The Manic Monologues


Mental illness is taboo. But why do we fear mental illness, really? Lack of conversation leads to fear, fear leads to lack of conversation. It's a vicious loop. And the problem is, when we are afraid and silent, people suffer alone. 

When Zack had his first psychotic break and was diagnosed with bipolar in May 2017, his and Elisa's world imploded.  Would mental illness dictate their whole life?  Would everything change? Zack was under water, and Elisa had no way of knowing whether her happy and gregarious partner in crime would ever resurface. 

One of the hardest parts about those early days was the utter absence of relatable, lived experiences. There didn't seem to be stories out there. Only after Zack's crisis did Elisa discover that three of their closest friends had struggle with their own conditions. How is it possible that mental illness never comes up among the closest of loved ones? Nobody talks about it like you might talk about a new relationship, or a difficult boss. But 1 in 4 Americans experiences a mental health condition in any given year. So why isn't there conversation? 

This is why we decided to launch The Manic Monologues. We want to change the narrative around mental illness. We want to disrupt stigma.


This initiative brings to life incredible stories — stories that will challenge and inform your ideas about what it means to be touched by a mental health disorder. These true experiences are submitted by diverse and resilient people living all across the world. They have things to say about struggle and pain, but also triumph and joy. They are moving. They are human. They are not ashamed. 

"The key to reducing stigma is contact, humanization, and personal narrative. As a poignant and deeply honest set of first-person accounts, The Manic Monologues accomplishes these goals brilliantly."

Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley,
Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF



manicmonologues [at] gmail [dot] com

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© 2020 The Manic Monologues

The Manic Monologues does not provide emergency services.

If this is a life-threatening situation, call 911.

For immediate, free, 24/7, confidential help:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA):
    call 1-800-273-8255 (en español: 1-888-628-9454)

  • Crisis Text Line: text "HOME" to 741741 (USA/Can),
    686868 (Canada), 85258 (UK), 50808 (Ireland)

  • The Trevor Project (for LGBTQ youth):
    call 1-866-488-7386 (or text "START" to 678678)