I recently read Melody Moezzi’s new memoir, Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life. In the book, Moezzi bravely portrays her diagnosis with bipolar disorder, focusing briefly before her mental illness is diagnosed through to a point when she receives an accurate diagnosis and treatment. While much of the book hauntingly illustrates the incredible highs and lows associated with the illness, Moezzi also depicts life outside the disorder: her relationship with her supportive family, her love for her unwavering husband, and decision to pursue writing as a career as she completed her law and public health programs.
It is a full life Moezzi presents, where her cultural ties and faith also quietly inform her sense of self. Through writing about her experience, Moezzi helps to combat the stigma those with mental illnesses face. Literature is a powerful way to understand someone whose experiences differ from our own. The intersection between faith, culture, mental illness, and stigma associated with it both within and from outside one’s respective communities is one that is deserving of more research, as these authors posit in the Journal of Muslim Mental Health. In the meantime, this personal experience Moezzi relates serves as an example of some of the unique circumstances existing within the intersection entails.
I had the chance to ask Moezzi some questions following my read through the book. The following is our exchange: [Read more...]