Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Madness: A Bipolar Life Paperback – April 1, 2009
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book has a solid chronological structure that leads the reader through the escalating and exhausting mood cycles Hornbacher experienced. She is a highly skilled writer who keeps the narrative progressing at a quick pace while revealing dazzling insights about the disorder, about people, and about life in general along the way.
What I found particularly helpful about the book is Hornbacher's descriptions of how her mood episodes began so seemingly innocent enough. One day, life seems to be just fine and then over the course of several days, weeks, or months becomes wonderful - everything is clicking and Hornbacher's energy and joy seduces all those around her - and then, just as suddenly, her world crashes in on her. People who haven't experienced this, don't know what it's like. They wonder why people with bipolar disorder can't tell when their moods are cycling or why a loved one didn't step in sooner.Read more ›
That being said, this book is being hailed as an end-all, be-all for Bipolar disorder and as a female with exactly the same diagnosis as Marya (Ultra Rapid Cycling Bipolar I) but without an eighth of the crazy that she has, it's important to remember that Bipolar is a SPECTRUM disorder and she is at the FAR crazy end of it, a near worst case possibility that is not typical in the least. This is yet another book that makes the general population terrified of people with Bipolar disorder. I haven't seen many books at ALL that will gently remind you that Bipolar is a spectrum disorder and there ARE people out there with these tragic diagnoses (like myself) who still get up every day, go to work, and function as productive members of our society. Just because she needs a visit to the funny farm a few times a year and about 18 different chemicals in her bloodstream at any given moment doesn't mean that all or even MOST people who live with Manic Depression are the same.
On that basis, I deduct a point from the book because it focuses on her experience, her diagnosis, her reckless abandon, and her low functionality in a world that expects she at least get out of her pj's every day, without acknowledging that she is indeed, out of her mind. She never takes more than a sentence to remind the world that she's on the far end of a SPECTRUM disorder. She just writes down her experiences with the disorder, a bunch of jumbled facts, and closes the book out.Read more ›
Marya Hornbacher has done a great service for me by writing in such vivid prose her ongoing dilemma. Admittedly, my reading on bi-polar is not exhaustive, but this is the first book I've read that truly captured the tyranny of this illness. Ms. Hornbacher is a truly gifted writer. I do not envy her the ongoing struggle she faces, but she sure dug deep to write this. Throughout the the painful descriptions of behavior and feelings shines a courage that lifts my hopes for my own son.
Marya the writer is thoughtful and shockingly insightful; she is hyper self-aware, almost to the point of being self-obsessed, able to write chapter after chapter of intricate prose about her own history, thoughts, and actions.
Marya the person seems to lack any self-awareness. She acts on impulse alone, jumping from one whim to the next, rarely stopping to pause and think about what she's doing. She is sucked into her own emotions and compulsions easily; she easily slips back into patterns drug & alcohol habits, compulsive spending, self-mutilation, sex-addicted behavior.
Both Maryas are interesting, and make for a hardy memoir, but there's something missing in the writing. "Madness" is extremely detached, written as if "Marya" is a fictional character being written about by an impartial observer. It's often hard to believe that Marya the writer actually did the things Marya the person did. There's plenty of pretty prose, plenty of insight, but there's no connectivity. Hornbacher is a great writer, but she is a clinical and analytical one. Sometimes that works in a memoirist's favor (see, "Darkness Visible," "Girl Interrupted") but it's just sort of strange to read someone writing about themselves in a cold, mathematical, detached sort of what when they are trying to relate periods of extreme passion & mental illness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some parts got kinda dry especially when it went through her hospitalizations. I found the information to be very helpful though.Published 10 days ago by Amlower
A difficult read to start... and restart... and restart... BUT it must be EXACTLY how disconnected and jumbled my relatives with Bipolar feel. A great read just difficult to start.Published 1 month ago by PJ
I am very interested in bi-polar disorder so read this eagerly, But it needed extensive editing...... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jenlou
She is a very talented writer. My mother and another relative suffered from bipolar disorder. This is a very important book and o recommend it to everyone. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Keila R. Young
Such a great book and a great perspective. Definitely recommend for anyone but especially those working in the mental health field or with someone with a mental health diagnoses. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Caroline Orr
Marya Hornbacher is the bravest writer I’ve read so far. One can only imagine what it took for her to share these 299 pages of the most personal aspects of her life; and to do so... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Boundless Book Reviews
So well written, I feel manic reading it, which isn't a good feeling. I would recommend this book, to be read a bit, at a time.Published 5 months ago by Gena