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October 21 , 2009

Sixty Days to Sanity, A College Freshman's Struggle to Overcome Mental Illness


To contact the author: pdb (at) sixtydaystosanity (dot) com

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In the fall of 1989, Pete Barnes was a wide-eyed teenager bound for college. Less than a month later, he was fighting his way out of a padded room. Millions of people face the stigma from mental illness. Sixty Days to Sanity attempts to fight misconceptions of bipolar disorder by bringing the reader along for the ride.

This true story, explores the human side of being blindsided by a severe manic episode. Sixty Days to Sanity, focuses on the episode itself, hospitalization and challenges to recovery, including; the author's loss of a close friend and fellow patient to suicide.

“Sixty Days to Sanity isn’t a medical journal about bipolar disorder. It’s my best recollection of what happened when my world was turned upside down by a severe manic episode and how I found my way back to reality.” Pete Barnes

The inspiration behind Sixty Days to Sanity is the author’s desire to help combat the stigma and confusion that so often accompanies the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. There are no cures for mental illness. However, with proper diagnosis, reduced stigma, and a willingness to accept and manage the disorder, anyone with bipolar disorder can lead a great life! The more people see that we are neighbors, friends, and co-workers, the faster the national conversation regarding bipolar disorder will move in a positive direction and easier it will be for people to seek proper treatment.

Michael Wall M.A., L.M.S.W. provides a brief clinical assessment of how the behavior in Sixty Days to Sanity corresponds to the author's diagnosis. This will be insightful for any person studying psychology.

"I wrote a book to help others understand what a severe manic episode is. I've realized the person who needed to understand the story the most was me." Pete Barnes


"The vivid descriptions and humorous analogies helped me understand what is going on in some of my patients' heads. The story is unusual and fast-paced. It never lets you rest. You'll laugh and cry."

Nicole Verrett - Registered Nurse - Baltimore, MD

"Sixty Days to Sanity should be on the syllabus of every university psychology department."

Michael Wall M.A., L.M.S.W. - Psychotherapist - Aspen, CO

"Sixty Days to Sanity is a must read for anyone who has a family member or friend with bipolar disorder. Having dealt with a close relation inflicted with this disorder, reading his story, I was at last able to set aside my own personal resentments and confusion, finally understanding the dramatic moods and swings as a manifestation of the illness. The book ends on a positive note offering hope to everyone that reads it."

Mimi - Philadelphia, PA

"This compelling story tells of a young man's amazing journey to get back to himself. It goes into his mind and pulls you along. I could not put it down!"

Fran Kahle - Mental Health Volunteer - Wayne, PA

sixtydaystosanity (dot)com

to join the conversation go to askabipolar(dot)com

Author’s Description

The author has lived successfully with Bipolar Disorder for more than twenty years without relapse. A person suffering from mental illness who tackles life with such vigor gives a valuable perspective to patients and family members who are trying to understand how to cope with Bipolar Disorder. By sharing the intimate details of his experience, he hopes to chip away at the stigma associated with the condition.

Pete Barnes spent fifteen years in a successful career in advertising sales, and co-created a year long stand-up comedy series in Snowmass, Colorado in 2007. He now lives in his home town of Philadelphia, working in the renewable energy field, and rooting for the Eagles and Phillies.

He completed six years of service to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 1994, competed in a triathlon in 2000, and currently snowboards and mountain bikes for recreation.

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