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Navigating Bipolar Country

Personal and Professional Perspectives
on Living with Bipolar Disorder

2022 Anthology!

"Should be required reading for all health professionals. As a fellow sufferer and mental health practitioner, I recognize myself as a traveling companion to those traversing the wilds of bipolar country. A masterful book."

– Caitlin Billings, LCSW Author of In Our Blood, A memoir

forthcoming July 2022

After publishing my memoir, Mad Like Me: Travels in Bipolar Country, in 2018, many readers and reviewers said that they felt they truly understood what bipolar must feel like from the "inside." Family members said they appreciated gaining a deeper understanding of what their bipolar loved ones had to cope with, and clinicians said the book gave them greater insight into and empathy for their clients.
Gradually, the idea for this new book emerged. Why not gather stories from all those involved: people living with bipolar, our family members and supporters, and the clinicians and others who work with us? And so the concept of an anthology with three distinct Parts began to take shape.

"An engaging, powerful, insightful, and heartfelt anthology filled with creativity, determination, resilience, courage, compassion, and hope."

– Debbie Sesula, MA, CPS, Coordinator, North Shore Peer

Support Program, Vancouver Coastal Health

Navigating Bipolar Country is available as a paperback from and, and as an ebook on Kindle.

If you'd like to receive a 4-page document with very brief summaries of each of the 42 chapters in the anthology, please use my contact form to request it, and I will be pleased to send that to you to help you decide whether to purchase a copy of the book, or get it from your library, etc.


Foreword by Candida A. Fink, MD, author of Bipolar Disorder for Dummies.
Janette Abramowitz • Dennis Barras • Kayla Behbahani • Anthony Berger • Sarah Boon • Sheryl Bruce • Amy Cox • David Laing Dawson • Jens Peter Eckardt • Julie A. Fast • Ellie Gainey • Abdu’l-Missagh Ghadirian • Tami Hammond-Collins • Barbara Jacobson • Isabelle Lipari • Tara Mandarano • Stephanie Marie • Victoria Maxwell • Catharine McKenty • Brionna Morse • Amy Dodd Pilkington • Gina Roitman • Diana Samuel • Bruce Saunders • Laurel Saunders • Eric Smith • Janet L. Stanley • Natasha Tracy • Jayne Warren • Beverley Watkins • Gail Windsor • Tracy Windsor • Matthieu Zellweger • and others (who used pen names).

Edited by Merryl Hammond, PhD., bestselling author of Mad Like Me: Travels in Bipolar Country.

42 Candid, Powerful, Poignant Encounters with Bipolar Disorder

For those living with bipolar, supporting a family member, or treating it, navigating the journey can be unpredictable and often heartbreaking. This collection of personal testimonies takes you on a bumpy ride deep into bipolar country.

  • Discover what it’s like to live with bipolar from the inside out

  • Hear from family members who support loved ones with bipolar

  • Gain insights from health professionals who treat bipolar disorder

The candid essays in Navigating Bipolar Country will captivate, educate, and inspire you. And help fight the stigma against bipolar disorder and all mental illnesses.

1.  From the back cover

"A triumph in the field of bipolar disorder literature. Combining 42 essays told through the lens of individuals living with bipolar disorder, family members, and clinicians, she gives us an essential and unique read. Priceless insights, comfort, and understanding of this complex disease. A rare gem; a must read."

– Sallie Crotty, author of Out of the Ashes: A Story of Recovery and Hope,

forthcoming, June 2022

2.  From the Preface

... some of the most poignant and profound submissions are from previously unpublished writers who were struggling, for example, to come to terms with their new diagnosis, or trying to make sense of their own or a loved one’s destructive bipolar behaviours.


Each essay shines a light on specific aspects of the complex, complicated, and infuriating entity that is bipolar disorder. And the individual pieces build on each other to starkly illuminate the reality of life lived with bipolar. In many cases, contributors bravely step out of the wings to centre stage, bearing the glare of the spotlight, emotionally exposing themselves for our education and understanding.


What a privilege it’s been to be taken into the confidence of all these contributors; to have the darkest corners of their bipolar experiences exposed to the light; and now to share their hard-won lessons, their painful mental wounds and scars, and their hopes for recovery with you. I offer this exceptional collection to you hoping that these profound accounts will engage, enlighten, and inspire you—as they did me.


Welcome to bipolar country!

"I love this book for so many reasons. Having dealt with bipolar

issues in my own family, I can relate many of the challenges that come with traversing the path to mental wellness. You will find hope and inspiration in these pages. I highly recommend this powerful book."

– Stephanie Chandler, author and founder of the Nonfiction Authors Association

3. From the Epilogue

A second edition?

Some people who only heard about this book after the deadline for submissions had passed have asked if there might be a second edition that they could submit for. It’s way too early to decide, but I have started a “tentative waiting list” for people who would like to be contacted if ever I do proceed with a second edition. If you’re interested, please use my contact form and just indicate: Second edition of Navigating Bipolar Country.

No promises on my end; and no commitments on yours!

12a-Merryl Hammond photo copy.jpeg

Writing in my Montreal-area backyard

4. If you read the anthology, please post a review!

Reviews on Amazon or Goodreads etc. are priceless. Please help spread the word about this new resource; help spread insight, encouragement, and hope.

"A captivating read. I learned so much, felt deep sadness as well as hope, was in awe of human resilience, and felt immense gratitude towards those who had the courage and generosity to share their experiences. A testimony to hope, love and forgiveness."

– Anne Vrana, Board member, Friends for Mental Health, Montreal

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