Karen Tyrrell knows what you need to do to stay well with bipolar disorder – she's prevented a relapse of her mania since 2006. But since her memoir M...moreKaren Tyrrell knows what you need to do to stay well with bipolar disorder – she's prevented a relapse of her mania since 2006. But since her memoir Me and Her: a Memoir Of Madness was published, she had two secrets revealed to her that unravelled her understanding of her mental health. She writes, "On a brilliant blue sky day, my husband Steve finally revealed the awful truth to me."
This second book is part self-help manual and part memoir, so in it Tyrrell gives you specific actions you can take to stay well. She shares these tips in chapters like "Recognise Your Early Warning Signs," "Know Your Triggers," "Sleep Better" and "Be Mindful with Mindfulness." Whether or not she's aware of it, she stumbles into a lot of practical tips supported by evidence-based research into what actually works to stay well with bipolar disorder.
After starting the book with the news that her husband had revealed some awful truth to her, she skilfully withholds that truth until we come to the memoir part of the book. She shares her story with painful honesty - I say painful because she talks openly about her flaws as much as other people's.
I'm in a unique position to critique this book: A month before I turned 21, I was hospitalized in a psych ward (now, "mental health inpatient units") and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Over the next five years I was hospitalized four times. On 1 May 2013, I'll be celebrating 12 years of using evidence-based bipolar treatments to stay well. I am also a writer. I bring both these perspectives to my review of this book.
If you followed Tyrrell's guidelines in the self-help part of the book, you would increase your chances of staying well. Research shows that someone with bipolar disorder has an average of eight relapses over 10 years. Follow her advice and you will reduce the number of relapses you have - if you have any at all.
In the memoir part of the book, Tyrrell's writing is at its best. She knows how to feed readers with a piece of information that makes you ask a question, and then she withholds the answer until much later in the book. By then, you're hooked. In the memoir section, she shares the challenges of being in a relationship with someone who has bipolar disorder. Part of the reason I avoided dating for a decade was that I thought no one could handle my irrational moodiness (I now have a wonderfully supportive partner who has the patience muscles of Schwarzenegger). It's not often you get insights into the challenges of being a partner to someone with a mental illness.
This book will be of most helpful to people who have bipolar disorder who want to stabilize their moods and prevent manic or depressive relapses. Another group who will find it useful are partners, families or carers of people with bipolar disorder. Finally it will help people without direct experience of mental illness who want to understand more. We're on Goodreads, so let me assure you that this is a good read.(less)
This book is all about increasing your "Eureka" moments and keeping you in a peak working state.
It's filled with countless creative tools you can use,...moreThis book is all about increasing your "Eureka" moments and keeping you in a peak working state.
It's filled with countless creative tools you can use, with solid explanations for why they work. Even with the amount of reading I've done, I only knew a couple of the tools it teaches. The book ends with a 21-day plan to increase your mental skills to achieve peak performance.
The writing is simple and the instructions for the tools are easy to understand.
I'm planning on checking out his other books.(less)
This reads like a fast-paced thriller as Karen Tyrell leads you through the twists and turns of her journey with bipolar disorder. If you have bipolar...moreThis reads like a fast-paced thriller as Karen Tyrell leads you through the twists and turns of her journey with bipolar disorder. If you have bipolar or know someone who does, this is a must-read.(less)