Terri Cheney

Terri Cheney

As a successful entertainment attorney in Beverly Hills, Terri represented the likes of Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and major motion picture studios. But beneath her seemingly flawless façade she was struggling with a dangerous secret: ever since childhood, Terri had been battling a debilitating case of bipolar disorder. Despite wild mood swings and repeated suicide attempts (the earliest at age seven), Terri managed to keep her condition secret from everyone – but at a terrible price. Finally, in an effort to save her own life, she wrote a searing account of her mental illness. Manic: A Memoir quickly became a New York Times bestseller, was optioned by HBO, and translated into eight foreign languages. Following Manic’s publication, Terri received hundreds of emails from parents of bipolar children, asking about her own childhood. In response, she wrote The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar – a groundbreaking personal portrayal of the emerging phenomenon of childhood bipolar disorder. Terri’s writings and commentary about bipolar disorder have also been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, NPR, PsychologyToday.com, and countless articles and popular blogs. Terri now devotes her advocacy skills to the cause of mental illness. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics at USC, the Honorary Board of Directors of the International Bipolar Foundation, and the Board of Directors of Project Return Peer Support Network. She also served on the Community Advisory Board of the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program. In recognition of her public service, she received an official commendation from the County of Los Angeles, as well as the annual Advocates Award from Mental Health Advocacy Services, and the 2011 Imagine Award. She founded and facilitates a weekly mental health support group at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute. Terri graduated with honors from Vassar College, and attended UCLA School of Law. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
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