ABOUT THIS BOOK
Bipolar Almanac: Create a life worth living
begins with an explosive description of Ann Christensen’s first manic episode. The ranting, the desperation, the connections and disconnections are written in stunning clarity. She offers tips and techniques to help the bipolar person and families struggling with dealing with a person struggling with mental illness.
Almanac means “God’s Puzzle.” In Bipolar Almanac, the puzzle is YOU. The book provides steps in each chapter for creating your own almanac. Although written for persons with bipolar disorder, this approach would help anybody wanting to learn more about mood disorders and how to manage them.
This is not a gloom and doom book about mental illness. Nor is it a chirpy self-help book written by somebody who has not suffered from mental illness. The message in Bipolar Almanac is one of hope and resilience written by someone who has dealt with the extremes of bipolar disorder and thrived.
This book helps get you on the road to recovery.
Provides action plan for each phase of the crisis.
Emphasizes importance of developing support teams.
Helps families understand what it's like at various phases of a manic and depressive episode.
Lists a number of wellness tools to help manage stress, anxiety and mood swings.
Bipolar Almanac provides inspiration and hope. The message:
You are not alone and there are steps you can take to heal.
The Introduction covers the crisis phase, since this is where most people find themselves when mental illness first presents. It includes a detailed description of mania and depression. The reader is inspired to begin creating a personal almanac.
THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING TO ME
We begin the Bipolar Almanac with a description of how it feels to be in a confused state of mind, definitions of bipolar disorder phrases and a detailed symptoms checklist. This section contains information for friends and family who find themselves trying to help a person in a bipolar crisis. The chapter concludes with an acknowledgement of the difficulty of accepting a new world view—and a message of hope.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR MEDICAL TEAM
The first thing to know about bipolar disorder is that it is treatable and even the worst symptoms can be managed. This section of Bipolar Almanac focuses on the medical side of bipolar disorder. Here is where you learn how to manage the crisis, build a medical team and explore the best therapeutic approaches.
YOUR TREATMENT PLAN AND WELLNESS TOOLKIT
This section will help you create the essential Treatment Plan and Wellness Toolkit portion of your Bipolar Almanac. The Treatment Plan is where you catalog many of the twists and turns in your labyrinth. The final step in the plan is to develop a Wellness Toolkit that includes things you can do to help manage the bipolar energies.
ACTION PLAN FOR YOUR FAMILY SUPPORT NETWORK
Bipolar Almanac provides steps towards developing a safety net to help you through your mild and sometimes wild bipolar episodes. You may feel that you have burned too many bridges to talk with family and friends, yet developing a support network is critical to helping you recover.
CREATE A JOB THAT FITS YOUR NEW BIPOLAR REALITY
Finding a job that provides productive work and meaning is an important step in the recovery process. This chapter helps you analyze whether you are well enough to go back to work, and what jobs and work environment to look for.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ann Christensen speaks and writes about the “artistic temperament” and mental wellness. She experienced extreme manic depressive episodes for several years before learning to manage her stress and mood swings. Episode-free for over 30 years, Ann describes her path to mental health in Bipolar Almanac: Create a life worth living. Her step-by-step approach for bipolar persons and their families is one of hope, resilience and a realization that the Artistic Temperament is an asset.