This memoir is the story of the first politician in Australia to publicly admit to having a mental illness - bipolar mood disorder. Neil Cole was a lawyer, a Melbourne City Councillor and a Member of the Victorian Parliament. After only five years in parliament he was diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder and put onto lithium. The revelation, the cathartic experience of this diagnosis changed his life forever. Having lived with the unpleasantness of the illness, the lack of diagnosis over a period of seventeen years since he first sought treatment, and the onset of the illness, made it difficult to adjust. The story of living with an undiagnosed mental illness of itself is profoundly moving, interesting and sad. It includes major sexual problems, obsessions, high elation to deep melancholic depression, spending sprees and impulsive buying to name but a few. In 1995 Cole had to resign as Shadow Attorney General in the Victorian Parliament after a dispute with the Leader of the Opposition. At the time of his resignation his illness was leaked to the media. This one event was to open a new chapter his life and in the public acceptance of mental illness.
It was also to profoundly affect his life. As a result he ended up in a mental hospital for three weeks. This memoir explores the vexed question of upbringing as it relates to illnesses of the mind. A mental illness can lead a person to become what they are, the illness and its symptoms can guide a person to pursue particular directions. Finally whether it is his early life, school, university, family upbringing, politics or the stage it is all interesting, novel, lots of humour, pathos, and revelation about living with a mental illness. The memoir will offer hope and an explanation of how to life with bipolar mood disorder.
Writing Disability in Australia:
|Type of disability||Bipolar disorder.|
|Type of character||Primary.|
|Point of view||First person (autobiographical).|