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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


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