I have just finished reading ‘Why Bipolar’, a book by Irish author Declan Henry. The purpose of the book is to demystify ‘Bipolar disorder’, the ‘condition’ formerly known as Manic Depression.
This is a great read; a collection of 26 individual stories of people who have had a Bipolar diagnosis. The fact that there are different stories make it a very easy read as it can be put down and read again at leisure. It was lovely to read about my hero Doctor Michael Corry who got a mention in one of the stories. Mary Maddock of MindFreedom Ireland, another hero of mine and a lovely lady, wrote the concluding section of ‘Why Bipolar’ quite beautifully.
Sometimes the stories were harrowing but equally, maybe unintentionally, some were very funny. Wouldn’t it be nice to be ‘mad’ for a day, go on a spending spree, say what you think to whoever you wish and do exactly what takes your fancy? Going by these stories, not really. Reality will always break through and come crashing round your ankles. Not good!
As I suppose with life, the people were all shapes and sizes, ranging from annoying, sad, self-absorbed to kind, funny and enormously likeable. Most of the 26 people in the book gave account of their diagnosis and again most had been medicated with varying amounts of psychiatric drugs. The strange thing is, that with the exception of one person, the drugs made no difference or made the symptoms much worse.
The takeaway message here is that the pharmaceutical industry is making a mint out of drugs that don’t work, for a condition which may or may not exist. Even worse – the drugs can cause permanent debilitating adverse effects in an already vulnerable person. Anyway, it’s a great read and highly recommended. One last point I took away from this book – if anyone says ‘let me be nice to you‘- RUN!!