At the age of 24 Dawn was preparing to move to Colorado with her boyfriend when she was overtaken by a manic episode which included severe anxiety, hallucinations, and paranoia. She recalls driving around a hospital parking lot debating whether or not she could survive if she did not go in and face the fear of admitting she had a mental illness from which she may never recover. She decided not to go in and she turned to her boyfriend and his family for support. Gradually she recovered and believed she would never have to face that fear again, but that was not the outcome. It took years for her to begin to open up about the experience and several more episodes before she accepted a diagnosis of Bipolar.
In Bridging the Bipolar Gap Dawn examines the beliefs and attitudes that she held that both helped her to live life despite her illness, but also prevented her from fully acknowledging it. She shares her journey through a critique of societal and historical perspectives of mental illness, and how she eventually had to face those issues in order to accept a diagnosis. Her expectations were that in order to live a full life she needed to cure herself of bipolar. What she found was that by fully accepting her illness she could live life more fully, deepen her relationships with those closest to her, and reach out to others.