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Local author Flake to sign book

POSTED: January 3, 2013 12:30 a.m.

Natalie Flake, a resident of Cleveland, will be making an appearance at Java Joe’s Coffee Shoppe, 1349 Washington St. in Clarkesville to sign copies of her book, “Tears to Joy: Finding Hope in the Presence of Bipolar Disorder and Suicide.”

After four years of marriage, Flake’s husband, Michael, had transformed into a different person overnight. Plagued with depression, he struggled to regain his normally cheerful and outgoing personality. After the depression came terrifying fits of rage and frenzied behavior that Michael couldn’t control and Natalie was helpless to understand.

The couple did their best to hide the crippling effects Michael’s bizarre behavior had on them, but their marriage was falling apart. Eventually, Michael was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Throughout the years that followed the birth of their daughter, Michael fought an internal battle for normalcy, both taking and refusing medication as his mood swings dictated. Eventually, Michael’s illness drove him to the point of desperation, devastating his friends and family when they learned of his suicide.

In “Tears to Joy,” Flake details the tribulations of dealing with mental illness in a loved one. Debunking stigma and presenting practical advice, she offers hope to readers whose loved ones have dealt with mental illness or suicide, and even to those who have struggled with it themselves.

Flake will be on hand from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5. Copies of her book will be available for purchase. For more information about Flake, visit

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