Posts Tagged: mental illness

The Day the FBI Tapped Our Phones

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I held an image in my mind of my daughter and me in a small rowboat and I’m rowing, rowing, rowing as hard as I can, away from this sinking ship. ...more

Written in Chalk: What It Means to Be Crazy

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As truth becomes more elusive, as fact blends with fiction, we ought to take notice of how we categorize people, as categorization seems to be married to suppression, to disenfranchisement. ...more

Corinne Lee and Finding an Antidote to America’s Toxicity

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Poet Corinne Lee on writing her epic book-length poem Plenty and finding new ways to live in a rapidly changing world. ...more

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #76: Chris Tusa

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Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, Chris Tusa’s second novel, In the City of Falling Stars (Livingston Press, September 2016), tells a tale of paranoia and intrigue. Maurice Delahoussaye witnesses dead birds falling from the sky, and becomes convinced the air is toxic.

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The Sunday Rumpus Essay: Daddy Issues

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What I’m saying is I was a fucking wreck and it’s not my dad’s fault. ...more

VISIBLE: Women Writers of Color: Abeer Hoque

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Abeer Hoque talks about coming of age in the predominantly white suburbs of Pittsburgh, rewriting her memoir manuscript ten times, and looking for poetry in prose. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Naomi Jackson

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Naomi Jackson discusses her debut novel, The Star Side of Bird Hill, how she approached writing about mental illness and its affects on a family, and choosing to to tell a story from multiple perspectives. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Jade Sharma

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Jade Sharma discusses her first novel Problems, the complicated feelings that came with debuting to rave reviews, and her writing and editing processes. ...more

This Week in Books: Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we highlight books just released by small and independent presses. Books have always been a symbol for and means of spreading knowledge and wisdom, and they are an important part of our toolkit in fighting for social justice.

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My Voice for Their Drugs

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Anxiety disorients me from inside. My heart moves so erratically I’m afraid it will give out, my breath so staggered I have to remind myself to take in air. ...more

The Sunday Rumpus Essay: Ladies Lazarus

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For Mother, two worlds—earth we inhabit together, then the hot, heavenly body of euphoria and speed. Often, Mother exists in the tear between these worlds, belonging nowhere, to no one. ...more

What We Lost: Undoing the Fairy Tale Narrative of Adoption

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The singular, unavoidable truth about adoption is that it requires the undoing of one family so that another one can come into being. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Esmé Weijun Wang

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Esmé Weijun Wang discusses her first novel, The Border of Paradise, about a multi-generational new American family, creative expression through writing and photography, and interracial relationships. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Brit Bennett

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Brit Bennett discusses her debut novel The Mothers, investigating “what-if” moments, and navigating racism in white spaces. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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What would you give to be happy, fun, anxiety-free? Would you give your soul? This is the question Deirdre Coyle asks in her story “Fun Person,” up at Hobart this week. The story opens with the narrator vomiting on the sidewalk outside of a bar, but not for the obvious reasons one might vomit in such a location.

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Bittersweet Symphony

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Though it’s clichéd and maladaptive to cast mental illness as the wellspring of great writing, to write about one’s life honestly often means writing about one’s mental illness. In an essay for Catapult, Colin Dickey writes lushly about his experiences with depression, musing on the historical conceptions of melancholy and how perhaps our highly clinical and problematized category of depression could afford to be complicated by it:

What I called my depression is the feeling one gets as the world shades away, as though a silent wall of water is holding everything else at a remove.

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VISIBLE: Women Writers of Color: Jaquira Díaz

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Jaquira Díaz discusses the challenge of writing about family members, her greatest joy as a writer, and her literary role models. ...more

Treatment and Healing

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Treatment sometimes looks like hospitalization in an overcrowded psych ward and medication that can dissolve personality.

Over at American Short Fiction, Jenna Kahn writes about the depiction of mental illness in literature—as found particularly in “The Depressed Person” by David Foster Wallace, “Silver Water” by Amy Bloom, and “Monument” by Kevin Barry—as it matches (or doesn’t) with her own experience.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Heirlooms

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The strings of our DNA mark us as one, but it’s the roots of our memories that bind us. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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Rion Amilcar Scott’s debut collection Insurrections—our July Rumpus Book Club pick—comes out from University Press of Kentucky on Tuesday and is a timely and vital look into the daily struggles of individuals in the mostly black community of Cross River, Maryland, a fictional town that was founded by slaves in 1807 after a successful revolt.

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This Week in Short Fiction: Goodnight, Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes

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[Noyes's] stories are nuanced and unapologetic, revealing the shadow sides of women and girls in all their wild and terrible glory. ...more

Self-Love Stew

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In her essay at Hazlitt, “Watch Me Bathe,” Jess Carroll shares that she barely bathes, and tells us that it’s for the better—in fact, it’s like reverse self-love and self-care, as we’ve come to think of those terms now. She rejects the idea that mental health is balanced on a teetering tower of meticulous hygiene routines, and that the only way to stay sane is to wash, rinse, and repeat as if unconcerned with anything else.

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Unlinking Mental Illness and Creativity

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The idea that “mental illness is the heart of creativity” has persisted for decades. But this idea can negatively impact one’s ability to seek help that they truly need. At The Establishment, Sarah Bronson debunks the notion that treating mental illnesses like depression unilaterally has a negative impact on one’s ability to create:

I recognize that not all mental illnesses are alike and that some people actually appreciate how their illness uniquely empowers them.

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