Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011


Critical Perspectives
On the
Menstrual Cycle

June 2-4, 2011
Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Thank you to the following organizations for supporting this conference:

Chatham University
UPMC – Magee Women's Hospital of UPMC

Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011
Conference Schedule
Thursday June 2, 2011
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Board of Directors Meeting PCW Room in Anderson Cafeteria
Noon – 5:00 pm
Registration available Eddy Theater Lobby
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Poster Session and Reception James Laughlin Music Center, Welker
Posters and Exhibits:

Perceptions and Misperceptions of Women's and Men's Attitudes about Sexual Activity
During Menstruation
Mindy J. Erchull, Lauren P. Hartwell, Stephanie Lichiello, and Alexandra Zelin, University
of Mary Washington
Many taboos surrounding sex during menstruation exist, and many people choose to abstain
during menses. We investigated predictors of attitudes towards sex during menstruation
among women and men. Perceptions and misperceptions of normative beliefs about
menstrual sex were also studied. How misperceptions may influence attitudes and behaviors
is discussed.

Effectiveness of a Self Instructional Module on Management of Dysmenorrhea among
Adolescent Girls in a Rural High School in Bangalore, India
Julia George, Kannur Medical College, Anjarakandy, India
This study assessed the knowledge on management of dysmenorrhea among adolescent girls
in a rural high school. A self-instructional module on the management of dysmenorrhea
helped promote awareness among adolescent girls and also assisted with health
promotion within this rural area.
PMS Experiences of Women in Couple Relationships: Implications of Awareness
Through Daily Self-Monitoring of Symptoms
Yasmin Jade Hawkins, Michelle Rhyder, Jane Ussher, and Janette Perz, University of
Western Sydney, Australia
Interviews with women in couple relationships before and after self-monitoring of daily PMS
symptoms reveal sub-categories of a prominent theme of „awareness‟. Their accounts suggest
that not only can premenstrual coping be improved, but that relationship dynamics can also
be enhanced through awareness of menstrual cycle mood and behaviour patterns.

Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011

Vagina vérité® - An Unabashed Exploration of the Plain, Ordinary, Mysterious Matter
of Vaginas
(Exhibit and Presentation, 6:30 PM)
Alexandra Jacoby, leave the castle, LLC
A 10-year conversation began when a friend asked photographer Alexandra Jacoby whether
she liked the way her vagina looked. Via documentary-style vulva images, voice and
reflection, Jacoby presents an unabashed exploration of the plain, ordinary, mysterious matter
of vaginas… "so we can see ourselves for ourselves."
Relationship between Menstrual Cycle-Related Symptoms, Attitudes toward
Menstruation and Ambivalent Sexism
Maria Luisa Marvan, Institute of Psychological Research, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico,
and Rocío Vázquez-Toboada, Department of Psychology, Universidad de las Américas-
Puebla, Mexico
Adult women completed three questionnaires. Attitudes toward menstruation were influenced
by benevolent sexism. In turn, perimenstrual symptoms were predicted by high scores on the
"Proscriptions and prescriptions" subscale of the BATM, which includes activities that
women should do while menstruating, as well as the belief that menstruation disables
Women's Attitudes Toward Menopause and Toward Hysterectomy After a
Maria Luisa Marvan, Rosa Lilia Castillo, and Yamilet Ehrenzweig, Institute of Psychological
Research, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico
Middle-aged women were surveyed. Women who had a natural menopause showed more
positive attitudes toward menopause than women who had undergone hysterectomy. The
most negative attitudes were showed by those women who were premenopausal prior to
hysterectomy and who had salpingo-oophorectomy.
This Ain't Your Mama's Maxi-Pad (Poster)
Chella Quint, Adventures in Menstruating, and Elizabeth Kissling, Eastern Washington
Within a stylized retro motif, "This Ain't Your Mama's Maxi-Pad" deconstructs vintage
femcare ads with wit, irony and brute force. The same messages, though dressed differently,
are still in use today.

Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011
Friday June 3, 2011

7:00 – 8:15 am

Laughlin Music Center - Welker
Breakfast Meeting: SMCR Blog

Plenary Panel: Menstruation and Stigma (8:30-10:15 am)
Eddy Theater

Chair: Ingrid Johnston-Robledo, State University of New York at Fredonia
Discussant: Paula Derry, Paula Derry Enterprises in Health Psychology

Stigma and Emotional Health
Lawrence M. Nelson, MD, Head, Integrative Reproductive Medicine Group
Intramural Research Program on Reproductive and Adult Endocrinology
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institutes of Health
In order to feel stigmatized one must accept the proposition that shame or discredit is validly
associated with the factor at issue. Education is the path away from this. This is important
because evidence to be presented shows that stigma has adverse effects on emotional health.

Significance of Menstruation in Native American Cultures: The Apache Sunrise Dance
Carol Markstrom, College of Human Resources and Education, West Virginia University

Native American cultures have long-standing beliefs and traditions concerning the
significance of menstruation. Menarche, in particular, is regarded as a particularly potent and
pivotal event in the life span warranting special ceremonial recognition. This presentation
will focus on cultural beliefs about menstruation according to its broad-based, vital life-
giving properties.
Public Health Education about the Menstrual Cycle
Evelina W. Sterling, President, Rachel‟s Well
Evidence has shown that women with disorders of the menstrual cycle frequently experience
a delay in diagnosis. Frequently this vital sign is ignored in women's health education
initiatives, possibly related to the associated stigma. It is time for a new path forward.

Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011
Stigma by Association? The Career Progression of Menstrual Cycle Researchers
Joan C. Chrisler, Connecticut College; Ingrid Johnston-Robledo, State University of New
York at Fredonia; Jennifer Gorman, Connecticut College; and Amy Fisk, State University of
New York at Fredonia
Results of a survey of menstrual cycle researchers will be presented and discussed.
Participants responded to questions about whether they believe the topics they study have
affected their career progress, how others‟ react to their work, how they manage negative
reactions, and whether they believe they have experienced stigma by association with
stigmatized topics.
10:15-10:30 am Morning Break _ Eddy Theater Lobby
Panel Session 1A: Menopause/Biology (10:30 am-Noon)

A Critical Review of the Putative Effects of Menstrual Cycle-related Hormones on
Brain Activity in the Neuroscience Literature
Jean Lamont, The Pennsylvania State University
Methodology implicating hormonal causality for differential neural activity across the
menstrual cycle is examined. We suggest that consideration of 3rd variables (social factors) is
insufficient to conclude such hormonal responsibility. Literature regarding menstrual cycle
effects on cognitive ability, sexual behavior preferences, and emotion regulation is reviewed,
supporting this notion.
Quality of Life in Women Taking Progesterone for Vasomotor Symptoms: A 12-Week
Randomized, Masked Placebo-Controlled Trial in Healthy, Normal-Weight Women 1-
10 Years since Final Menstrual Flow
Christine Hitchcock and Jerilynn Prior, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research
(CeMCOR), University of British Columbia
Health-related quality of life outcomes in a randomized, placebo-controlled progesterone trial showed that menopause-specific quality of life Vasomotor and Physical subscales improved more on progesterone than placebo. Psychosocial and Sexual, as well as all SF-36 subscales, did not differ by therapy, although the Sexual subscale improved in both arms.

Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011
Progesterone for Menopausal Hot Flushes/Flashes and Night Sweats: A 12-Week
Randomized, Masked Placebo-Controlled Trial in Healthy, Normal-Weight Women 1-
10 Years since Final Menstrual Flow

Jerilynn Prior and Christine Hitchcock, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research
(CeMCOR), University of British Columbia
In a randomized, masked, one-month baseline, three-month therapy trial we compared the
effectiveness of placebo versus daily oral micronized progesterone for hot flushes and night
sweats in healthy menopausal women. Progesterone was much more effective than placebo.
These results should help to change the paradigm of menopause meaning estrogen
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Hot Flash Management
Susan Cohen, University of Pittsburgh; Margaret (Peggy) Stubbs, Chatham University;
Kathleen Spadero, Chatham University; and Susan Sereika, University of Pittsburgh
This randomized pilot study examined meditation for symptom management. Participants
(46) attended 8 meditation or 8 control sessions. Variables were Hot Flashes, and Sleep
Disruption. There was a time effect for sleep disruptions yet no group by time effect to
differentiate the groups and a nonstatistically significant hot flash decrease.
A Two-factor Model of Women's Concerns about the Impact of Menopause on Fertility
and Physical Health
Judy Strauss, Yeshiva University
Social factors that affect women‟s attitudes toward menopause were examined in a sample of
1,037 baby-boomer women. Analyses supported a two-factor model of women‟s adaptation
to menopause: attitudes concerning the effects of menopause on fertility and the cessation of
menstruation had different antecedents than attitudes concerning health and attractiveness.
Panel Session 1B: Reconsidering Menstruation: Young Women's Embodied Reflections
and An Initiative for Change (10:30 am-Noon) Woodland 103

Chair: Stephanie Dalness, Chatham University Discussants: Kate Fishman, Chatham University; Yara Doleh, University of Toronto

Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011

Coming Out of the Menstrual Closet: Better Late than Never
April Condemi, Katherine Fishman, Laura Douglas, Britny Nemeth, Margaret O‟Malia, and
Jessica Pais, Chatham University
Young women reflect on their attitude shifts towards menarche, lesbian experience and
exclusion, and the cultural significance of learning anatomy and biology in college. Panelists
comment on how these experiences are conflated with social stigmas of shame, concealment,
and a resounding lack of discourse combating negative feelings towards menstruation.
Conceptualizing Cycles, Normalizing Change
Stephanie Dalness, Chatham University
A research-based intervention provides girls with an opportunity to normalize menstruation.
The importance of exploring individual menstrual attitudes and experiences in counseling
young girls is endorsed as an essential step in enhancing female embodiment, reducing
bodily shame, and reworking dominant views of cyclicity as pathological.
12:00 – 1:15 pm Lunch _ Laughlin Music Center - Welker
Panel Session 2A: Activism (1:15-2:15 pm)

Redefining the "Bleeding Wound"
Jessica Cortese, Middlesex County College
The perceived yearning to heal the "bleeding wound" has constructed the menstruating body into a symbol of neuroses and inadequacies. Consequently, a new discourse that seeks to challenge the patriarchal unconscious and present an alternative to menstrual oppression, is countering western phallocentric theory, patriarchal rhetoric, and providing a space for menstruating bodies to organize and defy masculine culture. "When I Learn to Love My Blood the Revolution's Begun": Embodied Resistance and
Visceral Display
Harriet Moon Smith, Towson University
Menstrual activists must plunge into our relationships with our bodies—our blood, smells, and tastes. I will explore the assertion of visceral realities within the larger context of menstrual activism, showing how personal and public visceral display constitutes a resistance to the dominant menstrual discourse by calling upon embodied resistance. Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011

Selling My Soul to Start the Conversation
Tomi-Ann Roberts, Colorado College
I share my experience as a "UbyKotex Advocate," helping launch a new product line and
educational website to challenge cultural taboos around periods and vaginal care for young
women. Did I sell my soul to a corporation whose primary goal is to sell disposable
menstrual products? Or start a productive, feminist conversation?

Panel Session 2B: Menarche (1:15-2:15 pm)
Woodland 103

"Tell Me About Your First Period" A Mixed-Methods Study of Women's Menarche
Virginia Mackintosh, Ashlie Dofflemyer, Rachel Jobe, Sarah Kelley, Caitlin Messinger, and
Gwen Paulson, University of Mary Washington
This study sought knowledge about young women‟s experiences with menarche and their
mothers‟ responses to it. Through qualitative narratives and quantitative questions,
participants described menarche and rated the quality of their relationship with their mother.
Their mothers completed a similar survey of their experiences around their daughter‟s

Blood is Thicker Than Water: Menarche as a Trigger for Memories
Mother-Daughter Dyads across Cultures
Sheryl Mendlinger, Julie Cwikel, Patricia Ann Farrell, and Rachel Gershaw, Institute on
Urban Health Research, Northeastern University
This paper presents a theoretical analysis of in-depth interviews with mother-daughter dyads
and examines the type of memories women relate when talking about body changes at
puberty and the onset of menstruation. Memories were related to their mothers, grandmothers
or peers; sanitary measures; cultural or religious connotations; and forbidden things.

Advertising Menstruation to Tween Girls
Victoria Velding, Wayne State University
In this presentation, I report on a content analysis of advertisements in one "tween"
magazine. Results indicated that ads negatively depict menstruation and imply that girls do
not have control of their menstrual cycles, and, more generally, do not have control of their
Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011
Keynote Speaker:
Organisms & Objects: The Technological Health Crisis of Toxic Shock Syndrome &
Rely Tampons
Sharra Vostral, Gender & Women's Studies and History, University of Illinois Urbana-
How did tampons become associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)? This talk examines factors leading to the identification of TSS and the role played by Rely tampons. The concept biologically incompatible technology will be used to explain the complicated relationship of constituent bacteria, women‟s menstrual cycles, and a reactive technology. (2:30-3:30 pm)

3:30-3:45 Afternoon Snack _Sanger Lobby

Panel Session 3A: Big Ideas (3:45-5:00pm)

Concepts of Embodiment and the Reproductive System
Paula Derry, Paula Derry Enterprises in Health Psychology
Facts about the menstrual cycle are given meaning via underlying assumptions about the
nature of embodiment and the role of hormones in embodiment. We present an overview of
assumptions, including varying concepts of what a hormone is, relevance of hormones to
defining life stage, and what body image is.
Lunar Law
Shari Motro, University of Richmond
This presentation interprets the widespread use of hormonal contraception as a symptom of a
legal framework that pathologizes and marginalizes menstruation and pregnancy.

The Rhetoric of Amenorrhea: Degendering the DSM V Criteria for Anorexia Nervosa
Dafna Rehavia-Hanauer, University of Derby, UK
This paper critically analyses from a feminist perspective the ways in which the concepts of
gender and amenorrhea are used in current revisions of the definition of the eating disorder
anorexia nervosa in the DSM V. The direction is to redefine the phenomenon of self
starvation as a genderless disorder.
Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011
Panel Session 3B: Attitudes and Experiences (3:45-5:00pm)
Woodland 103

Space and Time in the Menstrual Cycle
Emily Morris Graves, Louisiana State University

I use a Bakhtinian framework to analyze women‟s accounts of their menstrual experience, as
well as media artifacts, to argue that experiences across the menstrual cycle are informed by
fixed temporal and spatial qualities.

Coaches' Perceptions of a Menstruating Athlete
Meghan McLain, Joan C. Chrisler, and Jennifer Gorman, Connecticut College
We evaluated male and female coaches‟ perceptions of a female athlete who asks to sit out a
practice due to either menstrual cramps or stomach pains. Gender differences in coaches‟
evaluations of the target athlete‟s traits and characteristics will be discussed, as will
differences on a measure of Beliefs about and Attitudes toward Menstruation (BATM).
Objectification Theory and Women's Experiences of Physical Menstrual Symptoms
Elizabeth Isaac Feinberg, New School for Social Research
Prior research finds that women reporting higher levels of self-objectification maintain more
negative attitudes and emotions towards their own menstruation (Roberts, 2004). This study
finds that self-objectification is also associated with more physical menstrual symptoms, and
that relationships between self-objectification and symptoms were mediated by negative
menstrual attitudes and emotions.

Normal and Natural, or Burdensome and Terrible? Women with Spinal Cord Injuries
Discuss Ambivalence about Menstruation
Heather Dillaway, Cathy Lysack, and Katherine Cross, Wayne State University
Using data from 20 in-depth interviews with women with spinal cord injuries (SCI) in 2007-
2008, we examine how women with SCI think about and experience amenorrhea and
menstruation post-injury, so that we can begin to compare the attitudes of women with SCI to
the attitudes of women who are able-bodied.
5:15 – 6:15 pm
SMCR Business Meeting 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Friday Night Banquet AFC Patio, weather permitting OR James Laughlin Music Center, Welker 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011

Saturday June 4, 2011
7:00 – 8:15 am
Laughlin Music Center - Welker
Breakfast Meeting: The future of SMCR
Plenary Panel: Re: Cycling and Sustainability (8:30 am-10:15 am)

Eddy Theater
Chair and Discussant: Dr. David Hassenzahl, Dean, School of Sustainability and the
Environment, Chatham University
No Sharks in the Woods: Menstruation Myths and Camping
Nancy Gift, Chatham University
Discussions of camping often devolve into discussions about a lack of bathrooms on the trail.
Among bathroom bodily functions, menstruation is conspicuously absent from discussion. I
will compare menstrual products in the context of multi-day use while camping. More
environmentally friendly menstrual products facilitate women‟s access to the environment.
Perceptions, Attitudes and Acceptability of Menstrual Cups as a Method for Managing
Menstruation: Experiences of School Girls and Women in Nairobi, Kenya
Rhoune Ochako, Teresa Saliku, Jean-Christophe Fotso and Salome Wawire,
African Population & Health Research Center (APHRC), Kenya
Despite the onset of menstruation being an important landmark in the transition to adulthood,
it can present serious problems and concerns among adolescent girls and women who cannot
afford sanitary towels for menstrual management. We explore perceptions, attitudes and
acceptability of menstrual cups as a method of managing menstrual flow.
Cycles of life: Protecting the Planet and Alleviating Poverty through Sustainable
Menstruation Management?
Megan White Mukuria, Founder and CEO, ZanaAfrica
Globally, menstruation keeps girls out of school, repeating cycles of poverty. How do we "sustainably" address this? Drawing on a decade of work with girls in Kenya, Megan shares a promising solution to realize a vision of all girls managing their menstruation with dignity while protecting the planet. Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011

Cloth Pads: A Responsible, Sustainable, Natural Choice Whose Time Has
Come.Around Again?
Mary Beth Karchella-MacCumbee, and Lihn Luu, Chatham University
Belonging to "the cloth community" and trying, as much as possible, to live a paperless life, I
will describe how I have become involved in making and distributing cloth menstrual pads.
In addition, I‟ll comment on what some of my clients think about using cloth pads for
menstrual management.
Curing the Curse in Africa: Menstrual Disability and the Corporate Cure
David Linton, Marymount Manhattan College
This presentation examines the ways that corporate marketing strategies in African countries
use suggestions of social and physical disability in order accomplish three objectives: 1)
create positive images of the company through corporate philanthropy; 2) create brand
consciousness in new African markets; 3) increase sales to both American and African
Panel Session 4A: International Issues and Contexts (10:30am-Noon)

Young Women's Attitudes toward Menstruation, Religious Affiliation, Intensity of
Religious Practice, Adherence to Religious Beliefs about Menstruation and
Margaret (Peggy) Stubbs, Joe Wister, Christina Michelmore, Haya Abdel-Latif, Vanessa
Thompson, Sagcan, Seyhan, Chatham University
The menstrual attitudes of Muslim and non-Muslim undergraduates attending an all-women‟s
college were examined, considering religious affiliation, intensity of religious practice,
adherence to religious beliefs about menstruation and acculturation. Results inform our
understanding of young women‟s current menstrual attitudes, particularly those of Muslim
students attending an all-women‟s college.

Construction of Menstruation in Indian Television Commercials
Arpan Yagnik, School of Media & Communications, Bowling Green State University
The study explores the dominant presence of latent themes that portray menstruation
negatively in female hygiene products television commercials. Four major themes emerged
from the thematic analysis of 50 Indian TV commercials. This study aspires to encourage the
use of positive themes of menstruation to promote the female hygiene products.
Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011

Problematizations of Adverse Effects of Hormonal Contraceptives in Uganda
Marianne Tellier, Reproductive Health Consultant, United Republic of Tanzania; and Maria
Hyttel, Department for Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
This qualitative study explores how different actors in Uganda problematize adverse effects
of hormonal contraceptives such as menstrual irregularities, and the implications for how
adverse effects are addressed. The findings indicate mismatches between user and
provider/policy perspectives, especially regarding the importance and impact of menstrual
irregularities on couples‟ sexual health.
Panel Session 4B: PMS (10:30am-Noon)
Woodland 103

Mood and the Menstrual Cycle: A Literature Review
Sarah E Romans, University of Otago Wellington, New Zealand; Rose F Clarkson,
University of Toronto; Gillian Einstein, University of Toronto; and Donna E Stewart,
University of Toronto
This paper presents the results of a systematic literature review of studies on mood and
menstrual cycle phase, with prospective daily data collection. A perimenstrual not a
premenstrual pattern of mood change emerged. Their methodological strengths and
weaknesses are analyzed and recommendations for good future research made.
Attachment Style, Self-silencing and Premenstrual Distress: The Intersubjective
Experience of PMS
Janette Perz and Jane Ussher, University of Western Sydney, Australia
The association between attachment style, self silencing and relationship context was
examined in women presenting with PMS. Insecure attachment style was associated with
self-silencing, premenstrual distress, partner distancing and support, relationships tension,
and coping. This supports the view that PMS is an intersubjective experience, negotiated in
the context of relationships.
PMS as a Process of Negotiation: Women's Coping Strategies for Premenstrual Change
and Distress
Jane Ussher and Janette Perz, University of Western Sydney, Australia
Interviews with 58 women identified coping strategies that reduce distress associated with
premenstrual change, including awareness, giving permission, avoidance, minimising
responsibility, tolerating PMS, self-care, medical support and intersubjective negotiation.
This suggests that premenstrual change is an ongoing process of negotiation, in which
women are agentic subjects, not passive „PMS sufferers‟.
Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, 2011
Men's Accounts of Their Partner's PMS: A Thematic Analysis of Forum Posts from

Marlee King, University of Western Sydney, Australia

A thematic analysis was conducted on men‟s online forum posts from the website, in order to explore their accounts and constructions of their partner‟s PMS.
Results reinforce notions of PMS as a relational issue, with implications for couple based
PMS interventions for couples seeking treatment or support for premenstrual distress.

12:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch and Conference Conclusion _ Laughlin Music Center – Welker

12: 30 – 1:00 pm Lunchtime Speaker:
Reifying the Stigmatization of "Girl Parts": Tampax's Use of God/Devil Terms in the
Zack16 Campaign

Dacia Charlesworth, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
This paper examines "Zack16," which depicts the life of a 16 year old boy who awoke one
day and had "girl parts." Using Weaver‟s God/Devil terms, I discovered that penis, Tampax,
vaginal concealment, and indirect communication are God terms whereas vagina,
menstruation, vaginal revelation, and direct communication are Devil terms. Findings
indicate a need to begin analyzing stealth marketing campaigns and to be aware of
menstruators‟ "double bind."
1:30 pm Awards Announcements
2:00 pm Conference Conclusion


Zurab kheladze & zviad kheladze critical care medicine hand book

Zurab Kheladze & Zviad Kheladze Critical Care Medicine HAND BOOK Mental disorders Febrile schizophrenia, malignant neuroleptic syndrome Occurs spontaneously and is the result of hypertoxic or febrile schizophrenia (lethal catatonia). Sometimes it is presented as a drug complication – malignant neuroleptic syndrome. Clinical presentation is same for both of them and have general name of febrile schizophrenia. The term belongs to Skeid and was first used in 1937. Other names are also used: "Bell" mania, fatal hysteria, acute azotemic psychotic encephalitis, acute delirium, "grave" mania and etc. Using these names such clinical case is described which is analogue to a febrile and lethal schizophrenia. Malignant neuroleptic syndrome was first described in 1960 by J. Delei. Mortality is high during malignant neuroleptic syndrome, it approaches 40% and rate of its development on the background of neuroleptic treatment is 3-27%.

J Med Humanit (2014) 35:257–271DOI 10.1007/s10912-014-9293-5 The Icarus Project: A Counter Narrative for PsychicDiversity Sascha Altman DuBrul Published online: 17 July 2014# Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014 Abstract Over the past 12 years, I've had the good fortune of collaborating with others tocreate a project which challenges and complicates the dominant biopsychiatric model ofmental illness. The Icarus Project, founded in 2002, not only critiqued the terms and practicescentral to the biopsychiatric model, it also inspired a new language and a new community forpeople struggling with mental health issues in the 21st century. The Icarus Project believes thathumans are meaning makers, that meaning is created through developing intrapersonal andinterpersonal narratives, and that these narratives are important sites of creativity, struggle, andgrowth. The Icarus counter narrative and the community it fostered has been invaluable forpeople around the world dealing with psychic diversity—particularly for people alienated bymainstream approaches. But, despite the numbers of people who have been inspired by thisapproach, the historical background of the Icarus Project is hard to find. It exists primarily inoral history, newspaper articles, unpublished or self-published Icarus documents, and ininternet discussion forums. As the co-founder of the Icarus Project, I use this article to makemy understanding of that history and its key documents more widely available.

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