Jennifer Marshall: Mental Illness and the Power of Story.

Jennifer Marshall‘s life was going exactly as planned. Then, she turned 26 and everything changed.

Marshall found herself unable to control her thoughts, spinning and struggling with reality.  She was hospitalized and sent home to take some time and get some sleep. But, it would take yet a second hospitalization shortly after to reveal the fact that this was not about being overtired. It was about mental illness and how it would redefine Marshall’s world in a profound way, from that moment forward.

She was soon after diagnosed with bipolar. It was a lot for her and her family to take in, but instead of burying the conversation, she embraced it and even began to share her experiences publicly, first anonymously, then under her own name at, and then widely on the front page of The Washington Post, Oprah Magazine, national TV and from the TEDx stage.

Realizing the power of sharing her story, she co-founded and is now Executive Director of This Is My Brave, Inc., a global storytelling initiative for people to share their stories of overcoming mental illness through creative expression at live events around the world, and online.

We explore this powerful journey, along with how she and her husband explored the decision to become parents, build a family and work to remove the stigma from mental illness in this week’s episode.

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Photo credit:Read McKendree

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