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Madness: A Bipolar Lifeby Marya Hornbacher
Synopses & Reviews
An astonishing dispatch from inside the belly of bipolar disorder, reflecting major new insights.
When Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, she did not yet have the piece of shattering knowledge that would finally make sense of the chaos of her life. At age twenty-four, Hornbacher was diagnosed with Type I rapid-cycle bipolar, the most severe form of bipolar disorder.
In Madness, in her trademark wry and utterly self-revealing voice, Hornbacher tells her new story. Through scenes of astonishing visceral and emotional power, she takes us inside her own desperate attempts to counteract violently careening mood swings by self-starvation, substance abuse, numbing sex, and self-mutilation. How Hornbacher fights her way up from a madness that all but destroys her, and what it is like to live in a difficult and sometimes beautiful life and marriage — where bipolar always beckons — is at the center of this brave and heart-stopping memoir.
Madness delivers the revelation that Hornbacher is not alone: millions of people in America today are struggling with a variety of disorders that may disguise their bipolar disease. And Hornbacher's fiercely self-aware portrait of her own bipolar as early as age four will powerfully change, too, the current debate on whether bipolar in children actually exists.
Ten years after Kay Redfield Jamison's An Unquiet Mind, this storm of a memoir will revolutionize our understanding of bipolar disorder.
"Hornbacher, who detailed her struggle with bulimia and anorexia in Wasted, now shares the story of her lifelong battle with mental illness, finally diagnosed as rapid cycling type 1 bipolar disorder. Even as a toddler, Hornbacher couldn't sleep at night and jabbered endlessly, trying to talk her parents into going outside to play in the dark. Other schoolchildren called her crazy. When she was just 10, she discovered alcohol was a good 'mood stabilizer'; by age 14, she was trading sex for pills. In her late teens, her eating disorder landed her in the hospital, followed by another body obsession, cutting. An alcoholic by this point, she was alternating between mania and depression, with frequent hospitalizations. Her doctor explained that not only did the alcohol block her medications, it was up to her to control her mental illness, which would always be with her. This truth didn't sink in for a long, long time, but when it did, she had a chance for a life outside her local hospital's psychiatric unit. Hornbacher ends on a cautiously optimistic note — she knows she'll never lead a 'normal life,' but maybe she could live with the life she does have. Although painfully self-absorbed, Hornbacher will touch a nerve with readers struggling to cope with mental illness." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"That the book was finished at all is a great tribute to Hornbacher's resilience. Followers of Wasted and other literary recovery memoirs will clamor for this." Library Journal
"Blurs the line between imagination and memory so thoroughly that truth struggles for visibility." Kirkus Reviews
In the tradition of Andrew Solomon and Kay Redfield Jamison, an examination of the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder on American life, by an ex-Marine and war correspondent who suffers from the condition.
In the tradition of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Noonday Demon, a moving, eye-opening exploration of PTSD
Just as polio loomed over the 1950s, and AIDS stalked the 1980s and ’90s, posttraumatic stress disorder haunts us in the early years of the twenty-first century. Over a decade into the United States’ “global war on terror,” PTSD afflicts as many as 30 percent of the conflict’s veterans. But the disorder’s reach extends far beyond the armed forces. In total, some twenty-seven million Americans are believed to be PTSD survivors. Yet to many of us, the disorder remains shrouded in mystery, secrecy, and shame.
Now, David J. Morris — a war correspondent, former Marine, and PTSD sufferer himself — has written the essential account of this illness. Through interviews with individuals living with PTSD, forays into the scientific, literary, and cultural history of the illness, and memoir, Morris crafts a moving work that will speak not only to those with the condition and to their loved ones, but also to all of us struggling to make sense of an anxious and uncertain time.
About the Author
Marya Hornbacher was twenty-four when she was diagnosed with Type 1 rapid-cycle bipolar. She is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated national bestseller Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, a book that remains an intensely read classic, and of the acclaimed novel The Center of Winter. An award-winning journalist, she lectures nationally on eating disorders and writing and lives with her husband in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Cut: November 5, 1994 1
Part I The Goatman: 1978 11 What They Know: 1979 14 Depression: 1981 19 Prayer: 1983 20 Food: 1984 22 The Booze under the Stove: 1985 23 Meltdown: 1988 26 Escapes: Michigan, 1989 35 Minneapolis: 1990 37 California: 1990 39 Minneapolis: 1991 41 Washington, D.C.: 1992 44 1993 45 1994 45 Full Onset: 1995 47
Part II The New Life: 1996 53 The Diagnosis: April 1997 59 The Break: July 1997, Nine A.M. 71 Unit 47: Same Day 73 Tour: January 1998 82 Hypomania: July 1998 88 Jeremy: Later That Summer 93 Therapy: 1999 106 Losing It: Winter 1999 112 Crazy Sean: June 2000 114 Oregon: August 2000 121 Day Treatment: Late August 2000 133 Attic, Basement: Fall 2000 141 Valentines Day: 2001 149 Coming to Life: Summer 2001 152 Jeff: Fall 2001 155 The Good Life: Summer 2002 159 The Magazine: November 2002 163 Fall 2003 168
Part III The Missing Years 175 Hospitalization #1: January 2004 175 Hospitalization #2: April 2004 181 Hospitalization #3: July 2004 186 Hospitalization #4: October 2004 189 Hospitalization #5: January 2005 192 Hospitalization #6: April 2005 196 Hospitalization #7: July 2005 202 Release: August 2005 207
Part IV Fall 2006 221 Winter 2006 242 Spring 2007 248 Summer 2007 258 Epilogue 273 Bipolar Facts 281 my bipolar facts 284 Useful Websites 285 Useful Contacts 291 Research Resources 293 Bibliography 294 Acknowledgments
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