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Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American by Emily Martin

By Emily Martin

Winner of the 2009 Diana Forsythe Prize, Committee for the Anthropology of technological know-how, know-how, and Computing of the overall Anthropology department, and the Society for the Anthropology of labor, American Anthropological Association

Manic habit holds an indisputable fascination in American tradition at the present time. It fuels the plots of best-selling novels and the imagery of MTV video clips, is said because the driver for winning marketers like Ted Turner, and is well known because the resource of the creativity of artists like Vincent Van Gogh and picture stars like Robin Williams. Bipolar Expeditions seeks to appreciate mania's charm and the way it weighs at the lives of usa citizens clinically determined with manic depression.

Anthropologist Emily Martin courses us into the attention-grabbing and infrequently demanding worlds of mental-health help teams, temper charts, psychiatric rounds, the pharmaceutical undefined, and psychotropic medications. Charting how those worlds intersect with the broader pop culture, she unearths how humans residing less than the outline of bipolar ailment are usually denied the prestige of being totally human, even whereas modern the US indicates a robust affinity for manic habit. Mania, Martin indicates, has become considered as frontier that invitations exploration since it turns out to supply repute and gains to pioneers, whereas melancholy is imagined as whatever that are supposed to be eradicated altogether with the aid of drugs.

Bipolar Expeditions argues that mania and melancholy have a cultural existence open air the confines of analysis, that the reviews of individuals dwelling with bipolar illness belong totally to the human situation, and that even the main so-called rational daily practices are intertwined with irrational ones. Martin's personal adventure with bipolar illness informs her research and lends a private standpoint to this advanced tale.

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Additional resources for Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture

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The familiar debate over whether a person with mental illness is capable of rationality is changed beyond recognition when people in every corner of society are thinking about enhancing their mental processes and when domains like mania 16 Introduction that were formerly categorized as irrational have become a new continent waiting to be tapped for the sake of greater creativity and innovation, and, ultimately, greater productivity and profit. A Short History of Manic Depression Where did the category of “manic depression” come from?

The phrase is meant to reflect the social fact that they have been given a diagnosis. At the same time, it calls attention to another social fact: the diagnosis is only one description of a person among many. Mania is a concept that is used so differently by people in the same setting that it is almost as if the same word is being used in the sentences of different languages. This makes it a fruitful place to see contemporary changes in the significance that is given to manic behavior. What is happening is not completely new—mania has enduring significance that draws on its early twentieth-century formulation—but the concept is being applied in new domains and used to solve new problems, problems that are specific to the present time and place.

Vincent van Gogh. Nijinski. ” The ad did assert the link between creative and powerful people and mental illness, but its main message was still that these great people had to overcome a serious handicap in order to succeed. It would be hard to exaggerate the impact of Jamison’s work, which has been featured in major newspapers, magazines, and documentary films. ”84 The article singles out a number of famous artists, musicians, and writers who could be considered manic depressive by the evidence in their letters and journals, or in descriptions given by physicians, family, and friends.

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