Welcome The Hope Heals Symposium

Charita Cole Brown


Against doctors’ predictions, Charita Cole Brown has been living in bipolar I recovery for more than twenty-five years.

Charita Cole Brown was diagnosed with a severe form of bipolar disorder while finishing her final semester as an English major at Wesleyan University. Doctors predicted she would never lead a “normal” life. Despite that pessimistic prognosis and because she sought treatment, Charita went on to marry, raise a family, earn a Master’s degree in teaching and enjoy a fulfilling career in education. Her powerful story is chronicled in her award-winning debut book, Defying the Verdict: My Bipolar Life (Curbside Splendor Publishing, 2018).

Bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression) is highly treatable. However, of the estimated 5.7 million Americans living with the disorder, over 50% won’t seek treatment. The fact that the US suicide rate for people who have bipolar disorder is 12 times higher than that of the general population is even more sobering.

Brown’s mission is to help cure mental healthcare stigma by sharing her story.