4 out of 4 stars
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“If I can survive the war that I battle with myself. I can survive anything.” (healthyplace.com, 2019).
In this informative book, 23-year-old Bri McKay shares her lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder. Through her mother’s experience and her diagnosis at just 7-years-old, she aims to bring awareness to this misunderstood illness. The Grey World was created as a manifesto for all those affected by mental illness.
The book provides information on various topics that are aimed at helping the reader understand the disease. The Grey World by Bri McKay begins with a summary of the illness, common misconceptions, and explores how the disorder is portrayed by the media. Bri then informs the reader about different types of bipolar and describes what happens during a manic episode. The book offers resources for the sufferer and also provides support for family and loved ones. In the last chapter, Bri focuses on treatment options and the next steps. She acknowledges that although living with bipolar disorder is difficult, one should never let their illness define them.
The Grey World is a useful guide for anyone that has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Written by someone who is directly affected by the illness, the self-help book boasts a unique perspective. I appreciate the author’s transparency in relaying her experiences to the reader. She describes struggling with depression, drug use, and suicidal thoughts, and how she was able to find a treatment plan that worked for her.
The thing I enjoyed most about this book was the simplicity of the writing. Bri provides a clear description of the illness without any unnecessary fluff or medical terminology. I felt as if I was her good friend, and she was telling to me about her life. The self-care tips that she provides are helpful and would be easy for anyone to incorporate into their life. Some of the tips for self-care include a regular sleep schedule, meditation, and finding a creative outlet.
One of the things that resonated with me was Bri’s advice on how to handle a diagnosis. While she emphasizes that it is okay to be angry, she discourages the victim mentality. She writes: “Yes, it’s tough, but you are tougher. Use that strength that you have been given! Never forget that everyone is struggling with something.” I applaud her for encouraging readers to see their diagnosis as a strength rather than a stigma.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the large font and even larger chapter headings. It was slightly distracting and felt as though I was always using the down arrow key on my laptop. By decreasing the font size, it would give the book a more polished look.
While the book had a few errors, it did not interfere with the overall reading experience, and I have chosen to give it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. It is packed with useful information and offers support and encouragement to anyone living with bipolar disorder. I would recommend the book to all readers wanting to learn more about mental disorders. The Grey World would be beneficial to those who are suffering from the illness and for anyone that has a loved one directly affected. The book touches on some mature topics like sex, suicide, and has language that may offend some readers; therefore, I wouldn’t recommend it to young audiences.
It is essential to keep the conversation going regarding mental health. Thanks to various initiatives that aim to raise awareness, the stigma is slowly being erased, but there is still a long way to go!
The Grey World
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