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Manic: A Memoir

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Manic: A Memoir Cover

ISBN13: 9780061430275
ISBN10: 0061430277
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

I didn't tell anyone that I was going to Santa Fe to kill myself.

On the outside, Terri Cheney was a highly successful, attractive Beverly Hills entertainment lawyer. But behind her seemingly flawless facade lay a dangerous secret--for the better part of her life Cheney had been battling debilitating bipolar disorder and concealing a pharmacy's worth of prescriptions meant to stabilize her moods and make her normal.

In bursts of prose that mirror the devastating highs and extreme lows of her illness, Cheney describes her roller-coaster life with shocking honesty--from glamorous parties to a night in jail; from flying fourteen kites off the edge of a cliff in a thunderstorm to crying beneath her office desk; from electroshock therapy to a suicide attempt fueled by tequila and prescription painkillers.

With Manic, Cheney gives voice to the unarticulated madness she endured. The clinical terms used to describe her illness were so inadequate that she chose to focus instead on her own experience, in her words, on what bipolar disorder felt like inside my own body. Here the events unfold episodically, from mood to mood, the way she lived and remembers life. In this way the reader is able to viscerally experience the incredible speeding highs of mania and the crushing blows of depression, just as Cheney did. Manic does not simply explain bipolar disorder--it takes us in its grasp and does not let go.

In the tradition of Darkness Visible and An Unquiet Mind, Manic is Girl, Interrupted with the girl all grown up. This harrowing yet hopeful book is more than just a searing insider's account of what it's really like to live with bipolar disorder. It is atestament to the sharp beauty of a life lived in extremes.

Synopsis:

An attractive, highly successful Beverly Hills entertainment lawyer, Terri Cheney had been battling debilitating bipolar disorder for the better part of her life—and concealing a pharmacys worth of prescription drugs meant to stabilize her moods and make her "normal." In explosive bursts of prose that mirror the devastating mania and extreme despair of her illness, Cheney describes her roller-coaster existence with shocking honesty, giving brilliant voice to the previously unarticulated madness she endured. Brave, electrifying, poignant, and disturbing, Manic does not simply explain bipolar disorder—it takes us into its grasp and does not let go.

About the Author

Having specialized in intellectual property and entertainment law at several prominent Los Angeles firms, Terri Cheney now devotes her talents to the cause of mental illness. She was named a member of the board of the California Bipolar Foundation and the Community Advisory Board of the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program. She is also the founder of a weekly support group at UCLAs Semel Institute. She lives in Los Angeles.

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crowyhead, March 6, 2009 (view all comments by crowyhead)
This is a very fast read, and Cheney offers incredibly vivid descriptions of what it is like to be in both manic and depressed states. Readers will quickly be swept up in the horror and confusion of Cheney's experiences, but overall the book lacks a certain amount of cohesion and organization. Cheney's intention in offering her experiences out of chronology and in an almost stream-of-consciousness manner seems to be to keep the reader as unbalanced as she is. This works, but unfortunately it also keeps the reader from gaining much in the way of understanding the practical fallout of the experiences she describes. For example, she describes in great detail how, under the influence of a delicious mania, she seduced her best friend's boyfriend -- but the reader doesn't get much in terms of the long-term consquences. We're left to assume that it ruined the friendship, but this is never stated outright. Similarly, I found myself repeatedly wondering how exactly Cheney supported herself after apparently going on many manic shopping sprees, enduring repeated hospitalizations, and losing (or quitting) several high-powered legal jobs. Ultimately, there is a slight impression that Cheney's life is now more under control than it once was, but there are very few details explaining how this finally came to be.

Overall, I recommend it as an excellent read for someone who wants to know what it feels like to be manic-depressive, but I would not recommend it as essential reading for someone who is coping with the disease, nor would I recommend it as an informational resource.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061430275
Author:
Cheney, Terri
Publisher:
Harper Paperbacks
Author:
by Terri Cheney
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Specific Groups - Special Needs
Subject:
Psychopathology - Manic Depressive Illness
Subject:
Psychopathology - Bipolar Disorder
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20090231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.89 in 22.80 oz

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Bipolar Disorder
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General Disorders
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mood Disorders and Depression
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Personality Disorders
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Psychopathology » Bipolar Disorder
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

Manic: A Memoir Used Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Harper Paperbacks - English 9780061430275 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An attractive, highly successful Beverly Hills entertainment lawyer, Terri Cheney had been battling debilitating bipolar disorder for the better part of her life—and concealing a pharmacys worth of prescription drugs meant to stabilize her moods and make her "normal." In explosive bursts of prose that mirror the devastating mania and extreme despair of her illness, Cheney describes her roller-coaster existence with shocking honesty, giving brilliant voice to the previously unarticulated madness she endured. Brave, electrifying, poignant, and disturbing, Manic does not simply explain bipolar disorder—it takes us into its grasp and does not let go.
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