The Art of Faking A Smile: A Layered Account of Mental Illness And/In Relating



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In this thesis, I desire to give a relational account of my mental illness by exploring memories where I recall discovering symptoms and attempting to reach out for help. I inquire into how mental illness affects those around me and how others affect my mental illness. I vulnerably navigate the social interactions in which I have been silenced and silenced others. These moments are important spaces to consider engaging the discourse through efforts of interrogating stigma. By opening my “self” and “body” to others, I construct a space where mental illness is conceived of as a relational accomplishment. As stories of mental illness emerge from isolated experiences toward social ones, silenced voices are able to speak more loudly within a community of people who see themselves through/within each other.



Depression, Anxiety, Mental Health, Relational, Autoethnography, Narrative