The Bipolar Doctor
Despite battling depression in his mid-teens, Rohit Kumar fulfilled his beloved parents’ dream of becoming a doctor in 1990. He was one of Canada’s first hospitalists before setting up a highly successful private practice, and acquired specialized expertise in treating patients with chronic pain and those needing palliative care. Dr. Kumar’s star began rising in both Canada and the United States.
But, his increasingly erratic behaviour and mood swings began alienating his colleagues, wives and patients. He went on anti-depressants with mixed results. Ultimately, he was hospitalized for over 15 months, with multiple devastating suicide attempts and was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
The Bipolar Doctor is the graphic saga of this gifted doctor, first condemned and then shunned by his medical colleagues for having a mental health condition and then vilified by the media for “abandoning” his practice and patients. It is the sad chronicle of a medical system that would rather ‘house’ than treat or counsel someone with a perfectly treatable mental health condition. It is ultimately the hopeful and heart-warming story of a man who fought his way back to mental health and has made it his mission to advocate for destigmatizing bipolar disorder and recognizing that, with appropriate diagnosis, treatment and consistent follow-up, this condition can be effectively treated. Above all, it is a story of hope for the thousands of Canadians living with mental health diagnoses.
With humour, wit and brilliant clarity he lays bare a medical reality that, to this day, still punishes people with mental health conditions and far too often relegates them to the fringes of society.
“Dr. Kumar has penned a powerful memoir that reminds us all that we are only one step away from mental health issues, no matter our background, education or family history.”
—Mary Metcalfe, Co-Author, Schizophrenia: The Journey to Recovery.
Dr. Rohit Tinni Kumar has worked tirelessly as a family doctor for over two decades also supporting patients with chronic pain, palliative care and mental health issues. As a patient himself in the “mental healthcare system”, he knows firsthand how people with mental health conditions are mistreated and relegated to the fringes of society.
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