Depression
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
A Mood ApartA Sadly Troubled HistoryActive Treatment of DepressionAdolescent DepressionAdult Bipolar DisordersAgainst DepressionAgents in My BrainAmerican ManiaAmerican MelancholyAn Unquiet MindArtificial HappinessBeating the BluesBefore ProzacBeyond BlueBiological UnhappinessBipolar DisorderBipolar Disorder DemystifiedBipolar Disorder in Childhood and Early AdolescenceBipolar DisordersBipolar ExpeditionsBlaming the BrainBoy InterruptedBritain on the CouchCalm EnergyCase Studies in DepressionChange Your ThinkingChronic DepressionComprehending SuicideConquering Postpartum DepressionConquering the Beast WithinCry Depression, Celebrate RecoveryDamageDepressionDepression 101Depression and GlobalizationDepression and NarrativeDepression Doesn't Always Have to Be DepressingDepression FalloutDepression in ContextDepression Is a ChoiceDepression SourcebookDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepression, the Mood DiseaseDepression-Free for LifeDetourDiagnostic Issues in Depression and Generalized Anxiety DisorderDown Came the RainDowning Street BluesDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEight Stories UpElectroboyElectroshockEssential Psychopharmacology of Depression and Bipolar DisorderExperiences of DepressionFacing BipolarFast GirlFatal AttachmentsGetting Your Life BackGod HeadHandbook of DepressionHandbook of DepressionHello to All ThatHelping Students Overcome Depression and AnxietyHow Everyone Became DepressedHow I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill MeHurry Down SunshineI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!Journeys with the Black DogLeaving YouLet Them Eat ProzacLife InterruptedLifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Lifting DepressionLifting the WeightLincoln's MelancholyLiving Without Depression and Manic DepressionLong ShotLucy Sullivan Is Getting MarriedMadnessMaking Sense of SuicideMalignant SadnessManiaManicManic DepressionManufacturing DepressionMelancholiaMindfulness for Urban Depression: Tools for Relief from Stressful City LivingMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMood GenesMoody Minds DistemperedMy DepressionNatural Healing for DepressionNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNew Hope For People With Bipolar DisorderNew Hope for People with DepressionNight Falls FastNovember of the SoulOn DepressionOn the Edge of DarknessOne in ThirteenOrdinarily WellOut of the BlueOutsmarting DepressionOvercoming DepressionPerfect ChaosPotatoes Not ProzacProzac and the New AntidepressantsProzac BacklashProzac HighwayProzac NationProzac NationPsychotic DepressionPuppy Chow Is Better Than ProzacQuiet Your Mind & Get to SleepRaising a Moody ChildReasons to Stay AliveScattershotSelf-CoachingSightlinesSilencing the Self Across CulturesSilent GriefSongs from the Black ChairSongs Without WordsSpeaking of SadnessSpontaneous HappinessStudent DepressionSubordination and DefeatSuicidal Behavior in Children and AdolescentsSuicideSunbathing in the RainSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving Manic DepressionSwing LowSylvia Plath ReadsTalking Back to ProzacTaming Your Inner BratThe Aesthetics of DisengagementThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Mood DisordersThe Anatomy of MelancholyThe Anti-Depressant Fact BookThe Antidepressant EraThe Antidepressant SolutionThe Antidepressant Survival ProgramThe BeastThe Bell JarThe Best AwfulThe Bipolar ChildThe Bipolar Disorder Survival GuideThe Blue Day BookThe Breakthrough Depression SolutionThe Clinical Science of Suicide PreventionThe CorrectionsThe Cruelty of DepressionThe Depressed ChildThe Depression CureThe Depression WorkbookThe Devil WithinThe Emotional RevolutionThe Family SilverThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Forgotten MournersThe Loss of SadnessThe Memory of LightThe Mindful Way through DepressionThe Mood CureThe Myth of Depression as DiseaseThe Naked Bird WatcherThe Nature of MelancholyThe Noonday DemonThe Pits and the PendulumThe Postpartum EffectThe Secret Strength of DepressionThe Van Gogh BluesThe Van Gogh BluesThe Weariness of the SelfThe Years of Silence are PastThirteen Reasons WhyThis Close to HappyTo Walk on EggshellsTreatment for Chronic DepressionUndercurrentsUnderstanding DepressionUnderstanding DepressionUndoing DepressionUnhappy TeenagersUnholy GhostUnstuckViniyoga Therapy for DepressionWhat Goes UpWhat the Birds SeeWhat Works for Bipolar KidsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhen Words Are Not EnoughWhen Your Body Gets the BluesWhere the Roots Reach for WaterWhy Are You So Sad?Why People Die by SuicideWill's ChoiceWriting Through the DarknessYou Are Not AloneZelda

Related Topics
What Goes UpReview - What Goes Up
Surviving the Manic Episode of a Loved One
by Judy Eron
Barricade Books, 2005
Review by Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H.
Oct 24th 2006 (Volume 10, Issue 43)

What Goes Up is the emotionally wrenching story of a woman, author Judy Eron, who becomes ensnared inextricably in the insufferable web of her husband (Jim's) manic-depressive travail.  Eron is a licensed clinical social worker living in Texas.  Wielding a deeply cutting writing sabre, Eron unflinchingly flays the flesh otherwise shielding her emotions and feelings, and viscerally lays bare her perceived failings, and certainly immense difficulties, making lucid, clear headed decisions detached emotionally from her husband's mentally dysfunctional state of being.  The painful exposing of her vulnerabilities and burdensome sense of guilt powerfully fortify the narrative with great strength.

   Eron's anecdotal recounting of her husband's meteoric ascent into the mentally disturbed stratosphere of mania, followed by his precipitous plunge into the deadly depths of depression driven suicide, adroitly interlaces strong threads of endearing tenderness and love with knotty strands of fearfulness, anxiousness, and crushing despair.  It is the fervent aspiration of Eron that her sobering story of loving a man in the unyielding grip of manic-depression may prove helpful to persons who likewise love someone suffering from manic-depressive illness.  And indeed, Eron succeeds admirably in wrenching open the casement of manic-depression so as to provide readers with a highly revealing, if dispiriting, glimpse of life as actually lived by a man wracked by mania and depression, and by the woman who loved him dearly.

   Manic-depression is a bipolar illness in the sense that the affected person, when untreated, characteristically cycles alternately between manic and depressive phases.  In line with this clinically bipolar course, the book's structural foundation is bifurcated:  the first part (entitled:  "What Goes Up...") fleshes out the manic episode suffered by Jim, precipitated by his abrupt cessation of lithium therapy; the second part (entitled:  "...Must Come Down") focuses thematically on the depressive phase of Jim's illness, culminating in his tragic death, by suicide.  Numerous conversational snippets, recounted by Eron, helpfully and interestingly lend considerable support to the book's structural configuration.  The writing style employed by Eron is very lay reader friendly, albeit scientifically informal and, at times, a bit rambling.

   In the book's riveting first part, Eron does a masterful job of crafting a chronicle of her personal experience of loving a man in the throes of out of control mania.  Exuding poignantly felt emotion, Eron explains that the vicissitudes of her actions, and inactions, with respect to Jim, were twisted and turned by her sense of loyalty to her beloved husband, but also by her  disquieting confusion about what to do.  She was searching for indications that things might again be well for Jim, and for their relationship, but, at the same time, she was being pummeled emotionally by her husband's manic driven verbal blasts.  Eron's pensive ruminations convey the sense that, in retrospect, her reactions to Jim's displays of mania were tinged unhelpfully with naïveté and a misplaced hopefulness regarding his state of health.

With the wisdom of hindsight, the bitter truth probably is that:  when her husband was increasingly being rendered mentally unstable by an ever contracting vise of mania, she simply didn't know what to do to help him escape from the clenched iron fist of his manic episode.

   Some of the particular ingredients in the substantive brew prepared by Eron, in the book's first part, include: comment on how her husband, when well,  was molded perfectly to fit her special needs and wants; sorrowful musings  regarding her retrospectively perceived failure to properly heed "warning signs", concerning  her husband's descent into the punishing nether land of mental illness; and disheartening recollections of her husband's stark behavioral transformation, following  his abrupt truncating of lithium therapy, enveloping:  rudeness, brashness, restlessness, irritability,  and disconcerting disconnectedness from reality.

   In the book's succinct second part, Eron plaintively describes Jim's steep fall from the lofty elevation of mania to the seemingly fathomless depths of severe depression, ending tragically with his suicidal death.  Importantly, and instructively, in the last chapter, Eron enumerates a list of conclusions and recommendations, appertaining to manic-depression, based on her personal experiences and readings.

   Academically entrenched readers, insistent on scientifically disciplined writing and research, may lament that this anecdotally recounted story may in not unimportant ways possibly be anomalously unrepresentative of the life experiences of other manic-depressive persons, and of the persons who love them.  Yet, surely, the cruel realities, vestiges of hopefulness, and heartfelt emotions and feelings elucidated extremely candidly by Eron in her moving story may be of valuable interest to readers in love with persons spinning and reeling in the topsy-turvy world of manic-depression.  Mental health counselors, social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists may, as well, be quite gratified and enlightened educationally by the book's illumining contents.

 

© 2006 Leo Uzych

 

Leo Uzych (based in Wallingford, PA) earned a law degree, from Temple University; and a master of public health degree, from Columbia University.  His area of special professional interest is healthcare.


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7800 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716