I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar

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The title of this book caught my eye and was the reason I bought and downloaded it. There is a stigma to “crazy” and “bipolar”, and this book explains the high’s and the low’s in the first person, with incredible detail.

Her descriptive writing portrays how she feels at the time the words were written, and it is very relateable if you’ve gone through this yourself. She, like many others, never thought there was anything wrong with her, until she saw it after getting arrested, on video.

She begins the book with an interesting prologue describing how she got diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She was a college student, 6 weeks away from graduating, and the school psychologist caught her in the midst of a manic episode and sent her to the psychiatrist. Her parents were called and they were told to hospitalize her. She refused to be hospitalized and finished her semester, on medication.

She did use drugs for many years, heavy marijuana use and alcohol didn’t help her illness. She eventually turned to cocaine and later crack cocaine, given to her by a boyfriend, and lost everything because of it. She sobered up after that.

She has a good use of dark humour but doesn’t have much insight into her mental illness until much later in her life. When she’s manic, the writing is frantic and a bit disorganized, and when she is depressed, you can definitely tell.

She makes poor life decisions, like meeting a man in Las Vegas after quitting her job and flying there, to find out he’s married. She goes into a depressive episode when her friend and uncle die, then she loses her job, friends, and money.

Her psychiatrist isn’t working out for her, so she goes off of all her medications and sees a chiropractor that insists vitamins, exercise and hypnosis will get her out of the depressive episode. They don’ work and she sets up an elaborate suicide plan, which fails, and she gets into a car accident and wakes up in a psych ward, where she undergoes ECT and there is no improvement because the doctor’s didn’t do it correctly.

During another suicide attempt she is interrupted and stops, thinking it is God telling her not to kill herself. She also lies on train tracks and gets up at the last second. She ends up in a better hospital, which is also a rehab facility, and gets more ECT, done correctly this time, helping with her depression. Her ECT experience is relateable to me, as well.

She is promiscuous and meets a telemarketer that sold her a cell phone. He smokes crack, and they break up. She would frequent a nude beach and it made her feel better about her body, but she also had sex with many men.

She turns her life around, giving good advice for one with bipolar disorder to take. Such as, no alcohol and drugs, sleep properly, exercise, take your meds as your doctor prescribes them, listen to others around you.

I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and I related a lot.It shows the rollercoaster hell of bipolar disorder and how destructive mania (which many people think is just an elevated mood) can be.