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Welcome to the Jungle
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Bipolar but Were Too Freaked Out to Ask
Hilary T. Smith
ISBN: 9781573244725
Book (Paperback)
Conari Press
5 1/4 x 8 1/2
208 pages
May 1, 2010


"Hilary Smith has come through big time with a book about bipolar disorder targeted to teens or 20-somethings experiencing mental illness for the first time." -Washington Post

"This book is flat-out fantastic. Funny, smart, and unflinchingly astute, Welcome to the Jungle is exactly the guide you want on your journey from chaos to stability as you learn to manage bipolar disorder. Smith's sure voice is a welcome companion over some hard road, and her wry wisdom lights the way. Indispensable." -Marya Hornbacher, author of Madness: A Bipolar Life

"Hilary Smith's wise, hilarious, and candid book is a veritable lifesaver not only for those suffering from bipolar disorder, but for those struggling to keep their sanity while loving them. Maybe because the author suffers from the disorder herself, her book is an actual survival guide, brimming with insight, anecdote, and tough love. Recovery was never so inspiring." -Allison Burnett, author of Undiscovered Gyrl

"VERDICT Among the wealth of works on bipolar, this title (wisely pulled from a Guns N' Roses lyric) nicely stands out as a super reference for younger readers interested in or actually experiencing bipolar disorder and is also a valuable resource for professionals." ¯Library Journal

From the introduction:
When I was diagnosed at age 19, my parents went to a bookstore and bought me a pile of books about bipolar. I threw them away in disgust (actually, exchanged them for books of poetry)—not because I wasn’t curious about bipolar, but because all the books treated the subject with clinical rubber gloves. They were dry, annoying, and made me feel like a disease, not a person. I wrote this book because it’s the book I should have been given when I was diagnosed.

Bipolar is one of the most commonly diagnosed emotional/psychiatric condition and diagnosis tends to come when one is in one’s late teens or early 20s. And yet almost nothing has been written about it from eye level and a young person’s perspective. Welcome to the Jungle fills that gap with its upfront, empowering approach to the challenges of being diagnosed bipolar. Both humorous and immensely honest, it offers a true “in the trenches” perspective young readers will trust.

With chapters ranging from What Just Happened?: Life Beyond Diagnosis to Here Be Downers: Drugs, Booze, and Suicide to Hippy Shit That Actually Works: Herbs, Wilderness Time, and Other Ways to Help Keep Your Shit Together to Hell is Finding Good Insurance: How to Get Your Ass Covered in Troubled Times, Smith brings bipolar self help to the street level.

You have bipolar. It’s you against the mothership. Lock and load, lock and load...

• A hip, young, and remarkably funny, perspective on bipolar disorder.

• The true insider’s view of life with bipolar by a brilliant young writer.

The subject of mental health has fascinated Hilary Smith since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in college. She is the author of the novels Wild Awake and A Sense of the Infinite, both of which explore the themes of mental health and illness. She lives in Portland, OR. Visit her at (Photo Credit: Gabriel Jacobs)
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Red Wheel/Weiser - World

Sample Content:
Five Things We Wish You Knew About Bipolar
How to Help When Your Kid Is Diagnosed with a Mental Illness
Introduction and Chapter 9
     Voices Not in Your Head: Dealing with Friends and Family

Of Related Interest:
The Natural Medicine Guide to Bipolar Disorder: New Revised Edition