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Posted August 20, 2012
The title really does say it all. The chaos at hand is the madn
The title really does say it all. The chaos at hand is the madness
(quite literally) of bipolar disorder. I have read more than my fair
share of memoirs about mental illness and/or mental health. I find
people’s struggles with their own brains/heads to be fascinating
reading. Not in a voyeuristic, Schadenfreude-filled way (I don’t
think), but from a place of deepest empathy – because I can’t imagine
anything scarier in this world than getting lost inside your own mind.
I’ve been pretty lucky in my life – I’m the first person to admit that.
Even with that luck, I have had one full-blown and one partial (for me)
panic attack in my day – and they freaked the ever-loving life out of
me. The walls shrank, I couldn’t breathe, everything got over-bright
and too loud and too much. They were short episodes and for the first,
more severe, one, I had one of my two best friends there to quite
literally hold my hand and tell me I was alright and that things would
be okay. She also paid the check – we were out to dinner at the time
that it hit – and walked me through the streets of Chicago in the dark
until I could breathe regularly and stand the thought of being indoors
again. Thank you again Lynna!! The other, partial freak-out occurred
when I was by myself in my apartment; fortunately I was able to maintain
just enough presence of mind to identify what was happening and talk
myself down from the proverbial ledge. These events look so simple and
small written down; I assure you they felt huge and overwhelming and
defeating when they happened. But I know that they were not even a mote
in the eye of a giant compared to the feelings of stress, anxiety,
panic, fear, depression, mania and wrong-ness that people who suffer
from mental illness have to deal with on a regular basis. I don’t know
if I read survivor stories to educate myself enough so that if, god
forbid, The Panic strikes again I can somehow deal with it until it
subsides or if I read them to remind myself that I am lucky. Either
way, the stories are unfailingly moving – and the strength of the
survivors and their loved ones are unflinchingly impressive. perfect
chaos is told in two voices. Linea has bipolar; Cinda is her mother.
Reading about Linea’s battles with unidentifiable and inexplicable bouts
of depression and feelings of pointlessness, about her struggle for
diagnosis and treatment is heart-wrenching. Reading about Cinda
watching Linea spiral out of control and then picking her up and
carrying her (metaphorically and physically) when she literally couldn’t
find the strength or the will to live is almost more so. The story is
presented chronologically, detailing the slide Linea’s health takes as
she transitions from childhood to adolescence and then early adulthood,
when the most severe symptoms presented themselves. Eventually, she
devolves from a bright, talented young woman with the world at her feet
into a puddle of a girl who cannot bring herself to care if she lives or
dies, a girl who tries to find meaning in lines of coke, beer, and razor
blades. At that point, her parents literally step in and save her life.
After an in-patient stint in a psychiatric facility that includes
electroshock therapy, Linea’s tries to regain control as her physicians
and her family try to figure out a plan for treatment and “recovery” –
not only from the drugs and drinking and self-mutilation, but from the
disease that has laid waste to her plans for her own life. The disease
is always there and always a threat; she has to manage it as best she
can with therapeutic treatments, but remain ever-vigilant for the signs
of an oncoming episode and make herself ask for help when she needs it.
It’s a difficult road for a young woman of twenty to put herself on, but
Linea tries her best – and Cinda is always there, right beside her, no
matter how rough the relapses get, no matter how scared her daughter’s
mania and depression make her. Mother and daughter have very different
voices, but their stories are presented in equally clear, concise, and
incredibly open language that conveys the manic (no pun intended) cycles
of episodes and treatment that comprise Linea’s life. The book required
a lot of energy to read; bipolar is emotional and infuriating and
dramatic and perplexing and draining – and that’s just when you read
about it. I can’t imagine the strength of character it takes to talk so
openly and honestly about the most difficult times in one’s life. Or to
be the friend or family member confronted with the onslaught of an
episode – or its aftermath. Kudos to both women for their unflinching
look at bipolar and its treatments, and for doing what they can to raise
awareness and understanding.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 26, 2012
This book is an amazing recollection of the trauma and stress a
This book is an amazing recollection of the trauma and stress a familyWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
goes through when their daughter is suffering from and is ultimately
diagnosed with a mental illness. It takes you day by day through their
raw emotions and fragile feelings, so much so, that you feel as though
you are right there with them, fighting as hard as they were to keep
Linea alive and stable. Their story hits home hard for me, as it is
strikingly similar to my own. Reading Cinda's words was difficult for
me, as I couldn't help but think that those were the same emotions and
fears that my own parents experienced when I was first hospitalized. I
related so strongly to Linea's descriptions of what her mind was
thinking during her darkest times. I would recommend this book to
anyone, not just a family dealing with a family member who has a mental
illness. It provides an insightful education to a normal person on what
someone who lives with a mental illness goes through and how support
from friends and family can mean the difference between life and death.
Posted June 11, 2012
This book outlines the real struggles that both Linea & Cinda go through. It helps both victims and their parents realize they are not alone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
What Linea goes through just to be "normal" is so scary and enlightening. It is an excellent read for parents that have a child diagnosed with some type of mental disorder. It proves that mental disorders are for real and not just a slang terminology.
It opened my eyes greatly to some of the struggles my own child is going through right now.
Highly recommend this read to anyone experiencing a disorder. Contact the authors by messaging them on facebook. They will respond to you.
A+ in my opinion.
Posted June 7, 2012
Wonderfully poignant example of the resiliency of the human spirit and love of family
These dual journals, if you will, let you see into the decent into mental illness and you realize it could happen to anyone. Hopefully you would cope with the help of a loving family.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 6, 2012
Honest, emotional and refreshing
I have just finished reading this wonderful book. I loved the way it was written and how you feel like you are experiencing this journey with them. It is emotional and even funny at times, in a weird way...but it's really refreshing to read the honesty written on the pages of this book. I think this is a great read for anyone and I think that anyone, young or old, with mild or severe depression or mental illness would find a lot of comfort in this true story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 22, 2012
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Posted November 2, 2012
No text was provided for this review.