Black Dog founder explores bipolar disorder in new novel
Published: 30 March, 2017
Gordon Parker, founder of the Black Dog Institute and one of Australia’s leading psychiatrists, is set to publish a new novel exploring the complexities of living with bipolar disorder.
Professor Gordon Parker AO, founder and former Executive Director of the Black Dog Institute and one of Australia's leading psychiatrists, draws on decades of mental health research in his new novel, In Two Minds; a fictional work exploring the complexities of living with bipolar disorder.
Following the story of protagonist Doctor Martin Homer, a respected General Practitioner whose grief at the loss of his mother sparks a journey through depression and mania as he commences a relationship with a woman with a borderline personality disorder, Professor Parker’s richly detailed novel sheds light on bipolar disorder with wit and warmth.
“I wanted to take readers out into the field and help them arrive at a deeper understanding of the realities of this much misunderstood mental illness,” Professor Parker said.
“For families, friends and carers of people living with bipolar disorder, it can be difficult for them to fully grasp the enormity of the condition.
“Fiction offers a fresh lens to examine the science behind mental illness, and I hope this novel grants readers an immersive and sensory insight into bipolar disorder and the existential questions faced by those experiencing it.”
Professor Parker’s latest foray into fiction comes 50 years since he wrote his first novel under a pseudonym in 1966. As well as working for decades as an academic, including as the former Head of the School of Psychiatry at UNSW, he has written for Oz Magazine, was a book reviewer for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian. He was also a writer for the Mavis Bramston Show, was a broadcaster for the ABC's Science Show, and had his first play performed in 2004.
Professor Parker developed an evidence-based bipolar self-test for the Black Dog Institute website that has 60,000 hits a month – it is anonymous, no cost and has close to 80% accuracy.
Find out more about bipolar disorder, seeking help and treatment options.
In Two Minds: A Novel will be published on 1 April by Ventura Press.