Mark Vonnegut

Mark Vonnegut

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About Mark Vonnegut, M.D. Mark Vonnegut, the son of Kurt and Jane Cox Vonnegut, was born in Chicago in 1947 and moved to Cape Cod when he was four years old. He received a B.A. in Religion from Swarthmore in 1969 and fled to a commune in British Columbia; he had his first psychotic break shortly thereafter. Mark was originally diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia but was subsequently diagnosed as Manic Depressive; the medically preferred term is now Bipolar. He spent several years back on the Cape recovering, working odd jobs and completing his first book. The Eden Express was published in 1975 and has remained in print ever since. The New York Times declared it “required reading for those who want to understand insanity from the inside.” Against all odds, determined to prove that mental illness didn’t make him damaged goods, Mark applied and was admitted to Harvard Medical School which he still can’t get over. He’s had a total of four psychotic breaks and hospitalizations. He manages to get better which is the main thing. His second book, Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So was published in 2010. As long as he’s a good doctor, patients could care less about who his father is or that he has mental illness. Mark has served on the Harvard Medical School Admissions Committee and is currently an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He has spoken at numerous conferences and has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Boston Globe, among others, on topics ranging from ADHD to mental illness. Mark Vonnegut is married to Barbara Sibert Vonnegut and has three sons, Zachary, 44, Eli, 41, and Mark Oliver, 19. He paints wicked good, plays the saxophone OK and likes to chase his dog around the house. He used to collect wild mushrooms which landed him in the hospital twice and he cut off part of his left thumb with a table saw. He meditates, does yoga and has a therapist.
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