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Melody Moezzi
Melody Moezzi is a writer, attorney, speaker, activist, and award-winning author. She is also a United Nations Global Expert and an Opinion Leader for the British Council’s Our Shared Future initiative. Her latest book, the critically acclaimed Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life, was recently released in paperback, and her first book, War on Error: Real Stories of American Muslims, earned her a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2007.

Moezzi is a blogger for the Huffington Post and Ms. Magazine, and a featured columnist and blogger for bp [Bipolar] Magazine. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Guardian, and The Christian Science Monitor among other outlets. She has also appeared on many radio and television programs, including NPR, PRI, CNN, BBC and others.

Moezzi is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Emory University School of Law, as well as the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. She lives in Raleigh, NC.

For more information and links to more of her work, please visit and follower her on Twitter (@MelodyMoezzi).

Entries by Melody Moezzi

Treat, Don't Traumatize

(7) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 2:07 PM

Given plans to introduce at least two mental health reform bills in Congress this month, some have high hopes that our leaders will soon deliver meaningful mental health reform. I do not.

As one of the more than 40 million American adults living with a...

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5 Tips From Your Sober Holiday Guest

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 11:48 AM

When people first learn that I don't drink alcohol, they often request an explanation. Mine is rarely consistent. Sometimes I say I don't like the taste. Sometimes I say I'm Muslim. Sometimes I say I have a medical condition.

All are true, but none in isolation contains a full...

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When Reader Inspires Author

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 3:24 PM


To the joy and horror of authors everywhere, it's never been easier for readers to reach us. And given the value so many publishers now place on platform, celebrity and branding, very few authors can afford to be reclusive. So we do the...

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A Better Way to Remember Robin Williams

(1) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 11:31 AM

While many have speculated that Robin Williams struggled with bipolar disorder, the Oscar-winning actor and comedian who lost his life to suicide on Monday never publicly stated as much. In fact, he outright refuted it in a characteristically quick-witted interview with Fresh Air's Terry...

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Why Forcibly Medicating the Mentally Ill Is Dangerous

(17) Comments | Posted July 12, 2014 | 11:58 AM

In a 9-2 vote on Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved Laura's Law, which allows judges to order involuntary outpatient treatment, including forced medication, for certain patients with a history of psychiatric illness. While adopted in 2002, Laura's Law requires authorization by local jurisdictions, so this vote made...

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Stop Misappropriating Tragedy

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 8:59 AM

Why? It's the first thing people want to know when tragedy strikes. Why us? Why here? Why now? Why this?

But when lives are lost, no answer can ever suffice. Still, we ask, buoyed by hope and reason, in an effort to do that which has proven nearly impossible...

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4 Tips From an Ethnically Ambiguous Stranger

(2) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 3:22 PM

I'm used to people asking me where I'm from. Sometimes it's other brown people wanting to know if we share a heritage, and sometimes it's white people wanting to know...well, I'm not sure what.

When the question comes from another person of color who clearly just wants to know...

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The Case for Produce

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 5:03 PM

A new study has found that eating fruits and vegetables could literally save your life. Nice to know, but I'll keep eating them just because they taste good.

Growing up in Ohio as the daughter of Iranian parents meant frequently having to explain my lunches to classmates....

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How News Can Make You Happy

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 12:01 PM

I hear it all the time, from doctors, teachers, lawyers, hairdressers, accountants, you name it: "I don't follow the news. It's too depressing." While I understand the sentiment, I find its consequences far more depressing than even the gloomiest of newscasts.

Recognizing much of the public's shared distaste for...

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Girls' Night Out? Count Me Out

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 5:14 PM

While I've enjoyed plenty of evenings out with female friends, I've never especially appreciated any outing billed specifically as a "girls' night out" (GNO). The whole concept -- including its male counterpart, the "guys' night out" -- just seems strange to me. Perhaps it's because self-segregation has always struck me...

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U No Read, Me No Write

(3) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 10:25 AM

As disheartening as it is to admit, I know that many "readers" don't actually read, at least online. Still, until recently, no editor ever encouraged me to write for the skimming, scanning, browsing, not-actually-reading "reader."

As a rule, I try to forget these "readers" when I write -- despite knowing...

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Mental Health Ought to Matter More Than Uniforms

(3) Comments | Posted January 5, 2014 | 7:11 PM

As part of its bid to become the least productive United States legislature ever, the current 113th Congress is managing to hold up yet another worthy piece of bipartisan legislation. Senate Bill 162, introduced by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) as the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act, would

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What Really Matters to the Iranians?

(12) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 4:02 PM

Even before the details of the temporary deal between Iran and the P5+1 group were released on Saturday, many Iranians were already celebrating. Just the idea of an agreement -- any agreement -- between Iran and the United States was enough to bring tears to the eyes of this Iranian-American,...

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America's Mental Hospitals: Where Smoking Buys You Sunshine

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 8:40 PM

Imagine a place in the United States where most everyone smokes, where smoking is in fact encouraged, where cigarettes are used as rewards, and where at times, you may even be denied outdoors unless it's for a smoke. I know it sounds crazy in this day and age of "no...

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TSA Ramadan Alert: Expect Unduly Clean, Respectful, Teetotaling Travelers

(1) Comments | Posted July 11, 2013 | 3:30 PM

In honor of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the Transportation Security Administration has provided the public with some curious "travel information," under the heading "Traveling During Ramadan." Ever devoted to protecting the safety and civil rights of travelers, the "TSA has reminded its security workforce that traveling passengers may...

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Brought to You by the Mentally Ill

(9) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 12:22 PM

As one of the roughly 60 million Americans living with a mental illness, I was happy to hear President Obama highlight the issue at last week's National Conference on Mental Health. I was particularly pleased by his recognition that "the overwhelming majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent...

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Why I Won't See Argo

(48) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 9:16 AM

I can't stand people who blast books or movies without actually reading or seeing them. So, to be clear, this is not a critique. For one, I've heard great things about Argo -- that it's a gripping, well-acted and well-directed, edge-of-your-seat thriller (which is impressive, given everyone already knows the...

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I Am Not Adam Lanza

(340) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 10:27 AM

I'm not the mother of a mentally ill child. I'm not the child of a mentally ill parent. I'm not the wife of a mentally ill husband. I am, however, mentally ill. I have a story too. And it's nothing like Adam Lanza's.

My story is neither violent nor sensational,...

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What's the Most Islamic Approach to Islamophobia?

(11) Comments | Posted September 18, 2012 | 1:55 PM

Whether the recent attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Libya, Egypt and Yemen were provoked solely by an Islamophobic film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad isn't entirely clear, though most media reports seem to suggest it. Claims that at least one of these attacks -- most likely the one in Benghazi...

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How I'm Celebrating Non-Parents Day

(9) Comments | Posted August 1, 2012 | 1:32 PM

My husband and I have been thinking about adopting a kitten for a while now. Nazanin, our cat of nearly a year, seems a bit lonely, and we feel ready to expand our family. After months of deliberation, we finally decided to commit and headed to the local ASPCA.

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