Comics Creator Ellen Forney on Bipolar and a Monster Named Smedmerts

It wasn’t until her late twenties that Ellen Forney noticed that her friends couldn’t really keep up with her. Ellen had boundless energy that took the form of dancing for long stretches at home, smoking a lot of pot, vibrating with intense sexuality, and latching on to new friends who were just as unrelentingly intense as she was. But to Ellen, this was just her living her best life. It wasn’t until these episodes were followed by intense, debilitating crashes of depression that she thought something might be wrong here. A psychiatrist walked her through the various symptoms of bipolar disorder and, despite a heap of early denial, Ellen arrived at an understanding that this was a condition she had. From there, it was a long road of treatments to get her stable.

Ellen Forney tells her story and the plan she developed for herself and others to take care of mental health. It involves a monster named Smedmerts (she is a cartoonist so of course she drew Smedmerts), whose name is a helpful acronym.

Get your copy of Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life, as well as Marbles and Ellen's other books, by visiting her website, Follow Ellen on Twitter @ellen_forney and on Instagram @ellen_forney.

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