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Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life Paperback – July 1, 2014
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In this funny but unsettling memoir, 34-year-old Iranian American lawyer and activist Moezzi vividly describes her swings between mania (she disrobes in a lobby) and deep depression (she attempts suicide). She is the daughter of an ob/gyn father and a pathologist mother, who tells her that vertical cuts cause more bleeding than horizontal ones, knowledge she uses when she slits her wrists. Like so many memoirists, Moezzi fictionalizes parts of her story, changing names and creating composite figures while weaving insights and humor into her expletive-laced book (titled after a medication and a flower “signifying the start of spring”). One example: “Losing your mind is indeed traumatizing . . . it’s not like getting cancer. No one rallies around you or shaves her head in solidarity or brings you sweets.” Moezzi is also critical of most mental-health facilities. She ends on a realistic note, pointing out that she takes daily medication and is “not cured” though she hasn’t been hospitalized in more than four years. In all, a passionate first-person account of mental illness. --Karen Springen --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"An excellent read, no matter what your level of familiarity (or lack thereof) with mental illness."
"Blistering, brash and irreverant... [Moezzi's] courageous postcard from the edge can't come too soon."
—Gina Webb, The Atlanta Journal Constitution
"[W]hipsmart but whimsical…Moezzi's fierce honesty and comic self deprecation bind together winningly."
—Kate Tuttle, The Boston Globe
“[A] defiantly frank memoir.”
"A captivating autobiographical account of [Moezzi's] struggle with bipolar disorder."
—Brian Mossop, Scientific American MIND
"At times moving, unsettling, and funny, Moezzi's brash, barely filtered memoir is a fascinating glimpse into a tumultuous mind."
—Teresa Weaver, Atlanta Magazine
"Moezzi is brutally honest...[and] bitingly funny in her narrative."
—Cliff Bellamy, The Herald-Sun
"Iranian-American story with a feminist bipolar twist."
—Tyler Cowen, New York Times Magazine "One-Sentence Book Review"
"[A] must-read autobiography... informative and uplifting."
—Atiya Hasan, Brown Girl Magazine
“A big brain and a big heart inform this courageous and often hilarious memoir.”
—Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls
“Intelligent, accurate, entertaining, culturally relevant, and a little sassy...”
—New York Journal of Books
“Captivating . . . a powerful narrative.”
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Top Customer Reviews
While these manic episodes are very serious the author does a great job of injecting some humor into her story. Frequently the funny stuff is part of what she did while she was institutionalized and not necessarily how she wrote about it.
The author spends a good deal of time describing what it was like during the few times that she was hospitalized. She does a very good job of this. Clearly she was frustrated with being hospitalized and did what any self-respecting bipolar person would do to get out.
She also does a good job of portraying her life away from her bipolar disorder. She has funny insight into her personal life, her family, and her relationship with her husband. However, all of this is relevant to the stories of bipolar that she tells.
I have read a lot of books that are about bipolar disorder and people with the disorder. This is probably the best one that I have read. Its blend of sadness, reality, pain and humor is very well combined into a very enjoyable book.
I highly recommend this book to anybody that is interested in learning more about what the bipolar life is like.
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