Manga Creator Starts Essay Series About Living with Bipolar Disorder

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Manga creator Hamu Morishima launched her manga series on ComicWalker discussing her struggles with mental illness on Wednesday. Tokaku Konoyo wa Iki Nikui: 'Utsu' de 'Mu' ni natta Watashi (Anyway, It's Hard to Live in This World: I Became 'Nothing' with 'Depression') discusses her hurdles living with Bipolar II, developmental disorders, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

The first episode shows Morishima fighting back tears when she decides to quit the job she planned to take following college graduation.

According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), Bipolar II is characterized as high episodes of euphoria and low episodes of depression.These episodes can affect an individual's ability to function and negatively affect their quality of life, although they may not be as severe as the manic episodes affecting individuals with Bipolar I. Bipolar II episodes also do not cause psychosis.

According to The Chemical Sensitivity Foundation's website's brochure, MCS is "a medical condition characterized by debilitating chemical sensitivities. People who are chemically sensitive are made sick by exposures to chemicals found in many common products such as pesticides, perfumes, tobacco smoke, new carpets, air "fresheners," new paint and building materials, and many cleaning and laundry products. Most of these chemicals will make everyone sick at high levels, but for chemically sensitive people exposures to even small amounts of these substances can cause symptoms."

Manga authors have turned inward in a number of personal essay comics detailing struggles with mental health issues, social expectations, and navigating society as a minority. Kikori Kimura's Tōgō Shicchō-shō Nikki (Schizophrenia Diary) was published in April and cosplayer Kuro Akagi posted a four-page manga about Asperger syndrome on Twitter in January. Twitter user @Sodium discussed the stress of Japanese work-life as did office lady @black9arrows. Manga creator Shō Arai discussed their own intersexuality and difficulty facing sexual minorities in their comics.

Source: Comic Natalie, MCS Taskforce New Mexico brochure, Theravive (Benjamin Neeley, Ph.D., LMHC)

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