By Linda Naomi Katz, Author of Surviving Mental Illness
It has been a while since I published my first article in New York City Voices, called, “My Fears in Overcoming Bipolar Disorder.” Since that time I have published other articles such as, “How My Pregnancy Affected My Mental Illness”, “My Experience with Getting Social Security Disability”, etc.
I have done many things in my life that have helped me along the way through my recovery. For example, I used to have a hard time maintaining a positive relationship with someone. Now, I am married to someone who also has a mental illness which has given me the courage and support that I have been wanting throughout my life. I have worked as a peer counselor and employment specialist in mental health. I have helped consumers with mental illness find jobs as peer specialists and also have taught them how to maintain their wellness and ability to recover.
I have also done a lot of volunteer work. For example, I did public speaking engagements where I talked about my own recovery from mental illness. As a mental health advocate, I went to Albany once to promote legislation on certain policies that affect people with mental illness, such as mental heath parity, keeping their Medicaid insurance, etc. I also was the first one who sponsored mental health events in my synagogue and around the Jewish community in which I live.
My latest accomplishment was writing and publishing a book about my personal journey with mental illness. The book is titled, Surviving Mental Illness. It offers help, hope and inspiration to others who are struggling with mood disorders. It also lists resources and organizations where consumers can seek help in developing positive relationships and maintaining employment in a field that they love. Surviving Mental Illness also shows how one can break through the fear and stigma that surrounds consumers living with mental illness in today’s society.
Surviving Mental Illness will be available on a variety of websites such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com. There are two formats of this book. One is in paperback and the other is hardcover. My publisher is Outskirts Press. They are a self-publishing company that will have the book in their own bookstore. Their website is www.outskirtspress.com. If the book is not already on the market, it will be soon.
I encourage my peers to buy and read this book. Writing it has helped me and will teach you that you’re not alone because there are others facing a similar situation. Always remember to have faith and hope and that recovery is about living the life you are meant to have.
Note: "Surviving Mental Illness" is available at:www.outskirtspress.com/survivingmentalillness