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Meet Kate McLaughlin author of Mommy I'm Still in Here: One Family's Journey with Bipolar Disorder
http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/38/1/Meet-Kate-McLaughlin-author-of-Mommy-Im-Still-in-Here-One-Familys-Journey-with-Bipolar-Disorder/Page1.html
Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on November 13, 2008
 




Kate McLaughlin author of Mommy I'm Still in Here: One Family's Journey with Bipolar Disorder discusses her book

 

Click Here To Purchase Mommy I'm Still in Here: Raising Children with Bipolar Disorder

Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest Kate McLaughlin author of Mommy I'm Still in Here: One Family's Journey with Bipolar Disorder.

Good day Kate and thank for participating in our interview.

Norm:

Please explain what is meant by the term Bipolar Disorder and how prevalent is it in North America?

Kate:

Thanks for inviting me, Norm. Bipolar Disorder used to be called manic depression. It’s a biologically-based illness, in the same way that diabetes or muscular dystrophy are caused by genetic abnormalities.  Bipolar Disorder is an illness of the brain that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. Over 15 million men and women in North America have bipolar disorder, which is a life-long condition with recurring episodes of mania, anxiety and depression that can last from days to months. The average age of onset is 17, but it can begin in adolescence, early adulthood, and even in young children.

Norm:

There have been thousands of books written about Bipolar Disorder. What makes your book different from the others?

Kate:

You’re right, Norm. Lots of books have been written on the subject, and when my kids first got sick I read them all. The problem I encountered was this: Nothing gave me hope. Nothing empowered me or my children. Nothing realistically described living with this illness by providing real-life, in-the-trenches descriptions of how symptoms looked. And nothing offered practical recommendations for supporting a loved one and learning to live well with chronic mental illness. I vowed to write what was missing to alleviate some of the fears and frustrations those families following us down this path would inevitably feel. Mommy I’m Still in Here is the result of that vow.

Norm:

How far has research come concerning the diagnosis and treatment of Bipolar Disorder?

Kate:

Amazing progress has been made in the diagnosis and treatment of Bipolar Disorder. Family practitioners, counsellors, and educators are increasingly more aware of the symptoms of mental illness; and psychiatrists have better anecdotal guidelines to follow in order to provide a definitive diagnosis. But the greatest strides have been made in treatment and medication management. The prescription medications that keep my daughter, Chloe, healthy and well were not even on the market a decade ago. My mother-in-law never had the benefit of most of the drugs that currently provide great relief and make this illness manageable. In addition to medication, psychotherapy and education about the illness are also essential components of the treatment process that have vastly improved.

Norm:

What motivated you to write Mommy I'm Still in Here: One Family's Journey with Bipolar Disorder and how did you decide you were ready to write the book?

Kate:

As I said earlier, I wanted to fill the void and add a positive, encouraging personal perspective. Additionally, as we overcame the initial shock and the struggle to stabilize our kids, I grew keenly aware of the stigma surrounding mental illness. I wanted to teach others the facts so that fear and frustrations would give way to empowerment and understanding. Since I was already a published author and professional writer, developing this book was a natural next step. And I must admit that the process of writing was cathartic for me, almost a personal therapeutic process. Working through my journal entries and emotions, doing the research, and creating an interesting story helped me to heal, too.

Norm:

Please tell us something about your book.

Kate:

Mommy I’m Still in Here” is a story of hope and the realities of living with extreme challenges, but it’s also a great read. Literally hundreds of people have written or spoken to me and said the same thing, “I couldn’t put the book down!” It grips the reader like a good novel. I’m proud of that achievement.

Norm:

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?

Kate:

The most difficult part was deciding whether or not to pursue a publisher. After I finished the project, it felt so personal. I wasn’t sure I wanted to share so much of myself and my family with the world. But, of course, that’s what writers do. We write what we know, in one form or another, and then release it into the world.

Norm:

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Kate:

I learned to edit myself. I learned to use fewer words, both in my writing and in my everyday life. In my past, I used too many words and shared too many opinions. I learned that those habits were unnecessary. An edited life leaves room for more wonder, more joy.

Norm:

Will there be any unique ways you'll be marketing your book that is different from how others market books of a similar nature?

Kate:

I spend a lot of time talking to high school and college groups, not only students, but also parents and educators. I teach people to recognize signs and symptoms of mental illness and assure them that mental illness is treatable, wellness is attainable. Because nearly 20% of the population deals with a serious mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia), and the average age of onset is 17, students, educators and parents are keenly interested in the topic. My books usually sell as a result of the information I share at these sessions.

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and your book and what is next for Kate McLaughlin?

Kate:

My website, www.katemclaughlin.net , is packed with mental health information and includes bits from the book as well as purchasing links. Readers can also contact me directly at www.katemclaughlin.net  if they have questions or would like to book me as a speaker. Finally, as the blitz of this project slows, I’m looking forward to writing a book of short stories; and some of my poetry is posted on http://musingsbykate.wordpress.com/

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Kate:

Simple stuff, Norm…knowledge is power, education is the key to success, wellness is achievable, and hope abounds.

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.

Click Here To Purchase Mommy I'm Still in Here: Raising Children with Bipolar Disorder