How to Live Successfully with a Severe Mental Illness
Manic Man is an account of Jason Wegner’s experiences living with a severe mental illness: bipolar I disorder. The story begins with an outline of Jason’s life before the hypomanic stage of his illness kicked in. The mania started when Jason took the dangerous psychedelic drug LSD, and it accelerated a few weeks later when he traveled to Tanzania, where he found himself in a full-blown manic episode. After he returned home, weeks of mania until he was tricked into an ambulance and taken to the hospital’s emergency wing. He remained in an acute psychiatry ward for fifty-seven days, and seven months of depression followed.
With help from his psychologist Dr. Kerry Bernes, Jason lifted himself out of severe depression. Dr. Bernes developed “The Octagon of Life,” centralizing Jason’s focus and recovery on eight areas. Following the plan, Jason’s depression ameliorated, and he experienced post-traumatic growth that has made him a more fulfilled person than he was before his diagnosis.