Interview: Writing my Way to Bipolar Disorder Recovery

The Bipolar Burble welcomes guest Karen Tyrell. Karen is an Australian mental health advocate and author of the new mental health memoir Me & Her: A Memoir of Madness.

Writing for Bipolar Recovery

Today Karen shares a little about her life and the place writing has had in her bipolar disorder recovery.

1. What was your life like when you began treatment for bipolar disorder?

I didn’t seek treatment.  Police and a medical team forced me into a psyche hospital under an involuntary treatment order. At the time I was severely anxious, manic and psychotic.

2. What lead you to writing?

Writing at first was an obsessive compulsion to express myself. As I became more well, I used it as a pro-active tool for my recovery.

3. How did writing interact with bipolar disorder treatment?

Daily writing became a positive way to reflect on my issues and my ongoing treatment. I trialed different coping techniques and noted down which strategies worked. I wrote down goals and plans for my recovery.

4. How did writing help with mental health treatment specifically?

Daily journal writing produced a powerful cathartic effect. When I scribbled down my honest reflections and my inner most thoughts and feelings, a weight was lifted from me.  I connected with my emotions. Writing gave me a voice, a way to express myself, to make sense of what was happening to me. Later I turned my daily scrawls into my gutsy memoir.

5. What would you recommend to others in terms of bipolar treatment and recovery?

Learn what your triggers are, and how to avoid them. Develop your own individual wellness plan with a wide repertoire of strategies to combat any fluctuation in your mood. Strategies include daily morning exercise, breathing techniques, a healthy food plan and lifestyle, a calming sleep routine, meditation, free flow consciousness writing and a whole lot MORE.

A Memoir of Madness by Karen TyrrellMe & Her: A Memoir of Madness

If you would like to read more check out Karen’s website or pick up her book Me & Her: A Memoir of Madness. This is her brave account of how a teacher reached breaking point, after parents at her school repeatedly harassed her. It reveals Karen’s journey into and out of mental illness.

Book Giveaway

All you have to do is comment here to be entered into the drawing for a free ebook. There are two copies to be won.


About Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.

Natasha’s New Book

Find more of Natasha’s work in her new book: Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. Media inquiries can be emailed here.

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