Adversity: Diagnosed with bipolar disorder
Advocacy: Works to reduce the stigma of mental illness as an author, blogger, speaker
Melody Moezzi is an activist, attorney and award-winning author, all roles that require hard work and patience. And she’s no stranger to patience. It took 10 years, a suicide attempt, multiple stays in a psychiatric hospital and an improper diagnosis of unipolar depression before she was properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But it wasn’t just mental illness that Melody struggled with. “When I got my proper diagnosis, I was told by so many, including medical professionals, that I would have to lower my expectations for my life. That I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what I wanted. And you’re taught to believe professionals when they speak to you.”
Luckily, Melody’s family was supportive of her recovery and her abilities, encouraging her not to listen to her pessimistic doctors. Today, she works to remove the stigma attached to mental illness, which she considers to be more disabling than the illnesses themselves. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine and a host of additional media outlets. She blogs for the Huffington Post and has been featured on BBC and CNN. Her latest book, “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life,” was published by Penguin/Avery in August 2013 and released in paperback in July 2014.