The Upside of Being Down

Jen Gotch, with Rachel Bertsche. Gallery, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-1-9821-0881-6
Gotch, the founder of clothing and accessory lifestyle website Ban.do, chronicles a lifetime of mental health challenges in her self-deprecating and witty debut. After bouncing from job to job, Gotch writes of finding her niche in commercial photography and styling in her early 20s, then diving into therapy in an effort to face her demons. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety, and attention deficit disorder—and being properly medicated—Gotch realizes that her challenges have fueled her creative endeavors (though not always in a healthy way, she admits, noting her tendencies toward workaholism). Gotch unflinchingly explores her past, recounting her suicidal thoughts and a time she hallucinated that her skin had turned green, and sharing stories from her failed marriage. “Here’s the thing about writing a memoir,” she writes. “The person you are when you start and the person you are when you finish are practically strangers.” Throughout, Gotch is unequivocal in delivering her message that mental health is every bit as important as physical health (and that the two are interrelated), and her often humorous delivery underscores her belief that sometimes a laugh truly is the best medicine. Anyone who’s ever dealt with mental illness will appreciate this forthcoming and empathetic volume. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/12/2019
Release date: 01/14/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-9918-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-9671-3
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