E X P L O R I N G
Mental Health 
Encouraging productive interaction among people from diverse perspectives, promoting new and continual exploration of issues relating to mental health and broader issues relating to the body/brain/mind/self, and facilitating the new openings which emerge from the sharing of perspectives.
From the Inside
Issues relating to mental health are primarily presented "from the outside"-- by doctors, scientists, and other professionals who observe the behavior of others. While such perspectives are indeed valuable, they are limited in their ability to make sense of (and help others make sense of) such issues. To encourage a diversity of perspectives, the following links provide accounts "from the inside"-- by people experiencing and addressing mental health issues in their own lives and/or in the lives of family and friends.
The Slippery Brain Sodality  - A discussion about neurodiversity and associated discussion/book club exploring what it means to have a "slippery brain".
Learning "From the Inside": A Neurodiverse World  - A commentary on "A Mind Apart: Travels in a Neurodiverse World" by Suzanne Antonetta.
Learning "From the Inside": Being on the Spectrum  - Excerpts and comments on "Look Me in the Eye" by John Elder Robison.
A conversation about experiencing depression  - "If depression is genuinely 'psychodynamic' important aspects of it may be invisible except to those actually experiencing it. With this possibility in mind, we here provide excerpts from a conversation about depression among three people..."
David Hume: A Letter to a Physician  "It is a weakness rather than a lowness of spirits which troubles me... a coldness and desertion of the spirit..."
A Story about Grace  by Mariellen Gilpin; "...Basically, grace means gift from God. Examples are better than definitions, so maybe it'll help if I tell you a story about God's grace. It's a story connected with my mental illness..."
A Personal Experience of Learning About Bipolar Disorder  by Debbie Plotnick; "... My daughter Ashley, an engaging, highly intelligent, beautiful and artistically talented teenager, suffers from a life threatening genetic illness. It is an illness of extremes with a high, some estimates are as much as 20%, mortality rate. It is sometimes, as with my daughter, difficult to treat. It is always difficult for those so afflicted and their families. The contemporary nomenclature for this disease is Bi-Polar Disorder (1). But I prefer the more descriptive, no longer politically correct name, Manic Depression..."
An autobiographical essay  by Ashley Plotnick; "...My strife was not against poverty or hunger, nor family or society; it was against myself..."
From Biblical Times to Today: What Has Changed and What Hasn't Changed about Epilepsy  by Patricia Palermo; "... The value of evaluating a person's experience with epilepsy during biblical times, in comparison to a person's experience today, is to recognize two main things. Shame and secrecy are not exclusive to either time period's approach to handling this disease..."
Getting to the Same Place Along Different Paths: The Scale of Humanness ; "... Sam has PDD, a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. As a result, he often sees things quite differently than other children, and sometimes his perception can be breathtakingly clear..."
Breaking the Silence: Mental Health Issues at Bryn Mawr College  - a conversation from the Making Sense of Diversity  series.
*NEW* Mental Health and the Brain Working Group, Spring 2009  - a conversation with particular attention to brain research and experiences from the inside.
Ongoing Serendip forum discussions
Conversion Disorder 
Focal Dystonia 
Sleep Paralysis 
Turner's Syndrome 
Elsewhere on the web