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My Illness Is Not My Identity

“A label is a mask life wears,” writes Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., one of the first pioneers in the mind, body, health field. “Labeling sets up an expectation of life that is often so compelling we can no longer see things as they really are. . . . In...

Entrusting Our Words

From my earliest stage of literacy, on a Fourth of July, I remember writing essays about freedom and identity. Certain things never changed: Freedom, in spite of how it is viewed, is still considered to be an essential value, and the sheer diversity of the country...

Stay Where You Are or Go Somewhere Else

Vacation or staycation? Two choices for a holiday – either go somewhere or stay where you are. Either way you are investing your time and energy into something. I have found this to be a really useful metaphor for the choices we make in life. About 26 years ago (to...

When Illnesses Collide: Bipolar and ADHD

A large number of people with bipolar disorder have coexisting conditions. It could be anxiety, a substance abuse disorder, an eating disorder, or in my case, ADHD. When I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2002, my parents were shocked. They could understand the depression,...