Book Review: Madness by Marya Hornbacher

by lackofsolidity on October 12, 2010

Bipolar 1 at it’s finest. Marya dialogues her life, especially that as it is enveloped by her disease.

Throughout her existence she is continually in motion, in and out of manic, depression, mixed, and various other extreme episodes. She’s harbored all the bad behaviors – at their worst – to “cope”: alcoholism, eating disorders, self-injury, drug use… She’s been in hospitals and clinics innumerable times. It’s hard to believe she’s still alive with what she’s been through.

She uses this book to help communicate the very real symptoms, and dangers, of the disease. The chronicles of her own struggles helps educate us on the nature of the disorder, and perhaps help us see the humanity that is still present in those strongly afflicted by it.

I listened to this as an audio book. I used Google E-Reader to find the few quotes I noted.

    “I want to be superwoman, and the fact that I’m not makes me hate myself and constantly wonder why I’m such a waste.” (pg. 106)

    “I don’t deserve him. He’s too good. I put my head down on the table and cry. Because it’s happened again. I’m found out. I’m damaged. Fucked up. Broken. A fraud. I knew he would find out sooner or later that I was impossible to love.” (pg. 103)

    “Sometimes, I get the uneasy feeling that I’m fooling everyone. In the middle of a gathering of friends, at a party, at a show, on a walk with Jeff, I’ll remember the past. It leaves me a little shaken, bewildered by how I’ve gotten from there to here. I feel it in the pit of my stomach, the shame of it, the feeling that I am getting away with something, living a life I don’t deserve. […] and everyone loves the woman I’m pretending to be, not me. Who would love me? I hate the person I was. She disgusts me, […] she was a monster. She was sick. Suddenly I can feel her in me, like bile in my throat. I can’t let her out. The spell will break, and she will take over again. I want to forget her. I want her dead. […] If I am very good, they’ll let me stay, and soon, if I work hard enough, I will belong.” (pg. 162)

    “I’m a little overwhelmed, so I keep smiling, figuring it can’t hurt.” (pg. 163)

    “2.8% of U.S. population has bipolar disorder […] 25% of bipolar patients have attempted suicide.” (pg. 281)

Author’s Website Marya Hornbacher

The Early Show – The Human Face Of ‘Madness’Harry Smith speaks with author Marya Hornbacher who chronicles her experience with mental illness in her latest book “Madness.”

Library Thing: Madness by Marya Hornbacher
15 Reviews Rating: 3.97/4.00