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Book review: Strictly Bipolar, By Darian Leader


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.