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Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Wanted to Know about Bipolar But Were Too Freaked Out to Ask
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Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Wanted to Know about Bipolar But Were Too Freaked Out to Ask

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  308 ratings  ·  48 reviews
This title empowers approaches to the challenges of being diagnosed bipolar. Both humorous and immensely honest, it offers a true 'in the trenches' perspective young readers will trust.
Paperback, 203 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Conari Press (first published 2010)
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Night Falls Fast by Kay Redfield JamisonAn Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield JamisonWelcome to the Jungle by Hilary T. SmithThe Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide by David J. MiklowitzBipolar Teen by Heather  Rose
Bipolar Illness and Mental Health
3rd out of 38 books — 15 voters
Phenomena by Susan TarrConditions by Christoph FischerMadness by Marya HornbacherEating Smoke by Chris ThrallLuke And Jon by Robert  Williams
Mental Health/Bipolar
16th out of 30 books — 28 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 621)
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I consider this book to be the "missing link" in the bipolar genre. It is frank and witty, and does not shy away from any bipolar-y issues. I admire the author's ability to tackle tough subjects (hospitalization, meds, suicide) with humor and compassion and without trivializing or over-clinicalizing them.

I did have one beef with the book and that's why it got 3 stars instead of 4. There is a section about how to take a "break" from your medication. Encouraging this struck me as a tad irresponsi
Liz Miller
This book is informative (in matters pertaining to Bipolar Disorder), witty and easy to read. It doesn't include many statistics, which is actually a bit refreshing. I recommend it!
Hilary is hilarious. Shes done her homework and she has the credibility. Good writer, too. This book is good for anyone with questions about bipolar disorder, not just those who have it. Its informative, well researched, authentic and fun.

But I took off one star because Hilary wont come clean about drugs and bipolar, recreational drugs, that is. She wont straight up tell people that recreational drugs need to be off limits if you have bipolar, and that includes pot. Shes on the fence about it. L
Terri Patrick
This goes beyond Bipolar

As Ms. Smith states on page 158; "Your friends and family might know less about bipolar than you think, so explain it to them...Most people who don't have one are fascinated by mental illness. They've never experiences mania or psychosis and would love to hear your stories." Ms. Smith also advises lending them books, or buying them books - "How about this one?" I totally agree!

I did not read this book to learn about Bipolar. I read this book because I like Hilary Smith as
Amberle Heath
If you've just been diagnosed with Bipolar, this is one of the first books you need to read. It's written like you're talking to a friend; Hilary gives the facts, but does it in a humorous and down-to-earth way, often making fun of herself in the process. The only drawback of this in my opinion, is that Bipolar NOS isn't talked about at all; she only mentions Bipolar I, II & Cyclothmia, and I really feel NOS needs just as much attention as any of the others on the spectrum. At any rate, this ...more
Sigrid Ellis
As author Hilary Smith says in her introduction, most books on mental disorders seems to be written for the stressed-out family who are at their wit's end. Or they are confessional tell-all memoirs. This book, then, fills a gap -- it's a straightforward, humorous examination of what life with bipolar is like, written by someone with a bipolar diagnosis for others who have been recently diagnosed. The book is wry, sarcastic, and genuinely informative. I quite liked it.
Kristen Adkins
No real answers. I am three years into bipolar diagnosis, and I am probably not the person this book is intended. If you want serious information about Bipolar Disorder, I would suggest The Bipolar Survival Guide by David J. Miklowitz or Psychology Today: Taming Bipolar Disorder by Lori Oliwenstein.
Obitelj Maravić
Simple, but no stupid. Guide through bipolar terminology without banalising the subject.
I liked examples how person diagnosed with bipolar can feel/act and what options are there to feel/act better. If you do not where to start this is a definitely good one. Try and experiment until you find what works for you.
Also, it handles how to talk with your dearest and nearest about bipolar.
Overall, very good book. If you've been diagnosed or know somebody who is and want to understand what's going on .
May 08, 2012 Allison rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to know more about bipolar
Seriously, I think it's the best book I've read so far this year. Granted, if I had no interest in mental illness, I seriously doubt I'd feel this way. Also, if I didn't have a good sense of humor, Smith's style of writing could be considered offensive. However, having wrestled with depression for 35 of my 44 years to-date, if there's one thing I've learned it's to not be deathly serious about it or about anything. Humor is our friend.

Welcome to the Jungle has great advice on dealing with the da
I really like the writing style of this book. It is a quick, fun read on some serious topics. The author does a great job of finding positives across all areas of the disorder, while not denying that Bipolar is one of the more serious mental illnesses. The reading is quick, yet informative and all young people with Bipolar should read this to understand much of the medical diagnostic side. Like the author says, I am here to make you feel more like a human and less of a statistic. However, the wa ...more
Great Book!!!

This book is wonderful for a person that has just been diagnosed with Bipolar. I enjoyed Hilary Smith's personality as she described her diagnosis. If you are looking for a book that is straight to the point and without all the confusion found with medical terminology than this is the book for you.
I was planning on eventual long writing a book about bipolar disorder that was both informative and fun. However, Hilary Smith beat me to the punch and wrote a book that's incredibly hilarious, irreverent, and made me feel completely at ease with my illness. She's a bit of a potty mouth, but its definitely worth the read.
a pretty good introductory book about bipolar disorder for teens and young adults. it's not very informative for someone who already has a grasp on things like myself. but ten years ago, this book would have been great. the writing style is very conversational, making it easy to understand and relate to. only reason it really gets 3 stars from me is bc sometimes clinical explanation and advice is needed (within the wit) to give a book about bipolar disorder an authoritative air.
Cathy Blackler
A no-nonsense look at a subject that can be very frightening for families to face. Smith's candor and humor are refreshing as bipolar illness is all too often met with fear, shame, and helplessness. A good read for teachers, families, friends and those who have received a diagnosis.
Erin Kelley
Most authors tiptoe across the taboo minefields of mental illness; this one stomps around and makes snow angels. As far as I'm concerned, this is the Bipolar Bible that I will recommend to patients, family members, and friends. You can't borrow my copy because I'm keeping this one.
I really appreciated the humor and the wit in this book. It truly did what the author set out to do: make you feel less crazy and more like a human being. The explanation, the tips, and things to think about were so helpful. Definitely recommend it!
Witty and easy to understand, this is a must-read for anyone dealing with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. Just the right mix of tender anecdotes and cold, hard facts to provide a comprehensive look at the elusive mental illness. Excellent!
Mar 21, 2011 pri rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
meh. i was hoping this would be an antidote to a lot of stodgy heavy writing on the subject. but it was a little too disney parade "hey! come along with me and clap your hands! are you ready now! let's go!" so... not helpful.

quote: "At the end of the day, only you can decide if being on meds and stable is worth the loss of your old self. But don't make a false god of that old self; chances are that hindsight has bumped it up a few notches from how it really was. And you can never stay the same w
This book was awesome. It's lighthearted and more directed at teens/college kids than adults, but I think ANYONE who has bipolar disorder should consider reading it. There is great, practical advice, including a section about "what to do if you go off your meds," which NO ONE ever addresses, and is common among sufferers of bipolar. (FTR, the author doesn't recommend it, but has great practical advice for how to keep yourself balanced if you do, and what to do if the wheels come off while you're ...more
Tom Franklin
This is exactly the book I wish had been written 10+ years ago when our son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I would have ordered two copies--one for him and one for us.

Hillary Smith writes as someone who has lived with bipolar disorder for many years. She's lived the ups and downs, the cycling, the desire to get off of her meds and all of the mental and lifestyle changes that come along with the diagnosis. She's honest, to-the-point and, all the while, presenting her information in a friend
Soooo funny!I had a great laugh every single section. I especially loved the 8 ways to prove you are not bipolar , the diagnosis being like a snake eating a unicorn tattoo analogy and the I'm not manic ,I'm just hypy ...such a laugh.
Hilary does a brilliant job describing Bipolar Disorder, it left me feeling better about life on this rollercoaster.This is THE book to give to people who need to understand how Bipolar affects everyday most people out there could benefit and I ca
Debbie Hoskins
This is a funny book. It has a lot of very practical advise and will get you laughing. Of course if your in that all I'm going to do is read books on bi-polar and not go to the grocery store. This is not what you should be doing.
The chapter on eating healthy was good though I was refusing to eat that day, but then I did eat healthy the next day.
The chapter on insurance dates the book, so if Hilary wants this to be a classic she would have to update the book. However this chapter is helping a lot
Though I commend the open, unbiased way this book looked at several topics related to bipolar disorder (like the prospect of taking psychedelic drugs, for instance) I was really put off by the humor. Normally I'm all about the humor, I guess I just found this more frustrating (and condescending at times) than funny. I might just feel that way because I've been around the block a few times and none of this information was new to me, but I couldn't take the information or the humor seriously, unfo ...more
Blame Bipolar
Feb 25, 2012 Blame Bipolar rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Twenty-somethings w/ Bipolar
This was the first book I read after I was diagnosed, and I appreciated that the author was close to my own age because she focused on how bipolar disorder affects young adults. It covers situations such as the basics of the disorder, dealing drugs & alcohol, college, work, dealing with friends, etc. The author does all of this with a sense of humor and sarcasm, which fits my personal taste and is comforting because it takes away some of the darkness of living with bipolar disorder.
Jared Herstine
I thought it was a great book especially if you are interested to know about bipolar disorder and depression.
Presented information about bipolar disorder in a lighthearted fun way. Intended for young adults and especially recently diagnosed people. I got most of the jokes expressions and people she used to frame the facts about bipolar, but not all. Guess I am a little too old. Don't get me wrong I thouroughly enjoyed the book and it contained well researched facts and was very useful. I am glad I purchased it.
I hope you do not need to read this book. But if you, or someone you know, is bipolar, you should read it. Those not bipolar will gain greater understanding, and those that are will learn that they are not alone.

I would have given it a higher rating, but I found its treatment of recreational drugs and "medication holidays" just a little too frivolous for such a serious topic.
Heather B
Very informative book, but isn't like other books that are just fact after fact. This one keeps you reading, but not wanting to finish it.
Ian Reynir
I found this book to be very typical of "coping-based" strategies. Most of the information is accurate for the younger crowd and the writing is good. I am concerned with those who take the "strictly coping" approach. Overall, this book was ok, but Marohn's book and Ian Reynir's book has more depth for people who are higher functioning bipolars.
Sharlene Boyd
Just finished reading, excellent book I totally pissed myself laughing through most of it the only draw back is the american content but that is because things are handled diffently in the states than in Australia.

Feel like I understand the condition better know, great to know people think the same way I do

Thanks Hilary
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