Thursday, July 10, 2008

Manic by Terri Cheney

On the outside, Terri Cheney was a highly successful, attractive Beverly Hills entertainment lawyer. But behind her seemingly flawless façade lay a dangerous secret – for the better part of her life Cheney had been battling debilitating bipolar disorder and concealing a pharmacy’s worth of prescriptions meant to stabilize her moods and make her “normal”.

In bursts for prose that mirror the devastating highs and extreme lows of her illness, Cheney describes her roller-coaster life with shocking honesty – from glamorous parties to a night in jail; from flying fourteen kites off the edge of a cliff in a thunderstorm to crying beneath her office disk; from electroshock therapy to a suicide attempt fueled by tequila and prescription painkiller.

I knew a little about manic depression, but this book was an eye opening look at the all consuming nature of the highs and lows. This was fast read as I really got drawn into the author's experiences. The book is written in episodes rather than chronologically, as the author mentions that is how her thoughts flow, but at times it was hard to place the stories in relation to each other. Even with that, I found the book facinating. 4 stars

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