Madness: A Bipolar Life

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Madness: A Bipolar Life

by Marya Hornbacher

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | April 1, 2009 | Trade Paperback |

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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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: April 1, 2009

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0547237804

ISBN - 13: 9780547237800

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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– More About This Product –

Madness: A Bipolar Life

Madness: A Bipolar Life

by Marya Hornbacher

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: April 1, 2009

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0547237804

ISBN - 13: 9780547237800

About the Book

In her trademark wry and self-revealing voice, the bestselling author of "Wasted" tells her story of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and takes readers inside her own desperate attempts to control her violently careening mood swings.

Read from the Book

The Goatman 1978 I will not go to sleep. I won''t. My parents, who are always going to bed, tell me that I can stay up if I want, but for God''s sake, don''t come out of my room. I am four years old and I like to stay up all night. I sing my songs, very quietly. I keep watch. Nothing can get me if I am awake. I sleep during the day like a bat with the blinds closed, and then they come home. I hear them open the door, and I fling on the lights and gallop through the house shrieking to wake the dead all evening, all night. Let''s have a play! I shout. Let''s have a ballet! A reading! A race! Don''t tell me what to do, get away from me, I hate you, you''re never any fun, you never let me do anything, I want to go to the opera! I want opera glasses! I''m going to be an explorer! I don''t care if I track mud all over the house, let''s get another dog! I want an Irish setter, I want a camel! I want an Easter dress! I''m going ice-skating! Right now, yes! Where are the car keys? Of course I can drive! Fine, go to bed! See if I care! And I slam into my room, dive onto the bed, kick and scream, get bored, read a book, shouting at the top of my lungs, ?I don''t care," says Pierre! And the lion says, ?Then I will eat you, if I may." ?I don''t care, says Pierre!" It is my favorite Maurice Sendak book. I jabber to my imaginary friends Susie and Sackie and Savvy and Cindy, who tell me secrets and stay with me all night while I am keeping watch, while I am guarding the castle, and there are
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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 Valentine''s 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

From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

Marya Hornbacher 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 the acclaimed novel The Center of Winter. An award-winning journalist, she lectures nationally on writing and mental health and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Editorial Reviews

Like a horror-movie sequence that threatens never to end, Hornbacher''s testimony grabs and doesn''t let go through episode after episode of bulimia, substance abuse, and promiscuity. Mania with its attendant voices plagued Hornbacher ever since she can remember. Extreme mood swings finally led to diagnosis at 24 of bipolarity. Possibly genetic, given a family history rife with anecdotes implying mental instability going back for generations, Hornbacher''s bipolar disorder is a label she initially rejected, though she responded to medication for it. She married, and threw herself into overworking that triggered recurrences of the mood swings, two years of repeated hospitalization, then electroconvulsive therapy. With cutting perception and skill, she makes palpable not only madness'' losses but the things gained as well.
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