Functionally Ill

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Functionally Ill is a mental health zine by Laura-Marie Taylor.

In this zine, subtitled "Adventures with Mental Health" and "becoming bipolar", Laura-Marie discusses what depression and mania feel like for her and describes her voices. She details the process of getting on with county mental health including an evaluation over the phone and an intake appointment. It's text heavy, digest-sized, 20 pages, and bound with string.

Selections from Functionally Ill are reprinted in volume nine of Zine Yearbook, published in 2008.

A second issue is subtitled "Problems with Mental Health" and "deeply myself." It includes a longer essay on the construction of mental illness as well as a detailed account of Laura-Marie's first psychiatrist appointment, first support group meeting, and an essay on the question of medication.

Issue three is smaller. Laura-Marie gives updates about what's happened since issues one and two, and touches on subjects like identifying and control. She offers a transcription of her voices. She talks about DBT, Somatherapy, and The Icarus Project.

Issue four is about seeing a new therapist: what she's like, how she and Laura-Marie interact, what works, and what doesn't. Themes are how we present ourselves, communication, trust, and therapy's efficacy.

Issue five is about being rediagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Other topics include trying to get Medi-Cal, bureaucracy, and what Laura-Marie's anxiety feels like.

Issue six is about the logistics of care. Topics include losing services, cost of medication, the quest for refills, and running into a former psychiatrist at the grocery store.

Issue seven is about Laura-Marie's mental health taking a dive, going back on Abilify, and what radical mental health means to her. She talks in detail about a crisis and about the shame associated with suicidal ideation.

Issue eight includes an account of going to the dentist, a snippet of conversation, an offensive joke, and an interview with Laura-Marie's best friend Arrow.

Issue nine is about an incident with a knife-wielder at Laura-Marie's apartment complex, a SF Icarus Project meeting, two LGBTQ mental health reducing disparities project advisory group meetings, Disability Capitol Action Day, identifying as psychiatrically disabled, and losing services.

Issue ten is about using the word crazy, what mad love means to Laura-Marie, how her crazy manifests, and how she feels about her best friend Arrow's self-harm.

Issue eleven is about identifying, what Laura-Marie's crazy is like, coping strategies, support styles, mental health advocacy groups, and why Laura-Marie want to get off medication.

Issue twelve is about being seen as crazy, Laura-Marie's parents, trauma, two bad therapists, psych drugs, and voices. It starts with an essay about identifying and includes a life story with mental health as a lens.

Issue thirteen is the interview issue. Laura-Marie interview four friends with various types of crazy. They talk about mind control, BDSM, automatic behavior, narcolepsy, activism, the Icarus Project, queerness, zines, PTSD, and psychiatry.

Issue fourteen is about her new therapist--what she's like, her methods, how Laura-Marie feel about her, core beliefs, psychiatry fads. It's about Ming's OCD and how it affects their lives. It's about spirituality and mental health, what she go to church for. It's about getting rediagnosed with schizoaffective disorder--how that happened and how that affects the way she sees myself. And it's about anger management, anger management class, rating things on a scale of one to ten, framing problems, and intentionality.

Issue fifteen is about therapy, art therapy, goals, locus of control, and losing her best friend.

Issue sixteen is about applying for SSI and SSDI, Laura-Marie's "mental exam," long intakes, crazy performance, being pushed, and services.

Issue seventeen is about therapy, rapid cycling, body image, disability, dreams.

Contact information

Laura-Marie Taylor
robotmad at

External Links