About WorkWithTheBrainYouHave

Broken but Together

Picture credits: Instagram @farahmsiddiq and @stevenlira

I first saw the picture of this statue “Broken but Together” by Michael Benisty  on Tim Ferriss ’s Instagram, and it instantly caught my attention.

According to WHO, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Stigma, discrimination and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Where there is neglect, there is little or no understanding. Where there is no understanding, there is neglect.

This is ironic. If a person suffer from diabetes, he won’t feel ashamed of taking insulin shots, even in public. But if he suffers from a form of mental illness/brain disorder, he might feel the need to hide his condition because of shame and stigma.

Fortunately, things are changing. More and more people, including public figures, are coming forward with their brain disorders, sharing their struggles and vulnerable moments. Together, as a global society, we are working towards eradicating the stigma surrounding mental illness.

This website was built to take part in that movement. It is a collection of stories and resources of various mental illnesses/brain disorders to educate, motivate, and give hope to those who suffer from a  brain disorder and/or for family and friends with a loved one who suffer from mental health issues.

Tim Ferriss is an entrepreneur, a podcaster and a best selling author who has influenced millions of people worldwide. He is also a person who suffers from Bipolar Disorder and Depression.

Having mental illness is NOT a sign of failure, weakness, or laziness. Having said that, having a mental illness is also not an excuse for destructive behaviors and actions. Having mental illness is not our fault, but it is our responsibility to get better and to reach recovery.

Having a mental illness can be very debilitating. It can make us feel broken and that we cannot ’stand up’. But if we decide to own our condition, to stop hiding and to reach out to others, we will find other people who are also willing to be vulnerable, to own their brain disorders and work towards recovery.

Things will not magically change. Recovery takes a lot of effort and patience. But by doing it together, holding hands, we can help each other to ’stand up’.

We are one community. We can get better together.

Broken but Together

PS: Join the Facebook Page WorkWithTheBrainYouHave to get updates, post comments or ask questions. Living with brain disorder (mental illness) is hard, but it is manageable. There is hope. Keep the faith 🙂


AUTHOR‘S NOTE – My “Reason Why”


Don’t Give Up


A person planted a sunflower seed for me several years ago. As it was growing, there was a strong wind one day and it broke the stem. Yet, the young plant refused to die…instead it grew sideways for a bit, then it turned upward again, shot to the sky, and from it bloomed what I consider to be the prettiest flower I’ve ever seen.

Life can be very challenging at times. Sometimes life can break us and there will be times when we feel like giving up. I think it’s quite normal to feel that way. We’re human.


Kintsurugi: the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquerdusted or mixed with powdered goldsilver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique.As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.




My name is Sophia Athena.12 years ago I suffered from severe Post Partum Depression, after  giving birth to my first and only child. I refused to see the baby for the first three days.

With the help of a really good psychiatrist and a compassionate therapist in Vancouver I was able to recover.

Unfortunately just a few years after, I experienced several traumatic events that brought me back into another long, major depression with severe emotional pain. The pain was unbearable and I was in such despair that I almost attempted suicide. It was not that I wanted to die; I just wanted to stop the pain. Luckily, I was aware that I was sick and needed help. I reached out and got help.

I was able to find a good psychiatrist in my town. (I have been working with him for 7 years now and I still check in with him on a regular basis).

I educated myself about my condition – I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 with mixed states and later was also diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD – I take my meds daily, I do counseling, and I practice coping skills from the resources I found.

I am now in recovery, and I am thanking God every day for it. 


My dear friends,

There is hope. Reach out. Built your support network. Don’t go through this alone.  Keep the faith. No matter how dark it may seem right now, please believe me: there IS light at the end of the tunnel.


 Sophie 🙂


Just remember WHY you started in the first place.

Pick yourself up and keep going.

– Stitch


NOTE: I am not a medical professional, but I am a trained scientist and researcher by trade. This website is a collection of resources I have found during my journey towards recovery. I decided to share my findings in hope that they will help others as they did for me.

Sophia Athena



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