I debated for a long time as to whether to use a pen name or not. There were pros and cons to each approach. It's a highly personal decision, where each person must do what is right for them.
In the end, I decided to go with using a pen name. I wanted to have the complete and total creative freedom that it would provide. I wanted the freedom of writing without expectation.
Traditionally, books written by psychologists tend to be highly academic in nature, but I wanted to write something more connected and personal.
I'm pretty open about my diagnosis in the real world, but unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma associated with mental illness. There are many people who don't understand what bipolar disorder truly means, and so I use a pen name to protect my identity from potential employers, coworkers, people in society who may not yet understand.
Lastly, the use of a pen name is also a way to protect the identity of my family members and friends who sometimes appear in my entries.
A few people asked me how I chose my pen name, so I thought I would share:
"Han" is my maiden name. It is kind of the "Smith" of Chinese names, so when I paired it with my first name, it was hard to find me on google search since there were so many of me.
So I chose for my pen name to be Eleora instead. Eleora is a special name to me―the name I had been planning on naming the baby I was trying for with Brian when our marriage fell apart. She was a dream I had had for many years. When I lost this dream, I was devastated. So naming my writing career after her is a way of shifting and transforming that dream into something new. A new dream, and a new path forward.