Madness

1504 Words Dec 2nd, 2010 7 Pages
In her memoir, “Madness“, Marya Hornbacher takes the reader on a journey of her life with Type I rapid cycle bipolar disorder. She explains the disorder as “when you are mad, mad like this, you don’t know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else’s reality, it’s still reality to you” (Hornbacher, page 118). Marya Hornbacher has experienced almost every possible disorder. By the time she reached her teenage years , she had already battled drug addiction, bulimia and anorexia, alcoholism, and cutting. In addition, she would have sporadic mood changes; she would literally run around hyper and fully charged, impulsively saying things that she knew didn’t make sense. This was …show more content…
She had also developed a quick wit and self-deprecating humor, that comes across in her writing. Upon finding out that she had been suffering from bipolar disorder, Marya, initially, had a very simplistic view of the disease. She thought , that like any other illness, if you take medicine for it, you’re cured. However, manic- bipolar disorder always needs to be under control., and medicine or electric shock therapy is the only way it can be controlled. Marya had a hard time following her doctors’ orders. He prescribed mood stabilizers and sleep and warned her not to drink . Instead, she mixed different medicines together and drank heavily when taking them. “ I still haven’t made the connection between my drinking and the maniacal swings of my mood. I don’t see the chaos around me as moods. I see it as a chaotic life that I‘m simply too weak to manage well” (Hornbacher, p.105) Living with a person who has bipolar can be very overwhelming and unpredictable. Not knowing when the person is going to have an episode is very stressful. However, learning what triggers the mania is helpful when dealing with them. I believe it was Marya’s husband, Jeff, who really saved her from herself in the end. He completely took over the role of both husband and wife when she went into these episodes. He became the sole breadwinner while also being the caregiver. While being hospitalized for her depression, he made sure to