Skip to main content

Giving Thanks for John McManamy

John McManamy was my introduction to the concept of expert patient, a mental illness educator with lived experience and serious chops, research-wise.

Our relationship began not long after Prozac Monologues, the blog began in 2009, with a skunk. How on earth did I find his tale of too-close-but-thankfully-not-the-worst-sort-of-too-close encounter with a skunk? Probably I googled amygdala. That tells who John is right there. You want to know about amygdala? John will tell you a story about a skunk.

So I began to follow his blog, Knowledge is NecessityOne bite at a time, he added to my growing knowledge of everything from God to neurons, especially the neurons. We developed first a conversation, back and forth in the comment sections of our respective blogs, and then a friendship.

When he included me as the New Kid on the Block in his post of August 2009, My Favorite Mental Health BlogsProzac Monologues took off. Thanks, John. You gave me the encouragement to persevere, a model to live up to, and a jumpstart on my own career as an expert patient.

For more systematic learning, John has another website, McMan's Depression and Bipolar Web, with the subtitle, You Are Your Own Expert. The latter is John's theme. You are the one who knows you, and to get the best care and best recovery, you better know the beast you face. McMan's Web is a compendium of stories, videos, and articles on mood, behavior, treatment, recovery, science, issues, famous, stories, populations, and relationships. It's a great place to learn, taught by the person who will teach you about the amygdala by telling you a story about a skunk.

I review one of John's books, Not Just Up and Down, a systematic look at bipolar that answers the questions, What if we tore up the DSM and the patients described what it actually looks/feels/lives like? You can find it and others on Amazon.

A man of many talents, in recent years John has taken to the road, lives in a converted vehicle, plays the didgeridoo, and writes wisdom of the road. Find his new material at Search his name and subscribe.

If you are newly diagnosed, if you are seeking intelligent, comprehensible, and entertaining information, if you have moved on to a more life-reflective mode, John is a good companion. He deserves his first-place spot in my month of sharing resources and giving thanks for those who are my companions on my own road of recovery.

photo of skunk in public domain
flair from
book image from


Popular Posts

Six Ways to Heal the Holes in Your Head

In the Bleak Midwinter

For Prozac Monologues readers whatever your state this holiday.

In the bleak mid-winter frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak mid-winter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty Jesus Christ.

Angles and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air,
But his mother only in her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part, –
Yet what I can I give Him, give my heart.

poem by Christina Rossetti, 1872 painting by Ivan Shishkin, 1890

Holiday Shopping for True Happiness

Last minute holiday shopping -- I shop later and later every year. I even blog about it later each year. This year I have to do three  blogs in the week to get my shopping guides for the perfect Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Christmas present done. Here is the link for if you are mentally interesting and shopping for the normal in your life, here is if you are shopping for your diagnosed friend.  The second is even diagnosis specific. The most popular pick turns out to be a bluetooth phone for the one who talks back to his/her voices, but is trying to pass. Who knew.

But less than a week, people. Internet.  God bless the internet.

Another year I wrote a post on happiness. This post's holiday shopping picks (a updated rerun from 2011) gets to the heart of it -- where to get what makes for true happiness on the internet.  No, really!

The Sources Of Happiness

Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness identifies three major sources of happiness, pleasure, engagement and meaningfulness. So here are …