Drowning in the Seas of Mental Illness is part 1 of a 6 part series called The Bipolar Barbie Diaries.
Jessica Portsmouth, better known as Bipolar Barbie tells her story to inspire others to never give up reaching out for help. She is a young Australian Mental Health Advocate and the book is now available on Amazon.
The book illustrates the struggle of living with chronic mental illness and navigating the waters of a severely inadequate mental health care system. She explains the day by day journey of someone experiencing mental illness for the first time and the grueling process of getting a diagnosis and learning to live with a disease that kills over 1 million people a year worldwide.
“I needed a hero so a Hero I became” – Bipolar Barbie
The book gives a creative, raw and honest take on living with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). It depicts what it is really like to live with a debilitating mental health issue.
She documents her journey in the seas of mental illness in a series of short stories signed off by each different “Barbie” that she feels represent the state of her mood at the time.
“Why do I talk about my Mental Health so openly and honestly? It never occurred to me not to!” – Bipolar Barbie
She wrote this book because she believes that talking about the stigma surrounding mental illness is not productive. She doesn’t want to bring attention to the fact that it is normal to shun and stigmatize sufferers of an “invisible illness”. She wants people to know what it is really like to struggle every day to find the will to live.
Bipolar Barbie believes understanding is the only way to truly obliviate the stigma, that telling people to talk about something is not useful unless they know how to talk about it. Her book gives people a greater vocabulary to share their own personal experiences.
Excerpt from the book: “I still remember the day my entire life changed. I was in my second year of law school. I felt like I had been dropped into the middle of the ocean. I didn’t know where I was or what had happened to me. All I knew for sure, was that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. I tried to swim to shore, but I could not see land on the horizon. I had no sense of direction and didn’t know where to turn. The worst part was that everyone around me could see that I was drowning, but no one would lend a hand to help because they all thought I could just stand up and save myself”.
You can find more information and links to purchase on her website www.bipolarbarbie.com/books