A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic-Depressive Illness

A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic-Depressive Illness

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by Patty Duke, Gloria Hochman
     
 

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"A groundbreaking guide for those who are manic depressive of who live with or love someone who is."--Publishers Weekly.

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

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Overview

"A groundbreaking guide for those who are manic depressive of who live with or love someone who is."--Publishers Weekly.

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

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.

From the Publisher
"A groundbreaking guide for those who are manic depressive of who live with or love someone who is."—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553072563
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/01/1992
Pages:
320

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Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
About 1947, my mother became a victim of bi-polar disorder in her early 20s. Medical knowledge was "lean" regarding this illness then and help was not readily available. Our family life was very difficult - my mother and father had five children spread over a period of 18 years. Being the two oldest, my sister and I assumed a great majority of the responsibilities normally handled by our mother. My sister and I were 10 and 11 when our youngest sister was born. About 18 months later, our brother was born; and when I graduated from high school, I was the only graduating senior with a very pregnant mother - our youngest brother was born that summer. Due to my father's devotion to my mother, our family stayed together but it was a roller coaster ride that was most often on the down side. Mother was a talented and intelligent woman who would do anything to help anyone; but when she had her "episodes", it was traumatic for all of us for many years. A friend recommended ¿A Brilliant Madness¿ to me shortly after it was published. It provided me with the knowledge I needed to cope with my mother's illness and its effects on us. I was able to interact positively with my mother until the day she died. I will continue to recommend this book to others. What I did not know those many years ago was that my beautiful, talented, intelligent daughter would also become a victim of this illness at the age of 19. Devastated at my daughter¿s misfortune, I was able to adjust to this new ¿fact of life¿ for two primary reasons - my previous experience and knowledge and the support of a well-educated and loving husband. My prayer is that we will continue to educate ourselves. Education is not just knowledge; it is freedom. Our lives can be fruitful even with adversity - which we all encounter. My daughter is becoming more capable of managing her life as well. Patty Duke and other well-known individuals who so unselfishly share the intimate details of "tragedy" in their lives enrich the lives of all of us. They have my utmost admiration and definitely my sincere gratitude.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I always knew something was wrong with my mother even as a child. It wasn't until my one sister and I were talking about how bipolar seemed to fit her a few years ago. Not only that but some of my mothers sisters are also very much like her. I even remember my mother telling me about my Grandmother and how she would go to her bed for long periods of time. My Grandmother took my mother out of school in the 4th grade to care for all the babies she kept having (10 altogether and my mother being the oldest girl and second child). It was a tramatic childhood to say the least for my mother and it was a tramatic childhood my sisters and me. The thyroid really hit home to. Every one of my mothers sisters have had them taken out or are on medication. My mothers was also removed before she died. Also my Grandmother and my Great Grandmother had theirs removed! That is every woman in my mothers family. My father didn't know what to do with her so, he disconnected from all of us. To add into the equation she was a fanatical Seventh Day Adventist. I have 2 children and worry for them. I do carry the scars from my childhood. I bought this book to find my mother and to understand the illness and to find out what kind of bipolar she must have had. I found her in the Mixed States. It Fit her to a T. It is sad my father didn't have the courage to take her for help but maybe he tried....I know the family doctor kept trying to give her tranquilizers and she would refuse to take them. Eventually the Doctor dropped her as his patient. I want to thank Ms Duke or Anna....which ever she prefers to be called for such a wonderfully informative book. Hopefully it will help me to forgive my mothers behavior. However, I know it will be hard. I would love to talk to Anna or at least write her a letter but I guess this is the best I can do to thank her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed 'A Brilliant Madness' quite a bit- it's engaging, entertaining, and informative. The quality of writing isn't as good as that of the finest mental illness memoirs, like 'An Unquiet Mind' and 'Girl, Interrupted', but it's definitely well worth reading. One intriguing point is that there might be some relationship between mania and Patty's acting skill. In other words, bipolar disorder may confer some advantages to the afflicted, in spite of some of its dreadful consequences.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started to read this book looking for my mother. When I read mixed states I started to cry. My childhood was horrible to say the least. Then to add to the problem she was fanatically religious in a cultish religion. No childhood to say the least. I always knew something was wrong with me, but I didn't know what. Usually depressed with anxiety and yet very up moments with doing sculpture and all sorts of art. I could be happy and silly and then crash. After cutting my wrist and being baker acted, I read your book again and found myself. There is so much thyroid problems in my family from my great-grandmother to my grandmother to my mother and 6 of her other sisters. There also seems to be a lot of bipolar in the family. My doctor saw the other me for the first time recently and put me on lithium. I haven't been on it long but I already have a peace of mind I have never felt before. I am so glad I re-read your book and took in the thyroid family history to my Doctor. I guess I am also glad I was out of line,a bit obnoxious and a little rude the last time I saw the Doctor. I guess I owe him an appology. So Ms Duke I just may owe you my life. The black hole is very dark. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I work in the mental health field and absolutely love this book and Anna Marie's other Book, "Call Me Anna". For the general public I think it is a great education on the painful, heart felt struggles of individuals suffering from Bipolar Disorder, and really, any Mental Illness. For professionals in the field, it's a reminder of the personal pain and potential of our consumers and for those struggling with mental illness it is encouragement, validation and a good reminder that they are not their mental illness, but rather they have a mental illness. Many go unidentified and untreated, often covering with drugs and alcohol or just haning on by their finger nails day to day. Perhaps some will seen themselves in these books and discuss it with their doctor and seek the help that they so despirately need and deserve.
Judy Bevins More than 1 year ago
I bought this book when I was diagnosed in 1987. It explained everything in laymens terms and is easy to understand. I gave the book to my Mom and after she read it she became my fiercest advocate. I even made my boyfriend read it before we got together and we've been together almost 17 years. If you have been diagnosed, have your family read this book. It has the power to heal families. It did ours and I will be forever grateful to Anna for telling her story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My son and myself read this book and oh my it seemed like Patty was writing about my son to a 'T' It helped us to understand the disease and how he and our family could learn to live with this disease.. Thank You Patty Duke for this wonderful book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Patty's first book, 'Call Me Anna'. I read it in high school. For a long time, I had the same symptoms and tempers as Patty. I was diagnosed about a year ago and getting help for it. I can't wait to read this one and find more inspiration in this wonderful woman and talented actress. Thanks.
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SUZYQ22 More than 1 year ago
I found this book about Bipolar Disorder to be very helpful. I have found it helpful to read as many books as possible about this disorder as my daughter has Bipolar 1. Another new book just released I found inspiring and has given me great hope is a new memoir called I just want my daughter back - coming to terms with Bipolar 1 by BC Levinson that I found on Amazon.com . Seeing how others cope with bipolar disorder has made a big difference in our journey. It gives hope to those of us walking in these shoes. I actually found the new book through Twitter.com.. you can even chat with the author @BIPOLARSMOM2 . Very nice lady.. Hope this helps Sue
Anonymous More than 1 year ago