Relationships
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
"Intimate" Violence against Women3 NBS of Julian DrewA Little PregnantA Natural History of RapeA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Stir of BonesAbout a BoyAdult Children of Emotionally Immature ParentsAlmost a PsychopathAlone TogetherAnatomy of LoveAngelsAnother CountryAnxious ParentsApples and OrangesBe Honest--You're Not That Into Him EitherBeing the Other OneBetrayed as BoysBeyond AddictionBipolar DisorderBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Breaking ApartBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBringing Up ParentsBut I Love HimCaring for a Child with AutismCaring in Remembered WaysCherishmentChildren of the Aging Self-AbsorbedChildren of the Self-AbsorbedChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingClawsCloserCold HitCoping With Difficult PeopleCouple SkillsCruddyDancing in My NuddypantsDivorce PoisonDoing ItDone With The CryingEcstasyEmotional ClaustrophobiaEmotional Fitness for IntimacyEmotional Intelligence at WorkEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Premarital CounselingEvery Pot Has a CoverFacts About ADHD ChildrenFamilies Like MineFamilyFamily BoundFamily FirstFear of IntimacyFinal JeopardyFind MeFlashpointFor Lesbian ParentsForgive Your Parents, Heal YourselfGandhi's WayGeorgia Under WaterGetting over Getting MadGetting the Love You WantGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGirl in the MirrorGirl StuffGoing Home without Going CrazyHandbook of AttachmentHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHappiness Sold SeparatelyHard to GetHe's Just Not That Into YouHealing ConversationsHollow KidsHot ButtonsHot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHow Families Still MatterHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Don't Know How She Does ItI Hate You-Don't Leave MeI Only Say This Because I Love YouI'm OK, You're My ParentsIn the Mood, AgainInside the American CoupleIntrusive ParentingIt's Called a Breakup Because It's BrokenIt's Love We Don't UnderstandJakarta MissingKeeping Passion AliveKeeping Your Child in MindLet's Get This StraightLiberation's ChildrenLife's WorkLikely to DieLove JunkieLove SickLove Times ThreeLove Works Like ThisLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderLoving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderLust in TranslationMaking the RunMaking the RunManic DepressionMars and Venus - Starting Over.Mating in CaptivityMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MotherstylesMurder in the InnMysterious CreaturesNecessary NoiseOdd Girl OutOpenOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOphelia's MomOrgasmsOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustParenting and the Child's WorldParenting on the GoParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerParents and Digital TechnologyParents Do Make a DifferencePassionate MarriagePlanet JanetPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Raising AmericaRaising ElijahRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Kids in the 21st CenturyRaising Resilient ChildrenRay's a LaughRelationship RescueRespect-Me RulesRomantic IntelligenceRoom For JSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf-NurtureSelfish, Shallow, and Self-AbsorbedSex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShidduch CrisisSickenedSingleSlut!Socrates in LoveSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Staying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop SignsStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsStrong, Smart, & BoldSummer of the SkunksSurviving a Borderline ParentTaking Charge of AngerTelling SecretsThank You for Being Such a PainThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Birth of PleasureThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Bully Action GuideThe Burden of SympathyThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe CorrectionsThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe DisappearanceThe Dream BearerThe Educated ParentThe Emotional RevolutionThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe EpidemicThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good DivorceThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Hostile HospitalThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Little FriendThe Love HexagonThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Psychology of Parental ControlThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Reflective ParentThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of WivesThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Story of My FatherThe Velveteen FatherThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Whole ChildTo Have and To Hurt:Two Is EnoughUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhitchedUp in FlamesWe've Got IssuesWhat about the KidsWhat Goes UpWhat Is Secular Humanism?What It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Mars Women DateWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhy Are You So Sad?Will You, Won't You?WomanWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!

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 7900 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