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Searching for Brighter Days: Learning to Manage my Bipolar Brain

Karen Manton

Searching for Brighter Days: Learning to Manage my Bipolar Brain


Searching for Brighter Days is an autobiography written by Karen Manton. Karen grew up in the North East of England in the 1970s and had several episodes and stays in a psychiatric hospital before she was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2002.

Told in the first person, Searching for Brighter Days is an interesting and thoughtful read that will resonate with those managing bipolar disorder. She describes how she isn’t initially listened to by certain mental health professionals, as well as her delusions and weight gain from her medication.

Warning: Although Karen isn’t explicit in her descriptions, this is a harrowing read in places as she suffers much hardship, including a physical assault in a nightclub and a phantom pregnancy.

I felt that the book was also a heartfelt letter to her father – a closed man who rarely showed his love and affection towards her. Karen talks about the closer bond they developed as she ages and her father becomes unwell.

Searching for Brighter Days also has its funny moments, especially when Karen describes how she becomes slightly obsessed with an Irish celebrity and finally gets to meet him.

Although the book ends happily, Karen acknowledges that dealing with bipolar disorder takes work and it’s important to gain insight into the condition.

There is also wise advice about never being afraid to reach out if and when life starts getting hard. “There is never any shame in asking for help,” Karen counsels.

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Copies in our library:

Bipolar Edinburgh maintains a small library of books, CDs and DVDs. To borrow from the library you need to have attended at least two group meetings and registered your contact information with the group facilitators. We normally allow people to borrow items for two months, but please bring them back earlier if possible.

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