Book review: Strictly Bipolar, By Darian Leader
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.
Friday 12 July 2013
This is not only an essay on a mental-health affliction but also an eloquent handbook on the intersection between modernity and illness.
Eschewing the sliding-scale term "bipolar" for the older "manic depression", Leader, a renown-ed psychoanalyst, anatomises its properties - the spending sprees, the verbal dexterity and the need for connectedness.
He refers to well-known sufferers, Vivien Leigh and Stephen Fry among them, and argues, very compellingly, that the illness is misunderstood and over-medicalised.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
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