In Search of Our Identity : Understanding Behavior in Bipolar Disorder
Overview - The first book to look at behavior from a bipolar perspective, from award-winning expert patient John McManamy. If only it were just bipolar. From our singular way of thinking to our sensitivity to our social environment, our biggest challenge is to somehow fit in while remaining faithful to our true "normal." What's holding us back, surprisingly, is not our ups and downs. Read more...
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More About In Search of Our Identity by John McManamy
The first book to look at behavior from a bipolar perspective, from award-winning expert patient John McManamy. If only it were just bipolar. From our singular way of thinking to our sensitivity to our social environment, our biggest challenge is to somehow fit in while remaining faithful to our true "normal." What's holding us back, surprisingly, is not our ups and downs. It's dealing with people. We are social animals, after all. In addition to "knowing thyself," we need to learn to "know others." Brace yourself for a wide-ranging journey of discovery that takes us from the micro world of genes and cells and circuits to the macro world of environment and evolution to our own world of all of us simply trying to get through another day. Prepare to have your thinking challenged. Expert patient John McManamy weaves the latest research from fields as diverse as anthropology, genetics, neuroscience, behavioral psychology, evolutionary biology, and ancient history into a compelling narrative that seeks to explain why so many of us experience a profound sense of disconnect with the world around us. Bringing the narrative to life are the author's own personal observations and experiences, plus those of fellow patients and loved ones. The result is a worthy companion to his highly acclaimed first book in The Bipolar Expert Series, NOT JUST UP AND DOWN. That first book challenged our conception of "normal" and examined the push-pull relationship between mood and personality. IN SEARCH OF OUR IDENTITY takes our enquiry much further. Here, we look at: -Why so many of us feel we do not belong here. Is it our genes? Is it our environment? Did evolution somehow take a wrong turn at agriculture some 12,000 years back? -The relationship between our personality traits, such as introversion, and our mood states, such as depression. How both literally feed off each other. -How our vulnerability to stress sets us up for no end of destructive behaviors. Rats and mice simply have to worry about predators. Humans, with their much larger brains, have to worry about each other. -The intricate two-step between genes and environment. Mental illness is about tendencies, rarely inevitabilities. Knowing this means we can better plot our recovery. -How the thinking and emotional parts of the brain are seamlessly integrated. When things go right, we are a wonder to behold. But then things go wrong. -How the human brain was not built to "think," per se, and why "Homo Sapien" may be a misnomer. -What may be holding us back: Social anxiety, trauma, cognitive deficits, attention difficulties, obsessive thoughts, impulsivity, addictions, fragile sense of self, inflated ego, and so on. -Plus the second half of the equation: If your boss or loved one is making your life miserable, then you are contending with their personal issues, as well. -What makes us special: This includes our ability to think nonlinearly, which involves intuition and creativity, not to mention uncanny abilities that border on psychic. It also involves a heightened sensitivity to our surroundings that promotes introspection and empathy. You would be amazed at the high percentage of bipolar "intuitive-feelers" that turn up on the Myers-Briggs. -The reason we belong on this planet: Evolution is a series of accidents. But behind the accident of our existence, we can find our own meaning. The search for identity begins ...
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