Posted by: hypomanic | April 16, 2011

Catherine Zeta-Jones and all those who outed before her

There has been widespread coverage of bipolar this week due to the announcement that actress Catherine Zeta-Jones has recently been diagnosed and spent time in a mental health facility in the US.

I was diagnosed bipolar in 1996 and since then I’ve witnessed a lot of occasions like the one this week when someone who is famous and becomes bipolar gets made an example of in news feed and editorials. Sometimes the media are kind, as they have been this week to Catherine but often in the past they were not. For example during 2004 in the UK when boxer Frank Bruno experienced the same transformation as Catherine has this week, he was derided by some of the British press for more reasons than just his mental predicament, particularly The Sun’s front page headline “BONKERS BRUNO LOCKED UP.”

Catherine Zeta-Jones does not propose a perceived threat to the safety of the wider general public because her physical presence evokes something entirely different, something much less threatening in the fear hierarchies of the perpetrators of stigma. The archetype story I use to demonstrate my point is Beauty and the Beast. Its an ancient fairy tale I often read to my 3 year old before she goes to bed so I guess I’m perpetuating too. Its difficult. Stigma has been around for a very long time, it is very well established and it is ingrained globally throughout the human psyche. Turning that around is no small task.

However, if the positive bipolar coverage of Catherine Zeta Jones represents progress along the lines of self advocacy and openness as a human race (with regard to mental illness) then I take encouragement and strength from that in my own struggles with coming out as a non-famous bipolar individual to the people I meet throughout my life. It is a different playing field altogether and that is why I’m remaining reluctantly defensive and somewhat closed.

The thing is, something in the deeper recesses of my mind is telling me to remain skeptic and therefore closed day-to-day even when revelations in the news about film star’s lives become company, even a bit close to home. Catherine Zeta-Jones has taken a decision to come out and tell the world she has the incurable condition bipolar that sits in second place only to Schizophrenia as the worst, most disruptive mental disorder known to man. She has clearly accepted that fact. The illness has been imposed upon her by her biological makeup and it’s susceptibility to depression and mania when exposed to the extreme stress of her husband’s recent fight against cancer. The biological aspect of this is important when I refer back to Frank Bruno’s case in 2004.

Frank Bruno had a divorce and his successful boxing career had recently ended. But that particular story, from our point of view as the audience, has less of an emotional hook than that which touches our empathy from what Catherine Zeta-Jones, in early reports, appears to have gone through. Also, in terms of dignity, Frank’s behaviour had gone awry not only with his family but it was being recognised by a wider group of people, who eventually got quoted by ‘sensational’ journalists (a lesser extreme version of what is happening to Charlie Sheen at the moment). Catherine has been relatively private. However, both cases involved a stressful life event and a medically understood vacancy of a certain brain chemistry essential for the ability to control mood peaks and troughs brought about by the events of the external environment. Fight or flight or medical intervention.

I also fear bipolar is becoming sort of a fashionable illness because so many people who make vast amounts of money from the culture of celebrity are by necessity outed as having a diagnosis of bipolar by the newspapers and magazines that help the celebrity economy to remain front and center in the early 21st century. I’m convinced that the ‘fame’ model is almost identically the same DNA that perpetuates stigma. I’m talking all kinds of stigma and associated bullying, not just about mental illness.

Out of 6 billion human beings, none are identical and everyone of them is unique. Fame has nothing to do with this. Bipolar has little to do with this either. We’re all special. There are 6 billion minorities walking this planet.

There is a 60 second video book trailer available to watch at
Or watch a YouTube version of the Hypomanic video book trailer at
Or you can follow me on Twitter: @victorjkennedy

First of all, the answer isn’t entirely in the containment of your diagnosis because sooner or later you will unfortunately suffer your next episode and in whichever way it returns and then subsides again, you may find you have no options left other than to disclose to your line manager in an attempt to hold on to your job. Your career progression will suffer if you keep moving from job to job. A sad fact is that as soon as you disclose, your boss dictates whether your career in that organisation will progress or not. Unfortunately in their eyes, your ability to cope professionally has been tarnished.
Of course in the corporate scenario, the awareness of your diagnosis is best kept to yourself as much as possible because as soon as your boss, or worse, your colleagues discover you have a mental illness, the odds of any senior responsibility coming your way will be be almost zero. To some people stigma is a massive, accusatory word so let me explain how it is appropriate to describe what is actually happening in terms of an imposed career glass ceiling for an outed bipolar individual.

A lot of bipolar individuals like me do not enjoy the same livelihood capacity as Stephen Fry possessed when he leveraged his career in television as a platform to publicly disclose his diagnosis in the brilliant documentary, Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. Don’t get me wrong, he was brave and courageous to attempt it and I can only imagine how tough the british television industry would have become for him, had the documentary not been well received by the british media.
He took a risk and exerted pressure on all barriers, his efforts may not have been welcomed and that hypothetical scenario could have ended with a career downward spiral. That’s his professional risk but that was not all. He took the bravest risk of all. For himself to change things – to transform into something that meant he didn’t have to live a life of bipolar secrecy anymore and I know exactly why he manufactured the step change. I dream of being able to do the same thing.
He was also doing it for his fellow bipolar sufferers – and don’t get me wrong, when I say suffer I’m not just referring to symptoms, I’m trying to explain what stigma is.

Stigma in my world IS an imposed career glass ceiling. Do I feel stigmatised? I personally don’t. I don’t because I understand why my boss cannot trust me professionally enough to promote me. I confessed my diagnosis over a year ago after my latest episode, which in fact was a breakdown. I returned gratefully to my job after seven weeks and have not had a day off sick since then – August 2009.

Unfortunately my boss can never understand what I go through when I’m trying to keep a big part of my life secret and separate from my professional appearance. It’s a day to day secret. A need to know basis only. Other people reading this blog post might think I keep a secret because I’m ashamed of my bipolar but I’m not at all. I’m proud of myself and my biology but I prefer not to be defined by my illness when I’m at work because I can avoid stigma that way. In actual fact I’m so proud of people like Stephen Fry because they are fighting a battle for all of us. I’m trying to step up and raise the same awareness by standing on Stephen’s broad shoulders. I’m trying to assert more pressure by sharing the experience of my life, with you, in relation to the stigma I have to face sometimes.

However, the paradox of a career imposed glass ceiling has not even moved a millimetre for diagnosed bipolar individuals on the ground. The ones who will really pay if they come out at work and cannot afford to take the same risk that Stephen Fry took because there’s no going back. You cannot unring a bell.
If someone has been forced to disclose, for whatever reason, they might feel like they ‘got away with it’ when their working life appears to carry on as it was before. Believe me it hasn’t. Slowly it becomes apparent that their line manager is somehow protecting them by not exposing them to a perceived level of stress they assume a bipolar individual cannot cope with in a professional capacity. This poorly informed stance is based on a line manager’s limited knowledge of a bipolar individual’s determination, ambition or what it means to have and manage a diagnosis of bipolar – which is the biggest personal responsibility of all!

In this situation I have found it helpful to look at it from my line manager’s point of view. They are not a doctor or a psychiatrist. They are in a difficult position so they manage the risk – that’s what they’ve been taught to do as a manager. An outed bipolar individual working in commerce represents a subjective risk and that’s at the discretion of the line manager. They may think they are acting in the bipolar individual’s best interests and that they are somehow protecting them from their own destruction should they promote that bipolar individual and they somehow ‘prove’ they cannot cope with the promotion. It’s emotional for the line manager and they can get it fundamentally wrong so they try to do what is right and when push comes to shove, they certainly won’t risk their own position without warranty.

This situation is stigma but I’m referring to it as a ‘ceiling’ because the stigma is a limitation blocking upward advancement, and ‘glass’ because the stigma is not immediately apparent and is normally an unwritten and unofficial policy. This invisible barrier continues to exist, even though there are no explicit obstacles keeping bipolar individuals from acquiring advanced job positions.

So can a person diagnosed bipolar ever traverse an imposed career glass ceiling?

1) For the record, I think people who believe in limits end up being limited people. So keep asserting pressure.
2) Go stealth. You are not betraying anyone – especially yourself by keeping it secret, you are protecting your progress.
3) Learn to manage your illness as best you possibly can. This is the hardest part, I know. Self-management allows you to stay stealth for longer.
4) Become contextually good at your job, because if you’re not then all the other hard work establishing a foundation for progress, was for nothing.

There is a 60 second video book trailer available to watch at
Or watch a YouTube version of the Hypomanic video book trailer at
To follow me on Twitter: @victorjkennedy

Posted by: hypomanic | June 30, 2010

My last nervous breakdown – one year later

Tonight it is one year to the day since my last nervous breakdown. Before that it was nine years dating back to March 26th 2000. I really wanted to make the ten year window but fate had other ideas. I spent the summer of 2009 recovering in a mental health facility in Hertfordshire on a six month section after being taken there voluntary albeit by Ambulance and displaying ‘intimidating behaviour’ towards some of the nurses.

When I’m really ill my imagination takes on it’s own volition, like it is separate from my psyche – sort of like when you have a dream and you experience being in the audience whilst concurrently being in the action of a movie presentation played out in the mind’s eye. When my imagination separates from me, it often presents fantasies which are quite frankly petrifying – scenarios which intimidate with the threat of death or the depths of human depravity.
Because of mass media I know the terrible things we are capable of as a race and all those horrors are there in my head, there for my imagination to use against me. Basically, when I’m psychotic I torture myself and during the episode anyone around me will witness disturbing behaviour so as a consequence will feel threatened.
It is such a painful paradox when you try to live a clean, careful life and yet your brain chemistry shifts during stress and before medical intervention is made aware of it, the episode has traversed your lithium preventative measures and you’re fighting to hold on to your sanity. And thats if you’re even conscious you’re in a fight. Especially for someone with a fertile imagination.

After seven weeks my section was lifted, I was discharged and rehabilitated, back home with my patient, loving wife and daughter. My kind and generous employer kept my job open (on full-pay) during those difficult seven weeks. Another humbling experience and I am indebted to my boss, the friends and family who visited me inside and the whole medical team for getting me back on my feet again.

“Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.” Jules de Gaultier

There is a 60 second video book trailer available to watch at
Or watch a YouTube version of the Hypomanic video book trailer at
To follow me on Twitter: @victorjkennedy

Posted by: hypomanic | October 16, 2009

The fall and rise of Victor J Kennedy

The fall and rise of Victor J Kennedy
by Michael_Scale

Barnes & Noble Reader Rating: 5 stars

A hypomanic episode? Awesome. Where do I sign up? Say it in the right voice and it almost sounds cool, like something you’d feel as a result of a bungee jump or an afternoon white-water rafting with Australians high on energy drinks. It turns out it’s not like that at all.

In Victor’s case his episode was brought about by a fanatical desire to be the best student on his university course, combined with him fully embracing London’s nightlife and the pharmaceutical excess that this can bring. Work hard, play hard, it’s cliche; that’s often held up as a positive thing. This book details its very real dangers.

The book charts Victor’s blissfully unaware descent towards his mental nadir – a fully blown hypomanic episode – and shows how he deals with the frightening diagnosis, and being sectioned under the mental health act and perhaps most importantly how he begins to get his life and his mind back together.

This is an incredibly brave book. I think it’s a rare thing for anybody to be able to bare their lowest point for all to read. As with anything so personal I think this book raises important questions as to how we, the readers, would handle the same situation.

I think the book also alludes to the importance that your environment and the people you surround yourself with can have on your mental health and for that alone, it’s definitely worth a read.

There is a 60 second video book trailer available to watch at
Or watch a YouTube version of the Hypomanic video book trailer at
To follow me on Twitter: @victorjkennedy

Posted by: hypomanic | June 15, 2009

The realization you’re going mad

I’ve had plenty of advice in my life, in fact I’ve had plenty of psychiatrists and psychotherapists extracting, under examination, a deeper understanding about myself which I never realised nor ever wanted anyone else to discover. When I say I don’t want people to discover sensitive information about myself what I mean is that if I hadn’t lifted the veil to that self awareness then it wasn’t fair that everybody else got to know my secrets too. The thing is, everybody already knew anyway. Like a baboon cannot see it’s bright red posterior, human beings are not aware of their shortcomings.

However, it seems that not many of these people around you; your friends, your family, your coworkers, your contemporaries – in fact hardly any of them make the same amount of effort and applied incisive judgement to exercise your behaviour (to correct your infantile, yet innocent, way of approaching life and the world around you) in the same way as a trained and well paid psychotherapist seems able to do. Albeit after six months of one hour sessions each week.

I’ve sat in my conscious mind for years and thought and thought and thought. I’ve spent so much time thinking about how to work out my problems, why the world isn’t working the way I want it to but never managed to make the crucial connections to awaken myself to myself. They, whoever ‘they’ are, say we only use a fraction of our brains but how do they know? I can only speak for my mind and like the vast universe, I’ve never been able to find the edges of it but I suspect, since I’ve had cognitive behavioural therapy, I seem to have been splashing around in the same thought puddle since I was three years old, going round and round like a goldfish in a bowl but being human my thought patterns and distortions follow a pattern of thinking about food, stimulation, warmth, security and sleep on repeat/shuffle. My puddle it seems, was never connected to the ocean.

Now I’m older and more responsible I follow a familiar set of programs in my head because it is natural to keep splashing around in that puddle. “Oh no my daughter is awake again and it is 3.30am. Get milk. Microwave. Hand bottle to baby. Kiss wife. Sleep. Oh no, the alarm has gone off – not 6am already. The water is cold in this shower. No clean towels. No breakfast cereal left. Or milk. No seat on the train. How can I prepare for work when I am stood up on a wobbly train. I really should buy an iPhone. The ink has come off the newspaper and onto my fingers. And it’s on my clothes. Will I look professional in my presentation? I really need to make a will. I love my daughter. I love my wife. The back door needs painting. It’s Mother’s Day next week. Got chicken in my teeth still from last night. I need to book the dentist, mustn’t forget. I wonder if I’ve got time to get something to eat before I get to work. A crepe would be easy to eat on the go. I’m so tired. I wish I had a seat. Do people really like me? Yeah stop worrying, I’ve got loads of friends. I must work on those relationships. Send some emails today. No, make some calls instead – more personal. Starting this weekend.”

Do I like thinking within this puddle? Well, way before I had psychotherapy I knew I could ‘expand my mind’ and that other people before me had already followed that path but isn’t that just learning things and that by living longer you possess more wisdom by default? More wisdom equals an expanded mind surely? What do ‘they’ mean by an expanded mind? Is it about altering the capacity of the mind and not about how much an actual mind is filled up with more stuff than can fit in one puddle? For example, puddles such as spirituality and the soul, even my belief systems about science, the subconscious and psychology itself. Everything leads to an ocean? I have a healthy imagination, I always have been able to make stuff up to amuse myself. ‘Stupid thoughts’ are what I’d refer to them as. For instance, try to imagine ‘see-through’. Go on, try it. Try to picture in your mind’s eye neither black nor white but transparency itself. You cannot do it. I’ve thought about this for years and all I’ve been able to do is imagine thousands of transparent plastic bags on top of each other and the effect is like a fog. Yeah, a fog. It is delicious in it’s irony that the mind is fogged when it pushes it’s ability to move it’s own perception of reality to another dimension. I call it the paradox of transparency. But then I have to question what a dimension is and then try to understand that concept. Science Fiction exists as a genre because of these kinds of imaginations inventing these new worlds where amazing things take place. Science Fiction becomes the stage for human beings to make real their strange, for want of a better word, imaginary concepts without fear of being stigmatized by the rest of us for having such a bizarre, left-field point of view to the rest of humanity, who might as well be splashing happily around in their own puddles. I mean, it’s a shock. How dare they make me aware of the paradox of transparency because it has made my head hurt and my eyes have crossed.

All joking aside, on a day-to-day level each of us knows how much we can ‘take’, i.e. how far our mental rubber band can stretch without snapping. Or do we? I do. Mine snapped back in 1995 and I ended up sectioned under the mental health act. That is the catch-22 with rubber bands. Only now can I gage how over stretched I am because I have the hindsight. I witnessed mine snap so I can remember how it felt and the kinds of thoughts going through my head at the time so if I recognize the signs when I am approaching that ‘state’ then I can make adjustments to avoid another snap. If you have never had a nervous breakdown then I could suggest that I have an advantage over you. You will never know when, where or if you are going to snap. However, if you already possess the wisdom to realize you are close to the edge and can move away before you become mentally ill then I have no advantage over you whatsoever. Think of this; I can get right to the edge and stare over into the abyss with the knowledge I won’t fall in because I know the last crucially remaining synapse hasn’t fired in my brain yet. Ok, a slight over statement but you know what I mean. There is a deadzone, a badlands or maybe it should be referred to as a blurring between where your mind is prepared to go to and where I know my mind can extend further. This blurring should not be referred to as psychosis but it is certainly fueled by hypomania. If we all have the same equipment in our brains, the same chemistries and the same functions then we are all capable of experiencing similar states of awareness but the fact remains that we are not all the same. We are individuals. So does that mean we cannot all think the same? Does it all go back to the ability to see ‘transparency’ with the mind’s eye? Because I’ve spent a lifetime thinking ‘Stupid thoughts’ of ‘see-through’ and they have never once sent me over the edge. I know now I am older that this ‘mind expansion’ is my creativity, my imagination and it has more familiarity to me than my oldest friends and my dearest family members. These are not the types of thoughts that lead to psychosis, nervous breakdowns and mental illness. Being quirky is not necessarily a path to personal destruction. Paranoia, built on a bed of confusion, insecurity, heartbreak and pain after a terrible experience in a horrendous environment, amongst awful company is what stretched my rubber band to it’s last sinew and that last tendon is arguably your choice to finally break it. To let go. To give in. To fall into the abyss in complete submission and at the hands of mercy.

When this happens to you, you hope or suspect it is some kind of test or exposure to something that will bring you an advantage – a quickening of the mind. An insight unlocking your potential. A potential you don’t even know about yet. A.K.A. a risk, a gamble. Then it might be worth it (the madness) or at least it means something or might mean something in the future. Only time will tell? If this ‘gift’ will somehow payoff and bring you *riches that everyone else is unfortunate not to be exposed to or see then if you could foresee what was going to happen you’d take the other restrictions (hospitalization, diagnosis, stigma) if it means you have a **special power. The thing is, time and altered dimensions have told me the risk of enduring large amounts of stress while overloading your own consciousness doesn’t pay off, it is more a trade off and the older I get the more I fear my decision (under duress) to let go and break my rubber band back in 1995 was just me injuring myself.

*An adolescent mind may refer to riches exclusively as money brought about by success but to be rewarded is to be rich in happiness, friendships, health and ideas.
**It is healthier to explore your consciousness slowly over a lifetime but this level of exposure cannot always be controlled.

There is a 60 second video book trailer available to watch at
Or watch a YouTube version of the Hypomanic video book trailer at
To follow me on Twitter: @victorjkennedy

Posted by: hypomanic | June 6, 2009

A must read book if you value your mental health

A must read book if you value your mental health
by Richard_Dixon

Barnes & Noble Reader Rating: 5 stars

Bipolar? I have to confess I wasn’t aware it was a medical term before reading this book. If you’d have asked me what it meant, I would have weakly offered something about a BBC programme possibly involving Michael Palin.
This book features no Puffins, no whale blubber and no igloos, that’s for sure, but it’s still about a journey – one that’s both physical and mental and took the author over four years to complete, leaving him poles apart from the person he was when he started.
In the book, Victor describes the build up to, and subsequent recovery from, a ‘full-blown hypomanic episode’ that occurs just a few years after he moves from a small town in the North of England to take up a place on a University course just outside London.
Victor is driven by the competitive desire to be the best. So as the competition on the course increases, so do the long coffee and pro-plus fuelled nights spent working at his computer. These are then followed by hard, often drug-addled, partying to compensate for working so hard.
It’s from this point that the book begins to turn the screw. He begins to question everyone’s motives and how they interact with him and he becomes increasingly paranoid. This downward spiral continues with everyone able to see it apart from himself and eventually reaches the point where he’s sectioned under the 1983 Mental Health Act and subsequently diagnosed as Bipolar.
As other reviewers have rightly stated, this book is inspiringly honest and brave and that’s the main reason I’d recommend you read it. Very few of us have it in us to hold up a mirror to who we are and look at what we see for so long.
I think this book highlights the dangers of pushing yourself too hard, of the impact that the people around you and your environment can have on your mental state. It also draws attention to the lack of support and in some cases the stigma that people diagnosed with and recovering from this condition can face. In short, this book is as relevant now as it would have been if Victor had written it back in 1995.

There is a 60 second video book trailer available to watch at
Or watch a YouTube version of the Hypomanic video book trailer at
To follow me on Twitter: @victorjkennedy

Posted by: hypomanic | March 18, 2009

‘Hypomanic – Mad in England’ Teeshirts

There is a 60 second video book trailer available to watch at
Or watch a YouTube version of the Hypomanic video book trailer at
To follow me on Twitter: @victorjkennedy

“Mad” at the University of Westminster
by Marianne Halavage, freelance journalist

Around fourteen years ago Victor J Kennedy was Jesus reincarnated. Now he is eating a chicken toasty and drinking a latte in a London café. His loose black outdoor jacket and grey shirt cover a figure that has filled out by a stone or two in those years. His ruffled-spiked brown hair is now specked with white. His handshake is steady and there are smile-lines around his azure eyes.

After surveying the table for a second or two, he sits, all the while making friendly maybe nervous chit-chat in a mild-northern accent. You cannot tell he has been hospitalized five times, once under the Mental Health Act. You cannot tell he is diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Victor feels there is enough distance only now to tell the tale of his descent into “madness”. His first book “Hypomanic, Mad in England” begins in ecstasy-fuelled 1992. Aged 20, Victor leaves home in rural West Yorkshire for the “golden streets” of London to study Graphic Information Design at the University of Westminster.

On his walkman are the Prodigy’s manic electro beats. The Ministry of Sound and the pubs and clubs near his bedsit in Harrow are his hangouts. Fuelled by ProPlus and mugs of coffee, the class representative works through nights to ensure he wins top marks on every assignment.

He also parties hard. He smokes Nepalese resin on a trip to Amsterdam, passes out drunk during sex on a snooker table with a girl who is not his girlfriend. Is it any wonder that he spirals into anxiety then paranoia and starts to think of himself as the Second Coming?

“I have a great aunt who people said wasn’t right,” says Victor. “She spent lots of time in her room on her own in Bradford. That could be where mine came from, through my grandfather then through my mother.”

He thinks his mental illness genes were activated by his lifestyle and his relationships at university. “My childhood didn’t really prepare me for university. I came from a local village where we knew everyone on our street and there was never any malice or fallouts or Machiavellian type behaviour.”

Though he no longer blames his flatmates and friends, he thinks they could have done more to help when his behaviour turned odd. But he understands why they did not: “Part of my naivety was to think that people wouldn’t have a problem if I burped in their face after a pint. But they do. I didn’t let people get a word in. I was seriously pissing people off.”

Now, Victor is planning his second book “Stigma” which will talk about the darker aspects of living with an incurable disorder, and show how to cope and manage the illness.

Victor has been sacked, suffered abuse on the football pitch and refused work because of his mental illness. One prospective employer told him: “You’re not right in the head. I’m really sorry I can’t employ someone like that.”

Victor thinks people should talk and not let problems fester, like he did. The university could have done more too. On the Harrow campus there were just these “crappy posters in helvetica.” The posters should have been huge and bright and plastered everywhere saying: “I’m having strange thoughts about someone on the illustration course. I think they’re trying to kill me. If this is you, get help here.”

Victor broke down on the 19th of February 1995 and though he always feels a “slight melancholy” around the anniversary, he claims victory over “the biggest battle” of his life.

A senior creative in a prominent advertising agency, he says he is good at his job because he has talent not because he has bipolar. “I’ve met as many talented bipolars as I have uncreative ones,” he says. “Maybe it gives you the energy to persevere for longer with something but it doesn’t mean you’ll be any better with a brush.”

He has set up a happy home with his wife and young daughter. But there is a black cloud overhead in the form of Lithium, which he takes to stabilize his moods: “I might lose my liver or a kidney by the time I’m in my late forties. “But stop taking lithium and be a bit crazy and lose my job and not have a wife and a daughter? My decision is life now adversity later.”

Psychotherapy and meditation have taught Victor to be more self-aware and switch off parts of his mind. He also monitors his moods with computer software – since his is a cyclical illness.

Because of his illness Victor’s mantra has become “Be prepared. Do not leave things to chance”. Maybe this is also because he is a self-confessed trainspotter. He keeps receipts for everything and writes a diary – has done since university.

Victor speaks slowly and deliberately, meandering around the question. But somehow he gets back to it – like in life. “The brightest dawn follows the darkest nights,” he writes in Hypomanic. And it seems Victor’s brightest dawn has followed his darkest night.

As for the future, there could be a film about the book but he’ll believe it when he sees it. Being content and well balanced is more important. “I just want to be like normal Joe. I have a mortgage and a good job. I’m going to ride it out and watch my daughter grow.”

There is a 60 second video book trailer available to watch at
Or watch a YouTube version of the Hypomanic video book trailer at
To follow me on Twitter: @victorjkennedy

This is the eye of the hurricane. This is a full confrontation with your demons. It’s the point of no return, yet at the same time it’s where you find your spirit and your courage. It’s the end of the line, the lowest of the low. It’s the full stop at the end of a wild sentence. It’s the carriage return before a new paragraph in your life.

It’s a stress induced hypomanic episode that’s escalated into a massive panic attack and the heart is struggling to cope with the pressure. You’re on your own with only that soothing light bulb for company. You stare at it, trance-like. You don’t even realise anyone else is in the room, let alone a team of doctors injecting your arm with large amounts of Haloperido and Benzodiazepines to stop you going into arrest.

It all feels quite peaceful even though you are aware that you are sweating on the outside. On the inside you feel compelled to let everything else go and fade into the comfort of the light bulb. Leave everything behind and go.

But you can hear your mum faintly crying in the background. She’s outside the room with the nurses and she’s in distress because she knows you’re dying. She feels it. Her tears and her stressed vocal chords strike a note inside your soul, your connection with each other helps you decide you cannot leave her like this. No one wants to out live their son.

So this life conquers the next life, in terms of unfinished business. At the same time as this monumental concept explodes in your consciousness, the drugs injected by the diligent medical staff begin to take effect but you’ve already made your choice to stay.

The body relaxes, the mind seeps into gentle unconsciousness and the episode is over. You live, to fight another day. The confrontation is complete and you are infinitely stronger for surviving,
full stop.

There is a 60 second video book trailer available to watch at
Or watch a YouTube version of the Hypomanic video book trailer at
To follow me on Twitter: @victorjkennedy

Posted by: hypomanic | November 18, 2008

Author mission statement – 2nd August 2004

I want to empty my head. Pour it all out onto paper in some form of communication to try and explain to everyone/anyone what this is like.

Is order important? I don’t feel bipolar is sequential, obviously it happens in a certain way but to me, once you have experienced madness then you are constantly aware of the sudden, sometimes odd, sometimes frequent ways that your inner persona steps back or out, to question what you are doing and maybe more importantly what the world is doing around you. I think it’s not what happens to you in your life that is important, it is how you deal and interpret what happens to you that is!

We all try to find significance in things around us. A sign, perhaps, that means some kind of personal gain or benefit. Horoscopes, ladders, mirrors? Mania amplifies these thoughts to a point where you are either petrified or full of psychotic confidence. The journey to this point is absolutely brilliant. It really and honestly is the best, like one of those dreams that after you awoke affected you deeply, if only for that day but in flashing extremes of elation and a deep rooted sense of loss for the perfect reality that was THAT dream.

There is a 60 second video book trailer available to watch at
Or watch a YouTube version of the Hypomanic video book trailer at
To follow me on Twitter: @victorjkennedy

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