High Tide, Low Tide: The Caring Friend’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder


How Can You Be a Good Friend, When Your Friend Lives with Mental Illness?

We all want to be there for our friends, but when your friend lives with mental illness it can be hard to know what to do, especially if you live far apart. In their new book, High Tide, Low Tide: The Caring Friend’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder, transatlantic best friends Martin Baker and Fran Houston share what they’ve learned about growing a supportive, mutually rewarding friendship between a “well one” and an “ill one,” no matter how far apart you live. Their motto: No one is too far away to be cared for, or to care.


High Tide, Low Tide offers no-nonsense advice from the caring friend’s point of view, original approaches and practical tips, illustrated with real-life conversations and examples. Discover how to support your friend and celebrate each other, whether you live on the same street or oceans apart. Learn the key skills and attitudes you need for a successful caring friendship, and strategies to support your friend through episodes of mania, depression, and suicidal thinking, whilst also taking care of yourself.



This book is a brilliant practical guide to understanding your friend’s diagnosis and symptoms, the reality of treatments and therapies, and how to overcome the challenges of long-distance communication. More than that, it is a book about what friendship means.

—Rachel Kelly, author of Black Rainbow: How words healed me: my journey through depression and Walking on Sunshine: 52 Small Steps to Happiness, journalist, mental health campaigner, Ambassador for SANE and Rethink Mental Illness.


Friendship soothes the soul and provides hope for people with bipolar disorder and yet the illness creates unique challenges to the friendships we so desperately want and need. Marty and Fran specifically address these challenges in this bright, uplifting and brutally honest book.

—Julie A. Fast, author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder, and Get it Done When You’re Depressed, critically acclaimed speaker, family and partner coach.

Marty and Fran’s story is a great example of how crucial friends and family are to someone living with a mental health disorder.

—Donna Betts, Executive Director, Family Hope


About the Authors

A successful electrical engineer until illness struck, author and photographer Fran Houston has lived with bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia for over twenty years. Fran lives in Portland, Maine, and is passionate about making invisible illness visible. Three thousand miles away in the north-east of England, Martin Baker is an ASIST trained Mental Health First Aider and Time to Change Champion. A member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mind, and Bipolar UK, Martin is also Fran’s primary support and lifeline.

Martin Baker author page: www.nordlandpublishing.com/authors/martin-baker

Fran Houston author page: www.nordlandpublishing.com/authors/fran-houston

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