Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Promise of Hope: The Astonishing True Story of a Woman Afflicted With Bipolar Disorder and the Miraculous Treatment That Cured Her

The author: Autumn Stringam. I reviewed this book in 2006 and posted a short version of my full review. Still based on the proof I read than the final publication, I thought this book was worthy of posting the full review:

This book brings the reader inside the mind of a Bi-Polar Disorder patient in her own words. All the chaos, highs, lows, delusions, anger, and deep depression are felt in a way that could not ever be accurately described by anyone who has not lived the story. Autumn Stringam has lived the story. The depth of the urge to suicide is indelibly written. It is told with no holds barred in the still voice that is often seen in trauma victims describing what has happened to them. A distance that makes the story very compelling and true. There is nothing asked of us other than to believe the story and what it means. No requirement to sympathize with the writer for what she has gone through.

We see her life with her mother’s undiagnosed bi-polar swings and final suicide through a child’s eyes, never dreaming that the same terrors would one day be hers. The illness does not surface until she is an adult and married. From this point on, we travel through her own mind, while at the same time she finally begins to understand her mother. The family once again suffers the same fate as her younger brother also is diagnosed. There seems to be nothing to live for because nothing, no treatment yet used, could do more than remove them from a life into a stupor from which they dare not try to emerge.

Her father begins a quest to find a way to help his children in a way that he had not been able to save his wife. All he wants is for them to be safe. A chance meeting with an animal nutritionist eventually leads to trying a new way, a nutritional concoction of vitamins and minerals, based on the formula for quieting aggressive hogs, “tail biters”. Over the next few years we journey through the miraculous recovery of the siblings. Indeed, both now lead healthy and productive lives.

There are agonizing legal battles to get the product approved. The futile fights with the Canadian government are spelled out completely and succinctly and made me want to join in the fight! I can see it exactly as if I had lived it. I would strongly recommend this book for a number of reasons. For understanding of the bi-polar progress, for the discovery and preliminary trials to improve on any new medical discovery, and for how difficult it is to bring government acceptance of alternative medicine for many illnesses, are three main reasons. This is a real life, Autumn lived this life and tells the truth as it is, plain and simple, with suspense as to what will happen with the discovery, and the final outcome. Read it, you will be glad you did.

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