Madness: A Bipolar Life

  • Title: Madness: A Bipolar Life
  • Author: Marya Hornbacher
  • ISBN: 9780618754458
  • Page: 328
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Madness A Bipolar Life An astonishing dispatch from inside the belly of bipolar disorder reflecting major new insightsWhen Marya Hornbacher published her first book Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia she did not yet
    An astonishing dispatch from inside the belly of bipolar disorder, reflecting major new insightsWhen Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, she did not yet have the piece of shattering knowledge that would finally make sense of the chaos of her life At age twenty four, Hornbacher was diagnosed with Type I rapid cycle bipolar,An astonishing dispatch from inside the belly of bipolar disorder, reflecting major new insightsWhen Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, she did not yet have the piece of shattering knowledge that would finally make sense of the chaos of her life At age twenty four, Hornbacher was diagnosed with Type I rapid cycle bipolar, the most severe form of bipolar disorder.In Madness, in her trademark wry and utterly self revealing voice, Hornbacher tells her new story Through scenes of astonishing visceral and emotional power, she takes us inside her own desperate attempts to counteract violently careening mood swings by self starvation, substance abuse, numbing sex, and self mutilation How Hornbacher fights her way up from a madness that all but destroys her, and what it is like to live in a difficult and sometimes beautiful life and marriage where bipolar always beckons is at the center of this brave and heart stopping memoir.Madness delivers the revelation that Hornbacher is not alone millions of people in America today are struggling with a variety of disorders that may disguise their bipolar disease And Hornbacher s fiercely self aware portrait of her own bipolar as early as age four will powerfully change, too, the current debate on whether bipolar in children actually exists.Ten years after Kay Redfield Jamison s An Unquiet Mind, this storm of a memoir will revolutionize our understanding of bipolar disorder.

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    About Marya Hornbacher


    1. Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia HarperCollins Publishers, Inc , in 1998, when she was twenty three What started as a crazy idea suggested by a writer friend became the classic book that has been published in fourteen languages, is taught in universities and writing programs all over the world, and has, according to the thousands of letters Marya has received over the years, changed lives Her second book, the acclaimed novel The Center of Winter HarperCollins, 2005 has been called masterful, gorgeous writing, a stunning acheivement of storytelling, delicious, and compulsive reading Told in three voices, by six year old Kate, her mentally ill brother Esau, and their mother Claire, The Center of Winter is the story of a family recovering from a father s suicide in the spare, wintry Minnesota north, a story of struggle, transformation, and hope Marya s new memoir Madness A Life Houghton Mifflin is an intense, beautifully written book about the difficulties, and promise, of living with mental illness It is already being called the most visceral, important book on mental illness to be published in years It will be published in April of 2008 The recipient of a host of awards for journalism and a Pulitzer Prize nominee, Marya has lectured at universities around the country, taught writing and literature, and published in academic and literary journals since 1992 She lives in Minneapolis with her husband Jeff, their cats Shakespeare and T.S Eliot, and their miniature dachsunds Milton and Dante.


    272 Comments


    1. Hornbacher's _Wasted_ is probably the most perceptive book ever written on eating disorders, so I went ahead and bought the hardback of this "sequel" in which she describes her diagnosis and subsequent grappling with bi-polar depression. Unfortunately, while the book might be a photo-finish accurate portrayal of what it's like to be bi-polar, the problem with the book is that it's a photo-finish accurate portrayal of what it's like to be bi-polar. The first 50 pages are a series of vignettes of [...]

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    2. لليوم، افضل سيرة قرأتها عن المرض النفسي عموماً، وعن ثنائي القطبية خصوصاً.بالنسبة لي، القرآن افضل رفيق للشخص الذي يمر بمتاعب نفسية.لكن اذا كنت تمر بمتاعب نفسية، هذه السيرة ستعلمك بأنك لست وحدك وان هنالك دائماً أمل.الكتاب جداً مفيد اذا كان شخص تحبه يعاني من متاعب نفسية.ومن الا [...]

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    3. Hornbacher's stories terrify me. And ashamedly, the entire time that I was reading 'Madness', all I could think about was how glad I was that I am not that crazy. It also proves the fact that human beings can be very resilient, tenacious fuckers. Having also read 'Wasted', I can't believe this woman is still alive. She's like an extreme-condition crash test dummy. I've struggled with rather severe anxiety for years, with derealisation, panic attacks and so on - and each time I've had these episo [...]

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    4. i have to say, she totally won me over. it was amazing because i wasn't sure ifMarya Hornbacher could do it, but she redeemed herself by being more honest and upfront and REAL about her illness and willingness to get better than she was inWasted, and more thanElizabeth Wurtzel ever, ever did. this is best example of mania i have ever read. it is so true to life, and so true to form. it's really impressive how much insight she has into her illness when she lacked so much before - but it's like th [...]

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    5. One of the most touching memoirs I have ever read. I can't get enough of Marya Hornbacher's writing. Not only that, but I'm continuously tempted to keep checking up on her to see how she is faring.Having a friend whose sister has a personality disorder has made me almost morbidly interested in mental illness. This is the first book that has actually helped me understand her sisters behaviour. In fact, it's nearly impossible to understand considering it doesn't make sense to someone who does not [...]

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    6. I read Hornbacher's first memoir, Wasted, a decade ago and was impressed by the strength of her voice then. But while she'd managed to fight back against her eating disorder, it turns out that she hadn't even begun to deal with her alcoholism and, more fundamentally, had only just begun to confront her bipolar condition. This memoir deals with that story, with an even stronger personal emphasis than I recall from her first book. Like her first book, it's definitely not a feel-good memoir, nor a [...]

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    7. What needs to be said about Marya, is that she suffers from one of the most severe cases of Bipolar disorder, type 1 (which includes full on mania and psychosis that can last for years untreated), with rapid cycling. It's not like Bipolar II where you experience hypomania and depression (where the depression can be more in play than hypomania). She suffered wild psychosis and mania for a long time, and addiction is a big part of people diagnosed with Bipolar. I understand that this is a memoir, [...]

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    8. Marya Hornbacher is better known for her memoir ‘Wasted’, which she wrote, no, published, at the age of twenty two , and which went viral, in which she spares no gruesome detail of her frankly horrific ‘altercation’ with anorexia and bulimia, and in which she drops to just 52 pounds, almost dies (hmmm, obviously), but emerges triumphant (well, barring infertility, osteoporosis and some other organ failure residuals, I forget which), to beat the disease, finish off college and publish a b [...]

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    9. أنا أنزف : أنا حيأنت عاقل حتى يثبت أنك مجنوناقتباسات جذبتني عند بداية قرائتي لهذه السيرة الذاتية التي تحكي فيها ماريا عن تجربتها مع الاكتئاب ثنائي القطب. التفاصيل التي توردها صعبة جدا؛ صعبة التحمل، صعبة التخيل، صعبة التصديق. لا أعتقد أنه يمكنني الخوض في تفاصيل مرضها الأليم ف [...]

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    10. At the age of 24, Marya Hornbacher was diagnosed with Type I bipolar disorder. This realization of why she thinks and behaves the way she does did not come at the outset of her disease. Rather, it came after years and years of cycling through incessant mania and debilitating depression. Hornbacher recalls moments from her childhood, such as her terrible insomnia and inability to stop jabbering flying from topic to topic with no coherent train of thought. She tried to poke fun at herself as all t [...]

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    11. Madness: A Bipolar Life is a riveting memoir about the most severe form of bipolar disorder called: Rapid Cycling Type 1. She describes her struggles with the demons she faces every day, wavering between madness and deep bouts of depression.As early as the age of 4 Marya Hornbacher was unable to sleep and night and talked endlessly. Once she was in school, other children called her crazy. By the age of 10 she discovered alcohol helped her mood swings, and by age 14, she was trading sex for pills [...]

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    12. By her early 20s Marya Hornbacher had written and published a memoir about living with and beginning to recover from anorexia and bulimia. That book, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia became an international bestseller. Hornbacher was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, something which had likely gone undetected since childhood. Undetected in the sense that it was undiagnosed, but as Madness shows Hornbacher has been living with mental illness from a young age.Hornbacher doesn [...]

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    13. This book was amazing! Marya was able to articulate so many things about bipolar disorder that I never could have. I found myself intrigued by her experiences, a little frightened, and at some points I giggled in nervousness at some of the things she's done. Her case is way more extreme than mine, I have the type 2 bipolar and I'm on a slow cycle. But some of the things she wrote about also applied to me. I honestly want to buy this book for everyone in my family and my close friends so they can [...]

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    14. I could not put this book down. It is a fascinating account of a lifelong struggle with bipolar illness and the effect it has not only on the person diagnosed but on her friends and family as well. Marya (pronounced MAR-ya) Hornbacher is an incredible writer and I was constantly amazed at the idea that she could hold together the life she did and be a successful writer while struggling so desperately with this overwhelming illness. I was at turns hopeful then despairing then back to determined h [...]

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    15. "Read" may be too strong a term for what happened with this book, although I did read several chapters.The book opens with Marya cutting deep into her arm -- a scene that nearly had my squeamish self retching. We follow her to the emergency room and the hospital, where she eventually manages to talk herself out of being committed.We then journey back to her childhood, where her mania takes on proportions hitherto imagined only by the likes of James Frey. She's more manic than any manic depressiv [...]

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    16. I read this book because I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and it was actually recommended to me by my psychiatrist. I nearly went crazy (hehehe not funny!) at the beginning of the book where Marya is literally bouncing from one place to the next. It created such anxiety in me that I even had nightmares. Then the recognition of some moments. I am definitely not such a rapid bipolar sufferer but when I am in what I call a good place, I now realize that I am always a somewhat hyper. And [...]

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    17. From the time she was a little girl, Marya always felt different from the other children around her and from her parents as well. A little "crazy" as her friends from school would call her. As she grows up though and spends her life in and out of mental institutions, with different husbands and psychiatrists and moving back and forth from Minneapolis to California constantly, it becomes apparent that something serious is going on. To get her life back in order is difficult, but she's determined [...]

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    18. SummaryI'm not sure how I feel about this book. I think it did a good job of providing a chronological view of her struggle with mental illness, but it felt too much like a daily diary. 'I did this on this day, on this day I was here.' Etc. Plus, she constantly referred to writing this book, in the book. Sort of a trippy third person view. Similar to a painter painting a painting of a painter painting a painting. Head starts spinning.

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    19. No, I'm not bipolar. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Although clearly thinks that I am after this purchase, based on the recommendations I'm now getting fast and furious. :) I read Hornbacher's first book, Wasted, when a friend of mine was suffering with an eating disorder. She is a brilliant writer and I was pleased to see she had another book out, in addition to a novel she wrote a few years back. This one, like Wasted, is a compelling, disturbing read about what it is like to suf [...]

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    20. I think people who write "this book isn't Wasted" or "this isn't my/ my friend's/ my cousin's roommate's brother's experience with bipolar." Like many other people, I read this book because I read Wasted a long time ago and liked it. Actually I heard an urban legend that the author died of heart trouble after writing that book, and then saw some of her other books listed, and so was curious. This book is fundamentally a description of the experience of bipolar disorder. Yes, duh, this makes it s [...]

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    21. Hornbacher has outdone herself. It is hard to understand mental illness, let alone to feel what it is to be in the psychotic mania and the deepest despair of bipolar disorder. But this book shows (not just tells) with surprising clarity what it is to be insane. It takes you into a mind of madness with true artistry of words that is not too abstract as to alienate you in this alien world yet fantastical enough to capture you: mind and all. The book is well balanced between events and explanation [...]

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    22. I absolutely loved Marya Hornbacher's first book, Wasted. I looked forward to reading Madness, and had great expectations. In comparison, Madness was terribly disappointing. It was downright annoying to read, so much so that I skimmed probably close to 33% of the book. There seemed to be no real continuity, and the thoughts were rather spaced. The only good bits were in the epilogue and "Bipoloar facts."

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    23. I'm fairly familiar with Marya Hornbacher - only a week before picking up this book, I read her first memoir entitled "Wasted", an autobiographical account of her 10-year struggle with anorexia and bulimia. Shocked and stirred time and again by her ingenuous chronicles of induced vomiting coupled with radically self-imposed starvation, I thought I'd reach the apex of stupefaction. However, I was hit over the head yet again by her impressive, candid and unflinching examination of her mental illne [...]

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    24. After a recent diagnosis that directly relates to the content of this book; I decided to pick it up again. Maybe I was more engaged because it is more relevant to me, whatever the reason I could not put it down. Marya offers a very honest, un sugarcoated look at her life with Bipolar Disorder. And she really captures what it is like to be manic, AND how debilitating the inevitable depression is. I saw a lot of my own symptoms in her experiences. That was comforting, because it made me realize th [...]

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    25. I really like these types of books. Memoirs.but any kind of memoirs.I like the one where the person has been through something rough, harsh, extreme and they share it with you. It gives you a better understanding of what people go through. Much more personal then reading a textbook or watching tvMarya has been cursed with bipolar disorder since she was young, but wasn't properly diagnosed until she was older. The doctors kept telling her that she had other issues and she went through so many med [...]

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    26. This is the first time that I read about someone with manic–depressive disorder (/ bipolar disorder) and it certainly opened my eyes. In Madness, the author details her journey of living with the illness, from her emotionally unstable childhood to the diagnosis of her illness and finally to her acceptance of the fact that the illness will stay with her for her whole life.It gets very repetitive in the process as she went back and forth in the progress of controlling her disorder, her experienc [...]

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    27. Amazing memior by an amazingly strong woman. I actually CAN imagine what it's like to live with Bipolar I, because Marya Hornbacher bring you along on her journey with painful honesty in her usual intense style. The beat of the book follows the beat of her moods. When she is low, the pace of her writing is dark and thick. When she is manic, her writing reaches a fevered pitch of vivid descriptions of taste, sound, visceral feelings, fear, panic, giddiness, and delusions bordering on full blown p [...]

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    28. I must admit, I gave up on this book feeling it just wasn't worth my time and energy. I thought it would be interesting, getting an up close and personal take on bipolar disease since I know people who suffer from it. I got about half way through and had enough. The story tells of the author's experience with the disease, suffering, unknowing, discovery, treatment and the "ups and downs" she goes through.It wasn't that the book wasn't well written, but reading this story became so tedious that I [...]

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    29. Hornbacher does a great job of conveying the internal experience of bipolar disorder. It's a very good book, but I gave it just 3 stars because I can't quite say that I "really liked" the experience of being inside that world with her. One interesting thing she does is to remove the specific content of her thoughts and just describe the moods themselves -- she says she feels rage, for example, but often doesn't detail the things that are setting her off, what she's raging about. My own experienc [...]

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    30. In Una vita bipolare vi è il racconto della malattia di Marya.Segnata sin dall'infanzia da repentini cambi d'umore, da insonnia ed iperattività, da un ambiente familiare in cui alcol e depressione sono sempre presenti poiché anche il padre è affetto dalla medesima patologia.Il bipolarismo investe anche gli affetti privati, impone al corpo un continuo iter fra letti sconosciuti, il bisogno di attenuare la depressione in litri di alcol, l'assenza di cibo e l'irrefrenabile attività.All'insanit [...]

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