Bi-Polar Girl

An irreverent look at Bipolar Disorder

By: Gabrielle Blackman-Sheppard


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 210mm x 148mm
Pages : 184
ISBN : 9781845904463
Format: Paperback
Published: December 2010

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe – they are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. They can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance and even suicide. But bipolar can be treated and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

This book is born out of Gabrielle’s desire to encourage those poor souls who find themselves sitting in the waiting rooms of psychiatric clinics and hospitals. It is a personal story and it’s not meant to be a recommendation for any particular treatment. In an easy to read format and fully illustrated it is for those who are going through the worse of bipolar and it gives an understanding in broad terms to family and friends as to what goes on in bipolar land.

Gabrielle eventually found her way back to a happy life; full of love, hope and laughter. May YOU find your way back to laughter and the life YOU want to live.

Picture for author Gabrielle Blackman-Sheppard

Gabrielle Blackman-Sheppard

Gabrielle Blackman-Sheppard worked as a consultant, executive coach and life coach with particular expertise in intercultural communication, and organisational as well as personal effectiveness.

Click here to read Gabrielle Blackman-Sheppard’s blog.


  1. MANY high-achieving people have suffered from bipolar disorder - what used to be known as manic depression. Celebrity victims have included actor Stephen Fry, boxer Frank Bruno, writer Graham Greene, film star Vivien Leigh, comedian Spike Milligan and singer Sinead O'Connor.
    But you don't have to be famous or gifted to be bipolar. Gabrielle Blackman-Sheppard describes herself as an 'ordinary' sufferer and she has written a highly accessible, personal account of this often misunderstood disorder, describing the compulsion to live faster and faster and indulge in increasingly high-risk behaviour, such as gambling or sexual promiscuity, until one's life starts to unravel. In the end, she says, you feel you want to kill yourself because there seems little point in trying to carry on.
    Although there are many treatments for bipolar disorder, none is guaranteed to work. At one point, Blackman Sheppard was on a cocktail of 16 different drugs. All proved ineffectual.
    Her salvation came from a treatment long considered controversial: electroconvulsive therapy, but she stresses that there is no actual cure for the illness. Symptoms will recur whatever treatments are tried, although some can help rein in the worst excesses of both the mania and the depression.
    Bi-Polar Girl: An Irreverent Look at Bipolar Disorder, is amusing, highly readable and illustrated by the author's son Greg, who is also a sufferer. I recommend it for anybody who has ever wondered exactly what bipolar is, or who has a sufferer in the family.
  2. A new book launched today gives reassurance and hope to those with bipolar disorder, or manic depression. It is designed to lift spirits of people who are often locked in a gloomy world, and help banish the stigma often associated with bipolar. Bipolar Girl is one woman`s journey through the highs, lows, and truly lows, of this condition. Author Gabrielle Blackman-Sheppard gives an honest account of her life, with lessons for family and friends. Gabrielle`s husband supported her through her journey, and her son, who also has bipolar disorder, illustrated the book.

    Provides a firsthand account of the controversial ECT therapy for treating depression. Although everyone might not agree with the practice it is useful to look at how it has helped others overcome their problems. The book might be beneficial to those struggling to understand the complicated and often scary world of mental health. 1 in 4 adults will be affected by mental health issues every year and anything that draws attention to this problem can only be a good thing.
  3. If you, or someone close to you, suffer(s) from Bi-polar Disorder, or even if you just suspect that this might be the case, this is the book for you! Written in an unsentimental, factual way, it is nevertheless very informative and interesting. Each page has only a few lines, along with some witty illustrations, so there is no chance of getting bogged down in heavy textbook style explanations of the illness.

    The author herself is Bi-Polar Girl and the book sets out to describe her journey from before she was diagnosed, through diagnosis and treatment ( which was quite an emotional roller coaster for all concerned) ending with her ways of coping in the post- treatment period.

    I think this book will especially help the relatives of sufferers of this disorder as it very eloquently describes the symptoms in a way that will not only foster a better understanding of the condition but will reassure those in the position of being the sufferer`s nearest and dearest that they are not alone in their experience and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It will also, perhaps, help to convince anyone who may be showing signs of the illness but is still in the denial stage, that they should seek assistance as soon as possible for this distressing, but treatable, disorder.
  4. This is a small, easily readable booklet written by someone with bipolar disorder. It is superficially light hearted but deals with serious issues pertaining to the author`s experience of illness. The use of cartoons enhances the text and makes for an easy read. The overall message is one of hope but there is no suggestion that the author had an easy time or even that she currently has no difficulties. She acknowledges the difficulties she had coming to terms with the illness and the struggle to accept and indeed find appropriate treatment.

    The book is likely to appeal to both sufferers and family/carers. As a professional I found it offered useful insights into the feelings engendered by and the impact of a major mental illness on a person`s life.

    I would recommend this book as a useful addition to a library to be read by patients, carers and professionals.
  5. A very accurate and unflinching look at bipolar, whilst always remaining light-hearted - no easy task given the subject matter. I would happily recommend this to anyone who might want to know more about bipolar - sufferers, family members, carers, clinicians and interested parties alike. A very valuable addition to bipolar literature. A particular strength being that you can read it cover to cover in half an hour!
  6. `Bi-Polar Girl` tackles the subject of manic depressive illness through the eyes of one who has had her own personal odyssey through its distressing effects and found the way to live a positive and enhanced life.

    The book`s strength lies in its apparent simplicity and that makes it all the more profound and accessible to those who need help from the front line without delving into the sometimes morbid area classified and compartmentalised as `mental health problems`. Accompanied by charming graphics, `Bi-Polar Girl` bubbles with a feel-good factor, but is still packed with a no-nonsense understanding of its roots and the journey that can be taken back to happiness.

    This is a ground-breaking approach for all who might feel they are lost in the darkness. It sheds light and brightness. And, ultimately, hope.

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