Extract from Why Bipolar?
Everybody feels the blues. Everybody experiences grief. Everybody cries. So what is bipolar depression really like? In my experience it has a pattern. It is a slow withdrawal from life. A loss of interest in the everydayness of things which progresses to full-scale isolation in one’s mind. You can be in the proverbial crowded room and still feel disconnected to everybody. There is a serious drain of energy, which no amount of sleep seems to redress. One’s inner thought patterns become flooded with negative messages. You feel a failure - no matter what you’ve achieved in life. These thoughts are overwhelming and constant. You lose all self-respect and your self-grooming goes awry too. Otherwise capable people are reduced to shadows of themselves and even minor tasks, like housework, can cause panic in a person. If you are of a spiritual bent, this state may bring terror of hell or feeling too sinful for God ever to forgive you. You battle isolation from stigma and ignorance. Suicidal depression kicks in. You feel useless and worthless. Depression is a response to stress and pressure. To survive, you must switch off and go to a place of refuge. All is bleak.
Back jacket cover of Why Bipolar?
Declan Henry has been an active social worker for over 20 years, dealing with people with a wide range of social and mental issues, including bipolar. What inspired him to write this book though was witnessing the intense suffering of a personal friend over many years of ‘treatment’ for bipolar.
In Why Bipolar? Henry pushes back against the catch-all mythology of a condition for which there is no scientific evidence. He reveals the convenient collusion between the psychiatric profession and big pharmaceutical companies as they claim to treat an ‘illness’ so poorly and vaguely defined that its list of symptoms is entirely self-contradictory, endorsing and prescribing the suffering of millions while they themselves grow rich and re-write not just history but the bounds of medicine in the process. Henry’s collection of 26 life-stories illuminates the world of the bipolar sufferer, and heartbreakingly show the cavalier treatment deemed acceptable for those with this diagnosis.
But Henry also offers hope to those with a bipolar diagnosis, claiming that by becoming better informed, both about the condition itself and the alternative treatments available, and by practicing self-management, the dream of living drug-free with bipolar is not only a possibility, but an inspiring reality.
“.... I have learned a lot from this well researched book, mainly not to automatically accept what I’m told by medical people who don’t bother to get to know me and my condition, to question their medications and above all, to take charge of my life and make it work as best I can...” Anne Hailes, Irish News journalist.