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Maps to the Other Side: The Adventures of a Bipolar Cartographer (Real World) Paperback – February 21, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Real World
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Microcosm Publishing; 1st edition (February 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978866509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978866501
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,141,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"DuBrul takes the non-conformity and anti-authoritarian sentiments of punk rock past the level of mere social criticism, and into the realm of applied and meaningful social change." —Kelly Pflug-Back, Fifth Estate

"There's black pride, and gay pride. And if 32-year old Sascha DuBrul has his way, "mad pride" will become equally ubiquitous. That's mad, as in mentally ill. DuBrul's Icarus Project believes that part of the problem with mental illness is the words we use to describe it. Diagnosed bipolar when he was 18, DuBrul says he could have dealt better with his diagnosis if it had been framed differently, not in clinical terms but as a "dangerous gift." Now Sascha and others are going across the country giving workshops to change the language around mental illness."  —Weekend America, Public Radio

"How did the New York underground of punk rock music, squatting, and homeless protest give rise to a thriving and innovative peer-run mental health community? Are there creative gifts to be found in the depths of madness? Does the future of Mad Pride lie in the joining of activism with spirituality? Icarus Project co-founder Sascha Altman DuBrul discusses his escape into apocalyptic visions and psychiatric hospitals, and how he was inspired to challenge the identity of bipolar disorder."  —Madness Radio

"DuBrul's focus on both aspects—the danger and the gift—gives his book its most powerful moments. These dangers are literally matters of life and death."  —T. K. Dalton, latenightlibrary.org

"Take a first­hand ride into a his­tory no one else is talk­ing about, but prob­a­bly should."  —Karen Walasek, Elohi Gadugi Journal

"Despite being derailed at times by bipolar disorder, DuBrul offers a unique perspective on what it’s like to lose one’s mind, yet still manage to make a difference." —Brian Blueskye, Coachella Valley Independent


"A necessary document of a place where several vital scenes overlapped." —Tobias Carroll, Vol 1. Brooklyn

About the Author

Sascha Altman DuBrul is an activist and the cofounder of the Bay Area Seed Interchange Library and the Icarus Project, a radical community support network and media project for those suffering from mental health illnesses. He lives in Berkeley, California.


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Sascha is an incredible story teller.
Sara Pruce
Altman DuBrul writes of these complex matters with remarkable clarity of prose and moral force.
Barbara Kane
Reading DuBrul's book is just one place to start.
gillianmae

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Kane on March 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
" An excellent book, written with a deep sensitivity for all of us, wounded psychically, in some ways, and struggling to come through the whirlwinds we call life. Altman DuBrul writes of these complex matters with remarkable clarity of prose and moral force. Why moral? because, he envisions these problems not as just individual but interwoven and emergent....emergent from social, economic, political structures of human societies. ...of our selves and of our experiential worlds. Crucially and repeatedly, the book demonstrates how intertwined are both psychic woundedness and psychic creativity.

For instance, the description of The Icarus Project, an radical online educational and support community, which he co-founded with Jacks McNamara over a decade ago (in 2002. Accessible to all, internationally, it is a rich resource for those seeking to navigate the eruptions of disturbing mental states in themselves or others. Pathological symptoms are redefined as dangerous gifts. Ones that require, understanding, mentoring, and a home in the hearts of others who provide varieties of friendship experiences. A relational home can often do what medications cannot.

How to strengthen communities of those who share similar psychic experiences while deftly pulling on the threads of the brilliant resources that those often are called mad have, is the strongest suit of this book, I believe. There are friendship "maps"- demonstrated through the personal telling of his own evolution. There are Dubrul's vision of 'T-Maps, Transformative Mutual Aid Practices,' which empower people to take better care of each other; there are workshop formats; and, also, how Dubrul thinks of the use of medication and alternative treatment modalities. ..all practical and accessible ideas.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sara Pruce on May 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Our world has been begging for this book. When Sascha writes, he takes his readers on a journey with him and, whether you have been down a similar road or not, you cannot help but stand in his shoes and ask yourself, "how could i have not seen it this way?" Through personal stories, he paints the picture of what it really is to be "mad" to be blessed and cursed with a mental difference.

But this book is not only for those who have experienced some sort of quantifiable madness. It is also an idea of what real life is. What it means to be living in today's world with all its craziness and beauty. To be fighting your fight - whatever that may be. It is a book for those of us who are done with pretending, who are done with buying more stuff or taking more pills to feel better.

Among many things, our culture lacks storytellers. We need, all people of all time periods and locations, need stories. We learn and grow through stories. Sascha is an incredible story teller. If you receive nothing else from this book, let it at least help you to tell your own story in as raw and true a way as this book does.

I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By gillianmae on May 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Sascha Altman DuBrul was locked up in a psych ward for the first time when he was 18 years old. He grew up in the anarchist squatter communities of the Lower East Side and, as a teen, was diagnosed by psychiatrists with "bipolar disorder," a condition that he describes as a "dangerous gift." Frustrated with the limits of the mental health system and vast, oppressive American Capitalism, patriarchy and poverty, DuBrul's mad mind fueled a life of exploration, social activism, and deep sensitivity for the world's diverse loners and unlikely heroes.

DuBrul's memoir takes the reader on journeys through the highs and lows of madness. His big heart and innovative ideas lead the way--through serene desert landscapes while hopping trains across the country, to escaping power-tripping police in Mexico, to joining community protests at the W.T.O. in Seattle and Occupy Wall Street in New York, to creating the country's first seed library in the Bay Area, and co-founding The Icarus Project, a radical community support network that works to redefine the language and culture around mental health, with his best friend, Jacks Ashley McNamara.

DuBrul's book is an assemblage of writings across his life. He combines zines written when he was a teenager, scattered journal entries, and modern manifestos about community care, seed saving, and spiritual practice. What is clear throughout DuBrul's writing is his passion. The most powerful sections include stories about friends who never made it to the "other side" and committed suicide, a guide to how he and his community of friends help take care of each other, and his faith in the "Mad Ones," which he describes as "the only ones crazy enough to think that can change the world and have the outlandish visions and drive to be able to do it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By fancyfeast on May 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Ok, I'm not a writer, so bear with me. I am, however, a voracious reader. This book absolutely blew me away. It is amazingly written, is full of compelling stories, lots of fascinating stuff that I never knew before. It's also an amazing memoir of a personal struggle with madness written by a clearly awesome person. I can't reccommend it highly enough.
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