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 is currently a judge of the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and the Independent Scholastic New Children's Prize 2014.
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.
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