The site founder and moderator, ∃, is a high-functioning bipolar patient. It has been a decade since her first (mis)diagnosis, during which time she’s been in and out of treatment according to how well she’s tolerating treatment at any given time. At her best, her responsibilities are often what keep her going. At her worst, the fear of being found out as a CrazyPants is actually what keeps her going…kinda. ∃ is a pro at faking it.

The preceding paragraph is how ∃ described herself while creating this site. Today (23 March 2011) she is changing her mind about how that paragraph ends. The conversations here ask that she thinks about things she hasn’t been good at thinking about, and new thoughts and perspectives are coming out of them. These days, she’s thinking about faking a little less.

The “∃”  is common mathematical short-hand for existence. It is usually pronounced “There is…” or “There are…” Here, she uses it to assert “I am.”

∃ also keeps a blog and a tumblr where you can ask her anything. You can also follow her on twitter.

This is a forum for discussion and your contributions are more than welcome in whatever form they may take. Ways to contribute include

  • Community Contributions — If you have a topic to put up for discussion, send an email to definefunctioing [at] gmail [dot] com. These can be anything from question(s) to a fully written post.
  • Reactions — Faster and shorter than Community Contributions, Reaction posts include links to mental health-related articles out there on the internet and ask for the forum’s reaction to current reports and research. Anything you stumble across that you’d like to share, please send a link to ∃ at definefunctioning [at] gmail [dot] com.
  • Reading Responses — If you are doing some general mental-health-related reading and would like to share your response, send it in an email to ∃. If you’d like people to know what you’re reading ahead of time, so they may read along, she’ll be happy to post it for you under Current Reading.
  • Taking part in the discussions themselves in the comments of any post. Often, tangential topics will arise in these discussions and become new “From the Comments” topics.
  • Adding yourself to the Reading Room. If you are a blogger and a regular at Define Functioning, send ∃ a short bio and a link to add to the collection of community members’ voices in the Reading Room.
  • Sharing resources — If you have reading to suggest (but don’t have the time for a reading response) or pertinent links to things to consider, feel free to send those along as well.
  • Elsewhere: Define Functioning’s Facebook page is open for smaller discussions or thoughts to share on its wall. Among them, ∃ usually posts a new definition of “functioning” for consideration most days.