Acceptance is a first hand account of the author's life during which Dr. Barker struggles with bipolar illness. After a third hospitalization and 30 years of denial, he comes to the realization that he can no longer deny the impact this illness has had on every aspect of his life. Once acceptance of the illness occurs, he reviews how the intoxicating highs and devastating lows created by the disorder have contributed to divorce, job shifting, social disconnections and spiritual doubt. Acceptance traces how the illness, without treatment, is like a dark shadow that comes and goes throughout a person's life causing unnecessary suffering for the diagnosed patient and their loved ones. Acceptance explores how a carefully balanced plan of medical and psycho-social treatment can arrest the ravages of the illness, allowing patients and their families to achieve maximal recovery. The stigma and shame of mental illness are painfully real, yet can be modified by loving acceptance and compliance with treatment. Acceptance is an honest, hopeful book that should be read by anyone who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or any severe and persistent mental illness, and their loved ones.
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