Emotionally raw and beautifully crafted memoir….
Hostetler chronicles his journey of dealing with bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts in this candid memoir that probes poverty, childhood trauma, dysfunctional family unit, and religion and stigmatization of mental illnesses. With a large family that depended entirely on social assistance and disability checks, Hostetler and his siblings struggled to get a decent meal. Born to a bipolar mother and absentee father, Hostetler wrestled with anxiety disorder from a very young age. It leads to the loss of multiple romantic relationships and friendships, making school and work a continuous struggle throughout his life. It was during his sophomore year of college that he went into severe depression and was eventually diagnosed as bipolar. With his grades plunging and critical mood swings, Hostetler was forced to take a break from his studies and moved back home. Though, he finished his degree later and got a nicely-paying job, his battle with depression and suicidal thoughts didn’t end. He saw various medical professionals in hope of getting a proper treatment, but years of relentless struggle with mania and depression and broken relationships had taken a toll on his mental health, leading to hospitalization in a psychiatric facility. But he didn’t lose hope, and eventually settled on a medication that helped him stay symptom free for over a year. This is a vivid and revealing account of one young man’s pains and hardships while living with a devastating disorder. The book succeeds on two levels – first, it is a candid, intimate account of a devastating mental disorder that’s for more common than assumed – and then an exploration of the mental health stigma and how it’s still considered a taboo subject in today’s American society. Citing his own experience of visiting various psychiatrists over the course of years and receiving different diagnosis each time, Hostetler questions the effectiveness of the diagnosis process that psychiatrists use to analyze bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. He goes a step further, questioning the validity of various psychiatric medications and therapies and whether there is any constitutive reality underlying the mental health professionals’ clear-cut classification of mental disorders. Along the way, he also recounts his struggle with his religion for its stigmatization of mental illness. This deeply moving tale is written with a finely tuned sense of honesty and candor. This memoir of a nightmarish struggle is both poignant and engrossing.
Note: This title is free on Kindle Unlimited.
My Journey with Bipolar Disorder
By Bryce R. Hostetler
Pub date November 10, 2020
Price $2.99 (USD) Kindle edition