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A book examining the lighter side of chronic illness through comic illustrations of the ridiculous side effects of my medicines.
A book examining the lighter side of chronic illness through comic illustrations of the ridiculous side effects of my medicines.
57 backers pledged $3,753 to help bring this project to life.

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$3,753

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Maybe I am crazy, but isn't it weird that there are antidepressants that may cause suicidal thoughts and antipsychotics that can induce hallucinations? I'm hoping to address this irony in a book of doodles called SIDE DEFECTS.

Back when I was twenty, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was immediately given a lot of warnings, but the most powerful ones were You will need to take medicine indefinitely, and You should NOT tell anyone about this.

Since then, I largely kept my diagnosis a secret, but felt indignant with how unfair this seemed. Because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, I didn't speak up when coworkers joked about someone being “crazy” or “off her meds." In the margins of my notebooks, I protested by drawing cartoons making fun of my worst doctors and the outrageous side effects of my medicines. 

Then, a few years ago, while studying Narrative Medicine, I was introduced to the genre of illustrated memoirs known as Graphic Medicine - illness narratives in a comics form. I knew that I had discovered the perfect way to share part of my bipolar experience.

Last summer, I decided to draw (and share to Instagram) all of the weird side effects of the medicines that I've taken over the years. So far, I've collected 140 illustrations, and there are still more to go. 

My book, SIDE DEFECTS, is a compilation of my favorite doodles. Through this book, I hope to inject a little bit of fun into the experience of having a mental illness – or any chronic illness, for that matter. Regardless of the diagnosis, we all know someone who takes at least one medicine for a chronic condition. If these doodles can put a smile on their face, it was all worth it.

Thanks for checking out my project, and I hope you'll help me spread the word!

-Jen

Risks and challenges

My biggest anticipated challenge is due to repetitive stress injuries of my hands that mean I cannot work for too long without having to stop and stretch. I plan to pace myself and work with a timer so I don't do too much damage! I'm also finishing grad school now, so I need to make sure I have enough time to finish everything!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    INITIAL CONSULTATION

    For your $5 copay, you will receive three adorable and vibrant SIDE DEFECTS stickers!

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    SECOND OPINION

    For your $15 copay, you will receive a handmade notebook featuring a digital print of one of the images from the book, three adorable and vibrant SIDE DEFECTS stickers, and a hasty-yet-heartfelt handwritten thank-you note from ME.

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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Diagnosis: GET THE BOOK!

    For your $30 copay, you will get an early copy of the book signed by ME. Your name will appear in the credits! You will also get a handmade notebook featuring a digital print of one of the images from the book, three adorable and vibrant SIDE DEFECTS stickers and a hasty-yet-heartfelt handwritten thank-you note from ME.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    ADDITIONAL TESTING

    For your $75 copay, you will receive an autographed copy of the book with your name in the credits, a SIDE DEFECTS canvas tote bag, a handmade notebook featuring a digital print of one of the images from the book, and three adorable and vibrant SIDE DEFECTS stickers.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    CLINICAL TRIALS

    For your $100 copay, you will receive TWO autographed copies of the book with your name IN BOLD in the credits, a handmade plush placebo pill doll guaranteed to cure all that ails you (as long as you believe), a SIDE DEFECTS canvas tote bag, a handmade notebook featuring a digital print of one of the images from the book, and three adorable and vibrant SIDE DEFECTS stickers.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    OUTPATIENT TREATMENT

    For your $150 copay, you'll receive a limited-edition print from the book, TWO autographed copies of the book with your name IN BOLD in the credits, a SIDE DEFECTS canvas tote bag, a handmade plush placebo pill doll guaranteed to cure all that ails you (as long as you believe), a handmade notebook featuring a digital print of one of the images from the book, and three adorable and vibrant SIDE DEFECTS stickers.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    INPATIENT TREATMENT

    For your $250 copay, you'll receive a signed CUSTOM DOODLE (from an image that you provide), TWO autographed copies of the book with your name IN BOLD in the credits, a handmade plush placebo pill doll guaranteed to cure all that ails you (as long as you believe), a SIDE DEFECTS canvas tote bag, and three adorable and vibrant SIDE DEFECTS stickers.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    CURED!

    For your $500 copay, you will receive five autographed copies of the book with your name IN BOLD in the credits, a signed CUSTOM DOODLE (from an image that you provide), a handmade plush placebo pill doll guaranteed to cure all that ails you (as long as you believe), a SIDE DEFECTS canvas tote bag, and three adorable and vibrant SIDE DEFECTS stickers.

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    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    PATIENT ADVOCATE

    For your $750 copay, I WILL DEDICATE THE BOOK TO YOU and send you five autographed copies. You will also receive signed CUSTOM DOODLE (from an image that you provide), a handmade plush placebo pill doll guaranteed to cure all that ails you (as long as you believe), a SIDE DEFECTS canvas tote bag and three adorable and vibrant SIDE DEFECTS stickers.

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Funding period

- (30 days)