my name is amy mcdowell marlow and i am the author of bluelightblue. i am a 22-year survivor of suicide loss who lives with mental illness – bipolar II, post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) and generalized anxiety disorder.
mental illness has been part of my life for a long time. but until recently i didn’t want anyone else to know. when i was thirteen i lost my dad to suicide in our own home and i was the first to find him. at 21 i was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. recently my diagnosis was changed to bipolar II and ptsd, illustrating that for many of us our diagnosis and treatment is a journey, not a one-time event.
for many, many years shame and silence characterized the way i dealt with my dad’s death and my own mental health challenges. i started this blog after living through an episode of major depression, anxiety and ptsd in 2014. getting sick and falling apart brought the shame i had been hiding for so long up to the surface and out into the open. i became aware of how mental health stigma had impacted me since childhood. as i began to process my experience as a survivor of suicide and childhood trauma, i started to write. and write. and write. this blog has helped me write my way out of being silent about my own mental illness. recovery is a journey that i am still traveling. this blog is one of the coping tools that help me take care of myself today and process my experiences with mental illness and suicide loss.
i am deeply grateful that my story has resonated with so many others. bluelightblue was named one of the 2018, 2017 and 2016 best blogs on depression by healthline. i was awarded the maryland foundation for psychiatry’s 2016 anti-stigma advocacy award for my article in the washington post, my dad killed himself when i was thirteen. he hid his depression – i won’t hide mine. i was named by the washington post as one of the 11 most inspirational people they met in 2016.
in addition to writing about mental illness, i am a trained peer facilitator and public speaker with NAMI (the national alliance on mental illness). i share my story with audiences across the washington d.c. – metro area to raise awareness about mental health issues.
i am a native of northern virginia and live in falls church with my husband, will, and my dog, winston.
thank you for reading and thank you for your support.
disclaimer: all information shared on this blog represents my personal experience. i am not a counselor, therapist, doctor or psychiatrist. this blog is not intended to provide medical or psychiatric advice. i make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. blue light blue is the owner of all material on this blog and it may not be used, reprinted, or published without my written consent.