Mental: Book summary and reviews of Mental by Jaime Lowe

Mental

Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind

by Jaime Lowe

Mental by Jaime Lowe X
Mental by Jaime Lowe
  • Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Oct 2017
    320 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

A riveting memoir and a fascinating investigation of the history, uses, and controversies behind lithium, an essential medication for millions of people struggling with bipolar disorder.

It began in Los Angeles in 1993, when Jaime Lowe was just sixteen. She stopped sleeping and eating, and began to hallucinate - demonically cackling Muppets, faces lurking in windows, Michael Jackson delivering messages from the Neverland Underground. Lowe wrote manifestos and math equations in her diary, and drew infographics on her bedroom wall. Eventu­ally, hospitalized and diagnosed as bipolar, she was prescribed a medication that came in the form of three pink pills - lithium.

In Mental, Lowe shares and investigates her story of episodic madness, as well as the stabil­ity she found while on lithium. She interviews scientists, psychiatrists, and patients to examine how effective lithium really is and how its side effects can be dangerous for long-term users - including Lowe, who after twenty years on the medication suffers from severe kidney damage. Mental is eye-opening and powerful, tackling an illness and drug that has touched millions of lives and yet remains shrouded in social stigma.

Now, while she adjusts to a new drug, her pur­suit of a stable life continues as does her curiosity about the history and science of the mysterious element that shaped the way she sees the world and allowed her decades of sanity. Lowe travels to the Bolivian salt flats that hold more than half of the world's lithium reserves, rural America where lithium is mined for batteries, and tolithium spas that are still touted as a tonic to cure all ills. With unflinching honesty and humor, Lowe allows a clear-eyed view into her life, and an arresting inquiry into one of mankind's oldest medical mysteries.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"[Jaime Lowe's] often chaotic chronicle operates as an earnest memoir of personal triumph and an illuminating exposé of a type of medication that continues to be a source of great debate. A moving exploration of mental health and the efficacy of available treatment." - Kirkus

"With clear-eyed candor, wicked wit, and edgy tenderness, Lowe's story defies the streamlined trajectory of an easy recovery narrative - offering proof that the story of getting better is always more ragged than we imagine." - Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

"Mental is brave, honest, disturbing—all that you would expect from a memoir of mental illness. But it gives you something rare and unexpected: writing that is pellucid, forceful, and often beautiful, that sometimes grabs you by the throat and sometimes whispers in your ear, but always moves you." - Gary Greenberg, author of The Book of Woe

"Mental is a harrowing memoir on the topic of bipolar illness, full of Jaime Lowe's top-notch reporting. It is also very funny. And if that's the highest compliment from a comedian; the highest compliment from a fellow person with mental illness is I wish the book had been around twenty-five years ago, so I could have read it." - Maria Bamford, star and executive producer of Lady Dynamite

"Jaime Lowe's fiery, poetic prose conveys the rhythms of her mania and the loosening of connections that fuel creativity. In search of an understanding of lithium, she takes us on a personal journey that extends to the outer reaches of primordial stardust. Mental engenders the empathy that helps to erase the stigma, and the blurry line, between mentally ill and sane." - Julie Holland, MD, author of Moody Bitches and Weekends at Bellevue

"Jaime Lowe's honesty and insight run deep. This book brims with her humanity - you'll root for her on every page - and also with the quality of her thinking and writing. Like Mary Karr and Kay Redfield Jamison, she has taken her own darkest experiences and turned them into art that has the power to heal." - Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones

The information about Mental shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Jaime Lowe

Jaime Lowe is a writer living in Brooklyn. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and her work has appeared in New York magazine, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Maxim, Gawker, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and on ESPN.com. Lowe is the author of Digging for Dirt: The Life and Death of ODB, a biography of Ol' Dirty Bastard, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more biography/memoir...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes was read and reviewed by 22 BookBrowse members for First ...
  • Book Jacket: The Judge Hunter
    The Judge Hunter
    by Christopher Buckley
    In London 1664, Balthasar de St. Michel or "Balty" has no discernable skills besides pestering his ...
  • Book Jacket: Star of the North
    Star of the North
    by D.B. John
    It's summertime. You're looking for an absorbing thriller while you flop at the beach. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Abbot's Tale
    The Abbot's Tale
    by Conn Iggulden
    The Abbot's Tale purports to be a re-discovered manuscript written by a real historical figure,...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Summer Wives
    by Beatriz Williams

    An electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power and redemption set on an island off the New England coast.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.