Hypomanic- Mad in England


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By Victor J Kennedy

ISBN: 978-1-84747-350-9
Published: 2007
Pages: 146
Key Themes: drugs, autobiographical, hyper-mania, empowerment, self-help



Hypomanic is one person’s vivid account of how they became aware of the existence of Hypomania through excessive study & the experimentation of recreational drugs inside a hedonistic orientated work life balance. As with many misery memoirs, the protagonist has to be destroyed before finding redemption and therefore unveiling the insights to successfully overcoming the adversity. In this case, which is pre-diagnosis of bipolar by almost eighteen months, the book will demonstrate the full anatomy of a nervous breakdown from a holistic point of view and across a wide range of issues. It is written in the first person as a diary account of what happened to the author age 22 while at University and why he thinks it happened, looking back at 1995, fifteen years post event and with a diagnosis of bipolar. There are also detailed accounts of what roles close friends and family members played during the downfall and subsequent comeback of the main character. It is not a self help book per se, it belongs among the story section because this book enthrals as much as it educates. It is a message to healthy young people with hedonistic outlooks, their friends and their families. It is a classic clinical scenario of exactly what happens to everyone involved with a stress induced Hypomanic episode and therefore how to avoid the experience before it happens or prepare for coping with it, if a diagnosis of bipolar has already occurred.

About the Author

Born in Bradford West Yorkshire, a qualified Information Designer he has worked successfully as an Art Director within London Advertising Agencies for over ten years, generating online solutions for many distinguished global brands. He was diagnosed with Bipolar affective disorder in 1996 after returning to University to complete the degree interrupted by the initial nervous breakdown. Between February 1995 and March 2000 he has suffered five hospitalisations in Cumbrian psychiatric wards, one of which was a twenty eight day section under the mental health act. After losing half a decade and causing immeasurable pain to his family, he took the decision not to be defeated by the illness or the stigma he felt was causing his life to stall. He decided return to anonymity in London where he could focus on his mental well-being, kick-start his career in Advertising and most of all to write Hypomanic. Since March 2000 he has not been hospitalised a single time, although he has coped with numerous relapses and further Hypomanic episodes by using NHS crisis teams and Haloperidol PRN to get through the tougher times. He has been an active member of Islington MDF group since 2001 and has studied his illness to develop coping mechanisms which do not involve medication. However, he is an advocate of Lithium and continues with the mood stabiliser under the proverb, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This strategy above all has given him half a decade of quality life, which he may not have had without psychiatrists finding a therapeutic level suitable to his biological makeup.

“This is a memoir I’ve wanted to write since 1997 and now I feel there is enough distance between me, the event and the high emotions to do it justice. It is my account of living with a controlled, but ultimately incurable mental illness, which if read, may help someone else that is seeking to better understand and cope with the frustrating road to wellness. I’ve found in my personal journey that it’s really nice to read something that makes you feel less alone. ”

Victor J Kennedy

Book Extract

It’s six months before my ten year anniversary and I’m just putting pen to paper now. I’ve waited until the time felt right to do it although I’ve had my chances to begin, like in 1997 when I designed all the covers while working as a junior designer for my old boss Reggie. It was going to be a best seller, I was going to be famed for such a groundbreaking book, not to mention its trendy jacket. But I never started writing because I wasn’t well. I was Hypomanic.

What is Hypomanic? Well, for a start it’s not a club night or a compilation album by The Ministry of Sound but it sounds pretty cool, if like me in 1997 you’d spent the first half of that decade experimenting with recreational drugs. Even without controlled substances, it’s still possible to experience the state of Hypomania through stress.

Early Hypomania can be a pleasurable state of elevated mood, elation, optimism and confidence. Treatment at this stage is usually not desired or even necessary. For some, in early hypomania what they experience may be irritability, rapid thoughts which cause confusion and sudden angry outbursts. This state can cause problems in relationships, not only personal, but social and work-related relationships as well.

If undetected a Hypomanic episode will continue its increasing velocity into full blown Mania. More about that later.



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