Bipolar Expeditions

Mania and Depression in American Culture

  • Emily Martin
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Manic behavior holds an undeniable fascination in American culture today. It fuels the plots of best-selling novels and the imagery of MTV videos, is acknowledged as the driving force for successful entrepreneurs like Ted Turner, and is celebrated as the source of the creativity of artists like Vincent Van Gogh and movie stars like Robin Williams. "Bipolar Expeditions" seeks to understand mania's appeal and how it weighs on the lives of Americans diagnosed with manic depression. 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.
List of Illustrations xiii Preface: Ethnographic Ways and Means xv Acknowledgments xxi INTRODUCTION: Manic Depression in America 1 Rational and Irrational 5 Brains and Genes 11 The Drug Factor 13 A Short History of Manic Depression 16 Manic Depression in Culture 28 Research Methods 30 PART ONE: Manic Depression as Experience 35 CHAPTER ONE: Personhood and Emotion 37 What Are Moods? 43 Mood and Motivation 49 Our Manic Affinity 51 CHAPTER TWO: Performing the Rationality of Irrationality 55 Patients Rationality: Double Bookkeeping 55 Doctors Rationality: A Closed Circle 59 The Bipolar Experience: Multiplicity 64 The Bipolar Experience: Interruption 69 Sounding a Second Voice 74 Style and Manic Performances 80 CHAPTER THREE: Managing Mania and Depression 86 CHAPTER FOUR: I Now Pronounce You Manic Depressive 99 1. Im in a Hole 101 2. I Thought I Was Normal When I Was Speedy 102 3. What Is the Diagnosis? 106 4. Who Is Manic? 110 5. What Is Bipolar 2b? 111 6. I Aint Gonna Mess with It Backwards 114 7. Maybe He Is a Normal Variant 117 8. Im a Twenty-Year-Old College Student with a 3.75 GPA and I Am Not Crazy 120 Subjection and Rationality 127 CHAPTER FIVE: Inside the Diagnosis 134 DSM Categories as Text-Atoms 135 The Work of Support Groups 143 Performativity, Intention, and Diagnosis 147 CHAPTER SIX: Pharmaceutical Personalities 150 Marketing a Psychotropic Drug 150 The Rationality of Consumers 156 Living with Drugs 159 PART TWO: Mania as a Resource 175 CHAPTER SEVEN: Taking the Measure of Moods and Motivations 177 Mood Hygiene 188 Evading Mood Charts 193 From Temperate to Hot 195 CHAPTER EIGHT: Revaluing Mania 197 Sociality and Conformity 198 Manic Depression and Creativity Today 202 Gender and Manic Depression 210 Race and Manic Depression 212 Manic Depression as an Asset 216 A Mental State as a Thing 220 Understanding Mania and Manic Depression in Their Contexts 229 CHAPTER NINE: Manic Markets 234 Links between Individuals and Markets 234 Learning to Be Manic 239 Mania in the Market 243 Emotion in the Market 250 A Few Manic Heroes, Past and Present 253 Manic Affinity 257 A Few Fallen Heroes 259 The Edge 263 CONCLUSION: The Bipolar Condition 269 Race and Gender Revisited 274 Optimizing Moods 275 The End of Madness? 277 Appendix 281 Notes 287 References 339 Index 363
Uitgavejaar 2007
ISBN 9780691004235
Verschijningsdatum 1 jul. 2007
Omvang 400
Auteur(s) Emily Martin
Taal Engels

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