Amber Portwood is ready to tell the uncensored version of her life story — including the ups and downs of her battle with mental health — in her upcoming memoir, Are You Crazy Too?
“Honestly, this book had to be cut,” said the “Teen Mom OG” star, 31, exclusively to page six of her second literary project, which will be slapped with a warning flag when it’s released on February 22, because it’s full of candid details.
“We fought so hard for this warning sign. I’ve read this book now three times, and I can’t even believe I lived this life.”
Since she made her reality TV debut on MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” in 2009, Portwood’s personal setbacks have been constantly dissected by online trolls and covered heavily by the media.
While navigating unexpected fame, she faced the challenges of being a teenage mother, contending with addiction and completing a 17-month prison term in 2013 – painful but transformative experiences re-examined in her book.
But what Portwood is most proud of, she says, is learning to live with five mental illnesses — including bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder — diagnoses she previously struggled to accept.
“The anxiety inside me. The bipolar, the dividing line, PTSD, all these different things coming together, that’s my makeup — but it’s not exactly who I am,” she said. “This is what I am going through and working through. I have really learned to live happily with major mental illnesses.”
The Portwood AF founder explained that the title “So, You Crazy Too?” The follow-up to her 2014 book It’s Never Too Late is her personal reclaiming of the label she once hated.
“This is the reality of mental health. This is a mental illness and this is what people call crazy. So, when I say, ‘So, you’re crazy too?’ — that’s not what we like to hear.” “And that’s why the book is called that.”
These days, the mother of two — who shares daughter Leah, 13, with ex-fiancé Gary Shirley and son James, 3, with ex-Andrew Glennon — clears her mind with the help of therapy, medication, meditation, maintaining sobriety, and other forms of self-care.
“I go to psychotherapy once a week. I don’t play here,” she said. “I work at work.”
The college student—who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology in applied behavior analysis and is considering going after her Ph.D.—explained, “I do whatever I need to, from drawing to writing poetry to reading to educating myself. I will never stop. [bettering myself]. “