Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Madness: A Bipolar Life

I just finished the book, Madness, by Marya Hornbacher. Most of you will know that she also wrote Wasted, published ten years ago, about her ordeal with anorexia and bulimia. As with most books, the reviews are mixed with some people praising the book, while others feel like she has sensationalized her illness. My personal opinion falls more towards understanding and appreciating her candor. I think reading this book after having read Wasted when it first came out, her behaviors make more sense to me. I remember when there was so much talk going on about Wasted, rumors had spread she had relapsed into her ED and been hospitalized. When it reality, it was really for the bipolar, not her ED at the time though there were some relapses.

Personally, I've always liked her style of writing, and this book really captivated me. Her writing makes you feel like you are there right with her, feeling the flow of her highs and lows. In all honesty, I'm amazed she is still alive with everything she has done/been through. Listening to her in an interview on psychjourney, I just don't get the impression she is out there to really "sensationalize" herself, just more that this is her daily life and how she manages/mismanages it.

Sometimes I've wondered whether I would fit bipolar disorder, more along the lines of bipolar II or soft bipolar, however, sometimes it's hard to distinguish how much of it would be from an actual disorder versus a semi-starved/starved state. I've never sought after a diagnosis but just know that anti-depressants in general didn't do much for me when I was younger. Perhaps, the wrong ones or maybe a different disorder. Hard to tell, but right now, I seem to be "okay," or at least not feeling like the world would end or something.

Within the last few years, there has been more research on bipolar disorders, especially in diagnosis. It's been concluded in many studies how bipolar has been misdiagnosed for another psychiatric disorder. The need for receiving the right treatment is contingent upon a correct diagnosis. It's my hope as more awareness is out there for bipolar and its various forms, more people receive the treatment they much need. And as with many mental illnesses, that it is treatable and manageable.


b said...

I love the book Wasted. I have never been able to find a book on eating disorders that was so honestly written, with so much candor, and with so much *horror.* Hornbacher is an amazing writer, and I'm so glad you posted this, because I didn't know she had written another book - I'm going to amazon.com straighaway. :) My sister suffers with bi-polar, and I'd like to read this to perhaps gain perspective and understanding on the struggle my sister goes through on a daily basis. Thanks. :)

And thanks for your comment on my blog...


Tiptoe said...

Brie, thanks for commenting. You have a great blog.

I hope you find the book helpful.I'm sure your sister would be appreciative that you want to gain understanding of her illness.

By the way, I posted again on your duck post. Hopefully, you'll find it interesting and not too cheesy.