Ellen Forney’s graphic memoir of her decade-long struggle with bipolar disorder is amusing and philosophicalUntil she was 30, Ellen Forney, an award-winning Seattle-based artist, took her slightly unusual personality for granted. Her obsession with exercise, her impulsive sexuality, her bouts of ecstasy: she considered these things, however uncomfortable, a major part of who she was. After all, aren’t all creative types given to strange moods, to pulling all-nighters, to forgetting to eat?But then, everything changed. Having spent one summer feeling low, she started seeing a therapist – a woman who, alarmed by her client’s now increasingly “jazzed” mood, duly referred her to a psychiatrist. Forney was breezy about this. Her depression was long gone; she had barely slept in months, she had lost a lot of weight and she felt… great.Her psychiatrist, however, wasn’t convinced, and during what was only Ellen’s second appointment reached for the ominous blue telephone directory that is known as the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Together, they went through Ellen’s symptoms. Persistently and abnormally elevated mood? Check. Inflated self-esteem and grandiosity during these moods? Check. Decreased need for sleep? Check. Racing thoughts? Check. Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books