NPR

In 'Rock Steady,' Ellen Forney Combines Mental Health Advice, Artistry and Wit

Following up on her instant-classic Marbles — about her experiences with bipolar disorder — cartoonist Forney lays out her coping strategies in warm, deftly-rendered and densely informative style.
"Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life" by Ellen Forney Source: Eslah Attar

Ellen Forney has a new book out, and the fact that it's about mood disorders is just gravy. Maybe that sentence needs some explaining — starting with the "mood disorders" part. If you suffer from some form of depression or bipolar disorder, you've probably noticed a divide that exists amongst books on the subject. On the one side are probing, literary accounts of what it's like to experience these illnesses — William Styron's , Kay Redfield Jamison's . On the other side are books about coping. The latter, however comprehensive and necessary, tend to lack poetry (one exception is Andrew Solomon's ). To do them justice, it's hard to be poetic about communicating effectively with medical professionals, taking pills on schedule and getting enough sleep.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR4 min readSociety
New York Activists Launch Hunger Strike To End Long-Term Solitary Confinement
Activists and survivors of solitary confinement are on a hunger strike to try to convince New York state lawmakers to end long-term solitary confinement.
NPR2 min read
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Locks Out Musicians As Contract Dispute Continues
Contract and salary negotiations between musicians and management have stalled, leaving BSO players picketing outside their concert hall.
NPR4 min read
'Patron Saints Of Nothing' Is A Book For 'The Hyphenated'
Young adult author Randy Ribay says it's tough having "a dual identity" in a world "where people want you to be one thing." His new novel explores the Philippine government's deadly war on drugs.