A Bipolar Life

Book - 2008
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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.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2008.
ISBN: 9780618754458
Characteristics: 299 p. ; 22 cm.


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Jul 19, 2016

For those who read 'Wasted' now we find out what the real problem was. Not quite as luminous as 'Wasted' but required reading for those who enjoyed her previous book.


A pretty tough read, prepare if you have any degree of major sensitivity to do a lot of wincing. That said emotional issues and mental illness are never pretty, so I sort of expected her stories to be exactly as they were.

Jun 09, 2010

Beautifully written. Incredibly intense. I have to admit, as much as I wanted to read this book every minute of every day, I had to stop every once in a while and realise that it was her who was in pain, that the panic I felt was merely her words giving me the sense that I too was in pain.
But maybe that was the point. I have a new understanding for those suffering this degree of pain.

Jun 27, 2008

A very up front and graphic look at one person's experience with mental illness.

Certainly not for the faint of heart of for anyone just starting to learn about bipolar or mental illness.

The author's stream of consciousness style may apeal to those looking for a mind's eye look into the world of someone struggling with Bipolar Affective Disorder (Manic Depression).


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GSPLNadia Mar 31, 2015

GSPLNadia thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Jun 27, 2008

gryphon_aj thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Jun 27, 2008

A very stream of consciousness view of the life of a young woman dealing with issues related to her bipolar (manic depression) and other challenges in her life.


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Jun 27, 2008

Violence: vivid in your face imagery of self-destructive and self-harming behaviour


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