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A Life of Ups and Downs Joseph DeBlasis life has never been normal. Taken by his father at the age of nine, involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with his stepmother, and estranged from his mom and two brothers, his formative years were spiked with trauma and pain. And then he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and all hell broke loose. Manic Joe reared his ugly heada brash but charming guy everybody loved despite his appetite for destroying his own life and anyones who crossed his path. Then he would slip into deep, months-long debilitating depressive episodes that not even the heaviest medications could touch. Only the undying support of his loved ones has helped him survive. From Manic Joes run-ins with the law to his experiences with electro-convulsive therapy, Polarized: Sex, Lies, and Family Betrayal shows in excruciating and heartbreaking detail what its really like to live with mental illness.