Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $12.75
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 57%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $12.75   
  • New (11) from $18.98   
  • Used (5) from $12.75   

Overview

"In this exciting book, Martin brilliantly sketches out a relationship between the frenetic pace of modern life and the way in which bipolar disorder is imagined and evoked. Martin describes the way the diagnosis comes to carry meaning for those who hold it and the cultural dimensions of the way in which the illness is understood and experienced."—Tanya Luhrmann, author of Of Two Minds: An Anthropologist Looks at American Psychiatry

"Learned, imaginative, and insightful, Bipolar Expeditions explores experience, stigma, and performance using the varied tools of ethnography, history, and social theory. Martin's readers will return from that contested and new-found land called mania with a richer and more sophisticated understanding of a fundamental aspect of the human condition."—Charles Rosenberg, Harvard University

"This is a gracefully written, lively, and wholly fascinating book. Martin offers a rich and multifaceted portrait of the role of bipolar illness—and of our notions about bipolar illness—in contemporary American society. The book is broad-ranging, both in its focus and in the theoretical perspectives it employs. I do not know of any other books that address bipolar illness in anything like this fashion."—Louis A. Sass, author of Madness and Modernism

"Bipolar Expeditions is a wonderful book. It is compellingly written, elegantly structured, both deeply scholarly and intensely personal. Destined to become an instant classic, the book offers a strikingly original argument with the potential to change forever how the reader thinks about 'mental illness.' Martin is a master of popular culture. She is also in command of a vast psychiatric literature."—Lorna A. Rhodes, University of Washington

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
This book provides a very welcome development (substantive and theoretical) in the field of anthropology, but economists, politicians, and historians reflecting on the recent depression in the US, and the 'cold' caught by other 'Western' countries, would also do well to read it.
— Christine McCourt
American Journal of Psychiatry's Residents' Journal
Emily Martin shatters common sense distinctions of public and private, individual and communal. In the process, she makes sense of what may seem counter-intuitive on the surface: the conscious self-presentation and sociality of people living with the diagnosis of manic depression.
— Helena Hansen
Lancet - Sander L. Gilman
[Emily Martin's] serious and engaging book...is a much an ethnographical study as it is an autobiographical account. Martin...goes beyond just seeing how medicated bipolar patients deal with their illness: she argues that at least one aspect of bipolar disorder is today seen as a model for a certain type of productive behavior in society. This positive reading of mania comes...to be part of the way that bipolar patients internalize their illness. Martin's book documents our late 20th and early 21st century and its treatment and rehabilitation of bipolar disorder. In examining our world she shows how we have moved from [a] culture of narcissism to a world of mania.
American Journal of Psychiatry - Rif S. El-Mallakh
This book is exceptional in that it spans the fields of anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, and sociology. Martin expertly incorporates the literature from these fields with lay perspectives and experiences from support groups and clinical subjects. This book provides new insights and a deeper understanding of the bipolar experience in America.
Choice - S. Ferzacca
Anthropologist Martin continues with her long-standing project of unpacking U.S. values, categories, and, in this case, psychopathology as artifacts of history and society with a focus on their cultural rendering, shifting content, and context....General audiences as well as specialists who have particular interest in the social and cultural life of mental health in the contemporary U.S. will appreciate this book.
Project Muse - Roy Richard Grinker
If there is a single thread that runs through this timely, well-researched and wide-ranging book, it is that bipolar disorder is a framework of our time for understanding and even facilitating new conceptions of rationality, irrationality, mood and motivation.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute - Christine McCourt
This book provides a very welcome development (substantive and theoretical) in the field of anthropology, but economists, politicians, and historians reflecting on the recent depression in the US, and the 'cold' caught by other 'Western' countries, would also do well to read it.
American Journal of Psychiatry's Residents' Journal - Helena Hansen
Emily Martin shatters common sense distinctions of public and private, individual and communal. In the process, she makes sense of what may seem counter-intuitive on the surface: the conscious self-presentation and sociality of people living with the diagnosis of manic depression.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2009 Diana Forsythe Prize, Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing of the General Anthropology Division, and the Society for the Anthropology of Work, American Anthropological Association

"[Emily Martin's] serious and engaging book...is a much an ethnographical study as it is an autobiographical account. Martin...goes beyond just seeing how medicated bipolar patients deal with their illness: she argues that at least one aspect of bipolar disorder is today seen as a model for a certain type of productive behavior in society. This positive reading of mania comes...to be part of the way that bipolar patients internalize their illness. Martin's book documents our late 20th and early 21st century and its treatment and rehabilitation of bipolar disorder. In examining our world she shows how we have moved from [a] culture of narcissism to a world of mania."—Sander L. Gilman, Lancet

"This book is exceptional in that it spans the fields of anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, and sociology. Martin expertly incorporates the literature from these fields with lay perspectives and experiences from support groups and clinical subjects. This book provides new insights and a deeper understanding of the bipolar experience in America."—Rif S. El-Mallakh, American Journal of Psychiatry

"Anthropologist Martin continues with her long-standing project of unpacking U.S. values, categories, and, in this case, psychopathology as artifacts of history and society with a focus on their cultural rendering, shifting content, and context....General audiences as well as specialists who have particular interest in the social and cultural life of mental health in the contemporary U.S. will appreciate this book."—S. Ferzacca, Choice

"If there is a single thread that runs through this timely, well-researched and wide-ranging book, it is that bipolar disorder is a framework of our time for understanding and even facilitating new conceptions of rationality, irrationality, mood and motivation."—Roy Richard Grinker, Project Muse

"This book provides a very welcome development (substantive and theoretical) in the field of anthropology, but economists, politicians, and historians reflecting on the recent depression in the US, and the 'cold' caught by other 'Western' countries, would also do well to read it."—Christine McCourt, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

"Emily Martin shatters common sense distinctions of public and private, individual and communal. In the process, she makes sense of what may seem counter-intuitive on the surface: the conscious self-presentation and sociality of people living with the diagnosis of manic depression."—Helena Hansen, American Journal of Psychiatry's Residents' Journal

Lancet
[Emily Martin's] serious and engaging book...is a much an ethnographical study as it is an autobiographical account. Martin...goes beyond just seeing how medicated bipolar patients deal with their illness: she argues that at least one aspect of bipolar disorder is today seen as a model for a certain type of productive behavior in society. This positive reading of mania comes...to be part of the way that bipolar patients internalize their illness. Martin's book documents our late 20th and early 21st century and its treatment and rehabilitation of bipolar disorder. In examining our world she shows how we have moved from [a] culture of narcissism to a world of mania.
— Sander L. Gilman
American Journal of Psychiatry
This book is exceptional in that it spans the fields of anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, and sociology. Martin expertly incorporates the literature from these fields with lay perspectives and experiences from support groups and clinical subjects. This book provides new insights and a deeper understanding of the bipolar experience in America.
— Rif S. El-Mallakh
Choice
Anthropologist Martin continues with her long-standing project of unpacking U.S. values, categories, and, in this case, psychopathology as artifacts of history and society with a focus on their cultural rendering, shifting content, and context....General audiences as well as specialists who have particular interest in the social and cultural life of mental health in the contemporary U.S. will appreciate this book.
— S. Ferzacca
Project Muse
If there is a single thread that runs through this timely, well-researched and wide-ranging book, it is that bipolar disorder is a framework of our time for understanding and even facilitating new conceptions of rationality, irrationality, mood and motivation.
— Roy Richard Grinker
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691141060
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/19/2009
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 706,473
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Emily Martin is professor of anthropology at New York University. Her books include "Flexible Bodies: Tracking Immunity in American Culture from the Days of Polio to the Age of AIDS" and "The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction".
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Bipolar Expeditions

Mania and Depression in American Culture
By Emily Martin

Princeton University Press

Copyright © 2007 Princeton University Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-691-14106-0


Chapter One

Personhood and Emotion

Per-son

1. A living human ... 2. An individual of specified character: a person of importance. 3. The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality; the self. 4. The living body of a human: searched the prisoner's person. 5. Physique and general appearance. 6. Law A human or organization with legal rights and duties ... 9. A character or role, as in a play; a guise: "Well, in her person, I say I will not have you" (Shakespeare). -American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed., 2000

When one is diagnosed with manic depression, one's status as a rational person is thrown into question. What it means to be rational or irrational depends on what notions of personhood are in play, notions that must be understood in their cultural context. In Western culture since the seventeenth century, a particular kind of person, the "individual," has been the norm. In the writings of John Locke and others, the individual was defined as "essentially the proprietor of his own person or capacities, owing nothing to society for them. The individual was seen neither as a moral whole, nor as part of a larger social whole, but as an owner of himself." He was a being capable of conscious awareness, deliberate choice, and independent volition. His actions were generated from his own desires, desires that grew out of his individual intention to grow, develop, or acquire. In due course, I will make clear what it is about manic depression that seems to challenge this conception of the rational individual person. For the moment, I will say that a manic-depressive person takes these desirable traits to extremes: when depressed the person is profoundly dejected and turned inward, unable to act or love; when manic the person is consumed by his desires and acts on all of them, whether for sex, or money, or power, at once. Freud described the "maniac" just released from the inhibition of depression as someone who runs after his new desires "like a starving man after bread."

Taking things to such extremes seems like being out of control. But is being in control always considered desirable and normal? Historically, the individual "owner of himself" has not always been expected to exert continuous control over his actions. In the United States in the late nineteenth-century, psychic states that might erode the edges of the disciplined and aware self, make its borders permeable to other selves, or allow it to drift into discontiguous psychic spaces were given positive value. In 1889, when William James carried out his "Census of Hallucinations" in the United States, he, his collaborators, and many of the over six thousand Americans interviewed regarded states such as hallucination in a variety of positive ways. However, by the twentieth century, mainstream popular culture in the United States had largely come to denigrate "forms of experience not characterized by self-consciousness." Even experimentation with mind-altering drugs, popular in the 1960s, was generally valued for heightened self-consciousness rather than loss of self.

The ideal that a person should be disciplined and self-aware came about partly through the requirements of work in industrial settings and the growth of a consumer society. The moving assembly line with its dedicated machinery enabled efficient mass production and paved the way for profitable mass marketing based on increased consumption of commodities. Corporate organizations were hierarchically structured bureaucracies whose ideal employee was conformist, passive, stable, consistent, and acquiescent. More broadly, scientific planning was brought to bear on all kinds of human groups, yielding rational social organization and rational thought. People and the groups they formed were devoted to development (in a linear way) through time, toward goals that not all could reach, but which all should desire, because they represented the lofty heights of abstract thought. For the adult person, stability and solidity were at a premium. Early in the century, identity was described as something that was "forged": like wrought iron, a person's identity should be strong. This solid sort of identity was akin to the older concept of "character," which was a more or less given quality of the person manifested by working hard and honoring the dictates of duty. However, at the same time, the locus of a person's stability was changing. The term "personality" came into common usage only in the early twentieth century, bringing with it the potential for more flexible self-presentation. In his classic book The Organization Man, published in 1956, W. H. Whyte gives satirical advice on how to get a high score on personality tests: always choose the most conventional word in word association tests, so that you will be classified as a person who has normal ways of thinking rather than abnormal emotional ways of thinking. But Whyte's advice contains the possibility for other ways of defining the personality. One could now strategize about presenting one's personality in different ways for different purposes.

In American Cool, the historian Peter Stearns argues that Americans experienced a major change in emotional style in the 1920s. In the late nineteenth century, influenced by Victorian values, Americans placed great importance on the intense emotions attached to romantic love and to the passions necessary for great deeds. After the 1920s, the emotional climate shifted to restrained coolness: management was the key across the board-"no emotion should gain control over one's thought processes." Since my argument develops from a recent resurgence of interest in strong emotion-like states, Stearns's argument has particular salience. How exactly might Americans have gotten from the restrained cool that was the ideal in the beginning decades of mass production society to the unrestrained heat that ignites our cultural heroes today?

One explanation lies in an understanding of recent political and economic changes that have begun to make themselves felt in the United States, as elsewhere, changes with important implications for understanding contemporary concepts of the person. The differential internationalization of labor and markets, the growth of the information and service economies, and the abrupt decline of redistributive state services (among other things) have meant that access to the world's wealth has become much more difficult for most people. In the United States, concentration of wealth and income at the top of the social order is more extreme than at any time since the Depression, and poverty has grown correspondingly deeper, despite the persistent myth of social mobility toward the American dream. Successive waves of downsizing have picked off, in addition to the disadvantaged, significant numbers of people from occupations and classes not accustomed to a dramatic fall in their prospects and standard of living. The imperative to become the kind of flexible worker who can succeed in extremely competitive circumstances has intensified, and the stakes for failing have greatly increased. In one sign of the unforgiving nature of increased competition, references to the "survival of the fittest" have increased exponentially in the popular media since the early 1980s.

Everyday experiences of time and space themselves may be shifting, too. Activities that were once localized-education, work, and family life-are now increasingly being spread over space, changing the spatial and social dimensions of human interaction. "Close" and "distant" once applied both to relationships and spatial distance, and usually were coincident. No longer. Space seems to loom larger as it intrudes into relationships (a couple, of necessity, holding two or three jobs, parents and children following available jobs away from their extended family, grown siblings scattering to the four corners of the globe). Simultaneously, space disappears through electronic technologies (cell phones, the Internet) that make time speed up and communication happen instantaneously. The stable time-space grid described in many earlier accounts of the disciplinary control characteristic of factories, prisons, military barracks, mental asylums, or schools since the onset of modernity has altered beyond recognition.

The factory, which has often served as both a laboratory and a conceptual guide for understandings of human behavior, is also changing. The hierarchical factory of the mass production era, with its worker drones and foremen, is being replaced (at least in the elite sectors of the global economy) with new forms: machines that process information and communicate with "self-managed" workers, who are in turn invested with greater decision-making powers. Corporations are flattening hierarchies, downsizing bureaucracies, and enhancing their corporate "culture," becoming nimble and agile in hopes of surviving in rapidly changing markets. Relentlessly, corporations are also sending manufacturing divisions to cheaper labor markets overseas (where most laborers do not have the resources to follow them). To enable these activities, corporations seek organization in the form of fluid networks of alliances, a highly decoupled and dynamic form with great organizational flexibility.

Six million manufacturing jobs have been shed in the United States over the last thirty years, and many workers who lost their jobs have skidded down the socioeconomic hierarchy. As my previous work has shown, workers and managers are expected to meet this threat by "evolving" with the aid of self-study, training courses, and an insistence on self-management when they are lucky enough to be employed inside a corporation, and then aggressive entrepreneurialism during the frequent periods they now expect to spend outside it. Although from the beginnings of capitalism, firms and individuals have had to innovate and improve or decline and perish at the hands of competitors, competition in the present climate has become extremely fierce. Because of policies guided by "neoliberal" ideas, the individual must now creatively pursue his or her own development with the aid of fewer supports than ever before. The role of the state, according to the theory of political economic practices that fosters this climate, is to establish strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade. The state should ensure the free functioning of markets, and expand or extend markets to areas such as education, the environment, or social security. But the state should not provide social safety nets that would protect individuals whom markets exclude or defeat. Corporations, too, are increasing the risks employees must bear, not only by cutting jobs but also by stopping their contributions to the pension plans of the workers who remain.

In this environment, the individual is responsible for his or her own success or failure in a high-stakes and ever-changing set of arenas. The person now seems to be made up of a collection of assets, as if she were the proprietor of herself as a stock portfolio. In the 1990s, there was an increase in "home-based work," based on telecommuting or the "You, Inc." phenomenon. "People need to invest in their development as if they were a corporation," said Anthony Carnevale, chairman of the National Commission for Employment Policy at the Department of Labor. Individuals, like mini-corporations, were supposed to "shapeshift" in their changing environments, accumulating and investing information and resources. There is a sense in which, as the U.S. government withdraws from provisioning individuals, the individual moves from being a citizen, oriented to the interests of the nation, to being a mini-corporation, oriented primarily to its own interests in global flows of capital. In preparation for this endeavor, as I will describe in coming chapters, American children, teenagers, and adults are doing many things to develop their mental capacities in specific ways, taking on self-management practices with or without the help of mind-enhancing drugs.

In one popular formulation of the state of things, Virginia Postrel's The Future and Its Enemies, "stasists" will be left behind by "dynamists" who celebrate "emergent, complex messiness ... an order that is unpredictable, spontaneous and ever shifting, a pattern created by millions of uncoordinated, independent decisions ... these actions shape a future no one can see, a future that is dynamic and inherently unstable." In the radically atomized world Postrel imagines, there is an imperative for people who are always adapting, scanning the environment, continuously changing in creative and innovative ways, flying from one thing to another, pushing the limits of everything, and doing it all with an intense level of energy devoted to anticipating and investing in the future. High school and college-age children in the United States and globally appear already to be entering this future.

Given this procession of dramatic changes on many social, cultural, affective, economic, and political fronts, what concepts of the person are enabled by and enable these conditions? As the mechanical regularity demanded of the assembly line worker gives way to the ideal of a flexible and constantly changing worker, what will happen to the value previously placed on stability and conformity? A new attitude toward change is emerging: continuous retraining for workers at all levels is becoming normal. Today it is not just that individuals circulate among different jobs or careers, nor just that the conditions of their work change over time. In addition, the individual comes to consist of potentials to be realized and capacities to be fulfilled: self-maximization and self-optimization are the watchwords. Since these potentials and capacities take their shape in relation to the requirements of a continuously changing environment, their content, and even the terms in which they are understood, are also in constant change.

What competent and successful persons are expected to do has changed over time. These changing expectations might even stretch to include the emotions: could the value of emotional coolness characteristic of the early twentieth century be giving way, under conditions of greatly increased capitalist competition, to a focus on emotional lability? Coolness is by definition flat and restrained, and might be seen as suited to ordered and stable environments and institutions. Lability in emotional life means movement on the scale of feelings, and might be seen as suited to the ferment and turmoil of entrepreneurial activity. This possibility brings us directly into view of the changeable emotions thought to be characteristic of manic depression and hints at why fascination with manic depression may be increasing. This hint, however, raises more questions than it answers. In psychiatric terms, manic depression is a "mood disorder." Rather than taking this at face value, we need to ask: Are moods actually a form of emotions? Does manic depression only involve a disorder of moods or does it more centrally involve a diminution or exaggeration of motivation? How exactly could an entrepreneurial climate call forth a revaluation of manic depression, whether it involves moods, motivations, or both? To pursue these questions, I begin with the basics: the changing definitions of emotions, moods, and motivations in their cultural contexts.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Bipolar Expeditions by Emily Martin Copyright © 2007 by Princeton University Press. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)