Sonya Feher's Reviews > Madness: A Bipolar Life

Madness by Marya Hornbacher
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's review
Feb 13, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: memoir
Read in February, 2009

Madness spans 1978 - 2007 and is utterly vivid throughout. While some memoirs covering that many years get watered down or lose focus, Hornbacher uses representative events to tell her story rather than trying to cover every moment of her lifetime. Slashing her artery by accident begins the book and readers get the voices in Hornbacher's head along with her spontaneous trips, visits to the psych ward, marriages, lucky-she-didn't-kill-herself-or-anyone-else drinking, eating disorder, and her attempts to reconcile herself to her diagnosis of Type I rapid cycle bipolar disorder. The book read more manic than depressive because she can't write during the depressions, but for anyone trying to gain an understanding of bipolar disorder, Madness should be at the top of the list. In addition to the striking narrative, the book ends with an annotated list of bipolar and mental health resources that would aid anyone with a diagnosis or in any way associated with someone with a diagnosis.

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