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Madness: A Bipolar Life Paperback – 16 Apr 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; First Edition First Printing edition (16 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007250649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007250646
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

‘A brave and engagingly entertaining survivor. The value of “Madness” is its first-hand description of bipolarity.’ John Sutherland, Financial Times

‘A writer’s exploration of the mental illness that has defined and at times destroyed her life. “Madness: A Bipolar Life” makes the starkest fact about bipolar disorder painfully clear.’ Sara Keating, Sunday Business Post

‘Unsettling, moving, “Madness: A Bipolar Life” is a vivid look into the whirling highs and horrible lows of a life lived with mental illness’. The Gloss magazine

‘Devastatingly frank’. Stella magazine

Synopsis

A searing, unflinching and deeply moving account of Marya Hornbacher's personal experience of living with bipolar disorder. From the age of six, Marya Hornbacher knew that something was terribly wrong with her, manifesting itself in anorexia and bulimia which she documented in her bestselling memoir 'Wasted'. But it was only eighteen years later that she learned the true underlying reason for her distress: bipolar disorder. In this new, equally raw and frank account, Marya Hornbacher tells the story of her ongoing battle with this most pervasive and devastating of mental illnesses; how, as she puts it, 'it crept over me like a vine, sending out tentative shoots in my childhood, taking deeper root in my adolescence, growing stronger in my early adulthood, eventually covering my body and face until I was unrecognizable, trapped, immobilized'. She recounts the soaring highs and obliterating lows of her condition; the savage moodswings and impossible strains it placed on her relationships; the physical danger it has occasionally put her in; the endless cycle of illness and recovery.She also tackles the paradoxical aspects of bipolar disorder -- how it has been the drive behind some of her most creative work -- and the reality of a life lived in limbo, 'caught between the world of the mad and the world of the sane'.

Yet for all the torment it documents, this is a book about survival, about living day to day with bipolar disorder -- the constant round of therapy and medication -- and managing it. As well as her own highly personal story, the book includes interviews with family, spouses and friends of sufferers, the people who help their loved ones carry on. Visceral and inspiring, lyrical and sometimes even funny, 'Madness' will take its place alongside other classics of the genre such as 'An Unquiet Mind' and 'Girl, Interrupted'.

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