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More Than The Madness

“People like me don’t come from any one particular place; in fact, we are all around the world. We live in every country. We don’t have any particular skin color; we share them all. You can’t tell that I am any different by looking at me. What sets me apart is what is going on in my mind. I belong to a dreaded world that most people fear and don’t understand. There are many names for my state: crazy, lunatic, crackers, nuts, insane, and mentally ill.” 

And thus begins my memoirs entitled “More Than The Madness”.

Certainly this book goes into my struggles with mental illness. After all I have been hospitalized nine times now three of which I was committed. That is over a year of my life spent behind hospital walls. Of course like all things not all hospitals are equal. But they all had their pros and cons as none were absolutely good or bad.

Still the explaining of my mental illness was not the primary goal. My focus was that to tell the tale of any human being. That is despite my mental illness that there is indeed “More Than The Madness”. So not only do I examine what brought about the mental illness and the ramifications of ailment, but I show you myself a a person.

As a back drop there is my story of becoming a Christian. My book was never intended to be an evangelistic outreach and it is not. Rather Christianity is so much a part of me that it was an essential element of the story. One of my reviewers thought that my book was perhaps ‘bait and switch’ but was pleasantly relieved that it wasn’t.

In general my life was pleasantly unpleasant. Anybody who suffers seriously from mental illness will perhaps know exactly what I mean by that. I am just glad and happy to be alive. To be free from the hospitals, to live a ‘normal’ life style.

Of highlight in my life there are the stories involved with my hitchhiking across the United States. I had just become a Christian and I was full of energy, which unbeknownst to me was the emergence of my bipolar illness. My journey took me as far south as Texas, into Reno, San Fran Cisco and as far north as Washington State. I left from Port Authority bus station in New York City.

Perhaps the most interesting and exciting story is my night in jail chapter. I had just returned from Trinidad and I was completely out of my mind. I was off of my medicines and I literally got manic at beginning of a one month stay. Things go so bad in Trinidad that the country called my family for assistance. Thankfully my mother went down there to fetch. Upon returning the madness rage hitting a climax when I got arrested for, or all things, ‘criminal mischief’.

‘More Than The Madness’ is also a strong witness against the stigma associated with our disease. People with mental illness should be no more ashamed of saying what ails us then somebody with a broken leg or cancer. ‘More Than The Madness’  is an excellent book to give to somebody who isn’t educated with mental illness or somebody who is experiencing it.

In the end ‘More Than The Madness’ is a book of hope. I would love to share my story with you. Here is a link to purchase my memoirs.

More Than The Madness

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). More Than The Madness. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2018, from


Last updated: 10 Jan 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Jan 2018
Published on All rights reserved.