The world of mental health, both clinical diagnosis and treatment, is bewildering at best. Complicating the picture further are the stereotypes imposed on those who most need support from their families and communities. While well meaning community leaders, scientists and mental health practitioners can press forward with changing the quality of lives for those challenged by the extremes of mental experiences, it takes the honesty, bravery and intellect of someone like Brad Esau to bridge the gap for those in need of understanding and guidance. Brad isn't a trained scientist or clinician. Brad is a compassionate and intelligent individual who can speak directly to the experiences of some diagnosed with a mental illness. Whatever your diagnosis or lack thereof, there's something about the raw honesty and well thought out advice in Brad's conversations that will help raise the quality of your life. I recommend that you add Brad's work to your reading regimen.
I came across Brad and his blog about two years ago (fall of 2013) and have known him and followed his blog since then. From the enormous creativeness of the blog's name to the meticulous and well worded prose translated from very difficult science content, there is nothing not to love about Brad Esau's blog, Taming the Polar Bears.
Working with neuroscientists on a daily basis, I've been taught to distinguish the real from the fake and to appreciate the enormous abilities it requires to sort through the paths of the mind as well as searching for the truths that explain many of our lives.
Brad explores bipolar and other mental health disorders with a rarely seen authenticity of mind, spirit and scientific integrity. In my opinion, his material is worth archiving and you can't get any better than that.
Christy Johnson, Business Manager, Society for Mind and Brain Sciences
Brad Esau is one of the most remarkable persons in the neuroscience scene dealing with mental health disorders. It's his personal perspective and experience, powered by a tremendous amount of neuroscience knowledge, that invite the reader to walk in his shoes and to better understand what so-called mental health disorders are and what they mean.
It's not primarily a scientific interest to understand the matter. Brad's "Taming The Polar Bears" is first and foremost written based on the burning desire to understand what's going on in his brain and to develop and share principles and models how to live with those mental health disorders.
Brad's unique perspective of neuroscience, knowledge, experience and expertise, and his wisdom from walking the path - leveraged by his passion for writing - make a huge difference and create a very specific value for the readers of Taming The Polar Bears."
- Tamara Schenk - Research Director at MHI Research Institute
From my first interactions with Brad in early 2013, I could sense his passion for neuroscience. Over the last several years I have seen him take that passion and blend it with an unmatched discipline to delve deep into the world of understanding the brain, its functions and human behaviour. Brad leverages his own personal history of bipolar disorder as a resource as he takes readers on a first person tour of the working of the mind on his blog Taming the Polar Bears. He has done years of meticulous research into the disorder and other aspects of neuroscience through a combination of reading research articles and daily conversations with the leading minds in the field. I continue to be impressed with his insights and daily diligence and look forward to his continued contributions to the field.
Mani Saint-Victor, M.D.
I heartily recommend Brad Esau's wonderful and courageous blog full of wisdom, insight, compassion, and brilliance. We all struggle with something or another in our lives. Brad lays bare his own journey so that we can learn and grow alongside him. I am moved to the very core of my being by Brad's courage and generosity.
One of the things that impresses me most about Brad is the inexhaustible personal integrity he brings to his struggles and his efforts to understand them as fully and deeply as possible. Brad plumbs the depths of neuroscience literature, consults experts, and subjects conventional pharmacological treatment approaches and his own thought processes to equally fierce scrutiny. He is unflinching in his honesty, unflagging in his persistence, and deeply committed to sharing his hard won understanding of the complex, interconnected biological and psychological processes that drive bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and mitochondrial disease.
Board Certified Senior Fellow in Neurofeedback
Department of Clinical Psychology, Saybrook University