A Brilliant Madness: Living With Manic-Depressive Illness
Dr. Aaron New
20 April 2012
Patty Duke suffers from manic-depressive disorder. She had no clue that she actually had a mental illness till she was thirty five. She always knew something was wrong with her but never really had it checked out. Patty Duke was a celebrity so she could have gotten help throughout the whole time she was in her teen years to when she was diagnosed. I read the book A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic-Depressive Illness. It is a biography of Patty Duke’s life.
In this book Patty Duke, with the help of the medical writer Gloria Hochman, discusses her struggle ...view middle of the document...
The stories from husbands, wives and family members who have experienced manic depression first-hand are profound. They are realizations of their lives and their dealings with daily life. The book also offers resources that those who suffer from a mental illness can contact for more information.
Patty's husband, Michael Pearce, is interviewed as well. He shares his thoughts about Anna and living with someone with manic depression. He talks about the difficulties he faced with having to deal with a mental illness for the first time. Mike shares the story of how he met Patty; the time she told him she has manic depression, what it is, and how she deals with it.
The co-author, Hochman, provides the technical and medical information. She gives us a guide to help identify people with the illness as well as much other useful information. There are chapters interspersed between personal accounts that give great detail into the many forms of the disease and the large variety of possible treatments. There is a chapter of advice for families on what they can do to cope with the illness and help their family member who has a mental illness. There is a list of resources for the mentally ill and their friends and family included within the book which includes organizations that care for them. One chapter of this book examines the connection between manic depression and creativity.
I never really knew much about what it was like to be bi-polar, or around someone who was, but now I am much more empathetic. I have a friend I went to high school with that was bi-polar but it was never really severe as to where she couldn’t function as Patty Duke described. There were many times described in the book where Patty would take a bottle of pills – sometimes trying to commit suicide and other times just for show. She also participated in psychotherapy but it...