Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness

Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness

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by Patty Duke
     
 

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In her revealing bestseller Call Me Anna, Patty Duke shared her long-kept secret: the talented, Oscar-winning actress who won our hearts on The Patty Duke Show was suffering from a serious-but-treatable-mental illness called manic depression. For nearly twenty years, until she was correctly diagnosed at age thirty-five, she careened between

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Overview

In her revealing bestseller Call Me Anna, Patty Duke shared her long-kept secret: the talented, Oscar-winning actress who won our hearts on The Patty Duke Show was suffering from a serious-but-treatable-mental illness called manic depression. For nearly twenty years, until she was correctly diagnosed at age thirty-five, she careened between periods of extreme euphoria and debilitating depression, prone to delusions and panic attacks, temper tantrums, spending sprees, and suicide attempts. Now in A Brilliant Madness Patty Duke joins with medical reporter Gloria Hochman to shed light on this powerful, paradoxical, and destructive illness. From what it's like to live with manic-depressive disorder to the latest findings on its most effective treatments, this compassionate and eloquent book provides profound insight into the challenge of mental illness. And though Patty's story, which ends in a newfound happiness with her cherished family, it offers hope for all those who suffer from mood disorders and for the family, friends, and physicians who love and care for them.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A groundbreaking guide for those who are manic depressive of who live with or love someone who is."—Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this groundbreaking guide for those who are manic depressive or who live with or love someone who is, actress Duke ( Call Me Anna ), a spokeswoman for the National Institute of Mental Health, tells the harrowing story of her illness and her long road to recovery. After a lifetime of emotional turbulence, including three divorces and years of unsuccessful therapies, Duke found her own ``wonder drug'': lithium. Interspersed throughout her personal account are chapters that give the latest information about manic-depressive illness, its many forms and the various treatments for it, as documented by Hochman ( Adult Children of Divorce ). Also included is advice on what families can do to cope and a list of resources for the mentally ill, including organizations that care for them. A chapter examines the connection between creativity and manic depression, drawing examples from music, politics and business. An informative, readable volume. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Duke tells the story of her manic-depressive illness and its successful treatment, while in alternating chapters medical-writer Hochman (Heart Bypass, 1982) explains the facts of the disease and the methods of treatment currently available. Duke's strange and unhappy childhood was chronicled in Call Me Anna, and is touched on here only to show how fundamentally unloved and rejected she felt. Her manic-depressive disorder began to manifest itself when she was a young woman living in Hollywood, at the peak of her career, starring in The Patty Duke Show. As the illness escalated, her life degenerated into frequent suicide attempts, drug dependency, wrecked relationships, tantrums on the set. She began hallucinating and engaging in bizarre behavior like holding parties in her motel room for hordes of strangers (one of whom she married after a few hours' acquaintance) and hiring two guys she met in a parking lot to manage her finances (with results that can be imagined). Finally, her illness was diagnosed and successfully treated with lithium, which she takes to this day and to which, she says, she owes her present stable, happy marriage and her very life. Hochman provides information on the various forms of depression and the various guises that bipolar (manic-depressive) illness can take, identifies people at risk for these diseases, discusses the link between manic-depressive disorder and creativity, and surveys medical treatments and family-support techniques that can help the sufferer. The tone seesaws between the lurid and the dry, depending on whether Duke or Hochman is writing. But despite its gracelessness, this memoir has merit: Duke shows bravery in telling her story in allits humiliating flagrance, and undoubtedly sufferers from this puzzling and devastating disease will find help in the explanations and resources Hochman diligently provides.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553560725
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1997
Edition description:
REISSUE
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
302,938
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.00(d)

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