(Topics: Bipolar Disorder; Mental Health Advocate) Hollywood entertainment lawyer and author of two books, Terri Cheney wrote a searing account of her struggles dealing with mental illness and bipolar disorder. Her book, "Manic" became a New York Times best-seller and was optioned by HBO. Her new book, "The Dark Side of Innocence -- Growing Up Bipolar" has also received rave reviews. Terri received the 2011 Imagine award from the International Bipolar Foundation. She currently writes a monthly blog for the popular website, Psychology Today.com.
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On the outside, Terri Cheney's life looked picture perfect. As a young girl growing up in southern California, she was a cheerleader, straight-A student, class valedictorian. Later, as a successful entertainment attorney in Beverly Hills, Terri represented the likes of Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and major motion picture studios. But beneath her seemingly flawless facade she was struggling with a dangerous secret: ever since childhood, Terri had been battling a debilitating case of bipolar disorder.
Despite wild mood swings and repeated suicide attempts (the earliest at age six), Terri managed to keep her condition secret from everyone - but at a terrible price. Finally, in an effort to save her own life, she wrote a searing account of her mental illness. Manic: A Memoir quickly became a New York Times bestseller, was optioned by HBO, and translated into seven foreign languages.
Following Manic's publication, Terri received hundreds of emails from parents of bipolar children, asking about her own childhood. In response, she wrote The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar a groundbreaking personal portrayal of the emerging phenomenon of childhood bipolar disorder.
Terri's writings and commentary about bipolar disorder have also been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times the Huffington Post, NPR and countless articles and popular blogs.
Mental Health Advocate
Terri now devotes her advocacy skills to the cause of mental illness. She is a member of the Board of Director of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics at USC, served on the Community Advisory Board of the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program, and is on the Honorary Board of Directors of the International Bipolar Foundation. She also served on the Board of Directors of Project Return Peer Support Network. In recognition of her public service, she received an official commendation from the County of Los Angeles, as well as the annual Advocates Award from Mental Health Advocacy Services. She also founded a weekly mental health support group at UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute. She currently writes a monthly blog for the highly popular website, Psychology Today.com.
She is currently working on her third book about bipolar disorder.
Terri graduated with honors from Vassar College, and attended UCLA School of Law. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
TO VISIT TERRI CHENEY'S PERSONAL WEBSITE: www.terricheney.com
Coping With Bipolar Disorder: A Patient's Perspective
As a successful entertainment lawyer in Beverly Hills, Terri Cheney managed to keep her life-long battle with bipolar disorder secret from everyone, despite wild mood swings, erratic behavior, numerous hospitalizations and suicide attempts. In a desperate attempt to save her own life, Ms. Cheney spent seven years writing about the most intimate details of her illness. The result, Manic: A Memoir, shot to the New York Times bestseller list, and was acclaimed as "a must-read for all those, clinicians and lay persons alike, who are interested in deeply understanding the experience of having bipolar disorder." Ms. Cheney's harrowing yet hopeful story of her road toward recovery is a true insider's account of what bipolar disorder really feels like in the body, the brain, and the soul -- an invaluable glimpse into the world of mental illness, which cannot be obtained from mere textbooks or clinical accounts.