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High Tide, Low Tide: The Caring Friend's Guide to Bipolar Disorder

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  12 reviews
How Can You Be a Good Friend, When Your Friend Lives with Mental Illness?
We all want to be there for our friends, but when your friend lives with mental illness it can be hard to know what to do, especially if you live far apart. Transatlantic best friends Martin Baker and Fran Houston share what they’ve learned about growing a supportive, mutually rewarding friendship bet
Paperback, 260 pages
Published September 11th 2016 by Nordland Publishing
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Michael Baker
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring look into mental health and the relationship between friends, carers and their patients. Too little is done to focus on mental health, and it spoke a clear message that should be read by everybody.

Friendships and support are always there, and sometimes even the darkest days can be lifted by them. Highly recommended!
Lynne Boyd
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I first heard of this book through Fran, a friend I have known for a couple of years now. I have been waiting rather impatiently for its arrival to understand more about Fran and what she deals with on a daily basis, and also to learn more about her amazing relationship with Marty. The friendship that Marty and Fran share gives an insight into how all of us can have more successful relationships. The tools they use are tools that all of us, well or ill can learn to use.

This is such an honest por
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I have a mixed feeling reading this. Picked this up because I think I need to know more about being a carer of people with BPD. But it drained my energy. While I actually got to know what I want to know, I can't believe how one has that MUCH capacity for someone. ...more
Marie Abanga
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is like none I have ever read before in the sense that it literally took me through high tides and low tides before I found a balance again. I am not the first reviewer of this book to say it is not a read for the faint of heart. The authors when I interviewed them told me it was merely their intention to share their complex friendship between one ‘well’ person and one ‘unwell’ person, made all the more intriguing by the over 3000 miles seperating them. Indeed, they have physically m ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is about how to support a friend with bipolar but many of its techniques can be applied to other mental illnesses as well. From my own personal experiences, I can tell you this information is invaluable and on point. It not only talks about supporting a loved one but also gives insight into ways one with bipolar might be able to manage their illness. Although everyone responds to treatments differently, there are a few treatments mentioned in this book that have helped many people with ...more
Gary Pollard
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is one part inspiration and one part revelation. I thought I knew what this book would be, but I was proved wrong in the best possible way. It does one thing that most books can neither claim nor manage, it makes you feel better about people, about humanity and about friendship. It's an incredible insight into two amazing people who found each by chance, but keep each other through mutual respect, honesty and integrity for what they've built. Fantastic. ...more
Diane Dweller
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Becoming a friend to a stranger who is bipolar and lives an ocean away is a awesome account. As the daughter of a bipolar mother, I know the stress the ups and downs of this mental illness can create in any relationship. I applaud Martin's commitment to Fran and wish every bipolar patient could have such a supportative relationship. Diane Dweller, Author. ...more
Anne Goodwin
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
In May 2011, Martin Baker posted what he hoped was an encouraging comment on the social media page of someone who was clearly struggling. A response came almost immediately from Fran Houston that challenged his thinking on how to support someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. That was the beginning of a remarkable friendship: remarkable in its intensity; remarkable in its focus; remarkable in that these best friends live three thousand miles apart. High Tide, Low Tide is the story of tha ...more
Stacey Lehrer
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are many wonderful books focusing on mental illness from a first-person perspective, and from the perspective of family members, but so few that focus on friends. This book fills that void, addressing the complexities of maintaining a friendship when mental illness is involved. The authors speak openly and honestly about their friendship – the challenges, the successes, and what they’ve learned along the way. It’s clear that their friendship has been life-changing for both of them, and the ...more
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very hard to put down book, finished it in a couple of days. So insightful and beautifully written. I will re read again, I am sure. Highly recommend. I could relate to it also as I also have Bipolar I Disorder.
Laura Marchildon
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you lost friends due to your mental illness? I know I have few friends left myself. This wonderfully touching book is about friendship. A friendship spanning an ocean. Both people living in different countries but yet have such an incredible bond.

Fran has Bipolar Disorder, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Martin is always there for her. Either by way of Skype, text message or by phone. They even met once in person!

What I really respected about this friendship is that Martin
Al Moe
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although this is a book about a confusing medical condition, Bipolar Disorder, there are a number of parts that simply could be boiled down to “Be a Friend.” I say that not to diminish the impact of the disorder, but because it is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and treated incorrectly.

Authors Martin Baker and Fran Houston have presented a comprehensive view of the impact any serious medical issue can have on people, both the one suffering and the ones who wish to help. Their story itself (th
Phil Britton
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Dec 25, 2019
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Author of "Collected Poems: 1977–1984," I am co-author with Fran Houston of "High Tide, Low Tide: The Caring Friend's Guide to Bipolar Disorder", written to inform and inspire others who support a friend who lives with mental illness. A revised edition was published by Kingston Park Publishing, January 2021.

"No One is Too Far Away: Notes from a Transatlantic Friendship" (Kingston Park Publishing,

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