How Quakers Drove Me To Madness

A Holy and a Broken Hallelujah

Before I came into Quakerism I was a career mental patient. I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, left my job as a Chicago Public School teacher and went on disability. I researched my condition and read that I had a chemical imbalance that would get worse with time; I read that I needed to take medications or I would become violent. In addition to the drugs, I was taught to track my moods on a chart each evening. The chart rated my feelings such as “irritability” “excitability” “distractibility”. I was to monitor my moods and make appropriate life style changes. For instance, one night watching an episode of The West Wing got me excited about some political idea. My then therapist told me that I should stop watching The West Wing.

My life turned into a series of intensive outpatient therapy programs, self-care activities, group and individual therapies, medical…

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Published by jen padron

Mover and a shaker. Comrade. Community Bridger. Creative. Filmica. Sentimentalist. Imminent. Emergent Social Action. Change Agent. Voted for Hillary (2008, 2016).

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