This is the story of a twelve year old girl who comes down with a severe mental illness that is not correctly diagnosed for seven years. She cycles through chaotic manias and debilitating depressions until she is hospitalized four times and diagnosed as Bipolar. Then she begins a long road to recovery and a fulfilled and happy life. She describes the illness as terrifying and all consuming. Most of all she had no control over when it would invade her live and devastatingly rock her world.
In 1969 lithium was first used in the United States and it proved to be a miracle drug for Ann and for many others. Hospitalization and therapy were required. Ann worked hard with her doctors and therapists and now leads a triumphant life.
This book is small, but it offers a lot of insight as to how Ann was quote 'a normal child', a tomboy who loved life, until she turned 12 and her life altered. The first couple of chapters shows how active Ann's family life was and how there didn't seem to be anything different with her, versus her siblings. This is actually quite normal for kids who develop bpolar. The onset of puberty's hormones seems to trigger the imbalance, making it seem like it came from nowhere.
By offering an inside look into Ann’s life from the first onslaught of her bipolar disorder symptoms to her multiple hospitalizations, Ann shares the ups and downs of learning to deal with her illness, and how it affected her family, and how they deal with it too. The book offers some great ideas on dealing with both the mania and depression of bipolar, and how a family can help a family member who suffers from the illness. It's a worthwhile read if you know someone, or have a family member, who has been diagnosed with bipolar.
About the Author:
Ann was raised in Pacific Palisades, California. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and worked for four architects in her twenties then taught high school for twentyfive years. She is married and living in Southern California. She has two children and two grandchildren. She is working on a biography of her three brothers and a study on dreaming.