I created A Disordered World to provide an outlet where I could write – and publish – quality, in-depth investigative journalism as well as columns about my three primary passions: dismantling myths about the “mentally ill,” the extremely flawed mental health care delivery system, and – on a different note – literature, my second passion. I also welcome submissions from other writers; you can contact or query me.
I have been a staff as well as freelance journalist for more than fifteen years. I’ve written for publications such as the San Francisco Chronicle, Stanford Magazine, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Sacramento Bee, and more. To see some of my past writing clips, click on the PDF document below. I have battled various “mental disorders” since high school. However, for many years, I funneled my angst into things like perfectionism, running (UCLA) and working obsessively long hours to turn in good work at several newspapers throughout California and Oregon. Around 2004, however, things caught up with me, and hence proceeded a period where I cycled in and out of treatment centers, interspersed with periods of graduate school, where I worked towards an MSW, in the mental health/counseling track. None of the treatment centers helped me much; in fact, they only made me worse (see the investigative series on the Home page). Today my mental health varies day-to-day. I am getting by, thanks in large part to support from my family; but what has probably pained me most over the past ten years is that I have contributed little to society, due to my mental health issues. I hope, by creating this site, to regain a sense of purpose, return to consistent writing, and perhaps – if I’m lucky – provide informative as well as real-life stories that impact readers and make a difference in some – however small – way. Another primary mission is to reveal the deep, entrenched disparities between how people with invisible disabilities are treated and stigmatized as compared to those with physical disabilities and other minority groups. A couple years ago, I was the lead plaintiff in a case, Harlick v. Blue Shield which, thanks to the amazing work of pioneering mental health parity attorney Lisa Kantor, as well as my unfathomably hard-working and generous mother, changed California law: private health plans in this state are now required to cover all “medically necessary” treatment for any mental illness listed in our state’s parity act. That includes eating disorders, one of the things I struggle with. The win made national headlines and is helping set precent in other states as well. You can read some articles about the lawsuit here and here. I have many opinions about “mental illness” that run contrary to the stereotypes most of the Western world holds, and I will be sharing articles about those opinions on this site. I also periodically write about literature, as immersing myself in books – in addition to writing, and the love of my family – have all been things that have kept me going over the years.
On the lighter side, to give you an idea about more of what makes me me, I have many side interests and loves:
- I am obsessed with Wes Anderson and David Foster Wallace and am, apparently, one of the few people ever to actually finish Infinite Jest.
- I like to knit and weave! And I recently discovered the art of “Zentangle,” which I hope to pursue more in coming months…
- I will never stop believing The Sopranos was the best TV show created, ever. And I eternally mourn the loss of James Gandolfini. I cried like a baby when he died.
- I am hopelessly glued to my Apple products even though I hate Apple (they are greedy folks with no social conscience). I worked for one of those Apple-ites once, so I know what I’m talking about…
- I hate that I try to be clever by being ironic, but unfortunately it seems endemic to my generation.
- I’m a twin, but it’s complicated.