A Memoir of Love and Madness. Living with Bipolar Disorder by Rahla Xenopoulos

By Rahla Xenopoulos

In 1992, Rahla Xenopoulos was once clinically determined with bipolar affliction. regardless of the devastating analysis, she sought schooling on her sickness. even though she discovered an abundance of literature on a number of psychological health problems, none of it appeared appropriate to her. this case encouraged her to put in writing a booklet chronicling her ongoing efforts to come back to phrases with a affliction that's, in impression, a lifestyles sentence. The booklet recounts her upbringing in an eccentric, loving Jewish kin, her fight with bulimia, anorexia and self-mutilation, her makes an attempt at suicide, discovering real love and, ultimately, the 'crazy, totally unpredictable adventure of giving start to triplets'. this can be neither a self-help ebook nor a med­ical consultant. examining this publication won't treatment someone; bipolar sickness is a protracted affliction. however it did aid Rahla – because it will numerous others – 'to comprehend the rhythm within the cacophony of this condition'.

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At least, not that I knew of. None of my boyfriends had casually slipped the words, ‘PS. I’m certifiably insane,’ into my mouth with the first kiss. This was silly. Sure, I’m somewhat hither and thither; some days I wake up inside out and go to sleep upside down, but heavens, surely he wasn’t saying I was barking mad? I swallowed back the vomit suddenly in my mouth. Consternation. All of the pens suddenly leapt from their jars. Some were in my mouth, in my hands, behind my ear, drawing on a notepad in front of me.

Early June 1969. In his travelling outfit of weights, shorts, raincoat and flip-flops, Dr Fenster disembarked from the aircraft in agony. The first blast of icy wind cutting painfully into his exposed calves alerted him to the obvious. If it was the hottest summer in Europe, it stood to reason that South Africa was enduring the coldest winter in decades. The country, famous for its cruel constitution and sunny skies, was experiencing snowfalls on the Highveld – an event so extraordinary it wouldn’t recur for nearly two decades.

As we should all be. Now, if you’ll excuse me …’ The air hostess returned with an irate captain. ‘Dr Fenster, the man next to you is a highly disturbed and clearly dangerous individual, as is specified in the official letter of warning you’re carrying. ’ All night long the highly disturbed patient slept like a lamb, and all night long the officious air hostess trotted up and down the aisle delivering polystyrene cups of bitter instant coffee to my irascible father. Landing exhausted in Belgium, he found no family members waiting to greet the highly disturbed but drowsy patient, so he hailed a taxi and delivered the patient to his family on their farm.

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