by Ellen Forney
When she was in her late 20s, cartoonist Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. While she was open to the idea of treatment, she also worried that the drugs--and having her disorder more under control--would impede her creativity, her very livelihood. In this graphic memoir, she explores her treatment process, the various drugs, side effects of those drugs (and drugs to treat the side effects), therapy, and how she kept track of her own ups, downs, and reactions to the medications. She also investigates other artists who had (or were thought to have had) mood disorders, and wonders what their creative output may have been like if they had been treated. Would we still have The Bell Jar, Starry Night, or Frankenstein? What is the root of creativity? An interesting portrait of both an artist and of one person's experience of mental illness.