Sally Alter

writer. artist. cat lover.

  • How do I know if I have bipolar?
  • Can someone with bipolar have a normal marriage?
  • Are bipolar and personality two separate things?
  • How can I explain to people what depression is like?
  • Is bipolar mania an emergency?
  • Can someone with psychosis lead an ordinary life?
  • How do I deal with a panic attack?


These are real questions that somebody with bipolar disorder is faced with every day.

You will find the answers to these questions and many more in my book


My aim is to help people who are struggling with bipolar, as well as people who have loved ones affected by this illness. 

My easy-to-understand answers are taken from more than 50 years of firsthand experience with this capricious illness. The book covers many subjects in depth: Basic questions about bipolar; help for those coping with the disorder; answers to questions about relationships; coping skills for depression, mania/hypomania, and psychosis. There is also a chapter on anxiety and panic attacks as this affects many people with bipolar. 

This book is packed with information given in a conversational style, not from a scientific point of view. My hope is that through my experiences I may be able to help you.


My name is Sally,

and I am a Registered Nurse with bipolar 1 disorder.

Everything was fine until my world turned upside down at the death of my mother when I was fifteen. That’s when my wild journey with bipolar disorder began.


I was born in London, left school at sixteen, and went on to have twenty-two jobs in my lifetime. This may seem like a lot to the uninitiated, but if you have bipolar disorder, you will recognize this as a normal way of life. I have been a secretary, personal assistant, market research assistant, marketing manager, Registered Nurse and a campground manager.Ten years were spent with depression and mania before I was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of twenty-five. My illness was manageable on Lithium until menopause hit, then everything went wrong and the mood swings reappeared. Mental hospitals became my second home, and I spent 14 months of my life in them.

I married three times and learned that marriage is hard to manage when you have an unwanted guest in the house called Bipolar.

During my many depressions, I wrote reams of dark poetry which was later published in journals, ejournals and anthologies. I began writing for Quora, an international question and answer website, two years ago and bipolar quickly became my specialty. To date I have written 800 answers on bipolar and mental illness, and have had 13,000,000 views. The questions in this book were all asked on Quora. These are my answers.

Now that my medication has been changed, I am in therapy, and am looking after myself, I am in remission and have not been near a mental hospital for eleven years.

I have traveled to all different parts of the world, but now live in Texas with my two cats. When I am not writing, I am drawing or painting.

Get in touch

I'd love to hear from you

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