STIGMA Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist

Non-Fiction - Self Help
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/04/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

STIGMA: Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist is a work of non-fiction in the social issues, art, and self-help subgenres. Written and created by author and artist David A Feingold, it is suitable for audiences from all backgrounds to explore. In this enthralling and emotive work, the author combines his self-penned experiences of what it’s like to live with bipolar alongside his investigation into the Bipolar Impaired Self. Through drama, art, memoir, and free expression, the author shows others how to question and recognize their own condition and their own sense of self, offering both practical tips and more deeply considered emotional ideas to help fellow bipolar people explore their feelings.

Author and artist David A Feingold has crafted an absolutely ideal work for people who don’t find clinical, by-the-book self-help in any way fruitful but would rather explore a myriad of different emotional stimuli, reframing and using fresh perspectives on bipolar to come to terms with their own thoughts and feelings. I felt that I got a really clear sense of the havoc that being bipolar has played with this author’s life, but also a true sense of empowerment in how he has channeled this into artwork and into helping others, thanks to extensive research and qualifications in the area. I really especially loved the captions beneath the inlaid works of art alongside different pages, as these gave a unique insight into the author’s emotional thought process when developing the image. Overall, STIGMA: Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist is an absolutely essential read for anyone with an interest in bipolar and how it affects either themselves or those around them.

Jamie Michele

STIGMA: Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist by David A Feingold is a non-fiction art and self-help journey in which the author and artist, who are the same person, presents an intimate look at bipolar disorder. The book incorporates an educational narrative that approaches bipolar disorder in a reader-friendly format, employing layman's terms and a general overview of what bipolar disorder is and what it specifically means to Feingold. The book then transitions into a cyclical format within its chapters that combine works of Feingold's original art, an overview of the presented piece, a poem, a narrative space, and thoughtful prompts in the form of questions.

My favorite work of art by David A Feingold in STIGMA: Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist is on page thirty-six and is called Lying Through My Teeth. Within a palette of earth tones is the clouded face of a person who has their fingers pressing, somewhat aggressively, into the mouth and lower part of the face. The complexity is in the look on the person's face that, much like the Mona Lisa does, asks whether the subject is trying desperately to speak or not to speak, or even if they are holding back a smirk or a cry. Feingold's ability to bring readers into the fold in a subjective way comes across in every aspect of the book. He describes a mentor of his as, “An embodiment of creativity and the quest for enthusiastic discovery,” which I found interesting because in reading the book—several times, I might add—it turns out that Feingold can be described in these terms as well. Very highly recommended.

Pikasho Deka

Mental health awareness has gained significant momentum in recent years, but there is still a lot to be done to eliminate the stigma surrounding it. In his book, Stigma Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist, licensed clinical social worker and renowned artist David A. Feingold presents an ingenious way to navigate the treacherous terrain of psychological disorders by creating works of art. David lost his bipolar mother to suicide at a young age and some years later was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He went on to complete a doctorate in Disability Studies and dedicated himself to using artistic endeavors as a form of self-therapy to overcome his illness. The book includes stories from David's own life, some splendid artwork, and poems that touch your very soul.

Stigma Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist is part memoir, part self-help guide, but most of all, it is a work of art. David A. Feingold lays bare his life story and his struggles with bipolar disorder through a captivating combination of personal anecdotes, art, and poetry, seeking to help spread awareness about the bipolar-impaired self. He reveals his manic episodes as well as trips to the psychiatric ward and how they impacted him at crucial moments of his life. One of the most significant passages in this book is about how bipolar disorder, or any other mental illness, affects one's loved ones, especially friends and family. I found the book to be an inspiring and illuminating reading experience. Highly recommended.

Grace Ruhara

Stigmatization must be stopped. We can make that happen. Before looking down on anyone with a disability, especially mental illness, read Stigma: Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist by David A. Feingold. The book will provide insights that will help you understand what it feels like to be the victim of bipolar disorder. The author describes some of the symptoms of the condition, which include confusion, anger, feelings of worthlessness, vulnerability, and rejection. These are often compounded by the stigma placed on those involved by our society which can ultimately escalate to self-stigmatization and suicide. Feingold constantly lied about his condition to avoid unemployment. His family was affected the most. Luckily, loving and accepting himself for who he is, receiving social support, and having a loving partner finally helped him to overcome the disorder as well as manage it.

Stigma: Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist by David A. Feingold includes resources and references at the end of the book. These validate the viewpoint of the author and provide information for further research. This will assist those readers who want advice regarding bipolar disorder. The author has also included many illustrations. The pictures reveal his innermost scars, reflect his damaged identity, and help him communicate his feelings. They help the reader empathize with him and connect with him more deeply. The poems that the author provides at the end of every chapter serve to underline his message in an easy-to-grasp and engaging way. I recommend this book to victims of mental illness and those living with them to create awareness, stop stigmatization, and create an environment of love and acceptance.

Rabia Tanveer

STIGMA Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist by David A Feingold explores the stigma surrounding mental illness and how it affects individuals with bipolar disorder through the eyes of the author, who is a bipolar artist. The book features Feingold’s personal essays, reflections on his experiences with mental illness, and reproductions of his artwork. Feingold’s art visually represents the emotional intensity and complexity of living with a mental illness. He uses his work to challenge stereotypes and promote mental health awareness. The book also includes Feingold’s advocacy efforts and his belief that education is key to breaking down stigma and empowering individuals to seek help when needed.

I am in awe of David A Feingold and his artistic abilities. This man is capable of producing breathtaking artwork and can also explain his thoughts in vivid clarity. Stigma Through the Eyes of a Bipolar Artist is a testament that mental illness can take advantage of you but cannot better you. This book is a powerful and insightful look at the impact of mental illness stigma on individuals and society and a call to action for greater awareness and understanding. I love how each chapter has several artworks, some questions for you to reflect on, and a poem that beautifully explains the chapter. The author is right, his artwork is profound, and you don’t have to be an expert or an art critic to see that. The way he describes bipolar disorder is heartbreaking yet very natural too. The narrative becomes very matter-of-fact regarding the disorder but becomes so passionate when David talks about his art. I would love to sit down with him and talk about his art. I feel there is a genius hidden behind the jaded and almost too practical demeanor. I highly recommend this inspirational yet educational book!