Declan Henry has been a social worker for over 20 years, dealing with people with a wide range of social and mental issues, including bipolar. What inspired him to write this book though was witnessing the intense suffering of a personal friend over many years of ‘treatment’ for bipolar.
In Why Bipolar? Henry pushes back against the catch-all mythology of a condition for which there is no scientific evidence. He reveals the convenient collusion between the psychiatric profession and big pharmaceutical companies as they claim to treat an ‘illness’ so poorly and vaguely defined while they themselves grow rich and re-write not just history but the bounds of medicine in the process. Henry’s collection of 26 Life Stories illuminates the world of the bipolar sufferer, and heartbreakingly show the cavalier treatment deemed acceptable for those with this diagnosis.
But Henry also offers hope to those with a bipolar diagnosis, claiming that by becoming better informed, both about the condition itself and the alternative treatments available, and by practicing self- management, the dream of living drug-free with bipolar is not only a possibility, but an inspiring reality.
Declan Henry presents a very readable account of bipolar disorder. His humanity and strong wish to help those diagnosed as suffering from it are evident from the way in which he addresses a wide range of issues including the signs and symptoms, psychiatric diagnosis, labelling, psychotropic medication, and its classification and epidemiology, and potential non-pharmacological interventions. Some of the most powerful writing is to be found in the 26 genuine case histories included in the text, which may evoke varying strong emotions in the reader, including pathos, anger and even disgust; leaving an indelible impression. Professor B. K. Puri, psychiatrist and author
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