With candor and humor, a manic-depressive Iranian-American Muslim chronicles her experiences with both clinical and cultural bipolarity.
Born to Persian parents at the height of the Islamic Revolution, Melody Moezzi was raised amid a vibrant, affectionate, and gossipy Iranian diaspora in the American heartland of Dayton, Ohio. Moezzi enjoyed all the amenities of a typical American youth- Froot Loops, Saturday morning cartoons, biased history textbooks. But she als experienced a distinctly Iranian education and uprbinging- Farsi class, unibrows, safron on everything, and PH.D.s or M.D.s for the whole family.
When Moezzi began battling a severe physical illness at eighteen, her loud, loving community of adoptive Iranian aunties and uncles stepped up, filling her hospital rooms with roses, lilies, and hyacinths. But years later, when she attempted suicide and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there were no flowers. Through several stays in psychiatric hospitals, bombarded with tranquilizers, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics, Moezzi was encouraged to keep her illness a secret - by both her family and an increasingly callous and indifferent medical establishment.
As Moezzi learned firsthand, there's something dangerous about the widespread secrecy surrounding mental illness. It breeds shame and isolation - both of which can be much more devastating than any psychiatric condition alone. Finally finding balance after years of treatment, Moezzi chose to become an outspoken advocate for the mentally ill.
Funny, caustic, and utterly unique, Haldol and Hyacinthsis the moving story of a woman who refused to become torn across cultural and social lines. Moezzi reports from the front lines of the no-man's-land between sickness and sanity, from the Midwest and the middle East. Told through a distinctive and fascinating cultural lens, Haldol and Hyacinthsis a tribute to the healing power of hope and humor.
'A compulsively readable account of one woman's descent into the hell of this insidious illness . . . Moezzi is the newest and perhaps the most important voice in this genre. Those suffering with mental illness (and their family members and friends) should read this book as soon as possible. Moezzi's story will save lives.' Andy Behrman, author of Electroboy- A Memoir of Mania
'A dazzling flower with poisonous thorns, Melody Moezzi's memoir describes formidable, twin conflicting identities, Bipolar, she wrestles frenzied, Hula-Hooping highs and psychotic, suicidal lows. Irnian-American, she finds Muslims scarce in the Bible Belt where she grew up, and learns that in Iran, there isn't even a word for 'bipolar'. Her struggle to keep these forces in balance is an immense task, and she tells her story with confidence and a fabulously wry sense of humor.' Ellen Forney, author of Marbles
'Haldol and Hyacinthsis like th brawling, big-hearted, and hilarious little sister of Darkness Visibleand The Noonday Demon. But Melody Moezzi is no imitator and she doesn't write in anyone's shadow. She stands alone and speaks her brilliant, fierce, inimitable mind, and we're the better for it.' Josh Hanagarne, author of The World's Strongest Librarian
'Melody Moezzi pulls no punches. A big brain and a big heart inform this courageous and often hilarious memoir, which crosses cultures and breaks stigmas. There is, quite simply, nothing like it. Nothing as smart, nothing as frank, nothing as information.' Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls
'With beautiful grace, sardonic humor and sharp intellect, Melody Moezzi casts a light where there is usually darkness. Haldol and Hyacinthsmay be a book about an American Muslim woman, but it speaks to the struggle of all p