• Laura Owens

Terri Cheney: …that hiding a secret was worse than the secret itself

Nobody Told Me! – Terri Cheney: …that hiding a secret was worse than the secret itself


Hosts Jan Black and Laura Owens interview Terri Cheney.


Terri Cheney is a New York Times best-selling author of Manic: A Memoir and recently released Modern Madness: An Owner’s Manual. Terri was an elite entertainment attorney who now uses her skills for the cause of mental illness.

  • [0:53] – Modern Madness is a book that is needed right now during COVID-19 because the pandemic released a second epidemic which is mental health.

  • [1:41] – Terri Cheney’s book combines her own experience with mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder, and scientific research into mental illness.

  • [3:19] – Terri describes depression is a physical illness, where your body is almost paralyzed, and your will is paralyzed. She thinks that more people may experience depression because of COVID-19.

  • [4:25] – Terri talks about how she is handling her bipolar disorder and COVID-19.

  • [5:19] – Terri speaks towards the signs to look for in loved ones who may be experiencing mental illness during COVID-19. Typically, we look for signs that a person is isolating, but during COVID-19, look for changes in their sleep and eating patterns.

  • [7:11] – “Tell me where it hurts”, this is the opening statement that family and friends should ask someone they suspect may be suffering from mental illness. Advice is not needed when addressing a mental illness issue.

  • [9:51] – Terri describes ways that loved ones can listen to those who are experiencing mental illness. It is tough to listen to someone who is experiencing pain and not want to ‘fix’ it.

  • [11:41] – Terri speaks about her own experience with dating while suffering from a mental illness and how tricky the situation is that you are unsure if you should trust someone with your secrets.

  • [13:21] – For Terri, a powerful phrase for her is, “it’s depression talking”. It is important you know your depression triggers and how to recognize them in daily life.

  • [14:46] – Terri describes her manic and depressive states.

  • [17:03] – Terri talks about her treatment plan for her bipolar disorder and how being sober has helped.

  • [18:15] – Laura voiced her experience that people will feel sorry for her because of her familiarity with depression. Terri states that she has witnessed the same, however, the empathy that is gained in the experience of living with a mental illness makes you grateful.

  • [19:41] – For Terri, writing has been a powerful tool towards treating and managing her mental illness and she wishes that she added it earlier in her treatment plan.

  • [20:39] – Terri encourages those who are struggling with mental illness to tell their story. When trying to find someone to trust with your personal story ask yourself, “Do I trust this person enough to have this information? Essentially, a part of me?”

  • [23:27] – Terri speaks on the outward signs of depression that she is able to pick up on.

  • [24:32] – Nobody Told Me! – Terri states that nobody told her that hiding a secret is worse than the secret itself. She adds that if she knew then what she knows now she would have saved herself decades of being miserable and alone.

  • [26:15] – Terri gives a message for those who are struggling with a mental illness right now.

  • [27:12] – Terri Cheney’s contact information

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