BtR 395 Gregg Martin

Major General Gregg Martin’s Journey to Overcoming the Stigma Bipolar Disorder – BtR 395

In a powerful conversation about mental health, retired Major General Gregg Martin shares his struggle with bipolar disorder after serving in Iraq. With the stigma surrounding mental health in the military, he faced challenges and received anonymous letters questioning his mental state. But what happened when General Martin was presented with a choice that could change his life forever? Find out in this gripping episode of Beyond the Rut.

The Ups and Downs of Bipolar Disorder

Have you ever heard these myths about mental health in veterans? Myth #1: Only veterans with combat experience suffer from mental health issues. Myth #2: Seeking help is a sign of weakness. Myth #3: Time will heal all wounds. Stay tuned as our guest, Maj. Gen. Gregg Martin, debunks these myths and shares the truth about the importance of mental health in veterans.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Discover the importance of prioritizing mental health in your transition to civilian life.
  • Explore the power of peer support in maintaining your mental well-being.
  • Learn effective strategies for overcoming the stigma surrounding mental health in the veteran community.

My special guest is MG (Ret.) Gregg Martin

Retired Major General Gregg Martin, a highly accomplished U.S. Army veteran, joins Jerry Dugan on this episode of Beyond the Rut. With a military career spanning several decades, General Martin brings a wealth of firsthand experience and knowledge to the topic of mental health in veterans. 

His newest book, Bipolar General: My Forever War with Mental Illness, details his personal journey with bipolar disorder and sheds light on the importance of proactive support and help-seeking for veterans transitioning back into civilian life. 

Bipolar General Cover

Through his advocacy work, General Martin aims to improve the mental health and overall well-being of veterans by promoting awareness and destigmatizing mental health issues. With his extensive background and deep commitment to the cause, General Martin offers valuable insights and practical advice for veterans and their families. 

Tune in to this enlightening conversation and gain a deeper understanding of the importance of prioritizing mental health in the veteran community.


00:05:16 – Bipolar Disorder Unmasked

00:07:42 – Discovery and Resignation

00:09:47 – Misdiagnosis and Bipolar Spiral

00:10:06 – Gratitude and Survival

00:14:54 – The Start of the Bipolar Journey

00:16:05 – Support from General Dempsey

00:17:31 – Support from Family and Friends

00:18:29 – Importance of Medical Professionals

00:22:25 – Overcoming Stigma

00:30:17 – Importance of Mental Health 

Importance of prioritizing mental health

The conversation with Gregg Martin underlines the significance of mental health in a holistic wellbeing approach, especially for veterans. Dealing with undiagnosed mental conditions for years can lead to detrimental effects on a person’s professional and personal life. Early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve the quality of life and pave the way for success in life beyond service.

Power of peer support

The ability to connect with others who have lived through similar experiences can be invaluable, according to Gregg. In the journey of dealing with mental health issues, peer support provides comfort, reduces feelings of isolation, and can offer practical tips for coping. In scenarios where professional help may seem daunting or inaccessible, having a peer who understands your struggles can make a significant difference.

Overcoming the stigma surrounding mental health 

Stigma can often deter individuals from seeking help for mental health issues, fearing judgment or misunderstanding. This conversation emphasizes the need to alter that perception and normalize discussions around mental health, particularly within the veteran community. Gregg Martin’s example serves as a reminder that acknowledging struggles and reaching out for help is not a weakness but a critical step toward recovery and resilience.

Create a life worth living in your faith, family, and career

MG (Ret. ) Gregg Martin – Bipolar General

Gregg Martin, PhD, is a retired major general and a 36-year Army combat veteran with a remarkable career. He commanded an engineer company, battalion, and the 130th Engineer Brigade in combat, and held prestigious roles such as the president of the National Defense University, commander of Ft. Leonard Wood, and commandant of the Army War College. 

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A survivor of bipolar disorder, Gregg’s resilience in the face of mental health challenges is awe-inspiring. He is also a qualified Airborne Ranger, Engineer, and Army Strategist, showcasing his versatility and expertise.

Alongside his military achievements, Gregg is an accomplished author, known for his book BIPOLAR GENERAL: My Forever War with Mental Illness where he candidly shares his personal struggles and triumphs. He holds advanced degrees from MIT (a PhD and two master’s degrees), the Naval War College, and the Army War College, in addition to his BS degree from West Point. 

Currently residing in Cocoa Beach, Florida, he finds strength and support in his loving wife, making the most of life’s simple joys together. Gregg Martin’s journey exemplifies the indomitable spirit, offering hope and inspiration to others facing adversity in their lives.


Book Gregg Martin to speak at your next event at

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Other episodes and articles you’ll enjoy:

Ryan Mains Ultrarunning to Raise Awareness for Firefighter PTSD – BtR 230

Healing Lives: Dr. Corey Gilbert’s Transformative Ministry for Men Healing from Trauma – BtR 346

Compassion Fatigue – When Their Trauma Becomes Your Trauma BtR 063

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Hosted and Edited by Jerry Dugan


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