A Brilliant Madness

A Brilliant Madness : Living with Manic-Depressive Illness

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In her revealing bestseller Call Me Anna, Patty Duke shared her long-kept secret: The talented actress who won an Oscar for her brilliant portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, three Emmy Awards, and the hearts of millions of fans who grew up with the adorable star of The Patty Duke Show, was suffering from a serious--but treatable--mental illness called manic depression. Now, in this compassionate, moving, and eloquent book, she joins with medical reporter Gloria Hochman to reveal fully what it's like to live with this powerful, paradoxical, and destructive illness--and how it can be brought under control.As with many manic-depressives, Patty Duke's symptoms started in her late teens. From that point on until she was correctly diagnosed at the age of thirty-five, she struggled for control of her life. At times she experienced euphoric highs: periods when she talked nonstop, was overcome by delusions, became irrationally angry, and acted impulsively with no thought of the consequences. Then, suddenly, she'd slip into debilitating, suicidal lows, periods of depression that found her cowering under the covers for weeks on end. This is the nature of manic-depressive illness: extremes of feeling and behavior that play havoc with a person's health, relationships, career, and self-esteem.In A Brilliant Madness, Patty recounts with painful honesty her temper tantrums, crying jags, hospital stays, suicide attempts, panic attacks, spending sprees, crushing depressions, and plunges into near bankruptcy. She reveals frankly how her disease helped to destroy two marriages and deeply hurt her children.But Patty's story has a happy ending: diagnosis after years of on-again, off-again therapy, a treatment--lithium--that offered a near-miraculous recovery, a new marriage, and the joy she feels today as she contemplates a future filled with life's normal ups and downs.Manic depression is a complex disorder that often masquerades as other illnesses. In alternating chapters, Gloria Hochman reports on the latest findings about its probable causes, its wide range of symptoms, and the most effective treatments. Vivid case histories reveal the many faces of manic depression--and why some patients resist treatment. She also offers fascinating insights into the link between creativity and manic depression--from the brilliant acting of Patty Duke to the disease's influence on prominent entrepreneurs, politicians, musicians, and writers.For all those who suffer from mood disorders, and for the family, friends, and physicians who love and care for them, A Brilliant Madness provides new and profound insight into the challenge of mental illness.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 285 pages
  • 142.24 x 205.74 x 25.4mm | 272.15g
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc
  • Bantam USA
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0553072560
  • 9780553072563

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1,373 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
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4 34% (467)
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2 6% (78)
1 2% (28)
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