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Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness Mass Market Paperback – February 4, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
In this groundbreaking guide for those who are manic depressive or who live with or love someone who is, actress Duke ( Call Me Anna ), a spokeswoman for the National Institute of Mental Health, tells the harrowing story of her illness and her long road to recovery. After a lifetime of emotional turbulence, including three divorces and years of unsuccessful therapies, Duke found her own "wonder drug": lithium. Interspersed throughout her personal account are chapters that give the latest information about manic-depressive illness, its many forms and the various treatments for it, as documented by Hochman ( Adult Children of Divorce ). Also included is advice on what families can do to cope and a list of resources for the mentally ill, including organizations that care for them. A chapter examines the connection between creativity and manic depression, drawing examples from music, politics and business. An informative, readable volume.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Kirkus Reviews
Duke tells the story of her manic-depressive illness and its successful treatment, while in alternating chapters medical-writer Hochman (Heart Bypass, 1982) explains the facts of the disease and the methods of treatment currently available. Duke's strange and unhappy childhood was chronicled in Call Me Anna, and is touched on here only to show how fundamentally unloved and rejected she felt. Her manic-depressive disorder began to manifest itself when she was a young woman living in Hollywood, at the peak of her career, starring in The Patty Duke Show. As the illness escalated, her life degenerated into frequent suicide attempts, drug dependency, wrecked relationships, tantrums on the set. She began hallucinating and engaging in bizarre behavior like holding parties in her motel room for hordes of strangers (one of whom she married after a few hours' acquaintance) and hiring two guys she met in a parking lot to manage her finances (with results that can be imagined). Finally, her illness was diagnosed and successfully treated with lithium, which she takes to this day and to which, she says, she owes her present stable, happy marriage and her very life. Hochman provides information on the various forms of depression and the various guises that bipolar (manic-depressive) illness can take, identifies people at risk for these diseases, discusses the link between manic-depressive disorder and creativity, and surveys medical treatments and family-support techniques that can help the sufferer. The tone seesaws between the lurid and the dry, depending on whether Duke or Hochman is writing. But despite its gracelessness, this memoir has merit: Duke shows bravery in telling her story in all its humiliating flagrance, and undoubtedly sufferers from this puzzling and devastating disease will find help in the explanations and resources Hochman diligently provides. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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Things to me and words that I could understand. This book put it all into words that I could understand so , I'll learn to understand my illness a whole lot better from reading this book ! ! Highly recommend ! ! ! It is also entertaining !
I really love and appreciate how the book is not only a memoir/autobiography of Duke but a book which provides down-to-earth information about the illness from Gloria Hockman's professional standpoint. Duke isn't making up what she is going through. Also, while Duke has found Lithium to be the medication for her success, having the professional view gives the opportunity to see that there are other medications to treat bipolar. Lithium doesn't work for everyone. Trying to find the right psychotropic medication or cocktail of meds is done by trial and error. Hockman is simply countering Duke's strong positive reaction to it, I believe, so that people who do not find such success on that medication will not believe they are failures, will never succeed, or will never be well.
I recommend this book for all families and friends of those with a bipolar diagnosis. Not everyone suffers from bipolar I. I, for example, am diagnosed with bipolar II, which means that I do not suffer from such severe mania episodes as Duke describes; mine are called hypomania. Hockman does an excellent job in describing the different types of the illness at the appropriate time in the book without really breaking up Duke as she writes of her life.
I have not found a book to share with my family which most accurately describes my experience. That is until now! I also want them to see about the different types of meds and bipolar diagnoses and some of the hospital experiences that exist. Three thumbs up for Duke's book!!