A Different Life
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Published: Mar 2010
No Pages: 196 pages
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A Bipolar I Patient Reflects on
the Nature of Illness, Personality and Creativity
How often have you had the time in your busy outpatient clinic to
allow an intelligent patient to reflect for a few hours on the
personal significance of their first manic episode?
Broken Whole is the story of Keith Adams. Born in the North-East of
England, he moves to the US in his early 20s and ultimately becomes
a successful software designer living in Hollywood. In his early
40s he experiences his first manic episode and for the past few
years he has been taking mood stabilisers and battling with
episodic unipolar depression.
In this book he achieves what for most would be an impossible task.
Picking himself up and piecing himself together in the devastating
post-traumatic aftermath of several months of manic grandiosity,
his life in tatters and thousands of dollars in debt, he provides
us with a coherent and compelling account of the whole experience,
of how it affected his life and his relationships.
In the narrative relating his early life experiences there are
clues about his predisposing vulnerabilities- his low self-esteem
and subsequent narcissistic defence. Watching the dramatic
unravelling of his routine existence gives us pause to reflect on
the precipitating effects both of intimate relationships and of the
extreme go-getting cultural mores of Hollywood on a vulnerable yet
metamorphosing character aspiring towards positive personal
As a detailed and fascinating case study this book would be an
invaluable addition to any bench book library for trainees.
That Keith is a gay man in a loving long-term relationship with a
Biological Sciences academic partner adds to the richness and
diversity of the account offering a rare insight into the
additional challenges faced by those who are part of an LGBT
How often do user groups tell us that they wish their psychiatrist
would just listen to them? Read this and listen. It changed my
clinical practice. It may change yours!
Dr Tim Gillett, Consultant
Psychiatrist, West Sussex
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