Functionally Ill: Fully Favorable is the 19th is a nine-years-running (at the time this zine was made – it’s not dated) zine about Laura-Marie’s journey from the first diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In this issue, Laura-Marie shares some snippets from letters she’s written as well as touches on Social Security hearings, leaving a therapist behind, new psychiatrists, and more.
Functionally Ill doesn’t go into a lot of background or history beyond the brief introduction. Usually I would find that distracting from the content right in front of me, but something about Laura-Marie’s writing put me right into the moment where I didn’t need more information. I want it – I want to read more zines in this series – but it wasn’t distracting.
Laura-Marie’s experiences with Dr R made me angry about heavy-handed psychiatrists, and, thought this zine, I got a glimpse into what it’s like to try to get Social Security payments in the US. I liked that excerpts of letters to others were in the mix, showing the subtle differences in writing voice but almost getting a different perspective on events.
There’s a lot to be said for using zines as therapy, especially when you have a mental illness. However, there is also a lot to be said for using zines as a way to get past stereotypes and gain perspective. Though this was a brief look, it was an interesting one.