When she was a practicing family physician, Dr. Jane Mountain never dreamed that she would someday sell her practice to become a professional speaker, author and coach.
Dr. Mountain's passion for her own mental wellness and that of others has led her to become a voice for change in the community. Her books and articles bring breakthrough perspectives about bipolar disorder and depression. They have helped thousands find a path toward wellness for these challenging illnesses.
Dr. Mountain has been featured in BP Magazine and Vitality Magazine. She is a contributing editor to the newsletter of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders. Dr Mountain is also the founder and director of DBSA-Metro Denver, a leading support group for individuals dealing with mood disorders.
I now present to you...Doctor Jane Mountain, MD
Type of mood disorder you have: Bipolar, Type II
Name of your books:
- 1. Bipolar Disorder: Insights for Recovery
- 2. Beyond Bipolar: 7 Steps to Wellness
Name of your web site and link: BeyondBipolar
What was the inspiration behind writing your books on wellness and recovery?
At one time in my life I was a very sick cookie. I lived through many months of suicidal depression in spite of having the best treatment I could get. During this time I began to study the recovery movement in mental health. In doing so, I learned skills that added to my treatment and helped me find a path to wellness.
I wrote my books because I didn't think others should become as sick as I was before they learned recovery skills. I wanted to share with others the hope that I had found.
In your books, you talk a lot about hope. Can you take a moment and tell us how you personally define hope with regard to living with a mood disorder?"
Hope is gaining courage in the face of intense challenge. It is finding others who carry your hope for you when you can't muster the hope you need. Hope is the thing that makes life worth living. Depression steals our hope. In living with a mood disorder, there are times when our hope is lost to us and we have to dig in our heels, decide to live, and turn to others to find hope again. Here is what Emily Dickenson said about hope:
‘Hope' is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.
Even when we lose the words of hope, the song goes on until we find it again.
There are some who might not believe that recovery from major depression or bipolar disorder is possible. What would you say to these people?
We know that these illnesses are chronic, remitting and recurring. It would be unwise to think that we can forget about treatment or ignore the possibility that symptoms might return. Recovery is the process of seeking wellness in the context of experiencing a mood disorder. We enter into this process by obtaining the best treatment we can find, and by adding wellness skills that others have learned by living with mood disorders. With wellness skills we can tell the story of depression, but gradually turn the coin over to tell our wellness stories as well.