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Showing 1-10 of 91 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 116 reviews
on June 13, 2015
Pretty much the sequel to "Eden ...", by the same author, and just as powerful. The impact comes from the matter-of-fact style of memoir writing of a "recovering" mental illness afflicted. I almost used the word "victim", but that would only be appropriate if the afflicted had gone inescapably to his death. This is the first person story of a subject who fumbled and struggled through the baffling onslaught of images and impulses of a mind going off the rails, and with the imperfect help of friends and mental health professionals gained day-to-day control of a potentially crippling end deadly mental disease. Clearly he had the advantage of a favorable social and economic situation, but in my opinion he has done a laudable job of making a worthwhile career to this point in time, and I wish him continuing success. Dr. Vonnegut in his continuing role as a pediatrician devotes a considerable amount of exposition about his medical practice to describing the eccentricities of pediatrics as well as a discussion of the inefficiencies and obstructions of the current American healthcare system which is driven by Insurance restrictions and complexity. This portion of the book alone is worthwhile reading as a candid chronicling of this controversial, costly and frustrating system we all must deal with.
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on July 4, 2017
Kurt Vonnegut's son, telling his own story of mental illness with bipolar disorder. He eventually goes on to Harvard Med, becomes a pediatrician, and finds purpose in his life. Interesting just because of the story, and his famous father, it holds the reader, but not because of the coherence of the writing, Ibe dies bit get a true sense of the burden of the illness, but you can get that in other books. Mark writes with an ironic tone, and nevertheless makes it rhtough medical school and into a practice benefiting society. This is enough to give hope to others with bipolar, but his particular set of circumstances is his own. At some months after I read this, I have only a spotty sense of the book, so it didn't stick.
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on May 6, 2017
An interesting, but not captivating account of Mark Vonnegut's struggle with bipolar disorder. Perhaps the nature of his psychotic breakdowns was just to hard to describe, but I felt Iike there was more to learn. I was specifically hopeful to better understand the relationship between bipolar episodes and schizophrenia, which I thought were two completely different things. It's a good book, but only skims the surface.
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on April 23, 2014
Few outside the mental health profession who do not have a close friend or family member with bipolar illness actually have any idea of what this condition is.

Dr. Mark Vonnegut, a pediatrician based in Massachusetts, is an individual who has bipolar illness, (formerly known as manic depression) and through Mark Vonnegut's eyes, the reader comes to understand that with the right management, this often-crippling condition can enable a person to have a family and a career to live a fulfilling, happy functional life.

Those who love Kurt Vonnegut's novels will enjoy this peek at the Vonnegut family history, and in particular, snippets about Mark's life and about his parents, and particularly on Kurt Vonnegut's intense, post-traumatic WWII stress.

I saw Slaughterhouse Five again after first reading this book in 2011, and fully understood how earlier impressions of Slaughterhouse Five in the 70s failed to do the novel justice, as SF is actually a story about war and post-traumatic stress and that it became a cult classic by virtue of its popular appeal, which ironically did not do the novel justice.

Aside from Mark's bipolar illness, growing up with someone who experienced the horrific level of trauma that Mark Vonnegut did in the WWII theatres he participated in, is also extremely stressful, and this reader cannot imagine the toll this took on Kurt Vonnegut's life, at a time when little attention was paid to PTSD. Mark Vo

Mark Vonnegut's memoir is a fascinating and gripping story, is humanely written and brightens a readers perspective on bipolar illness.

This is a very important book for anyone to read, particularly anybody who has ever known anyone who has bipolar illness, as it sheds light on the all-too-often dark (and hidden) shadows of mental conditions.
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on June 6, 2017
An excellent book that will give hope to those with mental illness that life can be more than just trying to stay well. Also worthwhile in the field of substance abuse as he proves to himself that he is an alcoholic without trying.

Maybe it will help those who don't claim mental illness as part of their dossier, realize that the mentally ill can contribute as well. And those who do have mental illness as part of their life, may find that a person doesn't have to be defined by it.
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on April 29, 2017
I loved this book. The author's writing style is full of pithy punchlines that made me laugh out loud. His direct candor about living with mental illness is fascinating. I admire the author's bravery and I think his truth will help other people.
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on May 28, 2017
I have bipolar disorder so this book intrigued me. With bipolar disorder, and probably every mental illness, one size does not fit all. My experiences are different. Vonnegut writes with candor, humor, and leaves in all the embarrassing parts.

If you have a mental illness, if you know someone who has a mental illness, or if you're just curious, this is a terrific book.
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on March 9, 2013
It is very possible that Mark Vonnegut has only two books in his quiver of non-fiction literary contributions. His father - Kurt -had many more arrows, however all in the field of fiction. Mark Vonnegut, however, has used what he has written in two memoirs with his battle through bi-polar disease very well, he has brought us inside his mind, taught by example. In his first book, written when he was about 30 (Eden Express) he describes in detail what it was like to suddenly "go crazy". One quote that I personally took from that book was "Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. Insanity is the price of eternal vigilance." In this book, "Just Like Someone With Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir," he has continued his quest to explain his condition, but from the point of someone who has lived with manic-depression illness for more than 30 years (he was 62 when he wrote it). Now a pediatrician, he tells about his quest to become a doctor, how he worked his way into, then through Harvard Medical School, and on, suffering three major set backs while still trying to maintain a place as a respected medical practicioner. To anyone who has ever experienced bi-polar, suffered with bi-polar or known someone who had bi-polar disorder, this is one of only a small handful of books that will bring understanding and hope.
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on April 6, 2013
This NAMI-recommended book held my attention from beginning to end. I'll admit that his last name was one of the reasons that I made the purchase...and he does open the door a bit to what it was like growing up with a famous (or soon-to-be famous) father. However Mark's history with mental illness, the manner in which he presents his hospitalizations, and his road to rationality make this book stand on its own merits. I was especially motivated to read how he was able to return to work, and to fight through the stigma that this disease perpetuates. This book gives hope.
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on May 14, 2017
I found this to be a very interesting account of someone who managed, in spite of being bi polar to find a way to live a productive life. Should be an inspiration to others who are bi polar out there, of which there are many. Hopefully this book will also lead to de-stigmatize manic depression and lead those suffering with it and their families. to gain a better understanding of the condition. It was also very entertaining.
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