Asylum: Hollywood Tales from My Great Depression: Brain Dis-Ease, Recovery, and Being My Mother's Son

( 10 )

Overview


In this deeply moving and resourceful memoir, beloved actor-director and New York Times bestselling author Joe Pantoliano takes aim at the stigma attached to what he calls “brain dis-ease” by writing candidly and humorously about his own journey through clinical depression and addiction. Most people know Joe Pantoliano from his memorable roles in such blockbuster movies as The Matrix, Risky Business, The Fugitive, and Memento, or from his Emmy-winning performance on The Sopranos. But despite all this success, ...
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Asylum: Hollywood Tales from My Great Depression: Brain Dis-Ease, Recovery, and Being My Mother's Son

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Overview


In this deeply moving and resourceful memoir, beloved actor-director and New York Times bestselling author Joe Pantoliano takes aim at the stigma attached to what he calls “brain dis-ease” by writing candidly and humorously about his own journey through clinical depression and addiction. Most people know Joe Pantoliano from his memorable roles in such blockbuster movies as The Matrix, Risky Business, The Fugitive, and Memento, or from his Emmy-winning performance on The Sopranos. But despite all this success, the actor, known as “Joey Pants,” struggled with what he later found out was clinical depression—or brain dis-ease, as he calls it. Asylum is the story of Joe’s quest for the Hollywood success he was sure would cure him, and the painful downhill spiral into depression and addiction that followed his success. Weaving deeply personal experience together with informative discourse, this memoir creates an unflinchingly honest portrayal of the true nature of the disease, as well as Joe’s own eventual diagnosis, recovery, and ongoing efforts to educate others and remove the stigma from mental illness.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Actor Pantoliano bares his life struggles in this brave account of a journey to identify a life of reckless behavior. Writing with humor and candor, his unexpected discoveries through therapeutic insights as well as his gift as an artist "to relive" the memory of real pain leads him to uncover his clinical depression. Born with dyslexia and ADHD, raised by a controlling mother who literally blocked the doorway, Pantoliano believes that moving to New York City to study theater will release him of his dark moods. But he can't battle his addictions to alcohol, drugs, food, sex, spending, stealing, as his fame rises. As group therapy develops his acting skills, his doctor manipulates him, akin to his maternal dependency, where he was "told which feelings were appropriate," then his analyst tightens his grip by becoming part of Pantoliano's Hollywood talent agency. Pantoliano intersperses his narrative with dreams, fictional confrontations, and even interpretations of his life by formal girlfriends. His work to end the melancholia stigma with his organization No Kidding, Me2 addresses mental illness and suicide in the military: he suggests that to "eliminate the shame, obliterate the blame." Many will identify with his conflicts, and fans of Pantoliano will appreciate his honesty. (June)
From the Publisher

Andy Garcia
“A must read! Joey Pants gives us insights so valuable that one can only call his courage to share a blessing for all.”

Tommy Lee Jones
“Joey has written a brave, fascinating book. It is astonishing what people will put themselves through for the privilege of acting. Maybe we just can’t help it.”

Andrew Davis, director of The Fugitive
“Bravo! Joe Pantoliano’s very honest, moving, hilarious, and tragic telling of a life’s journey is both profound and enlightening. Asylum will make anyone who reads it a more generous and understanding human being.”

Robert Irvin, M.D., Instructor of Psychiatry,Harvard Medical School
“Pantoliano’s book reveals his ever-evolving understanding of himself and his disease through a retrospective analysis of his life’s most painful and jubilant experiences. The book provides a model of inspiration and courage for those who suffer from mental illness in silence to come forward and seek the life-changing help that is currently available.”


Jacqueline Lerner, Ph.D., Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology, Boston College
“Joey Pantoliano shows insight, humor, and brilliant storytelling as he unpacks his life to understand his challenges. Joey has opened himself up so that others can benefit from what he has discovered about mental illness. No one should miss this candid and richly told memoir.”

Richard M. Lerner, Ph.D., Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science; Director, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University
“With honesty, humor, and integrity, Joey Pantoliano uses his life story to inspire hope that each of us can thrive despite emotional challenges and family turmoil. Joey’s story exemplifies the fundamental human capacities for resilience and positive growth.”

Library Journal
Pantoliano, known for his roles in The Sopranos and The Matrix among other shows and films, follows his first book, Who's Sorry Now: The True Story of a Stand-Up Guy, with this memoir of mental illness and mean mothers in the vein of Augusten Burroughs's Running with Scissors and Darrell Hammond's God, If You're Not Up There, I'm F*cked. His primary focus is not Hollywood but his and his mother's clinical depression, which he calls "brain dis-ease," or BD. Pantoliano writes about the road to becoming an actor, his failed relationships, and how he self-medicated with alcohol until he found the help he needed. VERDICT The "bada-bing" staccato tone of the book recalls the smart-aleck characters Pantoliono has played; however, his consistent inclusion of his insights about mental illness in the story of his quest for theatrical success is distracting, and the raw emotion makes this a difficult read. This is a noble effort to end discrimination against those with mental illness, but it feels more like a lecture than a Hollywood memoir.—Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602861992
  • Publisher: Weinstein Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 1,401,440
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Joe Pantoliano was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He has more than one hundred movie, TV, and stage credits, and won an Emmy Award for his work on The Sopranos. His first book, Who’s Sorry Now? The True Story of a Stand-up Guy, was a New York Times bestseller. Pantoliano is also the founder of No Kidding, Me Too!, a nonprofit organization “whose purpose is to remove the stigma attached to ‘brain dis-ease’ through education and the breaking down of societal barriers.” He produced and directed the documentary No Kidding! Me 2!, an intimate look at the experiences of Americans living with mental illness. He lives in Connecticut.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York and Hoboken, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 12, 1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Hoboken, New Jersey

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: No Kidding, Me Too! xiii

Chapter 1 Abandon All Hope for a Better Past 1

Chapter 2 Lying for a Living 14

Chapter 3 An Egomaniac with an Inferiority Complex 48

Chapter 4 Let the Shame—Begin! 76

Chapter 5 The Hunchback of Hoboken 108

Chapter 6 If it Ain't One Thing, It's Your Mother! 123

Chapter 7 The Monkey Was Off My Bach, But the Circus Was Still in Town 151

Chapter 8 These Are the Good Old Days! 166

Chapter 9 Stuck on Stupid 183

Chapter 10 The Great Depression 210

Chapter 11 Twelve Steps out of the Mile Square 226

Epilogue: An Open Letter to the Late, Great Frank Capra 242

Book Acknowledgments 247

Index 252

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    Honest and Inspiring

    Funny entertaining stories including Hollywood and political legends. A great way to talk about struggles with BD and more importantly encourage other people affected by BD to talk about it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    An honest book about the struggle to overcome depression and add

    An honest book about the struggle to overcome depression and addiction.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Broken

    Wooooooo

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    To the author

    There is a story like 39 clues that will be a different topic than 39 clues ad i am violet there. Go to res two and say your pen name and say im in. Then go to res two and read my post. Then read starstrucks post. If you really like creepy pasts then it will be cool if vyou do the goblins. Thnx and dont forget to go to res fpur and read my pos and starstrucks

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    WOO!!

    Amazing story! I love your stories!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Lindsey

    FANTASTIC!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Alayna

    Brilliant!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Emaly

    This series is great oh and writer cool first res thx

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Diana

    Ok.... imma scared now...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    CHAPTER NINE - RETALIATION

    I heard them before I saw them. <br>
    Three guards with two doctors were converging on my location. I figured I was still in the clear, so I played it cool and began to pretend to do some paperwork. <br>
    Until two of the guards grabbed me and I felt a needle sink into the back of my neck. Everything went blurry and then black. <br>
    I woke up with four pairs of handcuffs holding me restrained to a chair anchored into the ground. I realized I was back in my regular inmate's attire, this set was spotted with blood. A man sat behind an office desk with a cigarette in his hand. He was facing away and all I could see wasthe black collar of his suit jacket and a head of brown hair. <br>
    "You had a good nap, yes?" His deep voice seemed to come as a shock to me. His russian accent greatly influenced his words, making me seem small and insignifigant to him. <br>
    "Y-yeah..." I stammered, trying to put two and two together. Where was I? I'd never heard of this place. It looked like a psychiatrist's office, with a one-armed couch (also equipped with a set of handcuffs) and an endless row of golfing plaques on the wall. <br>
    I was able to make out a name on one of the plaques through the dim light and drifting cigarette smoke, it said Dr. Nikolai Straucter. But there was something different about this plaque, it was from the U.S. government's department of commerce. <br>
    What the he<_>ll? So the government knows about this place and it's done nothin to stop it, let alone reward it?! Someone's lost their mind! <br>
    The Doc turned his chair around. He was the single most scarriest person I've ever seen. A his right eye was dead, completely white with a scar streaking down from his upper forehead down through his eye and to his chin. His nose was knobby and had obviously been broken multiple times. His left eye was very badly bloodshot and the bloodvessels in his forehead popped like that of a hero<_>ine addict. "I have been told you have been causing us a lot of trouble, young man. Keep up this behavior and you will never see the light of day again. But then again, now that you're here, you probably never will." With the most demonic smile I have ever seen, he turned back around in his chair and I felt yet another needle pierce my neck. I was out cold in seconds. <br>
    I woke up and was back in my original room. No one was in it and I checked the clock on the wall. It was quarter 'til one, lunch time. I saw a big white piece of paper taped to the small window of the door that said that everything was back to normal and that must mean everyone's at lunch. I wasn't hungry. I sat on my bed and couldn't get that grotesque smile out of my face. This Dr. Straucter was top-of-the-line scum. I couldn't live here anymore. <br>
    And that was when it all began. The escape plan that was gonna get me and everyone else stuck in this he<_>llhole out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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