote goal setting, decision making, money management, people…

Overthinking. It’s something we all do at times — so many of us that it cannot really be said that it is automatically related to mental illness. But in some cases, it is a symptom.

Let’s start with depression, a subject about which I know a thing or two. When…

Not long ago, I saw on Facebook a picture of Captain Kangaroo in his costume, with a silly expression on his face. The caption was something on the order of “Who in his right mind would put this man in charge of a bunch of children?”

Well, I would, for…

Once I was reading Julie and Julia (or maybe it was Julia Child’s memoirs) when I came across the statement that because she was living in France, she needed a pousiquette. I had studied French since junior high through college, and though my French is so rusty it has holes…

Janet Coburn

Author of Bipolar Me and Bipolar Us, Janet Coburn is a writer, editor, and blogger at butidigress.blog and bipolarme.blog.

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