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Publisher's Summary

When Marya Hornbacher published her acclaimed first book, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, she did not yet have a piece of shattering knowledge: the underlying reason for her distress. At age 24, Hornbacher was diagnosed with Type I rapid-cycle bipolar, the most severe form of bipolar disease there is. In her wry and utterly self-revealing style, Hornbacher tells her new story in Madness.
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. Her brave and heart-stopping memoir details her fight up from madness and describes what it is like to live in a difficult, sometimes beautiful life and marriage when the bipolar tendency always beckons.
©2008 Marya Hornbacher (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Lamont Crook on 07-16-08

Forget Prozac Nation - this what it is really like

I think what the other reviewers have failed to see is that mental health and in this case bipolar disorder doesn't have a conclusion. Unlike Prozac Nation which nicely ties things up, this book tells it like it is. When I was diagnosed with Bipolar and my wife asked me when I was just going to get over it after 2 hospitalizations, I knew that most people don't get it. Its not about cure, its about coping. Its about living with an illness that often ends in death. Its about understanding that your boundaries are narrower than you want them to be, and that's just the way it is. Its understanding that what your mind and body are telling you may kill you if you are not careful. Its about losing time and not understanding why.

Perhaps this limits this books audience, but I'm glad I listened to it and I'm glad Mayra wrote it.

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47 of 47 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Marie C. on 09-26-15


This was incredible! Marya, you are a fabulous writer! Thank you so very much for sharing your life and struggles with me. I also have bipolar disorder (with psychosis-that part was added during my hospital visit), and I have Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD due to child sexual abuse and a few rapes later on. That sickens me to say it. I'm trying to get myself used to it. I had recreated my life in my head, rewrote my life story, dissociating from the little girl who was abused because I wasn't going to be "one of them". Besides, it wasn't violent. How could that be considered abuse. And later, anytime it was likely to turn ugly in a situation, I'd just give in to keep safe and then how could I call it rape. That's how I kept from being one of those abused girls. The ones you feel sorry for. As if I can rewrite reality, right? If I actually could, I wouldn't have any mental illnesses. So it's been hard on me this last year as memories are coming back, I'm struggling with accepting the reality of having bipolar, and hating the fact that I feel like a cow. I gained a bunch of weight after a tubal ligation that we thought would help matters. Somehow we missed the fact that anesthesia affects people with mental illness horribly. And as we all know depression equals weight gain usually. So that's not helping. I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this but I just thought people might like to know they're not alone, just like this book reminded ME that I'M not alone either. Thank you!

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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