A Hidden Madness

A Hidden Madness

by James T. R. Jones
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A Hidden Madness 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
'One is who one is.' James T.R. Jones has taken that step that hopefully will provide an example of courage for many. Born into a situation of having a bipolar disorder that was not diagnosed until much later in his life, he endure the isolation of being `different' form his peers, a condition that encouraged him to achieve academically - he not only made it through grade school and highschool but went on to earn an undergraduate degree with highest distinction from the University of Virginia and a law degree with honors from Duke University School of Law, where he served on the Editorial Board of the Duke Law Journal and graduated second in his class. After years of psychotherapy and medication that more or less allowed him to live as `normal' a life as one who is essentially broken, Jones elected to end his secrecy and to come out as a man afflicted with bipolar disorder, a statement made in law journals that he knew just may end his career as a lawyer. In 2008 he ended twenty-two years of secrecy about his disease at the Brandeis School of Law and twenty-eight years overall when he wrote the article "Walking the Tightrope of Bipolar Disorder: The Secret Life of a Law Professor" that was published in the leading peer-reviewed journal in legal education. All of this is history. What Jones brings to this compelling book is the personal response he felt throughout his years as a secret bipolar personality. The pain, the humiliation, the embarrassment, the constant treat of `losing it' among his acquaintances - all of this he is able to relate with a surprising amount of well-rounded perspective. There are passages in A HIDDEN MADNESS where Jones explains his manic episodes in the classroom as a teacher that would make a fine cinematic comedy! He is just that fine a writer: take moments of behavior controlled by his illness and place them in a setting where they become exceedingly entertaining reading. But there are equal pages where Jones allows us to feel the angst of being without friends, with aborted attempts to have relationships, with the painful struggles of living a life on the tightrope, wondering when the opposite ends of the pole of his illness would manifest. There is more information in this book about the treatment and the inner workings of Bipolar Disorder than in medical texts delivered in a familiar yet elegant prose style that endears the author to us. For example, `In summary, Dr. Hartman anticipated a number of the issues in my life including my bouts with depression and its impact on my ability to work, my difficulty getting along with people, my dependence on others, my powerlessness to deal realistically with real-world issues, my inability to handle criticism appropriately, my ruminating over problems, and above all my physiological reaction to life's stressors.' That about sums up the life Jones led until his strength of character to `go public' with his malady and in doing so provide a path down which others with Bipolar Disorder could more comfortably walk. James T.R. Jones is now widely recognized for his award-winning mental health advocacy efforts. He now serves on the Boards of four local and national groups that focus on mental health and the way society treats those with serious mental illness. He is a pioneer and he is also a wonderful writer! Grady Harp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago