Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture

Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture

by Emily Martin
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691141061

ISBN-13: 9780691141060

Pub. Date: 01/19/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Manic behavior holds an undeniable fascination in American culture today. It fuels the plots of best-selling novels and the imagery of MTV videos, is acknowledged as the driving force for successful entrepreneurs like Ted Turner, and is celebrated as the source of the creativity of artists like Vincent Van Gogh and movie stars like Robin Williams. Bipolar

Overview

Manic behavior holds an undeniable fascination in American culture today. It fuels the plots of best-selling novels and the imagery of MTV videos, is acknowledged as the driving force for successful entrepreneurs like Ted Turner, and is celebrated as the source of the creativity of artists like Vincent Van Gogh and movie stars like Robin Williams. Bipolar Expeditions seeks to understand mania's appeal and how it weighs on the lives of Americans diagnosed with manic depression.

Anthropologist Emily Martin guides us into the fascinating and sometimes disturbing worlds of mental-health support groups, mood charts, psychiatric rounds, the pharmaceutical industry, and psychotropic drugs. Charting how these worlds intersect with the wider popular culture, she reveals how people living under the description of bipolar disorder are often denied the status of being fully human, even while contemporary America exhibits a powerful affinity for manic behavior. Mania, Martin shows, has come to be regarded as a distant frontier that invites exploration because it seems to offer fame and profits to pioneers, while depression is imagined as something that should be eliminated altogether with the help of drugs.

Bipolar Expeditions argues that mania and depression have a cultural life outside the confines of diagnosis, that the experiences of people living with bipolar disorder belong fully to the human condition, and that even the most so-called rational everyday practices are intertwined with irrational ones. Martin's own experience with bipolar disorder informs her analysis and lends a personal perspective to this complex story.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691141060
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
01/19/2009
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
649,956
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xiii
Preface: Ethnographic Ways and Means xv
Acknowledgments xxi

INTRODUCTION: Manic Depression in America 1
Rational and Irrational 5
Brains and Genes 11
The Drug Factor 13
A Short History of Manic Depression 16
Manic Depression in Culture 28
Research Methods 30

PART ONE: Manic Depression as Experience 35

CHAPTER ONE: Personhood and Emotion 37
What Are Moods? 43
Mood and Motivation 49
Our Manic Affinity 51

CHAPTER TWO: Performing the "Rationality" of "Irrationality" 55
Patients' Rationality: Double Bookkeeping 55
Doctors' Rationality: A Closed Circle 59
The Bipolar Experience: Multiplicity 64
The Bipolar Experience: Interruption 69
Sounding a Second Voice 74
Style and Manic Performances 80

CHAPTER THREE: Managing Mania and Depression 86

CHAPTER FOUR: I Now Pronounce You Manic Depressive 99
1. I'm in a Hole 101
2. I Thought I Was Normal When I Was Speedy 102
3. What Is the Diagnosis? 106
4. Who Is Manic? 110
5. What Is Bipolar 2b? 111
6. I Ain't Gonna Mess with It Backwards 114
7. Maybe He Is a Normal Variant 117
8. I'm a Twenty-Year-Old College Student with a 3.75 GPA and I Am Not Crazy 120
Subjection and Rationality 127

CHAPTER FIVE: Inside the Diagnosis 134
DSM Categories as "Text-Atoms" 135
The Work of Support Groups 143
Performativity, Intention, and Diagnosis 147

CHAPTER SIX: Pharmaceutical Personalities 150
Marketing a Psychotropic Drug 150
The Rationality of Consumers 156
Living with Drugs 159

PART TWO: Mania as a Resource 175

CHAPTER SEVEN: Taking the Measure of Moods and Motivations 177
Mood Hygiene 188
Evading Mood Charts 193
From Temperate to Hot 195

CHAPTER EIGHT: Revaluing Mania 197
Sociality and Conformity 198
Manic Depression and Creativity Today 202
Gender and Manic Depression 210
Race and Manic Depression 212
Manic Depression as an "Asset" 216
A Mental State as a "Thing" 220
Understanding Mania and Manic Depression in Their Contexts 229

CHAPTER NINE: Manic Markets 234
Links between Individuals and Markets 234
Learning to Be Manic 239
Mania in the Market 243
Emotion in the Market 250
A Few Manic Heroes, Past and Present 253
Manic Affinity 257
A Few Fallen Heroes 259
The Edge 263

CONCLUSION: The Bipolar Condition 269
Race and Gender Revisited 274
Optimizing Moods 275
The End of Madness? 277

Appendix 281
Notes 287
References 339
Index 363

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