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Hearing Voices is not the Same as “Imaginary Friends”

Yesterday, an advocate for the homeless was posting on Facebook about a man she was concerned about who has schizophrenia and is off of his medication. She said, “Tom is talking to his imaginary friends again.”

I would hope that an advocate for the homeless would know better than to call auditory hallucinations, “imaginary friends,” but in this case, I was disappointed.

Just to be clear, voices are not “imaginary...
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Accepting My Diagnosis Didn’t Come Easily

At twenty-eight, I was living in Bremerton Washington, a ferry ride from Seattle. One afternoon as I was walking across a bridge that led from downtown to my neighborhood, I saw two men in black suits walking on the calm surface of the Puget Sound. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was my first experience with a hallucination.

Over the next two weeks, my thoughts deteriorated, and I believed I had received...
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7 Ways We Are Imperfect Advocates

My friend, mentor, fellow writer, and feminist, Anna March, wrote this essay for Salon about her passion for the music of Bob Dylan. In the essay, March questions her almost lifelong love of the artist (she started listening to him when she was six-years-old), because sexism runs through his body of work. March comes to the conclusion that because she is influenced by, and passionate about the work of some male artists whose work...
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Maneuvering The Mainstream (Attending a Writer’s Conference)

I am back in San Diego sitting on the sand. Spring sand is still cool enough to touch the skin. When the summer sun comes out, people will jump up and down trying to keep the sand from burning their bare feet. The orange clouds part the horizon. It will be evening soon.

Three days ago I was in Los Angeles. Last week and part of the weekend I attended the largest conference...
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10 Things I learned After A Year of Living Openly With Schizophrenia



I posted this essay on my Facebook page on March 15th, 2015.   The post that I linked to is how my in-laws and friends found out that I have been secretly living with a mental illness for over twenty years. The past year since I came out, has been a unique one in my life because I have talked and written about mental illness almost continuously. Here are a few surprising things I learned from going public with the fact that I...
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