Customer Reviews for

Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2003

    Quite enjoyable and informative

    I enjoyed 'A Brilliant Madness' quite a bit- it's engaging, entertaining, and informative. The quality of writing isn't as good as that of the finest mental illness memoirs, like 'An Unquiet Mind' and 'Girl, Interrupted', but it's definitely well worth reading. One intriguing point is that there might be some relationship between mania and Patty's acting skill. In other words, bipolar disorder may confer some advantages to the afflicted, in spite of some of its dreadful consequences.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2002

    A "Must Read" Book

    About 1947, my mother became a victim of bi-polar disorder in her early 20s. Medical knowledge was "lean" regarding this illness then and help was not readily available. Our family life was very difficult - my mother and father had five children spread over a period of 18 years. Being the two oldest, my sister and I assumed a great majority of the responsibilities normally handled by our mother. My sister and I were 10 and 11 when our youngest sister was born. About 18 months later, our brother was born; and when I graduated from high school, I was the only graduating senior with a very pregnant mother - our youngest brother was born that summer. Due to my father's devotion to my mother, our family stayed together but it was a roller coaster ride that was most often on the down side. Mother was a talented and intelligent woman who would do anything to help anyone; but when she had her "episodes", it was traumatic for all of us for many years. A friend recommended ¿A Brilliant Madness¿ to me shortly after it was published. It provided me with the knowledge I needed to cope with my mother's illness and its effects on us. I was able to interact positively with my mother until the day she died. I will continue to recommend this book to others. What I did not know those many years ago was that my beautiful, talented, intelligent daughter would also become a victim of this illness at the age of 19. Devastated at my daughter¿s misfortune, I was able to adjust to this new ¿fact of life¿ for two primary reasons - my previous experience and knowledge and the support of a well-educated and loving husband. My prayer is that we will continue to educate ourselves. Education is not just knowledge; it is freedom. Our lives can be fruitful even with adversity - which we all encounter. My daughter is becoming more capable of managing her life as well. Patty Duke and other well-known individuals who so unselfishly share the intimate details of "tragedy" in their lives enrich the lives of all of us. They have my utmost admiration and definitely my sincere gratitude.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2002

    Thank you Ms Patty Duke

    I started to read this book looking for my mother. When I read mixed states I started to cry. My childhood was horrible to say the least. Then to add to the problem she was fanatically religious in a cultish religion. No childhood to say the least. I always knew something was wrong with me, but I didn't know what. Usually depressed with anxiety and yet very up moments with doing sculpture and all sorts of art. I could be happy and silly and then crash. After cutting my wrist and being baker acted, I read your book again and found myself. There is so much thyroid problems in my family from my great-grandmother to my grandmother to my mother and 6 of her other sisters. There also seems to be a lot of bipolar in the family. My doctor saw the other me for the first time recently and put me on lithium. I haven't been on it long but I already have a peace of mind I have never felt before. I am so glad I re-read your book and took in the thyroid family history to my Doctor. I guess I am also glad I was out of line,a bit obnoxious and a little rude the last time I saw the Doctor. I guess I owe him an appology. So Ms Duke I just may owe you my life. The black hole is very dark. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2001

    The best source of information I've found

    I always knew something was wrong with my mother even as a child. It wasn't until my one sister and I were talking about how bipolar seemed to fit her a few years ago. Not only that but some of my mothers sisters are also very much like her. I even remember my mother telling me about my Grandmother and how she would go to her bed for long periods of time. My Grandmother took my mother out of school in the 4th grade to care for all the babies she kept having (10 altogether and my mother being the oldest girl and second child). It was a tramatic childhood to say the least for my mother and it was a tramatic childhood my sisters and me. The thyroid really hit home to. Every one of my mothers sisters have had them taken out or are on medication. My mothers was also removed before she died. Also my Grandmother and my Great Grandmother had theirs removed! That is every woman in my mothers family. My father didn't know what to do with her so, he disconnected from all of us. To add into the equation she was a fanatical Seventh Day Adventist. I have 2 children and worry for them. I do carry the scars from my childhood. I bought this book to find my mother and to understand the illness and to find out what kind of bipolar she must have had. I found her in the Mixed States. It Fit her to a T. It is sad my father didn't have the courage to take her for help but maybe he tried....I know the family doctor kept trying to give her tranquilizers and she would refuse to take them. Eventually the Doctor dropped her as his patient. I want to thank Ms Duke or Anna....which ever she prefers to be called for such a wonderfully informative book. Hopefully it will help me to forgive my mothers behavior. However, I know it will be hard. I would love to talk to Anna or at least write her a letter but I guess this is the best I can do to thank her.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Fantastic Book! Must Read!!

    I work in the mental health field and absolutely love this book and Anna Marie's other Book, "Call Me Anna". For the general public I think it is a great education on the painful, heart felt struggles of individuals suffering from Bipolar Disorder, and really, any Mental Illness. For professionals in the field, it's a reminder of the personal pain and potential of our consumers and for those struggling with mental illness it is encouragement, validation and a good reminder that they are not their mental illness, but rather they have a mental illness. Many go unidentified and untreated, often covering with drugs and alcohol or just haning on by their finger nails day to day. Perhaps some will seen themselves in these books and discuss it with their doctor and seek the help that they so despirately need and deserve.

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  • Posted January 21, 2011

    the best book for family members

    I bought this book when I was diagnosed in 1987. It explained everything in laymens terms and is easy to understand. I gave the book to my Mom and after she read it she became my fiercest advocate. I even made my boyfriend read it before we got together and we've been together almost 17 years. If you have been diagnosed, have your family read this book. It has the power to heal families. It did ours and I will be forever grateful to Anna for telling her story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2008

    This is a wonderful book and helped save my son's life

    My son and myself read this book and oh my it seemed like Patty was writing about my son to a 'T' It helped us to understand the disease and how he and our family could learn to live with this disease.. Thank You Patty Duke for this wonderful book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2004

    I Can't Wait To Read It!

    I really enjoyed Patty's first book, 'Call Me Anna'. I read it in high school. For a long time, I had the same symptoms and tempers as Patty. I was diagnosed about a year ago and getting help for it. I can't wait to read this one and find more inspiration in this wonderful woman and talented actress. Thanks.

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    Posted August 28, 2011

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    Posted August 25, 2011

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    Posted August 1, 2011

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    Posted October 8, 2010

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    Posted March 19, 2009

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    Posted June 7, 2010

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    Posted January 23, 2010

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