The Tattered Tapestry

A Family's Search for Peace with Bipolar Disorder

by Tom Smith, Kevin Smith & Karla Smith



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 8/17/2007

Recognition Programs

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 222
ISBN : 9781583483855
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 222
ISBN : 9780595894116

About the Book

"I am no longer a poet. I have lost all my words."

Vibrant, intelligent, and active, nineteen-year-old college student Karla Smith embraces the future with unbridled enthusiasm. But when she suddenly loses interest in everything she always loved, her family is understandably alarmed. Where is the bubbly, optimistic Karla they all know and love?

Weeks go by and Karla hides under her bedcovers, refuses to engage in any of her passions, and returns only a wall of silence to her family's pleading questions. Eventually diagnosed as bipolar, Karla experiences the illness's major symptoms of recurring depression and periodic mania. Her parents, Fran and Tom, and her twin brother, Kevin, endure her tragic lows and euphoric highs for seven long years before Karla loses the battle with her illness, committing suicide at the tender age of twenty-six.

The Smith family weaves threads of pain, confusion, grief, and hope into a moving portrait of the challenge and tragedy of bipolar disorder. But it's Karla's own story-her brave fight against the debilitating disorder and her enduring struggle for balance, acceptance, and peace-that lies at the heart of this book, offering hope and strength for everyone who suffers from bipolar disorder and their loved ones.

About the Author

Tom, Kevin, and Karla Smith all contributed to The Tattered Tapestry. Tom, along with his wife Fran, is a co-founder and co-director of the Karla Smith Foundation ( and is the author of several books. Kevin, also a co-founder and co-director of the foundation, works for Accenture, the largest consulting company in the world. Karla attended Oklahoma State University and was posthumously awarded a bachelor of arts degree in English in 2003.