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Dale is seven when her abusive father dies on a secret mission working on missile guidance systems. Left with her four siblings and neglectful mother in a remote corner of New Mexico, Dale inherits her father’s complicated legacy of intelligence and instability. 

After graduating college, she succeeds at a top-secret nuclear weapons lab while abusing drugs and engaging in promiscuous sex. Quick to anger, she changes from one career to another, juggling the technical challenges and her wild lifestyle. Once married, her husband develops life-threatening cancer. This awakens the past trauma of her father’s sudden death and sends her to find help from a psychiatrist.

Dale is unprepared when she is diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. Her journey to control her manic episodes and anger outburst takes her through in-depth therapy and haphazard medication trials. In her final therapy session, Dale becomes her younger self and finds the strength to cope with the future. 


Told with shocking honesty and unbelievable details, Bipolar, A Gift of Thorns is a deeply insightful memoir about a woman’s life and how it baffled her family. Exposing a little talked about problem, her courageous journey uncovers the stigma of being bipolar.

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