COVID-19 has launched a second pandemic: a mental health crisis in America. Since the lockdowns started, calls to suicide prevention hotlines have gone up 1000%; in a recent Census Bureau questionnaire, over one-third of U.S. adults self-identified as clinically anxious or depressed; and experts have predicted that 75,000 additional deaths may be caused by coronavirus despair. There has never been a time in our history when an immediate and in-depth focus on mental health issues was so necessary, or so urgent. Yet despite these alarming statistics, mental illness remains a clouded topic in our society. What does it look like? What can we do about it? In MODERN MADNESS: An Owner’s Manual (Hachette), Terri Cheney provides the answers and clarity we need, now more than ever before. In her celebrated New York Times bestseller Manic, Cheney depicted her harrowing double life as an elite entertainment attorney suffering from bipolar disorder. Now she once again uses her compelling narrative gifts to flip mental illness inside out, exposing the visceral story of the struggles, stigma, relationship dilemmas, treatments, and recovery techniques she and others have encountered. Using the familiar framework of an owner’s manual, MODERN MADNESS brilliantly imposes order on a frightening and forbidding topic. Cheney’s juxtaposition of conventional clinical language with real, lived experience unpacks the myths and realities of mental illness. With a combination of the tongue-in-cheek (“The World’s Worst Party Guest”) and the all-too-real (“The Rules of Suicide”), Cheney’s stories are by turns gritty, brutally honest, slyly funny, and always revelatory. She takes readers to the far reaches of reality, and back again. Her unusual ability to translate madness will forever change how you look at mental health—and mental illness. Not just for readers with a diagnosis, MODERN MADNESS will be invaluable for anyone trying to understand the complexities of the mental health issues currently confronting our nation. This week, we’ll also hear firsthand how Terri, a highly competent lawyer transitioned to being an esteemed writer — what is her approach to writing? What is her process? What are the implications of mental illness on the discipline of writing? How does one develop a second professional proficiency while coping with mental illness? You’ll hear it here. Please do Drop In with us!
Terri Cheney is the author of the New York Times bestseller Manic: A Memoir, which was translated into eight foreign languages. Her second book, MODERN MADNESS: An Owner’s Manual (Hachette), provides the answers and clarity we need, Terri’s writings and commentary about bipolar disorder have also been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, NPR, and countless articles and popular blogs, including her own ongoing blog for Psychology Today, which has over one million views. Once a successful entertainment attorney representing the likes of Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, Terri now devotes her advocacy skills to the cause of destigmatizing mental illness. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics at USC, and the Honorary Board of Directors of the International Bipolar Foundation. She also served on the Community Advisory Board of the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program. She currently lives in Los Angeles.Leave a comment for radio show guests