Dr. Perry Baird’s daughter, Mimi Baird, has put together a fascinating and heart-wrenching book chronicling her father’s struggle with bipolar disease in the 40’s. The book consists partly of her father’s own writings while in a mental institution and partly her efforts to learn more about her father’s life.
I commend this author’s achievement in bringing her father’s story to publication. He had wanted his story told but was never able to due to his illness. The fact that his daughter, so very many years after his death, was able to research and pull this story together is amazing.
Dr. Perry Baird had such a brilliant mind and if it weren’t for his illness, he could have achieved so much. Even while in the midst of battling with his manic depressive state, he was able to make a significant scientific discovery. His own story that he wrote while hospitalized is a powerful and moving one, telling of his despair at all the losses his illness was inflicting on him. The treatment he received in an effort to cure him was at times truly horrific.
The story of his daughter’s search for the truth about her father was also heart breaking. It wasn’t until she found her father’s notes when in her fifty’s that she began to piece the puzzle together. Up until then, her mother had done her best to hide her father’s illness from her and her sister. Her determination to find out what had happened to him and to regain some part of the father that she had lost as a child never failed.
A remarkable book and one that opens a window of knowledge into the world and life of a person with bipolar disorder.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.