Agathe Lenoël

Who Am I When I’m Not Myself? A Bipolar Patient Speaks Out Publication date : October 14, 2015

Agathe Lenoël is a freelance writer who has suffered from bipolar disorder since she was 19. The personal account she gives here is accompanied by a presentation by Professor Philippe Jeammet. In its approach and form this book is reminiscent of Polo Tonka’s earlier and highly successful work, Dialogue avec moi-même.
‘No one can tell that I’m bipolar. I’m successful at my job, I love my partner of 15 years and we have a marvellous little daughter. And yet…
‘One morning, I sprang out of bed inspired by an irresistible urge to tell my story, to tell the world about the mixture of pain and joy triggered by bipolarity. I decided to read all the books that dealt with the subject. I read, analysed and compared what I learned with my own feelings. It was clear that something was missing: a personal account delving into one’s most intimate Self, one’s most personal thoughts as they jostle one another and turn into madness. What was missing was a personal account, from the living sufferer’s point of view, affirming that the struggle is well worth it and that the road is wonderful.
‘During all the years that I was under treatment, I always tried to keep the disease at arm’s length, without getting too close. Today, I want to say what is hidden behind that Self that plays tricks on me. Who am I when I’m not myself? That question has been haunting me for more than fifteen years and I’ve decided to go towards that other person, with you,’ writes Agathe Lenoël.
• A unique personal account about an increasingly recognised disorder but one that remains poorly understood: bipolarity.
• With a preface and commentary by Professor Philippe Jeammet. This is an exceptional document that sheds light on a disorder that even the medical profession has difficulties delineating.
• A denunciation of all the clichés and falsehoods that have unjustly contributed to diabolising mental illness.