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The Dark Side of Innocence

The Dark Side of Innocence

Growing Up Bipolar

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The New York Times bestselling author blends a pitch-perfect childlike voice with keen adult observation as she shares her heartrending, groundbreaking insider’s look into the fascinating and frightening world of childhood bipolar disorder.

Starting with her first suicide attempt at age seven, Terri Cheney was held hostage by her roller-coaster moods, veering from easy A-pluses to total paralysis, from bouts of obsessive hypersexuality to episodes of alcoholic abandon that nearly cost her her life. On the outside, her world appeared perfect. She was pretty and smart, an academic superstar and popular cheerleader. Yet her inner world was chaos, a well-guarded secret too troubling, too painful to fathom even thirty years later in her bestselling memoir, Manic, which was lauded as “chilling” and “brilliant” by People. In The Dark Side of Innocence, her eye-opening follow-up, Terri shares her poignant and compelling journey from a childhood of disaster and despair to hope and survival, an informative first-person account of a dark beast that preys on a staggering one million children.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439176245 | 
  • March 2012
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Read an Excerpt

1

A little boy died
When he was seven.
He went straight up
To Heaven.


—My version of a nursery rhyme, age seven

Killing yourself at any age is a seriously tricky business. But when I was seven, the odds felt insurmountable. My resources were so limited, after all. We lived in a one-story house, so there was nowhere to jump. The cabinet where the good silver was kept—the one with the knives that could make a nice, clean slice—was locked, and my mother had the key. We did have a swimming pool in our backyard, but who was going to teach me how to drown? I’d only just learned... see more

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