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A Rollins alumna writes candidly about her bipolar disorder

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The Dairy Queen in Canada, just over the border from Glacier National Park in Montana, has special significance for Melody Moezzi 06L/06MPH. She visited there several times a week while working at the park during summer break from college in 1999. Each time, she ordered a large chocolate M&M Blizzard but ate just a few bites.

"You'd think after the 10th Blizzard or so, I'd start ordering small, but no. I had to have more than I could eat," writes Moezzi in her book Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life, published in 2013. "That's what mania is all about. Too much. Of everything."

Throughout that summer, Moezzi enjoyed the park's beautiful scenery, helped customers in the lodge gift shop where she worked, made several new friends, and deepened her spirituality as an Iranian-American by learning to pray properly as a Muslim. Her friends often teased her to slow down — her mind, speech, and movements raced along in high gear. And she stopped sleeping. Though Moezzi didn't realize it then, her Montana summer marked her formal entry into the world of clinical bipolarity at age 20.

Nearly a decade would pass before she would receive a proper diagnosis and learn how to manage her disorder. Until then, Moezzi cycled through depression, mania, hallucinations, psychosis, an attempted suicide, medications, psychiatric therapy, and the stigma often associated with mental illness.

Full story in Emory Public Health Magazine »

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