Rose turns his struggles with bipolar disorder into advice for others in this debut motivational work.
Bipolar disorder, with its periods of mania, hypomania, and depression, can derail a person’s life. Although there’s no cure, per se, one can find effective ways to live with it: “I have been able to manage my bipolar illness without hospitalization for the last 25 years,” writes the author. However, success is about “more than just avoiding the psychiatric hospitalization; it is being able to have an active and meaningful business and family life.” Rose shares how he uses methods of his own design to grow what he calls “the Mid-Polar Zone”—a middle ground between depression and mania. The author comes from a family of people who have struggled with bipolar illness (including tragic victims of disorder-related suicide), and he was hospitalized for it in the late 1960s, when treatments were nothing short of brutal. This book serves as a road map to avoid such outcomes, aiming to help readers to identify symptoms of the disorder, investigate different medications, manage their activities, and find useful resources. Each chapter concludes with a “Recovery Action Sheet” that clearly states a disorder-management goal and offers a numbered list of actions that readers can take to achieve it. Rose’s prose style is earnest but direct, balancing empathy with frank advice: “One thing that happens, especially in manic waves of energy, is that we become convinced we are right….It is much more important in relationships to learn to be wrong than it is to be right.” The author makes clear that he isn’t a medical professional, and he encourages readers to seek medical treatment and to read more scientific works on bipolar illness. However, Rose’s guide may, in conjunction with professional help, provide a supportive, action-based regimen that will allow sufferers to feel more in control of their lives.
A thorough and thoughtful manual on a challenging illness.