Memoir tries to help people suffering with bipolar disorder

April 29, 2012
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According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans. Growing up with bipolar disorder, Robert Lee Trent had a tough life—one that was only compounded by being surrounded by a toxic family.

In his new memoir, “Zero to Sixty in Sixty Years: A Bipolar Success Story” (published by Abbott Press), Trent shares his struggles in overcoming his early setbacks to shape his life into one full of love and happiness.

Trent’s memoir takes shape as a pseudo-narrative, beginning at a high school reunion with his wife. As memories come rushing back, Trent shares a look back at his life with his wife. He recalls his parents’ volatile relationship, a force in his life that only caused drama, pain and sadness. He opens up, revealing the effects of his mental disorder. And he brings the story full circle bringing to light his wife’s crucial role in his recovery.

His life story is impressive on its own, but it is what readers can take away from it that really matters. “It delivers several messages,” says Trent, “from the destruction caused by a violent father and mean spirited mother, the success that can be achieved in the battle with bipolar illness, and that happiness can come at any age, but you’ve got to keep trying.”

Trent recognizes that his story doesn’t carry the clout of a celebrity or notable figure—he is just an ordinary person. But he still has an important idea to share. “In a word, encouragement,” he says. “And don’t just go to sleep at the wheel if you have bipolar disorder. Keep trying until you get some success.”

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