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Publisher's Summary

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. At age 24, Hornbacher was diagnosed with Type I rapid-cycle bipolar, the most severe form of bipolar disorder.

In Madness: A Bipolar Life, 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: A Bipolar Life 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 disease actually exists in in children.

Ten years after Kay Redfield Jamison's An Unquiet Mind, this storm of a memoir will revolutionize our understanding of bipolar disorder.

©2008 Marya Hornbacher (P)2019 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What listeners say about Madness: A Bipolar Life

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    4 out of 5 stars

Relatable

I suffer with both bipolar 1 and anorexia It’s like this book was written about me As we have had many similar experiences in hospital and psych wards It was hard to listen to but beautifully written

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  • Ashley
  • 24-10-2019

A must-read (or must-listen) for those w/bipolar

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II a year ago (at 30 years old) and was having a difficult time accepting my diagnosis. I was having trouble understanding how other people coped with bipolar, or what it felt like, because I don't know anyone personally and there honestly isn't a whole lot online in reference to personal experiences with it. I chose "Madness" because I read Marya's book, "Wasted" years before, when I was deeply entrenched in my own eating disorder - coincidence? During and after listening to this book, it helped me put all the puzzle pieces together, and I can relate to SO many things Marya has gone through...a little less intense though, hence Bipolar II. I especially recommend this book to those who are personally living with this diagnosis and would appreciate hearing another person's story, the experiences they've gone through and their day to day struggle, as well as the emotions and thoughts that go through their head on a daily basis, rather than a book describing bipolar disorder - like so many other books do. It really made me feel less "alone" after understanding that other people are like me. I will definitely listen to it over and over again. Story was great, performance was great, I can't recommend this book enough! (oh, and I'm a SUPER picky audiobook listener, - if that helps)

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  • Johnene
  • 02-05-2020

Wow such a good book

Narration so good, I felt like I was in her mind and peeking at her thoughts. There were times I had to put the book down because the reality touched too close to home. Such a good book to help parents, friends and patients to understand this madness.

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  • J. S. Harbour
  • 14-01-2020

we are all just victims in life

I was hoping there would be some useful information in this book about bipolar disorder but there is not. this is a biography written by a narcissist bipolar type one woman who exacerbated her condition with alcohol and then expect sympathy for what she's been through. and make no mistake about it this is a boo hoo fest of feel sorry for me the victim look at what I've been through isn't it horrible. her bipolar was manageable but she decided to not take her meds and to abuse alcohol and therefore she is not a victim, but she is a class a narcissist and I found this book repugnant. not only repugnant in that it's one person sensationalising their horrible behavior in life as if it's all just part of the disorder none of my fault I didn't do it, but also a waste of time because it's just a Mimi Mimi Mimi story and serves no practical purpose for others who suffer with bipolar disorder and are looking for good information such as suggestions and so forth. she repeats over and over again how her memory loss has a detrimental effect on her life and yet she is able to put this detailed book together afterward?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Snow Dunn
  • 09-01-2020

brilliant!

felt like you were right there with her! so real and RAW! what a ride! grab your seat!

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  • Sabrina reyes
  • 05-11-2019

must buy

this was a wonderful book. It was very honest and raw. highly recommend this book.

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  • kt0000
  • 09-10-2020

relatable and very well written

I struggled to stop listening to this one. I absolutely loved it. the story describes a woman with access to reasonable healthcare and insurance who has been able to earn a living while struggling with severe bipolar. the fact that Mrs. Hornbacher was able to earn a living and still accomplish great things while dealing with severe mental illness is awe inspiring. some of the struggles she has getting a diagnosis and finding doctors who will treat it is so relatable and honest. I love this book. 5/5

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  • JakesZAR
  • 09-09-2020

insightful.

This is not a guide or book with tips. It is a recollection of what's it's like to live with bi-polar almost like reading her private journal. It also made me think about how fortunate I am about being able to for example travel while she has to first check what hospitals are nearby and if the medication will be enough for the trip. I liked it. It was at times a bit slow,meaning no real developments but I later understood that her emotional experience or situation was represented in the book. from slow and thoughtful to fast and thoughtless.

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  • AMBER
  • 18-02-2020

no thanks

I struggled to fi nish. The book gave me anxiety. it was not the best representation of bipolar people. Not all are like this.

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  • N Harrington
  • 12-11-2020

Brilliant

I absolutely loved this audiobook. Highly recommended, especially for sufferers, their family and friends, and anyone who would like to understand bipolarity.

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  • Sarah & Jay
  • 09-07-2020

Best account of a crazy mind

Absolutely my best author, wonderfully honest and a must read for those struggling or living with someone with a crazy mind.

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