Natasha Rea is on a mission to get more people talking about bipolar.
The 31-year-old actress from North Manchester has spent the past year putting together a book made up of seven years of her journals detailing her battle with bipolar.
Natasha has suffered with her mental health since her teens and hopes Me, Myself and Bipolar Brenda will shine a spotlight on others in her situation and spread awareness of the condition.
There are 1.3million people living with bipolar in the UK with 56,000 in Greater Manchester alone.
“In the past I’ve been labelled crazy, psychotic and wired. Now I want to speak out and be the voice for those 10,000 like me in my home city and get Manchester talking. There needs to be an end to the stigma around bipolar and suicide.”
Me Myself and Bipolar Brenda, is Natasha’s raw and personal account of living life with a chemical imbalance. The book takes us on a heart-warming and often heart-breaking journey with single Mum Natasha, charting her battles, achievements, setbacks and most importantly her bounce backs.
Along the way we meet some of Natasha’s alter-ego’s Manic Mandy, Depressed Debbie, OCD Doris, Anxiety Annie, and of course the ubiquitous Bipolar Brenda, all of which rear their head without warning. Turning her mental health episodes into characters has helped Natasha to separate them from what she’s truly like.
“My yoga teacher always told me, ‘You are not bipolar, you have bipolar! You are a human being with magic inside you.’ Now I tell myself these people inside my head are not me and will not define me.”
To combat her bipolar Natasha has adapted to a holistic approach and believes the this has helped her lead a ‘normal life’. She trains in Kundalini Yoga, Meditation and Reiki plus is an amateur powerlifter, narrowly missing out on making the team for the British Weightlifting Championships a couple of years again. Natasha’s passion for powerlifting is something she talks about in Me, Myself and Bipolar Brenda, hailing it as saving her life.
With her debut book Natasha is eager to help others who are just like herself.
“I want to show the world that with the right treatment, support and creativity we can be proud of who we are.”
Me Myself and Bipolar Brenda will have you laughing ’til your crying and crying ’til your laughing, as Natasha says: “It’s one hell of a ride, so put the kettle on r kid.’
Me, Myself and Bipolar Brenda is currently available to buy on Amazon