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Maps to the Other Side: Adventures of a Bipolar Cartographer (Real World) Paperback – March 31, 2013
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"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
"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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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.
It is a "horizontal" communal model, rather than a vertical, top-down, healthy doctor, sick patient model.
Dubrul demonstrates convincingly that, as H.S.Sullivan writes, we are all more human than otherwise and that, with the sorts of personally-experienced guidance DuBrul offers, we, all, potentially, can sustain and come through, seemingly unbearable mental states.
Barbara S. Kane, PhD, LCSW
New York City
Sascha, thank you for taking the time to write this book! I hope it's made into a movie!
On a serious note, I love DuBrul's storytelling and interweaving about BiPolar Disorder and Gardening. The way the book is structured, I was able to savor each chapter and reflect before reading the next chapter.