Mark Vonnegut is the eldest son of the wonderful American author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.. However, Mark has done more than spring from the loins of a woman married to an author who (later) became very well-known; Mark himself is a published writer.

Mark Vonnegut's autobiographical account of his descent into madness, The Eden Express, is gripping and painful to read. He had graduated from Swarthmore College in 1969 with a BA in religious studies at a time when his father was becoming famous. He was disillusioned with his life, his father's growing renown, and the society he lived in, and idealistically went to British Columbia to build an hippie commune. However, over the next few years his condition deteriorated, exacerbated by intensive drug-taking, as was common among counter culture youth at the time. His symptoms included delusions, hallucinations, anorexia, and suicidal impulses. On Valentine's Day, 1971, he was committed to Vancouver's Hollywood Psychiatric Hospital and diagnosed schizophrenic.

Mark began a course of megavitamin therapy, and he began to recover. Today he refers to his condition at the time as manic-depression, a.k.a. bipolar disorder.

Mark went on to become a medical doctor - a pediatrician - and practices in Connecticut. One of my erstwhile high school buddies went on to join the commune that Mark founded; it still exists, though none of the original members live there now.

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