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Bloodletting: A Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm, and Survival Paperback – March 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572244577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572244573
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Leatham begins her painful, emotional memoir with her realization, in her late teens, that she was depressed. As her friends and family dismissed her feelings as temporary, she discovered that "harming myself really did make me feel better." The irresistible urge to cut herself led to a life of medication, stays in psychiatric hospitals (she was diagnosed with a form of bipolar disorder) and more self-destructive behavior, including eating disorders, abusive relationships and frequent career hopping. Just as Leatham would start to feel settled in a new city in her native Australia, or one she recently returned to, the compulsion to cut would begin again, resulting in a hospital stay followed by a move to a different locale. More than 12 years after she began her self-harm, she started a program of cognitive behavioral therapy, and although she initially resisted it, she found that "[s]omething had at last shifted and made it possible for me to begin to protect myself." Leatham's searing memoir will resonate with young women struggling with similar problems, as well as those who care about them. (Mar.)
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Review


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Customer Reviews

There are way, way, way too many good books out there on the topic of cutting and bpd.
mokiw
I devoured this book it only took one day to read, which was great, because I read it for a class.
Sarah N. Paulin
All four of those books are superbly written and well worth reading, along with Bloodletting.
Paul J. Fitzgerald

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tina on May 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a big fan of memoirs about abuse, but more especially about optimistic recovery.

I picked up this book by fluke and am so happy I did so. Victoria describes in clear and frank detail the road she (unconsciously?) followed that brought her to the despair of cutting.

While cutting is a scary, scary subject, it is clear that this event does not happen by itself and this book takes a brave look at this.

However, I did feel as though there was a certain detachment in this memoir. Because I have read many, many memoirs on addiction, etc. I felt as though there was a total lack of emotion in the retelling of this story.

Still, the author was so honest and candid and was sure not to make cutting glamorous or wonderful. I felt for this person and appreciate her courage in putting down on paper her struggles.

Buy this one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Elaina on November 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I read this book about six months ago, and I found that the book had almost no "take-away" value. I didn't learn anything from it--except about the author's life story. She doesn't provide insight into why she cuts or why she stops. Ultimately, I'd save your money for Alysa Phillip's "Stranger in My Skin" or Caroline Kettlewell's "Skin Game" (listed in order of preference). Especially read Alysa's book if you're looking for insight into why cutters cut or if you're a cutter and looking for someone to understand why you cut. Read Caroline's book if you want a, albeit brief, reason to consider stopping.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Talia Mana on September 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was an eye opener for me. A great insight into the mind of someone who cuts herself as a way of relieving stress and tension and to escape problems.

Reading about depression and mania was familiar to me, and although the author shared a lot about herself I did not find anything new or compelling about those aspects of the book.

However the aspects of self harm and mutilation were horrendous. Both in the detail provided and the thinking that took place inside Victoria's head. The book was extremely revealing in its discussion of both Victoria's motivation for self-harm as well as the effects that it had on her.

Insights into treatment and the difficulty in treating someone with a range of symptoms were also helpful. Victoria experienced a number of problems that were not always identified by health practitioners. Unfortunately this is a common story. So often people with mental health problems are incorrectly diagnosed or told that there is nothing seriously wrong with them. The co-morbidity of a number of different psychological illness is also a common aspect of mental health.

There were times that the simplistic style of writing irritated me, however I had to keep reminding myself that this was a memoir and not to expect a beautifully crafted piece of writing.

The book was compellingly honest. One aspect that surprised me was her willingness to seek help. So often people with eating disorders and socially unacceptable compulsions such as cutting, hide their disorder from others. Although this was obviously not something that Victoria could share with everyone, she did attempt to seek help from doctors and friends.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kind Bean on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
So far, this is the best memoir of self-injury that I have read. Victoria Leatham writes of her struggles with her troubled thoughts, pain, and the undeniable compulsion to cut herself. Leatham lives in Australia and has gone through stays at psychiatric hospitals, diagnoses of bipolar, medication, abusive relationships and constantly moving and changing her career. I think this is a more straight forward account of self-injury then others, such as Skin Game, which focuses more on the writing than on the actual subject matter. I recommend it to those who self-injure and don't want to feel alone, and to those who want to know more about self-injury, particularly to understand why people would do it in the first place. This is a very good book.
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Format: Paperback
This book was extremely well written, and brutally honest. I respect the author for so often seeking help, for fighting the "other voice" in her head that so few people can understand. I also admire the way in which she finally realized that help was ok. Throughout the whole book I was wondering how she could continue putting up with the way her mother was treating her, but finally, it seemed she herself caught on, and it was an "aha" experience. This is the only book I have found about a functional depressed cutter who seeks help for the problems inside her head she can't get other people to understand at all. I believe that the author wrote this book with the best of intentions, and I feel like I could relate to so much of it. I was so grateful to have it and I wish there were more books like this, that don't glamorize, but accurately depict the real struggles of someone who feels drawn to cutting in relation to stress and pain. If only so big a stigma weren't attached to it, if only more cutters felt comfortable seeking help, like there was a place for them and they wouldn't get "sectioned" perhaps we could help alleviate their suffering. I believe this book helps in the feelings of being alone, like nobody can understand. I do admit I was jealous of all the things that happened at just the right time in this author's life. I feel she was truly blessed throughout her journeys.

All that aside, I admire Leatham for writing this book. The world needs it.
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