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Tom is doing something no one else is really doing. He is turning a serious mental illness on its head and suggesting that by accepting rather than fighting the disorder, people with bipolar can identify and access their strengths and lead lives that are not only satisfying but productive beyond their wildest imaginings... Tom is ahead of the pack. He is staking out new territory and leading the way in showing people with brain-based disorders like bipolar that it is possible to live richly.
Tom's message-and approach-is a welcome antidote to many, popular ideas about mental illness. He integrates sound, evidence-based tools (such as self-awareness, self-care, and medication) with an especially humane perspective. Too often, in having to accept their condition, people end up feeling pathologized - reduced from a full person to a label. But Tom looks beyond the diagnosis to help people embrace - and accept - the best parts of who they are, instead of reflexively dismissing their feelings and experiences as a simple manifestation of illness. I can't think of a more important ingredient to living with bipolar disorder or any mental health difficulty.