By Emily Martin
Winner of the 2009 Diana Forsythe Prize, Committee for the Anthropology of technological know-how, expertise, and Computing of the final Anthropology department, and the Society for the Anthropology of labor, American Anthropological Association
Manic habit holds an indisputable fascination in American tradition this present day. It fuels the plots of best-selling novels and the imagery of MTV movies, is stated because the motive force for profitable marketers like Ted Turner, and is widely 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 attraction and the way it weighs at the lives of usa citizens clinically determined with manic depression.
Anthropologist Emily Martin courses us into the interesting and infrequently irritating worlds of mental-health help teams, temper charts, psychiatric rounds, the pharmaceutical undefined, and psychotropic medicines. Charting how those worlds intersect with the broader pop culture, she unearths how humans dwelling less than the outline of bipolar illness are frequently denied the prestige of being totally human, even whereas modern the USA indicates a robust affinity for manic habit. Mania, Martin exhibits, has emerge as considered as frontier that invitations exploration since it turns out to supply repute and earnings 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 lifestyles outdoor the confines of prognosis, that the reviews of individuals residing with bipolar disease belong absolutely to the human situation, and that even the main so-called rational daily practices are intertwined with irrational ones. Martin's personal event with bipolar ailment informs her research and lends a private viewpoint to this advanced tale.
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Additional info for Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture
Jamison listed over two hundred composers, artists, and writers who arguably had some version of manic depression, from T. S. Eliot and Edna St. 82 Her effect on the public representation of mental illness was dramatic. ” The text of the ad read, “It is not commonly known how many well-known ﬁgures in history suffered from mental illness. Depression. Manic depression. Schizophrenia. Suicide. Among them were Abraham Lincoln. 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.
I will claim that whatever suffering attends the condition should be treated by any means possible. But I will also say that manic depression is culturally inﬂected: its “irrational” heights and depths are entwined in the present-day cultural imagination with economic success and economic failure. This is a central reason, as we will see, why manic depression’s triumphs and failures hold very different kinds of promises and threats for those in powerful social positions compared to those in weak ones.
But, as usual, the devil is in the details: my goal is to describe not a completely new set of concepts but rather an intensiﬁcation of many old concepts that has made it possible for Americans to think about social life and about their psychic lives in new ways. Manic Depression in America 11 Brains and Genes Cultural aspects of knowledge from the brain sciences are not a major focus of this book, largely because this knowledge, though central, did not play a dynamic role in the main settings of my ﬁeldwork.
Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture by Emily Martin