|In the summer of 2016, Barrie Miskin became pregnant with her daughter and was encouraged to discontinue the low dose of antidepressants she had been on for over a decade for the safety of the baby. This ended up being a grave mistake. By January 2017, Barrie was no longer recognizable to her family, her friends or herself and the world was no longer recognizable to her. In Barrie's family's desperate effort to obtain a diagnosis and a treatment, they journeyed through the cold, bleak and murky world of mental healthcare in the United States. Sometimes, they were met with compassion and care but more often than not, they were treated with dismissiveness, ignorance and sometimes, cruelty.
When Barrie was finally diagnosed with the very rare condition of pregnancy induced depersonalization and derealization disorder, she had to begin the long climb out of the dark well she was imprisoned in - all while trying to raise her beautiful baby daughter, keep her teaching career and preserve her marriage. Hell Gate Bridge brings rare mental illnesses into the light, seeks to heal the fractures in our broken maternal and mental healthcare system, and shows how we can overcome the impossible when we fight to save the ones we love.
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.