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Inconsolable: How I Threw My Mental Health Out With the Diapers Paperback – September 21, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...takes the reader for a ride on the roller coaster of early parenthood, spouting ironic and often hilarious commentary." -- New York Newsday, Oct 3, 2005

"...the first and ONLY book [about] postpartum depression in a mother who has a child with medical issues." -- Anne-Marie Nichols, A Mama's Rant, January 31, 2006

"...these chapters are beguiling -- they're like e-mails from your funniest, most caustic friend." -- Austin-American Statesman, October 2, 2005

Marrit is a master at turning tears to belly laughs. -- The Austinist, December 22, 2005
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (September 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580051405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580051408
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,927,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Reeser on September 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is brave, gritty, truthful, and dark- and yet Marrit Ingman is very, very funny. She is that rare writer who can bring forth her darkest thoughts, addressing topics such as PPD, an eczema-tortured child, one's fear of failure as a parent and the lack of available and actually helpful support, in such a way that the reader laughs in self-recognition- "Yes! She gets it! It's not just me!"

An affirming and reassuring read for those of us whose parenting experience has not been the rosy, Sears-painted picture we were led to expect.
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Format: Paperback
The book starts out with, "Don't read this book if you are pregnant" (or something like that). I was six months pregnant with my first child, yet steamed ahead anyway. I am glad that I did. The description of the insanity, temporary or otherwise, that can be brought on brought on by modern motherhood that Ingman paints is exactly what a parent-to-be like myself needed, because it prepared me for the worst, and let me off the hook from the overambitious expectations that I had (elaborate birth plan that did not go as planned? check. Dreams of cooking my own organic baby food now making way for Gerber jars? check). The writing had a way of taking me to the absolute depths of her experience while at the same time injecting humor and compassion that made me feel like everything was going to be all right. I didn't expect to laugh out loud, but I did many times while reading.

This book is WAY more complex than any review can possibly hope to convey. It's personal, and political; funny, and sad. While reading, you realize that a lot of the problems Ingman faces are not just parents' issues, but women's issues. Are the mothers crazy or is the world crazy? Read and decide for yourself.
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This book was much less depressing than the title might suggest. I related to the author quite a bit, and think I may have posted at a website with her back then. So many memoirs about early motherhood are overly sentimental, or the authors are of a higher social class than I am, or are more settled into what I think of as a "typical" suburban life. Ingman captured all the ambivalence of new motherhood, and though she didn't come across as an exceptionally young mother, she still seemed hip. I too had a hard time reconciling the self that I was before kids with my new mama identity. I especially loved the descriptions of all the different types of moms, that was hilarious! Now that it's been 4 years since I had my last child, I am far enough from it that I can look back on it with a little bit of detachment and say that Ingman captured the feelings I had, almost exactly. I enjoyed this book thoroughly and really didn't want it to end.
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If you are a mom and you think you are loosing your mind, read this book!! You'll find out that you are not alone. I think all moms feel this way at times but most are too worried about what people will think if they admit it. Props to Marrit for being brutally honest.
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By R. Smith on March 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I suffered from debilitating depression after the birth of my 2nd daughter, I searched everywhere for something to grasp onto. Anything to grasp onto. Somehow I found this book. All of a sudden, here was someone like me - someone else who wanted to drive off a bridge. I felt like I had finally made a connection and I wasn't alone in this anymore.
I can honestly say that this book was pivotal in my (LONG) recovery. It is what ultimately encouraged me to push through, connect with others and reclaim motherhood. Marrit's accounts of early motherhood are real, moving, poignant, and honest. I highly recommend this book to any new mother - if you aren't suffering from PPD yourself, you might be able to understand and reach out to someone who is.
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Format: Paperback
"Inconsolable" is smart, funny, and heartbreaking. This book should be required reading for any woman considering motherhood--it rips off the layers of Hallmark sentimentality and reveals exactly how agonizing post-partum depression can be. Frankly, it made me want to send my mother a bouquet of three dozen long-stemmed red roses.

This is a brave book written by an astonishingly talented writer Whether or not you're considering having a child, this book will change the way you think about motherhood, pregnancy, and mental health long after you've put the book down. I will never play Nine Inch Nails without thinking of Marritt ever again, and man, I play a lot of NIN.

Thank you for this book, Marritt.
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Marrit Ingman is a strikingly good writer. I start there because I was surprised that a book about post-partum depression and a high needs child could be so gripping that I couldn't stop reading. But it is that good a book.

I wish I had had this book when my toddler was an infant and I was struggling with new parenthood. Whether or not you have PPD Inconsolable describes so well how insanely hard it is to have a baby. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about parenting. The author does not sugarcoat her experience but it is well worth reading.
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If you're offended by strong language, gross stereotypes, or any suggestion that Real Motherhood isn't what's portrayed on those frilly Hallmark cards, then run from this book. If you already know that experiences with small children can actively induce abandoment fantasies and inspire drinking games, then welcome to the club. This is a very funny book.

Plot-wise, it's Marrit Ingman's experience with a difficult baby (now a gem of a preschooler), post-partum depression, and a marriage that gets understandably shaky. Theme-wise, it's about her journey out of the darkness and a few words of wisdom for PPD mothers who need to get there. Seven pages in the back of the book list organizations, internet sites and books for further reference.

I've given the book five stars, but Marrit Ingman so exactly lived the urban activist version of my life (or maybe I lived the suburban intellectual version of hers) that I just don't have much perspective. Would someone who had a "normal" mothering experience find Ingman's perspective amusing? I think so. The line between normal and nutty can be pretty thin and wavering -- especially for anyone getting only five hours of sleep a night.

The work's biggest flaw is the inconsistent tone, which most usually expresses her energetic anger and despair (the rage aria on mall photography studios is priceless) but also, toward the end of the book, her energetic love for her son and enthusiasm for her life, friends, and work. The occasional more journalistic essays on PPD seem out of place, even though they may have served as the book's raison d'etre. Perhaps she should have incorporated her personal experiences with the books and organizations in the resources section into the narrative instead.
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