The book The Tao of Bipolar introduces readers to the history of Bipolar Disorder, Taoism, and meditation. The teachings in the book can be used as a bipolar disorder treatment plan, and can inform people on the history of madness, the philosophy of Wui Wei, and mindfulness.
There are not many books that can successfully merge information on Eastern philosophy and mental illness. The books, that have done so, such as The Mindful Way Through Depression by John Teasdale, often use technical language and the result is most readers can find that annoying. The Tao of Bipolar aims to both inform and entertain by taking large philosophical and spiritual concepts and making them easy to understand.
Bipolar Disorder can be seen throughout history and in many nations. In the book, authors Alexander and Anellen Simpkins explain how Bipolar Disorder is represented in various ancient writings such as the Egyptian text the Ebrus Papryus written in 1550 B.C., which the authors say mentions depression. And in the Chinese medical text The Yellow Emperor written in 2600 B.C., there is a section that translates “When mania begins, the patient is sad first.” By exploring the history of Bipolar Disorder, the Simpkins are showing that it is not a new phenomenon but has existed for millennia.
In Taoism, Wui Wei means going with the flow of the universe. The philosophy of Wui Wei can benefit people living with Bipolar Disorder and depression by simply helping them identify and be mindful of their emotions. According to Alexander and Allen Simpkins, mania and depression is energy (chi) that is out of balance, and meditation and journaling are great ways to balance one’s chi. The Tao of Bipolar, uses the latest information on cognitive science to explain what chi is in a western scientific view. The western view of Bipolar Disorder is that it is a chemical imbalance in the brain.
The Tao of Bipolar views meditation as a positive way to deal with the mania and depression that comes with Bipolar Disorder. In The Tao of Bipolar, the benefits of meditation are explained scientifically. Meditation lowers blood pressure, anxiety, and cortisol, which at high levels are known to negatively affect cognitive thinking, the digestive system, and mood stability. The book also details various meditation techniques such as breath meditation. Whether someone is an experienced meditator or new to meditation, The Tao of Bipolar provides easy to follow instructions on how to manage emotions and anxiety levels.
Alexander and Annelle Simpkins have written many books on meditation and Eastern philosophy such as Meditation for Therapist and their Clients, Simple Buddhism, Simple Zen, but what makes The Tao of Bipolar stand out is the fact that at 172 pages, it is easy to read, uses simple language, and is highly informative. The book’s teachings on Taoism and meditation exercises can be used by any reader who is eager to learn more about Eastern philosophy and Bipolar Disorder.