by Ellen Forney

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Review

Just before her 30th birthday, cartoonist Ellen Forney begins seeing a psychiatrist to discuss her mood swings.  She is immediately diagnosed as bipolar, or manic-depressive.  Marbles chronicles her mood swings and treatment plans, as well as Forney's heretofore unknown family history of mental illness and the effect that being bipolar has on her friendships, ability to work, and day-to-day life.  It also provides very interesting insights into the mind of a manic, and then depressed, person.  For example, Forney initially sets up all kinds of projects for herself while she's manic, believing that she'll be able to complete them during her depressive periods, only to find herself unable to do much more than crawl from bed to couch once the depression sets in.  This brutally honest memoir about living with mental illness is very eye-opening and should be helpful to anyone who has friends or family members suffering from manic depression.

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