5 Questions With Tracy Anglada and the Bipolar Bear (part 1)
Alaska Salmon: Bipolar disorder is just a chemical imbalance. You can’t help it. And eating me will just make you feel shame & guilt!
Title: Alaska Salmon, test the theory omega-3 helps the reasoning centers of the brain… to no Avail.
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With the lack of many resources for children to truly understand their feelings and emotions, she sat down and created a book designed just for children. Her book, Brandon and the Bipolar Bear has been nominated as a finalist for the Reader’s Choice Awards at About.com in the category of Favorite Special-Needs Children’s Book. (More about that later.) I thought it would be nice to spend a little time with Tracy in this three-part series entitled: 5 Questions With Tracy Anglada and the Bipolar Bear.
Question One:You have been a mental health writer and advocate for ten years now. What started you on this journey?
It began before I realized it. Like many family members who have a loved one diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I found myself in a sink or swim situation with few lifelines to grab onto. Because it was my young child who was diagnosed, the mental health field was not always a friendly place.
There was much controversy surrounding this diagnosis in children a decade ago. While healthy debate along with checks and balances will continue, it is now accepted that bipolar disorder can onset during childhood. Necessity pushed me to learn everything I could about the disorder. Determination made me resolved that other parents – and their children – would have more lifelines than I did.
Question Two: What kinds of resources did you help develop for other parents in the same situation?
When my child was initially diagnosed, there were few resources available. I had nothing to help my child learn about his illness, nothing to educate his siblings, and nothing written for his teachers. The field was in its infancy, yet our family still had to live and function.
As my son went through various stages, I saw first hand what resources we needed to survive. This fueled my writing (five books) and motivated me to create these resources. I started the BPChildren website where I featured a kid’s page with mood charts and articles written just for kids. I also showcased the “positive” side by letting kids submit their artwork or poems. The website has expanded over the years to include pages for teachers, teens and parents.
I wrote Brandon and the Bipolar Bear – the first story available for kids with the disorder. Other ‘firsts’ included a story for siblings and a brochure for teachers. I also wrote Intense Minds which was a unique way to help adults understand and empathize with the experiences of young people growing up with bipolar disorder.
Side NOTE: I mentioned earlier that your book has been nominated for an award, what can we do to help you win, and can you give my readers a way to review your book?
Yes ‘Brandon and the Bipolar Bear’ has been nominated as a finalist for the Reader’s Choice Awards at About.com in the category of Favorite Special-Needs Children’s Book. Awards will be given based on reader’s choice. You can help by voting once per day through March 8th: www.tinyurl.com/votebpbear Please show your support for this special book as it approaches 10 years of helping kids with bipolar disorder. Thanks!
Just for… Chato’s Mental Health Humor readers can get a Sneak Peek of a free narrated video storybook of Brandon and the Bipolar Bear.
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Stewart, C. (2011). 5 Questions With Tracy Anglada and the Bipolar Bear (part 1). Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor/2011/02/5-questions-with-tracy-anglada-and-the-bipolar-bear-part-1/