Cover image for Irritable hearts : a PTSD love story
Title:
Irritable hearts : a PTSD love story
Author:
McClelland, Mac, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Flatiron Books, 2015.
Physical Description:
308 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
"In 2010, human rights reporter Mac McClelland left Haiti after covering the devastation of the earthquake. Back home, she finds herself imagining vivid scenes of violence and can't sleep or stop crying. It becomes clear that she is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, triggered by her trip and seemingly exacerbated by her experiences in the other charged places she'd reported from. The bewilderment about this sudden loss of self-control is magnified by her feelings for Nico, a French soldier she met in Haiti, who despite their brief connection seems to have found a place in her confused heart. With ... fearlessness, McClelland sets out to repair her broken psyche"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250052896
Format :
Book

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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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RC552.P67 M33 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

When thirty-year-old, award-winning human rights journalist Mac McClelland left Haiti after reporting on the devastating earthquake of 2010, she never imagined how the assignment would irrevocably affect her own life. Back home in California, McClelland cannot stop reliving vivid scenes of violence. She is plagued by waking terrors, violent fantasies, and crippling emotional breakdowns. She can't sleep or stop crying. Her life in shambles, it becomes clear that she is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her bewilderment about this sudden loss of control is magnified by the intensity of her feelings for Nico, a French soldier she met in Port-au-Prince and with whom she connected instantly and deeply.With inspiring fearlessness, McClelland tackles perhaps her most harrowing assignment to date: investigating the damage in her own mind and repairing her broken psyche. She begins to probe the depths of her illness, exploring our culture's history with PTSD, delving into the latest research by the country's top scientists and therapists, and spending time with veterans and their families.


Author Notes

Mac McClelland is the author of For Us Surrender Is Out of the Question. She has written for Reuters, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, the New York Times Magazine, and the New York Times Book Review, among other publications, and won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Sidney Hillman Foundation, the Online News Association, the Society of Environmental Journalist, and the Association for Women in Communications. Her work has also been nominated for two National Magazine Awards for Feature Writing and has been anthologized in the Best American Magazine Writing 2011, Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011, and Best Business Writing 2013.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Human rights journalist McClelland returned from Haiti a changed woman. She was no stranger to horror, having witnessed disaster after disaster in war-torn countries, in refugee camps, and at sites of environmental disaster. But this was different. In this searing memoir and medical tale, McClelland recounts how she coped with her damaged mind, trying to overcome violent fantasies, emotional breakdowns, insomnia, and endless crying jags in the most unexpected places and under the most unexpected circumstances. She meets with other PTSD victims, researches PTSD, and writes articles about PTSD as well as this devastating memoir, even as she is still coming to terms with her condition. She talks to experts who have conducted comprehensive studies of combat stress, from Vietnam to Iraq to Afghanistan. She examines the history of psychological trauma and reveals that natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, are another reliable source of PTSD. In all, an important addition to the growing literature on PTSD and its destructive effect on the human mind.--Sawyers, June Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

This raw look at life with PTSD begins in Haiti in September 2010, where an earthquake has just shaken the very fabric of society. McClelland (A Twisted Trail) is one of the journalists who comes to Port-au-Prince to cover femicide and hate crimes, and she witnesses "something." She does not provide details, only writing that it has to do with rape, and that watching the "something" is the closest she's ever been to someone else's terror. Immediately afterward, she feels "a disembodied version of myself hovering somewhere behind me and to the left." This dissociation and a psychological numbness-so severe that she felt no emotion when her boyfriend, Nico, placed a rose on her chest and fed her strawberries in bed one day-are symptoms that strain her ability to function. McClelland pulls herself away from drinking binges with the help of Nico's steadiness, a somatic therapist's expertise, and the affirmation she receives from PTSD survivors who thank her for reporting on the illness. McClelland is writing this memoir for those survivors. She asks readers who haven't experienced dissociation and numbness to empathize with psychological conditions that they won't fully understand, and makes it easy to grant that request. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.