“They tell you that a mental illness is the same as a broken bone, that with the right treatment it can be healed. Bullshit. When you are mentally ill, you are wrong. Your very mind, that which by your conscious self exists, is wrong. Your mind is a battleground.”
If there’s a mental illness which has too often been stigmatised and misunderstood by the very people who should be most understanding about it, well, that’s bipolar. Dealing with bipolar isn’t easy at all. It’s like going on a rollercoaster, getting ready to experience in one’s own skin both highs and lows along the way. The real problem may be that one simply focuses on the wrong element. Most people try to find the right treatment for bipolar rage, mania or any event of this kind, not acknowledging at all the role carers may be playing and what these events may have been caused by. That’s wrong, as understanding the root of a problem may help immensely in finding a real solution. This book is meant for carers, friends and family members, whose contribution in situations of this kind cannot be overstated. It’s true that there’s no manual to be followed, but this work may help you learn something about how to approach and take care of a person who is doing it tough.
A Melbourne boy through and through, Matt Collinge is a proud resident of his adopted suburb, Footscray. It was there that he met his wife and discovered her vast reservoirs of patience. For Matt was diagnosed with bipolar type I when he was 17 years old and this has seen the best and worst of him. Matt has been to Melbourne’s most prestigious and therefore least useful universities and currently holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Postgraduate Diploma in Political Studies, a Graduate Diploma in Teaching and of course a Certificate IV in Mental Health. Matt’s passions include music, movies and reading, but in reality, it is more bars, pubs and French food with his Vietnamese wife. Matt loves economics, politics and sociology – all with a pint or two and some Footscray grub.