Now, still a young woman, Hornbacher tells the story that until recently she had no idea was hers to tell: that of her life with Type I ultra-rapid-cycle bipolar disorder, the most severe form of bipolar disease. In Madness , Hornbacher relates that bipolar can spawn eating disorders, substance abuse, promiscuity, and self-mutilation, and that for too long these symptoms have masked, for many of the three million people in America with bipolar, their underlying illness. Through scenes of astonishing visceral and emotional power, she takes us inside her own desperate attempts to counteract violently careening mood swings. 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. Hornbacher is so gifted a writer that I was more than willing to go along for the ride. Followers of Wasted…will clamor for this.
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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. Pages : Carton Quantity : I will not go to sleep. I am four years old and I like to stay up all night.
I sing my songs, very quietly. I keep watch. Nothing can get me if I am awake. I sleep during the day like a bat with the blinds closed, and then they come home. I hear them open the door, and I fling on the lights and gallop through the house shrieking to wake the dead all evening, all night. I shout. A reading! A race! I want opera glasses! I want an Irish setter, I want a camel!
I want an Easter dress! Right now, yes! Where are the car keys? Of course I can drive! Fine, go to bed! See if I care! I jabber to my imaginary friends Susie and Sackie and Savvy and Cindy, who tell me secrets and stay with me all night while I am keeping watch, while I am guarding the castle, and there are horrible creatures waiting to kill me so I talk to myself all night, writing a play and acting it out with a thousand little porcelain figures that I dust every day, twice a day, I must keep things neat, in their magic positions, or something terrible will happen.
The shah of Iran, who is under my bed, will leap out and carry me away under his arm. I have to get dressed. I go to the closet, I take out a jumper and a white shirt, and from the dresser I get white socks and white underwear and a white undershirt, and I get my favorite saddle shoes, and I suit up completely.
I must be very quiet or my parents will hear. I get on my hands and knees and crawl all over the room, smoothing out the carpet. Finally I make myself stop. I lie down in the center of the floor, facing the door in case of emergency. I cross my ankles and fold my hands across my middle. I close my eyes. I fall asleep, or die.
I bounce up and down on my toes and lean over her, my mouth near her ear. He came while I was sleeping. You have to make him leave. Will you read to me? Next to her, the mountain of my father snores. We could make cookies instead! I want to buy a horse, a gray one! Just slow down. Tell me the most important thing you want to tell me. She carries me down the hall.
This is how she fixes it. She holds me very tight and things slow down a little. I set my chin on her shoulder and sob and babble. What if there are snakes in my bedroom? What if you and Daddy die? Who will take care of me? What if you give me away? I get more and more agitated, swinging moment by moment from terror to elation to utter despair, until finally I wiggle my way free and start to run.
I race around the house, my mother trailing me, until I stumble on my nightgown and sprawl out on the floor, sobbing, beating my fists on the ground. She is here. She is right here. She picks me up. She carries me into the bathroom and turns on the bathtub.
I am suddenly quiet. Water makes it better. In the water, I am safe. She kneels next to me where I sit, only my head sticking out of the water. She tells me a story. Things are slowing down. I am contained. I bob in the water, warm, enclosed. My limbs float. The noise and racing of my thoughts wind down until they yawn in my head as if they are in slow motion.
My head is filled with white cotton, and I hear a low humming, and my skull is heavy. The goatman has gone away for the night. She sits on the edge of my bed, smoothing my hair.
I am wrapped up like a package. I am a caterpillar in my cocoon. I am an egg. They know I am different. They say that I live in my head. They are just being kind. The other kids say it, twirl their fingers next to their heads, Cuckoo!
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Marya Hornbacher, Madness. An award-winning journalist, she lectures nationally on writing and mental health and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Goatman I will not go to sleep. She stays with me until, near dawn, I fall asleep. What They Know They know I am different. Want the latest Email Address. Yes No I want to receive news, events, offers or promotions related to HMH's and its affiliates' products and services. Sign Up.
Search: Title Author Article. Rate this book. An astonishing dispatch from inside the belly of bipolar disorder, reflecting major new insights. When 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.
Madness: A Bipolar Life
There is a strongly compulsive feel to Hornbacher's writing. It is vivid and fast paced. Much of the writing style captures the experience of mania, the speed of the prose, the sudden changes in Brilliant and honest often uncomfortably so , and for me a book that changed the way I look at bipolar disorder.
Quieting the Demons and Giving Art a Voice
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