Cover image for RX : a graphic memoir
Title:
RX : a graphic memoir
Author:
Lindsay, Rachel, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly illustrations ; 28 cm
Summary:
"In her early twenties in New York City, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Rachel Lindsay takes a job in advertising in order to secure healthcare coverage for her treatment. But work takes a strange turn when she suddenly finds herself on the other side of the curtain, developing ads for an antidepressant drug. Day after day, she sees her own suffering in the ads she helps to create, trapped in an endless cycle of treatment, insurance and medication. Overwhelmed by the stress of her professional life and the self-scrutiny it inspires, she begins to destabilize and finds herself hospitalized against her will. In the ward, stripped of the little control over her life she felt she had, she struggles in the midst of doctors, nurses, patients and endless rules to find a path out of the hospital and this cycle of treatment. This is the author's story of being treated for a mental illness as a commodity and the often unavoidable choice between sanity and happiness."--Page 4 of cover.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9781455598540
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

A graphic memoir about the treatment of mental illness, treating mental illness as a commodity, and the often unavoidable choice between sanity and happiness.

In her early twenties in New York City, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Rachel Lindsay takes a job in advertising in order to secure healthcare coverage for her treatment. But work takes a strange turn when she is promoted onto the Pfizer account and suddenly finds herself on the other side of the curtain, developing ads for an antidepressant drug. She is the audience of the work she's been pouring over and it highlights just how unhappy and trapped she feels, stuck in an endless cycle of treatment, insurance and medication. Overwhelmed by the stress of her professional life and the self-scrutiny it inspires, she begins to destabilize and while in the midst of a crushing job search, her mania takes hold. Her altered mindset yields a simple solution: to quit her job and pursue life as an artist, an identity she had abandoned in exchange for medical treatment. When her parents intervene, she finds herself hospitalized against her will, and stripped of the control she felt she had finally reclaimed. Over the course of her two weeks in the ward, she struggles in the midst of doctors, nurses, patients and endless rules to find a path out of the hospital and this cycle of treatment. One where she can live the life she wants, finding freedom and autonomy, without sacrificing her dreams in order to stay well.


Author Notes

Rachel Lindsay is a Burlington, Vermont-based cartoonist. She is the creator of the comic strip Rachel Lives Here Now (2013-present), which appears weekly in Seven Days . She is a graduate of Columbia University. This is her first book.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Needing health insurance to pay for her treatment for bipolar disorder, aspiring cartoonist Lindsay reluctantly takes a corporate job in advertising rather than pursuing her artistic endeavors. Ironically, she finds herself promoted to the Pfizer account, tracking ads for antidepressant drugs. Gradually, the symptoms of her disease mania, anxiety, insomnia begin to manifest themselves, and she abruptly quits her job, leading her parents to have her institutionalized. Following a grueling, frustrating stint in the hospital, she's released to live with her parents and eventually takes another position in the corporate world, but with the determination to create a book about her experiences. In yet another irony, she comes to realize that her illness led her to the creative life that she'd sought. Lindsay's brash, broadly cartoony drawing style might seem inappropriate for the severity of the disease, but it reflects her exaggerated emotions, imparting a visceral intensity to her mania. Lindsay's courageous work is a fitting companion piece to Ellen Forney's account of her bipolar disorder, Marbles (2012).--Gordon Flagg Copyright 2018 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In simple, sketchy linework, Lindsay's snappy graphic memoir depicts the manic days in 2011 when she was hospitalized against her will after quitting her job, causing a scene in a restaurant, and shouting at police. An angry black cloud often surrounds her bug-eyed self-caricature, an expression of her fury at how bipolar disorder has encircled her life with "red tape." She would prefer to live as a vagabond artist, but the requirement of reliable health insurance forces her into a soul-sucking advertising gig instead. "Everyone else my age," she cries to her psychiatrist, "They're all bartending and backpacking Europe and dicking around... when do I get to find myself?" The cartoonish, exaggerated character design, reminiscent of the work of Roberta Gregory, is easy-reading and echoes the extremity of Lindsay's moods. Like Ellen Forney's memoir about bipolar disorder, Marbles, Lindsay struggles to understand the relationship between her creativity and her mental illness. Is suddenly quitting her corporate gig a brave pursuit of her artistic passion or merely a symptom of mania? As she passed weeks in the hospital, Lindsay drew her experiences-driven and determined even in the swirling cloud of her illness to create, resulting in this illuminated account of self-discovery. Agent: Ross Harris, Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

[DEBUT] In early 2011, while working as an account executive in New York City, Lindsay (newspaper strip Rachel Lives Here Now) received a promotion that placed her on a team responsible for branding and advertising the antidepressant Pristiq. Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 19, the author found herself on familiar ground. Although she dreamed of life as an artist, she felt stuck in a corporate job just so she could afford her medications and doctor appointments. Her struggle to rectify this conflict in her day-to-day reality led to a manic episode that left her parents with no choice but to have her hospitalized. Creating this memoir was part of Lindsay's healing process, as she recounts her experience with unflinching honesty and brutal self-awareness. Deceptively simple art rendered in stark black and white presents a cartoon style rich in texture, white space, and exaggeration, letting the images tell the emotional side of the story. VERDICT A great choice for fans of graphic memoirs or those interested in a deeper understanding of mental illness.-E.W. Genovese, Andrew Bayne Memorial Lib., Pittsburgh © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.