Madness: A Bipolar Life

Madness: A Bipolar LifeAn Astonishing Dispatch From Inside The Belly Of Bipolar Disorder, Reflecting Major New InsightsWhen 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 DisorderIn 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 MemoirMadness 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 ExistsTen Years After Kay Redfield Jamison S An Unquiet Mind, This Storm Of A Memoir Will Revolutionize Our Understanding Of Bipolar Disorder I read Hornbacher s first memoir, Wasted, a decade ago and was impressed by the strength of her voice then But while she d managed to fight back against her eating disorder, it turns out that she hadn t even begun to deal with her alcoholism and, fundamentally, had only just begun to confront her bipolar condition This memoir deals with that story, with an even stronger personal emphasis than I recall from her first book Like her first book, it s definitely not a feel good memoir, nor a triumph over adversity. Hornbacher s stories terrify me And ashamedly, the entire time that I was reading Madness , all I could think about was how glad I was that I am not that crazy It also proves the fact that human beings can be very resilient, tenacious fuckers Having also read Wasted , I can t believe this woman is still alive She s like an extreme condition crash test dummy I ve struggled with rather severe anxiety for years, with derealisation, panic attacks and so on and each time I ve had these episodes if it went on for too long, say TWO days I wanted to kill myself I ve had the odd bout of depression, with a handful of suicidal days And I m terrified of that reoccuring And I only get GENERIC depression Hornbacher makes me feel like a pansy To think that there are people out there that have it so much tougher, is mind boggling to me Where do they pull the strength from Mental illness is scary This book scared me The cover on my edition was pretty, it s blue with cute pictures and soothed me into a state of false calm everytime I had to close it to get a breather Which I had to do often The blue cover with pretty pictures was the only pleasant thing about this book Hornbacher is relentless, self destructive and frustrating Every time I have ever gotten mentally unstable, I ve latched onto whatever help I can get I obey orders, I m frightened of insanity To read of someone disobeying, of spitting in their own sanity s face, so to speak is shocking to me I love Hornbacher s books I would have given this a 4, but I gave Wasted a 4 and I thought that Wasted was a lot better I found Wasted interesting, hard hitting, better written Madness , to me, felt like it was a little lost, a little bit vacant but it still takes you on quite the rollercoaster Reading this was like stepping into a whole different world When I stop reading, I look around at my life and it looks like it s painted in pastels I might as well be wearing disposable adult diapers and playing bingo in a nursing home I am HALF ASLEEP compared to this woman, fuck, I m comatose really Hornbacher s world is technicolour And fast And spinning And painful And loud And fucking demented I need a Valium to soothe my frazzled nerves from reading this book. One of the most touching memoirs I have ever read I can t get enough of Marya Hornbacher s writing Not only that, but I m continuously tempted to keep checking up on her to see how she is faring.Having a friend whose sister has a personality disorder has made me almost morbidly interested in mental illness This is the first book that has actually helped me understand her sisters behaviour In fact, it s nearly impossible to understand considering it doesn t make sense to someone who does not suffer from mental illness.I read this book in a few hours on a bus tour I literally couldn t stop even to listen to what the guide was telling me Marya has this amazing way of sucking you into her story, and helping you feel what she felt at the time Like her, you ll experience a roller coaster of emotions You ll root for Marya, you ll cry for her, you ll despair with her You ll recover with her and then be completely disappointed and confused once the madness hits again But her story really gets a cross the message that madness is not something you can consciously stop, no matter how badly you may want to Once it hits you, you are at its beck and call If it tells you to do something, you do it and question later It is truly a terrifying life to lead For those of you who want a happy ending look elsewhere The happy ending here is that Marya has not yet succeeded in accidentally or purposefully killing herself or others She does not recover from her disease In fact, she cannot She can only learn to live with it and try her best, through routine, to keep the madness at bay Absolutely beautiful storytelling not for the faint of heart. Marya Hornbacher is better known for her memoir Wasted , which she wrote, no, published, at the age of twenty two , and which went viral, in which she spares no gruesome detail of her frankly horrific altercation with anorexia and bulimia, and in which she drops to just 52 pounds, almost dies hmmm, obviously , but emerges triumphant well, barring infertility, osteoporosis and some other organ failure residuals, I forget which , to beat the disease, finish off college and publish a book, did I say, at the age of 22 I am woman, hear me roar, eh, eh But thats not all This woman is definitely not a one pony track Erm, a one track pony Or was it trick Uh, fuggedaboutit What it is is, anorexia and bulimia is just one of a whole host of party tricks Hornbacher has up her sleeve There is also, it emergeth, alcoholism, bipolar type I the most serious type, apparently , connected with and connecting to paranoia, nymphomania, addiction, shopaholicism, and basically all kinds of other fodder for future memoirs, not just Madness Which, frankly, she needs to churn out because her medical expenses are astronomical and none of her three insurance companies are prepared to stump out Bastards Come here, Marya, the NHS will see you alright.Marya Hornbacher seems to exist in two states hyper mania during which she is incredibly creative, sociable, productive and positive, and hospitalised, in a catatonic cum zombie stasis All of which is described eloquently, poignantly and heartbreakingly.Well, she can describe and scribe and shout from the mountain tops till the cows come home, but I don t understand a thing Now, if I had read this book in say June, I would have understood everything Dunning Kruger effect On some level I resonate here I m a high functioning mad woman myself The problem is, I m just a different kind of crazy from Marya, notwithstanding the fact that we share a fair number of addictions and personality traits Does one alcoholic resemble another, for arguments sake If no, why not Marya drinks, and the space time continuum goes into warp overdrive Whole days, weeks, even months fold into themselves and disappear in a black hole, in a rabbits hole, whatever she s suddenly shacked out back and engaged to the local wino, subsidising the bartender s annual Disneyland vacation, nary a care in the world, as time is Matrixed in between binges The thing is, she can let go Now, I m not necessarily extolling the virtues of an alcohol crazed pandemonium, but, I am, in fact, extolling it because I m jealous, so there jealous In my deepest, most profound succumb to ness, I have never known surrender no amount of alcohol has ever been enough to wrestle the mantle of reality, and responsibility, from the repressed recesses of my mind A binge has only ever achieved my temporary physical surrender, whilst my mind remains trapped in its harness I never manage to lose time its there to greet me the day after the night before, as I haul my wastedness across town to the Floor I have, despite my very bestest efforts, never managed to lose even a single day So If Marya laments total loss of control, I lament the lack of No matter what I do, I can Not Escape from myself This is why Aritha Van Herk and Restlessness strikes such a cord with me someone, finally, who understands Marya wants to find herself, find the equilibrium where she can exist, whereas I just want to lose myself This is how our goals differ I have found myself already, and its not enough Lets talk about madness If two crazy people meet, would they click Even Marya says no You have to be crazy in the same way for it to work When she hooks up with a buddy, Sean, they spend a relatively calm week in the Badlands like two psychos on a bender would, before madness incompatibility kicks in Each lunatic thinks the other is just too crazy, and they have to part ways for the good of the planet Hah In John Cassavetes A Woman Under The Influence , Mabel and Nick, and in Kudes Somnambuul, Aetla and her father madmen rubbing shoulders but existing in parallel universes, because each is mad in their own special way.I ran into a couple of bonafide high functioning psychos just recently and for the first time this is the one where initially think you are dealing with a normal person Things happen You think YOU are losing YOUR mind And then you find out you ve been had by one who flew over the cuckoo s nest This is the abridged version of a fairly traumatic experience, which made me question the reality of reality and my understanding of any other reality which is ultimately not my own crazy reality I ve only now been able to put it behind me Afterwards, and resultantly Here is what happened a charity which I have been supporting as a NED for ten years deals with accommodated housing for mentally ill people I joined this SME all this time ago, I will admit, not for purely altruistic reasons I needed a stepping stone into paid portfolio work and took this pro bono directorship because it was right here, right now., thank you very much Things have moved on since then considerably , but I retain myself on this meagre Board all this time without pay, my only altruistic endeavour ironically , now, because it grew on me the trials and tribulations, the financial crisis, the mergers, the tenders and bids the lives of these people matter But on 10 August I resigned I felt morally obliged to do so, having realised that I was only paying lipservice to the whole issue of mental illness I did not understand it, I was scared by it, I was a fraud imagine campaigning the cause of mental illness when I truly, really, madly, have no idea whatsoever what its about What was I thinking I only know my own madness, and itspersonal Here is what happened On 11 August the CEO of the Charity gate crashed my front drive and staged a Mexican standoff I rescind my resignation or he ll just make camp on my driveway till I do Here is what happened He don t give a damn about my moral quandary, because here is what happened without me there to audit their accounts, sort out their HR issues, Company Secretary issues, merger contract issues, tender documentation issues, name your issue issues, all kinds of fucking issues, all gratis, he s got a QE issue Here is what happened What to do What would you do I m worth over thousands to this charity for services rendered, dead or alive ok, alive Come see Ruby Wax, he said Here is what happened I did At the Red Lion on 15 August Here is what happened I came out fucked than when I went in Paranoia Bring it on Ruby Wax is insane but she s not my kind of insane What if these people damage ME beyond repair Should an unengaged clueless individual contribute to charity fraudulently Is this mitigated by the fact that the charity is benefitting regardless of the intentions of said individual If bad intentions reap good results is this OK Here is what happened I read this book My bid to understand, to relate, to connect Now I know, somewhere, on the spectrum, I m pretty mad myself Mad and mad and alternating between the two, but in a candle burnt out in the wind way, not a lying cheating, hallucinating, highly functioning insane kind of way Not that these people, not that Marya, is lying to ME when she fugues out I understand thats not the intention Its by lying to HERSELF that stokes up the trouble When a person lies to themselves, they appropriate a false reality, which they project to those around them as fricking gospel truth The sincerity and forcefulness of the message is enough to throw anyone within a mile radius off kilter In a mania, this woman is unstoppable, no feat is too small, and her sundry achievements belie the price she will be imminently paying the piper the inevitable crash But its pretty much unknowable stuff So, what was I gonna do with this charity Here is what happened What needs to be said about Marya, is that she suffers from one of the most severe cases of Bipolar disorder, type 1 which includes full on mania and psychosis that can last for years untreated , with rapid cycling It s not like Bipolar II where you experience hypomania and depression where the depression can be in play than hypomania She suffered wild psychosis and mania for a long time, and addiction is a big part of people diagnosed with Bipolar I understand that this is a memoir, not a book that should be fictional, sugarcoated with the end that she is fine and recovered because Bipolar Disorder is not something you can ever recover from It s manageable toa certain point, but the disease itself is chronic It makes you do strange things because you just DO When you have bipolar or have a significant other suffering from the same disorder, things get grim really, really fast As far as I have come in her book, I get the impression that this book was written to portray how badly she suffered I just read the part where she asked one of her friends how it s like to have a friend that is suffering from the disease, and the friend says that it s not that different, just that she s afraid that she ll commit suicide which she understands, in sorrow, because she has seen the suffering take its toll And it s true what Marya says a lot of Bipolar people visit their doctor or therapist before killing themselves To me, it has been a very insightful book about HOW she deals with her disorder while trying to manage a normal life at the same time It s not about God, being hopeful or any of that It s about accepting the cards she s dealt in life and how she continues to live with it I hope that the readers of this book understand that with Bipolar, there is seldom a blissful, happy ending So she does yoga or whatever to keep herself healthy There is only so much damage control you can do to keep your mind and body in check I commend Marya for portraying the good sides and the bad with this disorder I guess you have to experience it to appreciate this memoir Her book about eating disorders appealed to a wider public because 1 it was written before her Bipolar disorder came out of the woodworks it usually does in your 20 s , and2 Eating disorders are a whole lot easier to understand, and a topic that is very much spoken about Bipolar though, or the old term Manic Depressive , is hard to understand The mortality rate of Bipolar Disorder no matter which kind, is horrifying I like this book because it is honest and tells the tale of what it is like to live with this demon on your back It sure made me understand my friend who is diagnosed with rapid cycling, as well as my biological mother who placed me for adoption This book gives you a first hand look at how badly this disorder can take over your life and make you do crazy stuff when you have no control of your mind or body Even though this book is grim and disturbing at times, it does not sugarcoat the disorder It is honest, spot on and to me, a good insight of a woman experiencing madness. By her early 20s Marya Hornbacher had written and published a memoir about living with and beginning to recover from anorexia and bulimia That book, Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia became an international bestseller Hornbacher was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, something which had likely gone undetected since childhood Undetected in the sense that it was undiagnosed, but as Madness shows Hornbacher has been living with mental illness from a young age.Hornbacher doesn t shy away from the realities of manic depression, particularly when it is rapid cycling and features psychosis. Madness A Bipolar Life is a riveting memoir about the most severe form of bipolar disorder called Rapid Cycling Type 1 She describes her struggles with the demons she faces every day, wavering between madness and deep bouts of depression.As early as the age of 4 Marya Hornbacher was unable to sleep and night and talked endlessly Once she was in school, other children called her crazy By the age of 10 she discovered alcohol helped her mood swings, and by age 14, she was trading sex for pills In her late teens, her eating disorder landed her in the hospital when he weight fell to just 52 pounds She also cycled into another body obsession, cutting In and out of psychiatric hospitals numerous times, she was 24 before she was accurately diagnosed as Bipolar.Hornbacher, 34, is the author of 3 books To me it would seem impossible to be able to write 1 book never mind 3 with this disorder as horrific as she describes In the end, however, this was a satisfying, page turning memoir In addition, the book includes a detailed resource section with statistics and information on bipolar disorder. i have to say, she totally won me over it was amazing because i wasn t sure if Marya Hornbacher could do it, but she redeemed herself by being honest and upfront and REAL about her illness and willingness to get better than she was in Wasted, and than Elizabeth Wurtzel ever, ever did this is best example of mania i have ever read it is so true to life, and so true to form it s really impressive how much insight she has into her illness when she lacked so much before but it s like the eating disorder was just a cover for the bipolarity, and once she got the true diagnosis, she was able to kind of figure things out but she doesn t take the easy way out she admits the mistakes she makes, she says that she does things she doesn t understand herself it s so true when you are manic depressed, there often isn t any rationality to your behavior or at least any that you can see at the time it s amazing how honest she is with herself she admits her mistakes, she knows when she is screwed up she doesn t blame the fact that she doesn t listen to her doctors on anyone other than herself i ll probably write a glowing review later, but this really is one of the most incredible books that actually grasps mental illness and what it s like without blaming anyone at all and unlike the end of Wasted, i really believe that she wants to get better, and that she knows what she is facing i love her for this book, i really do. From the time she was a little girl, Marya always felt different from the other children around her and from her parents as well A little crazy as her friends from school would call her As she grows up though and spends her life in and out of mental institutions, with different husbands and psychiatrists and moving back and forth from Minneapolis to California constantly, it becomes apparent that something serious is going on To get her life back in order is difficult, but she s determined to tell her story Madness is a free flowing and honest memoir about what life with bipolar disorder is like, but it s also a story of an interesting and varied life, from feuding parents to spending nights as a child talking to multiple imaginary friends, from electroshock therapy to finding a husband who loves her unconditionally, this book is just like as if you ve lived this life yourself.

Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia HarperCollins Publishers, Inc , in 1998, when she was twenty three What started as a crazy idea suggested by a writer friend became the classic book that has been published in fourteen languages, is taught in universities and writing programs all over the world, and has, according to the thousands of letters

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  • Hardcover
  • 299 pages
  • Madness: A Bipolar Life
  • Marya Hornbacher
  • English
  • 19 April 2018
  • 9780618754458

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