That Kind of Madness
The year is 1995. I’m walking in front of the White House in D.C. with a new friend from a Jewish Leadership Conference for teens. I am about to go to college in Boston to study journalism. I turn my head quickly and notice a one-woman display of placards talking about the government causing brain damage. A disheveled woman stands near them. She is shouting this nonsense. My friend Josh then turns to me and says, “I think she has brain damage.” We pass and he starts walking quickly. But something in me wanted to stop. Something resonated in me that day. It would only be less than a year before the madness would befall me. I thought about how society pushes the mentally ill outside the margins, even when it stares right in front of us. I knew I had to do something to change the conversation. Twenty years later, now stable and on medication, I started my blog. It is for the young girl just leaving the psych ward for the first time feeling scared, confused, and alone. This blog, A Mile a Minute, is a collection of my own and others’ experiences with mental health. The meaning behind the name is it is how people described my behavior when I was in a manic episode because I moved and talked fast. I have been diagnosed bipolar 1 since 1996, when I was 19.
A Mile a Minute with Alexis Zinkerman is a blog for mental health journalism. I will give survival strategies, updates in mental health policy, feature personal stories from time to time, book reviews, author interviews, and the science of mental health.
A Mile a Minute Fresh Takes on Mental Health serves to educate, advocate, and inform those in and outside of the mental health community about issues and policy related to mental health. Through interviews, profiles, and other journalistic devices, A Mile a Minute’s goal is to erase stigma. Part art, part journalism, this blog functions as an online news magazine serving people with mental illness, those who love them, policymakers, and mental health professionals. Personal stories are vital to this blog’s growth as one life can shed light on a thousand, inspiring many on their own healing journeys.