Praise for
Losing the Atmosphere

“Vivian Conan has written a real-life medical mystery that is as resonant and profound as an Oliver Sacks case study—but in her case, we see it from the inside. Losing the Atmosphere is, at its heart, a book about what it is to be an imperfect human (as we all are) walking through an imperfect world.”
— Dawn Raffel, author of The Strange Case of Dr. Couney

“In razor-sharp prose, Losing the Atmosphere traces one woman’s lifelong journey to mental wellness. Afflicted by two complex disorders and misdiagnosed time and again, Vivian Conan tells her story with poignancy, determination and fierce intelligence. You will cheer for this survivor.”
Sally Koslow, author of Another Side of Paradise

“A compelling story of a woman struggling to find her identity as she battles a baffling psychological condition that has plagued her since childhood. In this beautifully written memoir, Vivian Conan gives a fascinating account of a woman who, despite having grown up in a close, extended family in Brooklyn, creates a complicated imaginary world to cope with a demanding father and a distant mother. Losing the Atmosphere will haunt you well after the last page has been turned.”
— Joy Behar, co-host, The View

“Vivian Conan’s Losing the Atmosphere gives a powerful, personal account of how recurring childhood trauma can fracture one’s identity and result in a deep loss of self. Conan illustrates the little-understood but very real role multiple identities play for children and adults living with MPD and DID. This beautifully written memoir is a testament to a woman’s intelligence, tenacity and courage to find herself and make peace with a turbulent, oppressive past. In a world in which we increasingly rely solely on biochemical solutions, Conan proves that education, self-advocacy, and hard therapeutic work can lead to self-discovery and true healing.”
— Christina Chiu, author of Beauty and Troublemaker and Other Saints

“Vivian Conan’s memoir is what self-help, genuine self-help, feels like. Sensing the problem. Grasping the problem. Grappling with the problem. Overcoming the problem. This is quiet heroism.”
— Mark Goldblatt, author of Twerp and Finding the Worm

Losing the Atmosphere is an engrossing and highly informative memoir about how a child faced with an environment that is incomprehensible, sometimes terrifying, and psychologically unmanageable creates an illusory world to sustain her and develops different identities as a way of coping. It is first the compelling story of how this all began, then the uplifting narrative of how Ms. Conan learned to process and integrate experience that had been overwhelming—to mourn, forgive, and finally re-engage with the world as a full person. As a window into the experience of a person who developed dissociative identity disorder and found ways to heal, Losing the Atmosphere is a must-read for mental health professionals. It is a remarkable story and a fascinating read for everyone else.”
— Elizabeth F. Howell, PhD, author of Understanding and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder and Trauma and Dissociation-Informed Psychotherapy

“Vivian Conan’s description of dissociative states in Losing the Atmosphere is the most lucid characterization of this process I have ever come across. Her gripping account of how she battled and largely managed to overcome this disorder is more gritty than any clinical description. A great read.”
— Theodore Saretsky, PhD, Clinical Professor of Psychology, Derner School of Psychology at Adelphi University

Losing the Atmosphere is a heartbreaking account of life with a rare psychological disorder and the events that broke a budding mind to pieces.”
— Claire Foster, Foreword Reviews

Losing the Atmosphere by Vivian Conan is a very fascinating and at times very disturbing book. I don’t think I can put words to how much it touched me. It’s the kind of memoir that will resonate a long time with readers and show that it is possible to find a road to survival. I’m glad she wrote it, glad I read it.”
The Bookish Elf

“A potent, heartfelt life story.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Highly recommended for personal reading lists as well as community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography collections as an intensely personal, exceptionally informative, engagingly written, expressly thoughtful and thought-provoking memoir.”
Midwest Book Review

“In this often gut-wrenching memoir, Vivian Conan recalls her 60-plus years battling mental illness to eventually find wholeness and peace…. Losing the Atmosphere provides an intimate window into the mind of a woman struggling fiercely with conflicting emotions and fears. It will resonate with those familiar with the despair of mental illness, while offering hope as well.”
BlueInk Review

“The writing is gorgeous… the voice is strong and intimate, pulling the reader in with its spell.”
— Grace Masso, Readers’ Favorite