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Where Are the Cocoa Puffs?: A Family's Journey Through Bipolar Disorder

by Karen Winters Schwartz

As eighteen-year-old Amanda spirals into mania, her father, psychiatrist Dr. Jerry Benson, sees the realization of his worst fears: his daughter is not just moody, but truly ill. With his words, his diagnosis--manic depressive illness--his world and that of his family is forever altered. Carol, Amanda's mother, struggles with the guilt and shame of having raised a "crazy" daughter. Christy, Amanda's fifteen-year-old sister, denies the illness; after all, my sister's a bitch is so much easier to accept.

Meanwhile, the Bensons' extended family offers up everything from unconditional support to uncomfortable scrutiny as Amanda careens between bouts of frightening violence, cosmic euphoria, and suicidal despair. Then there's Ryan, an architecture student who is initially ensnared by Amanda's manic sexuality, but is ultimately captured and held throughout the chaos by the force of love and strength of family.

Where Are the Cocoa Puffs?: A Family's Journey Through Bipolar Disorder follows a family through the tragedy of bipolar disorder, but it's not tragic. It's funny, sad, and thought provoking--and as real and as raw as mental illness itself.

"Engaging. Strongly recommended!"
E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.,
author of Surviving Schizophrenia and Surviving Manic Depression
"A coming of age story. It speaks to many truths."
Michael J. Fitzpatrick,
MSW Executive Director, NAMI National
"Highly recommended! It will challenge, educate, and inspire you."
Dr. Joseph J. Luciani,
bestselling author of Self-Coaching:
The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety & Depression
"Heartwarming and heartwrenching. Very highly recommended!"
Alan Gettis, Ph.D.,
author of the award-winning book The Happiness Solution:
Finding Joy & Meaning in an Upside Down World
"A rare read. You'll learn something important about mental illness and also about yourself."
Donald R. Dempsey,
author of Betty's Child

"A roller coaster ride that offers insight and hope."

- Ginnah Howard -

author of Night Navigation


Read a few excerpts:
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