1976 - Growing Up Bipolar is a disturbing, but darkly humorous and life-affirming mental health memoir by Mark Fleming, a Scottish writer and musician. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his 20s, Fleming takes the reader into bipolar's depths of depression and unnatural highs of mania, and is candid about his experiences of locked psych wards, the debilitating side-effects of anti-psychotic drugs, and the terrifying places his deluded mind took him to.
Much of the book's timescale overlaps with Grant McPhee's award-winning documentary, Big Gold Dream: The Sound of Young Scotland 1977-1985. 1976 - Growing Up Bipolar also celebrates Scotland's electrifying indie and post-punk music and cultural scenes, with anecdotes about gigging, songwriting, recording sessions at BBC's Maida Vale studios, and teenage obsessions with sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. The cathartic impact of John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show and a long-time devotion to Manchester post-punk legends The Fall figure prominently.
Delving deep into the psyche of a chemically-imbalanced mind, he relives a tragic event during the 1976 heatwave that inflicted the mental injury that might have triggered his bipolar disorder.