Anthropologist Emily Martin guides us into the fascinating and sometimes disturbing worlds of mental-health support groups, mood charts, psychiatric rounds, the pharmaceutical industry, and psychotropic drugs. Charting how these worlds intersect with the wider popular culture, she reveals how people living under the description of bipolar disorder are often denied the status of being fully human, even while contemporary America exhibits a powerful affinity for manic behavior. Mania, Martin shows, has come to be regarded as a distant frontier that invites exploration because it seems to offer fame and profits to pioneers, while depression is imagined as something that should be eliminated altogether with the help of drugs.
Bipolar Expeditions argues that mania and depression have a cultural life outside the confines of diagnosis, that the experiences of people living with bipolar disorder belong fully to the human condition, and that even the most so-called rational everyday practices are intertwined with irrational ones. Martin's own experience with bipolar disorder informs her analysis and lends a personal perspective to this complex story.
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If you recognize that you are depressed, you may not know how or why you became depressed. You probably have been told, and tend to believe, you are either weak or irrational or there is something wrong with your brain. In this book, Dr. Holmes, assures you that you have been, instead, courageous and effective in dealing with your life.
He offers a way you can begin to view yourself and your life with greater respect and begin to move toward changing your place in the world. You can then join hundreds of Dr. Holmes’ clients who have said, “I make so much sense when you describe me and my life. For the first time ever, my whole life starts to make sense!”