SELF: 17 Therapist-Approved Books That Will Teach You Something New About Yourself

Thrilled to be in the same company with so many great books and authors!

Excerpt from Anna Borges’ piece:

“I don’t know about you, but reading about mental health is a huge part of my self-care routine. Expanding my reading list to include everything from self-help books to memoirs to reference texts has been, if not life-changing, then at least very life-improving. I’m pretty much always on the lookout for book recs. To beef up my reading list—and yours—I decided to crowdsource some of the best books on mental health.

“Who did I ask? First, the experts: psychologists, therapists, counselors, and other mental health professionals. Then I asked people what books their therapists have recommended they read on their quests for better self-knowledge. Here are some of the titles you might want to add to your TBR list (and for even more suggestions this callout on Twitter is filled with recs that came in after I wrapped this article up).”

Read More

BookRiot: The Best Books we Read in April (Review by Peter Damien)

The subtitle of Moezzi’s memoir is “A bipolar life” which tends to suggest what the major focus of the book will be about, and so it was with some surprise when I discovered that “bipolar” had an awful lot less to do with the story than “a life” did. This might sound like a complaint, but it isn’t remotely. Melody Moezzi is an amazing writer, sharp and witty and very funny, describing life as a young Iranian woman raised by her family in the American midwest, balancing those two sides of her world and cultures in a pre- and post-9/11 world. The trickier bit happens when her own brain, which is the thing trying to do all that balancing, is itself off-kilter and goes to pieces as bipolar rears its ugly head.

Read More

The Boston Globe: Haldol and Hyacinths Review (Review by Kate Tuttle)

 Mental illness is serious business — “bipolar disorder is a legitimate and lethal illness that has nearly killed me on several occasions,” author Melody Moezzi writes. Yet the dominant tone in Moezzi’s memoir of battling the disease, including manic episodes that took her over that “fine line between eccentric exuberance and madness,” is an infectious, freewheeling humor. The whipsmart but whimsical daughter of Iranian immigrant doctors, Moezzi details a series of maladies that befell her even before mania set in: First among them was the cultural dislocation of “enduring the seventh grade as the staggeringly skinny, flat-chested brown girl in Ohio, with a budding unibrow and a faint mustache.”

Read More

Chai: Haldol and Hyacinths - An Inspirational and Powerful Memoir (Review by Mehwish Qureshi)

“Courageous” is the word that came to my mind when I read Melody Moezzi’s novel. On January 26, 2014, CHAI, co-sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI),  held its quarterly book club meeting at the East Columbia Branch Library, to discuss “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life” by Melody Moezzi. For this specific book club meeting, we had the luxury of having the author Skyping in to meet us and talk about the book.

Read More

IndyWeek: Haldol and Hyacinths Review (Review by Chris Vitiello)

"There are plenty of respectable reasons to kill yourself, but I've never had any." So opens Raleigh author Melody Moezzi's memoir, Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life. Raised in a vibrant Islamic-American community in Dayton, Ohio, Moezzi felt loved and supported, never more so than when a physical illness landed her in the hospital at 18 and her hospital room filled with flowers and get-well wishes. But when her bipolar disorder surfaced, leading to a suicide attempt, sanitarium visits and a stunning array of mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, Moezzi's community turned colder. By turns truth-telling and humorous, Haldol and Hyacinths recounts the ways that psychological illness is judged or disbelieved along cultural and social lines. Ultimately Moezzi finds healing and inspiration in perseverance, embracing aspects of her condition while pushing through others: "Here is the problem with madness. How do you sort out the ocelots from the creative breakthroughs, or the elephants from the nail-biting cessation? You don't."

Read More

The Herald Sun: Author chronicles mental illness, Iranian and American roots (Review by Cliff Bellamy)

Melody Moezzi once tried to commit suicide in a psychiatrist's office, and had hallucinations in which Joseph Stalin and her fourth-grade teacher were participants. How she struggled to understand her bipolar illness and became an advocate and spokesperson for mental illness is the subject of Moezzi's compelling memoir, "Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life." 

Read More

Publishers Weekly: Haldol and Hyacinths Review

“Perhaps insanity is inescapable when you separate a soul from its vessel,” muses Iranian-American activist, author, and lawyer Moezzi (War on Error) in her strangely affecting chronicle of living with bipolar disorder. She attributes her affliction to a variety of factors—cultural vertigo, post-9/11 prejudice against Muslims, a rare pancreatic disorder, overwhelming family pressure—and over the years has attempted suicide and suffered from a full-blown manic episode, as well as psychotic breaks. To recreate the gaps in her memory during these traumatic periods, she relies on recollections of friends and family, and her husband’s detailed notes. Some readers may not embrace Moezzi’s bad-girl persona—she stages rebellions in hospital wards and offers strong opinions on a range of subjects—but her vivid descriptions of being pulled against her will in a swirl of impulsivity, hallucinations, and paranoia are riveting. She also uses offbeat humor to criticize the medical profession’s handling of the mentally ill. Her often black-and-white thinking is mercifully softened by abundant gratitude for the saintly patience of her husband, the practicality of her mother, and the wisdom of her Rumi-quoting father. A poetic portrait of life on the lines of sanity and a mind on the edge of cultures.

Read More