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“Miskin’s searing memoir about her experience with a mysterious mental illness during and after her pregnancy provides a haunting window into the state of health care in the United States.”—Becky Meloan, The Washington Post


In the summer of 2016, Barrie Miskin faced a pivotal moment when her pregnancy prompted the discontinuation of a decade-long antidepressant regimen, setting off an unforeseen chain of
events. By January 2017, she had become a stranger to her family and herself, navigating the complex and often unforgiving landscape of mental healthcare in the United States. Through
encounters marked by compassion and cruelty, Barrie's family embarked on a desperate quest for a diagnosis, ultimately uncovering the rare condition of pregnancy-induced depersonalization and derealization disorder.

Hell Gate Bridge not only brings to light these seldom-discussed mental illnesses but also unveils the flaws in our maternal and mental healthcare system. Barrie's journey, marked by resilience,
became a relentless climb out of the abyss, all while balancing the challenges of motherhood, maintaining her teaching career, and preserving her marriage. The narrative serves as a testament
to the power of determination in overcoming the darkest of challenges and fighting fiercely to save those we hold dear.

Hell Gate Bridge

  • Barrie Miskin, a survivor of a severe and rare maternal mental illness, writes from a personal lens on maternal and mental health. Her essays, creative nonfiction and interviews have appeared in Hobart, Narratively, Motherwell, Write or Die Magazine and elsewhere. She is a fellowship recipient from The Cullman Center Institute for Teachers as well as the Unruly Retreat for Writers. She lives in Queens, NY with her husband and daughter. Hell Gate Bridge is her first book.

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