I am an award-winning mental health journalist and author. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1999 at age 49 following a suicidal depression and a lifetime of denial. Soon after, as a means of coming to terms with my illness, I started up an email Newsletter (mid 1999), then mcmanweb.com (late 2000), and a blog at Knowledge is Necessity (late 2008). In Oct 2006, HarperCollins published my book, “Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You That You Need to Know.”
I am also active in mental health advocacy and recovery. I have been involved with DBSA on local, state, and national levels, and am currently serving on the board of NAMI San Diego.
I came to HealthCentral as one of its first "expert patients" in 2005. Expert patients had been running their own personal sites and blogs many years before, but HealthCentral was the first health site to bring together a vast range of us - people with lived experience who actually knew what they were talking about.
My role as an expert patient here at HealthCentral is to encourage discussions on living with the day-to-day challenges of our illness. Typically my posts are inspired by your comments. My follow-up posts move in the direction of your feedback. More often than not, one of you will raise an issue I have not considered before. This gives rise to a new post. We all learn. The discussion moves forward.
Suffice to say, my relationship with the HealthCentral community over the years has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. Make yourself at home. You are amongst friends.