My childhood dream came true when I became a member of the Canadian Professional Golfer's Association (CPGA). In 1989, three years into what looked like a promising future as a CPGA golf professional, my world was turned upside down with a devastating diagnosis of manic depression (bipolar disorder), and I ended up as a patient in the psychiatric ward for six weeks. This was my first fullblown manic episode. I was able to resume my career and achieve my goal when I was employed as a head golf professional in 1993 at a golf course in Alberta.
Over the years, I made several trips to psych wards to treat manic episodes. After every episode, I would have a period of severe depression that would last for several months. My last time in a psych ward was at the infamous Riverview Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam, BC, in 1999. In 2000, I was finally put on the right combination of psychiatric medications, which I still take every day. Learning how to live a low-stress lifestyle and having Ellen as my wife for the last two decades have been extremely important in maintaining my wellness. I have now been well for twenty years with my bipolar disorder. To make things more difficult, I was diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in 1996 and diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in 2007. I write about these two additional mental illnesses in my book.
I'm not religious, but I have had countless spiritual experiences over the last thirty years. Most of my amazing experiences happened when I was in a state of mania. Over the last twenty years, I have read many books about the spiritual realm and some about the brain, soul, consciousness and bipolar disorder itself. As a result of this, I have come up with my own "mania spirit theory" and describe this in my book.
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